Three albums in, and at the age of 33, Natasha Khan has been in the game long enough, to cultivate a rich, distinctive sound. Debut album Fur and Gold was well-received, but follow-ups Two Suns and last year’s The Haunted Man - which consolidated her phantasmagorical sound into an effortless, distinctive whole - gained real critical acclaim.
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Friday 15 October 2010
Wednesday 06 October 2010
The first European exhibition to comprehensively survey avante-garde Japanese fashion from the 1980s to now opens at the Barbican Art Gallery next week.
Sunday 26 September 2010
Fame creates an aura of association. The name Steve Blacknell means nothing to me and Kate Bush will leave most people under 40 blank but, if we say the first boyfriend of the musical predecessor of Florence Welch, we are in business. Blacknell is selling a teenage love letter from Bush, claiming that he is the subject of her song "The Man with the Child in His Eyes".
Wednesday 22 September 2010
The Bees are back and the world is suddenly a better place. It's three years since the blessed Isle of Wight sextet came up with a new album, which might be the blink of an eye compared with the timescale on which a Blue Nile or a Kate Bush operates, but for fans of these free-spirited embracers of soul, jazz, and psychedelia it's been an anxious wait.
Sunday 22 August 2010
Friday 20 August 2010
Books: I've just started reading 'The Black Hand' by Chris Blatchford. It's a biography of a guy who dissented from the Mexican Mafia. Reading it you can tell he was super-intelligent and could have had a very different life. I've also been reading Freddie Foreman's autobiography. He was one of England's biggest criminals, bigger than the Kray twins, but he didn't do the press. I've known him for 15 years – he's a good friend of mine, and it's always interesting reading about someone you know.
Saturday 07 August 2010
Friday 06 August 2010
Upwards of 600 pages long, fanatically engrossed in its subject matter, covering a century of native musical culture in the minutest detail, Electric Eden has a symbolic high point that can be dated to 1975. With the entity known as "progressive rock" (Genesis, Pink Floyd, Yes etc) grown tediously overblown, and punk the faintest of stirrings on an unregarded horizon, this was the annus mirabilis of the English folk-rock group, Steeleye Span. A six-part BBC television series saw the band beamed out from a selection of historic country houses. Their stage shows became, as Rob Young puts it, "increasingly flamboyant". For "Lyke Wake Dirge" they trooped on stage wearing medieval space suits woven from priests' cassocks.
Friday 30 July 2010
The first record I bought was...
A used dog-eared LP of Cosmic Thing by The B52s.
Saturday 24 July 2010
Throughout the 1970s and most of the '80s, Morris Pert was an in-demand session musician, adding an array of percussion instruments – conga, gong, marimba, tambourine, timbales, timpani, Vibraphone – to big-selling albums by Bryan Ferry, Judie Tzuke, Nick Heyward, Elvis Costello and Elkie Brooks. Pert's contributions particularly enhanced the more recherché output of percussive-minded artists like Mike Oldfield, John Martyn, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush and Talk Talk.
Thursday 15 July 2010
"Well, you've definitely still got it, that's for sure," Jamie Reynolds breathlessly informs his audience. Hold on, aren't we meant to be the ones making that judgement about Klaxons? It's been three years since their debut album, Myths of the Near Future, rode the crest of nu rave to small-time era-defining status, and next month, their sophomore effort Surfing the Void arrives.
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- 3 Why Barcelona chose Everton to educate their latest prodigy
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- 5 Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant