Funk Music

Allen Stone, Dingwalls, London

"I'm going to do something I never do," confesses Allen Stone. "I've got a song called 'The Fly' I wrote two days ago in my hotel room I'd like to sing to you." It's a courageous and daft act from this resolutely bland American soul singer.

Album review: Richard Thompson, Electric (Proper)

Recorded at Buddy Miller's Nashville home studio with little more than his core trio, Electric finds Richard Thompson at his most stripped-down and potent, spinning cautionary tales of misplaced wanderers, foolish would-be lotharios, depressed factory workers and dangerously charismatic women with a punch and urgency belied by their often reflective manner.

Hot Chip, Brixton Academy, London

Anyone still ready to dismiss Hot Chip as geeks or middle-class ironists would be disabused of that notion as soon as the south London five-piece appear.

See Thriller Live for just £29.50

Thriller Live is a spectacular concert created to celebrate the career of the world’s greatest entertainer. Moonwalking its way around the world, award-winning director Gary Lloyd’s Thriller Live brings to life the sensational dancing and distinctive sound of Michael and the Jackson 5.

Album: Incognito, Transatlantic RPM (Dome)

Thirty years old and still going strong, Incognito is the UK's own Earth, Wind & Fire, a national treasure whose founder Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick deserves a knighthood.

Album: Solex vs. Cristina Martinez & Jon Spencer, Amsterdam Showdown,

What I particularly like about Amsterdam Showdown, King Street Throwdown! is the way it defies simple categorisation, shifting shape and direction with virtually every track, and constructing weird, contradictory combinations of sounds which balance, as the poet once said, like a mattress balances on a bottle of wine.

Album: Sun Ra, Live in Cleveland, (Leo/Golden Years)

The recording is far from hi-fi but this 1975 session catches the Arkestra on absolutely stonking form and at a musical juncture – Sun Ra meets disco and proto-rap – that emphasises the continuities linking much black music.

Farewell to 'Mama Africa'

South Africa has held a public memorial service for Miriam Makeba, one of Africa's best-known voices and a champion of the fight against apartheid. Makeba, 76, died after a concert in Italy last week.

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