sun 18/11/2018

poetry

CD: Marianne Faithfull - Negative Capability

There are many layers of allusion that come with Marianne Faithfull’s powerful new album. The title is drawn from Keats, his formula for great poetry as opposed to instructive morality, and it’s towards a poetry of experience rather than the fixed...

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CD: John Grant – Love Is Magic

There are people who do and say awful things in the name of honesty. It can be used as a cover for rigorous appeasement of our own worst impulses, or as a thin veil to disguise needless personal attacks on those around us. With singer-sonwriter John...

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DVD: Mary Shelley

This should have been the perfect match. Saudi-born director Haifaa al-Mansour earned real acclaim for her 2012 debut film Wadjda, whose 12-year-old central character had to break the conventions of a restrictive society to realise her dream –...

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DVD: Al Berto

There are plenty of reasons to be apprehensive about biopics of poets. The activity of writing is most often, after all, anything but cinematic, unless its moments of creativity are forced, while the “myth” of the poet all too easily becomes...

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Proms at...Cadogan Hall 4, Connolly, Middleton review - perfect partnering in the unfamiliar

“It has a music of its own. It produces vibrations.” Oscar Wilde was being ironic when he had Gwendolen contemplate the sound of her beloved’s drab name in The Importance of Being Earnest, but he had a point when it comes to composers and poetry....

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The Last Poets, Brighton Festival review - black power sets the night alight

The venom with which Abiodun Oyewole spits “America is a terrorist”, the key repeated line to “Rain of Terror”, has startling power. The piece is an unashamed diatribe against his nation. Beside him his partner Umar Bin Hassan rhythmically hisses...

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Lemn Sissay, Brighton Festival review - a mesmerising sermon of performance poetry

I first heard – or rather saw on paper – the work of Lemn Sissay in an English literature lecture hall in the late '90s. As a fresh faced first year uni student, coming firmly from the school of Pablo Neruda, it was quite a departure from my norm.It...

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IOU Rear View, Brighton Festival review - imaginative odyssey around town

Yorkshire theatre company IOU have a tool in their armoury that most of their peers do not. It’s an open-topped bus with tiered seating, as pictured above, built in Halifax and the only one of its type, replete with headphone sets for every seat. It...

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Lisa Halliday: Asymmetry review - unconventional and brilliant

Lisa Halliday’s striking debut novel consists of three parts. The first follows the blooming relationship between Alice and Ezra (respectively an Assistant Editor and a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer) in New York; the middle section comprises a...

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CD: Young Echo - Young Echo

Young Echo is a sprawling Bristolian collective, comprised of individual musicians Jabu, Vessel, Kahn, Neek, Ishan Sound, Ossia, Manonmars, Bogues, Rider Shafique, chester giles [sic] and Jasmine, who combine and re-combine in various permutations...

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CD: Baxter Dury - Prince of Tears

As son of the famous Blockheads frontman, Baxter Dury has always had big (new) boots to fill. Over the last 15 years though, he’s become distinguishable in his own right for his Chiswick accent and roughened-up pastoral music. Both are just as...

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Victory Condition, Royal Court review - Ballardian vision of the contemporary

What does it mean to feel contemporary? Feel. Contemporary. According to theatre-maker Chris Thorpe, whose new play Victory Condition has just opened at the Royal Court in tandem with Guillermo Calderón’s B, being contemporary is a really disturbing...

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