1. Sir David Frost and Seamus Heaney
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Sunday 21 June 2009
If you're only gonna have one trick, make it a good 'un. The Gossip's template – Beth Ditto's almost absurdly soulful vocals set against an urgent rock-disco backing – hasn't altered significantly on their Rick Rubin-produced fourth album.
Friday 19 June 2009
Since "Standing in the Way of Control" hoisted Gossip from cult favourites to stars in 2006, Beth Ditto's larger-than-life personality and unfettered outsider opinions have made her the natural focus of media attention, so much so that it would be easy to forget that Gossip is a band, and not just Beth's backing crew. Hence, presumably, the album title - a sardonic hedge against groundless suppositions that she might be addressing a purely lesbian constituency - and the cover photo, which features just the drummer, Hannah Billie, looking like the kind of androgynous rockabilly dreamboat one might find adorning a Morrissey album sleeve.
Thursday 04 June 2009
When Beth Ditto and her often-naked plus-size form crashed on to the scene three years ago, her band, Gossip, were lauded as irreverent pop-punk heroes, geek-chic hipsters tasked with smashing pseudo-political monoliths of discrimination and intolerance.
Thursday 19 March 2009
I am so over the fashion world's obsession with Beth Ditto. The Gossip's fat frontwoman has been everywhere in recent weeks. On the cover of one magazine (naked), between the sheets in another. She might as well have been the official mascot at Paris Fashion Week. She posed with Karl Lagerfeld before squeezing into the sequinned bustier and hotpants he had designed especially for her to perform in at the Fendi party. She's been snapped hanging out with Kate Moss and front row at Vivienne Westwood. At the Jean Paul Gaultier and Loewe shows, she wrapped herself in skintight printed dresses.
Wednesday 18 March 2009
Monday 16 March 2009
Friday 13 March 2009
Style icons rarely make good pop stars, but pop stars can make magnificent style icons.
Wednesday 11 March 2009
It is, as they say, the final insult. Nearly six months after Sir Fred Goodwin resigned as chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland following its costly government bailout, not to mention the disclosures that he is to receive a £703,000-a-year pension, we face the prospect of seeing his signature on our bank notes for two more months.
Sunday 22 February 2009
When I joined the Daily Telegraph many years ago, some guardians of journalism complained that I would infect the grand old institution with a strain of perky anarchy. Yet it was the old masters of the Telegraph who egged me on. Lord Deedes was recklessly light-hearted. Auberon Waugh made me swear that I would get a naked woman on the front page. I sidled towards it with some fashion models wearing diaphanous blouses and finally stuck a Lucian Freud portrait above the fold of the front page.
Friday 31 October 2008
Yo Majesty, a Christian lesbian rapper duo from Tampa, Florida, challenge the women-bashing, materialistic, homophobic habits of old skool hip-hop – and they're not afraid to be outrageous.
Friday 04 July 2008
A sterling affirmation of the creative vitality of independent music, Independents Day 08 is a two-stage expression of how the baton of inspiration gets passed from one era to another.
Friday 04 July 2008
Sunday 13 April 2008
"I just want you to know I'm made of booze and MDMA," warns Har Mar Superstar. "And the MDMA was an accident..."
Sunday 06 April 2008
Friday 04 April 2008
The week's other live album doesn't feature an intrusive film director – but then, with Beth Ditto shouting "This is for the faggots!" before one track and "This is for the dykes!" before the next, it hardly requires commentary.
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