Arts and Entertainment

Festivals can be challenging enough considering summer weather in Britain, but they're even trickier to enjoy with a toddler in tow, as David Taylor found out...

Live Review: Michachu And The Shapes

Hoxton Bar and Kitchen

Live Review: Florence And The Machine

229, London

Creamfields and other festivals are under pressure to diversify

Following the disastrous conclusion to Gatecrasher’s Summer Sound System event in May, when a rainstorm forced Hot Chip and The Chemical Brothers to cancel their sets on the Sunday evening, organisers of similar large-scale dance parties this summer will be nervously watching the skies. Yet there’s also a feeling that dance promoters are facing other, less elemental pressures.

Natural mystic

He founded the legendary Island Records, and launched the careers of artists as diverse as Bob Marley, U2, and Nick Drake. On a rare excursion from his Jamaican home, Chris Blackwell talks about a lifetime in independent music.

Songs of freedom

A double CD celebrating independent music in the UK is released today, on which established names promote up-and-coming bands.

Album: Polar Bear, Polar Bear (Tin Angel)

Sometimes described as post-jazz, for their affinities with post-rockers such as Tortoise and Godspeed You Black Emperor, Seb Rochford’s quintet adopt a disarmingly postmodern approach to jazz, drawing from its vast library of styles with scant regard for the historical rivalries that have traditionally riven the genre into competing cliques and movements.

Album: Joe Tex, First On The Dial (Shout!)

Joe Tex will always be known primarily for his mid-Sixties’ successes, when Atlantic Records took over distribution of his Dial Records material, and scored a top 10 hit with “Hold What You’ve Got”.

Album: The Tubes, Goin' Down (Cherry Red)

Since the deaths of Frank Zappa and Warren Zevon, satire has become a vanishingly small part of the rock music scene – though lord knows, there’s far more to be cynical about in the current music biz than ever before.

Album: Ratatat, LP3 (XL)

For their third album, New York techno duo Ratatat (guitarist Mike Stroud and keyboardist Evan Mast) decamped to the Old Soul Studio of their friend White Flight, up in the Catskills, where they found a trove of old analogue keyboards that provide many of the textures and timbres of LP3.

Album: She & Him, Volume One (Double Six)

After Minnie Driver and Scarlett Johansson, Zooey Deschanel is the latest actress to release an album.

Album: Various Artists, Rockin' Memphis (Proper)

Most Memphis heritage compilations focus either on the city’s R&B or rockabilly scenes, but there’s plenty of room on this four-disc, 118-track box set to cover all bases, offering a detailed account of how rock’n’roll, the miscegenate offspring of blues and country, came crawling out of the South in the early Fifties.

Album: Blue Blokes 3, Stubble (Fledg'ling)

As members of 3 Mustaphas 3, Ben Mandelson and Lu Edmonds were playing footloose and fancy-free with blended roots music “forgeries” as far back as the Eighties, so the string-band crossovers done in cahoots with folk-blues guitarist Ian Anderson on Stubble should come as no great surprise.

Album: The Chris McGregor Septet, Up To Earth (Fledg'ling)

Recorded around the same time (1969) as the recently reissued Brotherhood Of Breath albums, but never previously released, Up To Earth features similar combinations of top UK jazzers (bassist Danny Thompson and sax men John Surman and Evan Parker) with the remnants of pianist Chris McGregor’s expatriate South African band (trumpeter Mongezi Feza, saxist Dudu Pukwana and drummer Louis Moholo).

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