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Thursday 02 June 2011
Friday 20 May 2011
Dubbed "the ugliest tour in showbiz" by Dara O Briain and a gathering for "geeks" and the "disenfranchised" by host Robin Ince, Uncaged Monkeys lets loose a live version of Radio 4's comic look at science, The Infinite Monkey Cage and follows on from Ince's similar science-minded live shows Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People.
Thursday 12 May 2011
When this show was announced in February, it looked like New York hip-hop was making a stand against today's questionable customisation of the genre or someone had worked out a way to neatly cash in on the legendary reputations of two groups and an MC who've each carved a credible niche in music history. Rakim, for instance, has been every rapper's favourite rapper for the last 25 years, responsible for inspiring lyricists to move beyond pre-school wordplay in favour of more complex rhyme schemes and metaphors. Tonight, he's a respectful warm-up performer, cooly reeling off classics like "Paid in Full" and "Don't Sweat the Technique" with just the help of a DJ. It feels a little rushed and if he'd had 20 more minutes, he might have converted some of the youngsters in the crowd who couldn't help but look on at the 43-year-old obliviously.
Monday 09 May 2011
A rich velvety voice on an empty stage fills the Apollo and is greeted with instant applause. "The Closest Thing to Crazy" opens the show, a tender track that the singer wraps her distinct vocals around.
Tuesday 26 April 2011
Standing in a sweltering, packed Hammersmith Apollo, it's hard not to reflect on the bizarre career trajectory of R Kelly.
Friday 08 April 2011
Just hours after Doug Stanhope left the stage of the Hammersmith Apollo, completing what could be considered a breakthrough gig, the man he tonight described as his only ever "hero", Charlie Sheen, was to play the first date of his ludicrously titled tour, My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Death Is Not an Option, at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. Sheen's evening would turn out to be a disaster, Stanhope's had ended a triumph.
Thursday 31 March 2011
Peter Gabriel's typically ambitious and playful notion of swapping cover versions with admired peers resulted in Scratch My Back, his 2010 album of stately interpretations of Radiohead, Bon Iver, Arcade Fire and others. Tonight's show with the New Blood Orchestra applies the same reflective approach to Gabriel's own songbook. They show consistent conscience, expressed in a voice of gravelly, intellectual English soul.
Tuesday 29 March 2011
There's good reason for the extra spring in the step of Micky Flanagan's signature Cockney walk this evening. After nearly 15 years in comedy, and jobs before that which have included fish-packer and dishwasher, the Bethnal Green-bred 46-year-old was strutting out on to the stage of a venue that seats over 3,500 people and is synonymous with career ascendancy.
Tuesday 22 March 2011
Throw a bit of California into a mixing bowl with Alice in Wonderland, add a splash of Vegas and the result is a show to satisfy the sweetest tooth.
Monday 21 March 2011
Few bands are without an identifiable frontman or woman, but some are more front than others. Oregon six-piece The Decemberists are a case in point.
Sunday 20 March 2011
Thursday 17 March 2011
Two years may be a long absence, but as his fans readily accede to singer Matthew Murphy's request for another wave, the empathy between both parties remains strong.
Wednesday 02 March 2011
Thursday 24 February 2011
Slight of frame, sensibly dressed and bespectacled, Ben Folds takes to the Hammersmith Apollo stage, stands at a grand piano, and plays a monumental two and a half hour set which brings the house down. Now 44, Folds still has more energy and enthusiasm than men half his age, and can rock harder than most of them to boot. Appearances, it seems, can be deceiving.
Tuesday 14 December 2010
On his journey from cult Edinburgh Fringe favourite to big venue comic, Mark Watson has notched up the kinds of TV appearances a graduating stand up might be expected to make, including Mock the Week and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, but it's clear tonight that performing to his largest live audience yet is the feather in his cap that is tickling him the most.
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