tue 18/02/2020

songwriters

Classic Albums: Tears for Fears, Songs From The Big Chair, BBC Four review - anatomy of an anthem

Roland Orzabal, co-founder and lead guitarist of Tears for Fears, laughs to himself often during this documentary — the latest in the BBC’s often-excellent, always-forensic Classic Albums series. “I agree, I agree, it sounds great,” says Orzabal. He...

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Transatlantic Sessions, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - folk fusion from Burns to the boss

In its seventeenth incarnation, Transatlantic Sessions - a concert comprising music from some of the finest names in Scottish, Irish and American folk - had its penultimate night of its UK tour in a packed-out Symphony Hall, Birmingham on Friday...

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John Grant, Roundhouse review - simplicity, with a bit of space opera

John Grant’s entry onto the stage was unobtrusive, appropriate for a set-up that consisted of just a grand piano and an electronic keyboard (with accompanying keyboardist). He began with similarly unadorned songs, the ballads that peppered the start...

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Rags: The Musical, Park Theatre review - a timely, if predictable, immigrant tale

“Take our country back!” is the rallying cry of the self-identified “real” Americans gathered to protest the arrival of immigrants. It could be a contemporary Trump rally – or, indeed, the nastier side of current British political discourse – but in...

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& Juliet, Shaftesbury Theatre review - the Bard with dancefloor bangers

It’s bright, it’s brash, it’s a gazillion times camper than Christmas: but is it such stuff as theatrical hits are made on? If that misquotation is already making you cringe, then this glittery pop juggernaut probably isn’t for you – but it is,...

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CD: Beck - Hyperspace

Beck stands on the front cover of his new album Hyperspace with a vintage Toyota and Japanese text resplendent above. It’s the perfect scene setter for an album you could easily imagine soundtracking a midnight drive through Tokyo. Or if the lyrics...

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What Girls Are Made Of, Soho Theatre review - euphoric gig-theatre

It’s now Edinburgh Fringe transfer season in London, but here’s one they made earlier: Cora Bissett’s Fringe First-winning autobiographical play from the 2018 Festival about her time in 1990s indie band Darlingheart. Though the broad shape of this...

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CD: Whitney - Forever Turned Around

As days get shorter and the sun tucks itself behind a blanket of clouds, Whitney return with the bittersweet sound of summer ending. Forever Turned Around is the long-awaited follow up to 2016’s Light Upon the Lake, and the band have lost none of...

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Florence + the Machine, BST Hyde Park review - mastering the matriarchy

It’s a rare thing that musicians sound better live than they do on Spotify. But Florence Welch sings a note perfect set – even when jumping up and down like a pogo stick, whirling and spinning, or sprinting along the front of the stage to meet fans....

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CD: Peter Perrett - Humanworld

June 2017 witnessed a musical miracle, of sorts – the resurrection to recording and brilliant songwriting of Peter Perrett, The Only Ones’ singer, songwriter, and architect of his own ghoulish entombment in a Gothic south east London pile, fielding...

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Peter Perrett, Concorde 2, Brighton review - it’s a family affair for the former Only One

It’s been a couple of years since Peter Perrett, the former frontman and creative force behind the much loved but commercially under-performing Only Ones decided that he’d had enough of being a mere legend and got back into the musical ring. He had...

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CD: The Waterboys - Where the Action Is

Mike Scott has never been afraid to call on high-brow literary influences in his songwriting – 2011’s An Appointment With Mr Yeats album being the most obvious example. Now, almost forty years (on and off) into the Waterboys’ career, Scott takes a...

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