Does success in one genre guarantee it in another?
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Album: Luke Haines, 9 Psychedelic Meditations on British Wrestling of the 1970s & Early '80s (Fantastic Plastic)
Friday 07 October 2011
Haines writes songs that somehow touch a raw nerve of emotional response – even when, as here, he's imagining the podgy heroes beloved of UK grapple-fans, projected into absurdist situations beyond their public image.
Sunday 24 July 2011
Alphabet Saints are singer Robert Christie and multi-instrumentalist Hamilton Lee, and Raptureland channels the spirit of early Suicide, Eno-era Roxy, Lou Reed circa Berlin and Bowie circa Station To Station.
Thursday 21 July 2011
Rarely has there been a more affably erudite performer than Rufus Wainwright. As he cracks a one-liner about Richard Wagner on stage at the Royal Opera House, his sister Martha – with whom he shares the stage tonight – and the crowd chuckle. Moments later, the siblings burst into a cover of Elton John and Kiki Dee's 1976 number one "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", during a performance also including work by Edith Piaf, Leonard Cohen and their late mother, Kate McGarrigle, as well as original material from both Wainwright children. This is not under any circumstances a traditional gig.
Tuesday 12 July 2011
Thursday 02 June 2011
Friday 13 May 2011
John Martyn's valedictory recordings have a suitably weary presence that makes even such legendary laidback soporificos as J J Cale and Leonard Cohen seem positively sprightly by comparison.
Monday 28 March 2011
Monday 14 March 2011
Sunday 06 March 2011
Released to very little fanfare last year, In Memory of Loss travelled by word of mouth from one discerning music lover to the next.
Friday 11 February 2011
East River Pipe's F M Cornog is one of the most neglected songwriters operating in America today.
Tuesday 08 February 2011
The arrival of Vanessa Paradis, partner of Johnny Depp, actress, model and face of Chanel, in Camden Town is an event. As a singer, she's still best known for the 1987 hit "Joe le Taxi", so this was a rare chance to see her music live. The concert was pretty much a run-through of last Christmas's French-only CD Une Nuit à Versailles, a live, orchestrated, acoustic-leaning recasting of her back catalogue. Despite issuing ten albums since 1988, Paradis's oeuvre is slim – one is a "Best of" and four are live sets.
Sunday 23 January 2011
Thursday 16 December 2010
In the Guy Barker Orchestra, Paloma Faith has clearly met her perfect match: a bunch of talented musicians with as deep and sincere a love of big-band jazz and blues as she has, led by a gifted musical director whose arrangements subtly and ingeniously update the standard period tropes. There's an obvious rapport between singer and musicians, who doubtless had fun planning tonight's show, Down at the End of Lonely Street, a quote from "Heartbreak Hotel" signifying the melancholy, lovelorn tenor of the torch-song material.
Sunday 05 December 2010
"I've seen the future," Leonard Cohen once sang, "and it is murder". The comeback album by 1980s electro-rockers Shriekback sounds like Len waking up in that future and deciding to go down the disco.
Friday 22 October 2010
Slouching into his 50s, Giant Sand songwriter Howe Gelb sounds a tad circumspect about life in general on Blurry Blue Mountain.
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