Does success in one genre guarantee it in another?
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Friday 15 August 2008
Once upon a time, before the amazon Kindle, before the Penguin mass market paperback and before the Gutenberg printing press, stories belonged to the people and they got them from storytellers. There were wandering troubadours instead of Waterstone's and ballads rather than Big Brother, and the "revolutionary new e-ink" would have seemed as far-fetched as the "revolutionary new ink". Now things are different: books come with a battery life measured in units of War and Peace and stories can come with you everywhere except in the bath or the rain. But the storytellers haven't gone away.
Tuesday 05 August 2008
It sparkles like a rare diamond and its contents are sought after by millions. Yes, ladies and gentleman, Noel Fielding's jumpsuit has landed. It was not a musical act that filled the Saturday night slot of this family-friendly musical festival in Herefordshire, but a surrealist comedy duo who were greeted with as many bamboozled silences as outpourings of laughter. But if there was an element of the emperor's new clothes to 10,000 people standing around slightly confused to watch Fielding and Julian Barratt's Mighty Boosh take us through a "musical journey", then it was just one stop on an otherwise successful weekend.
Wednesday 23 July 2008
It would be fair to say that festivals present challenges for an artist. First, they are not playing to a fully partisan crowd, and second, they are restricted by time constraints and the logistics of equipment and entourage. Festivals, then, are a measure of a performer's ability to make the conditions work for them.
Saturday 19 July 2008
Wednesday 25 June 2008
This was never going to be just a concert. Communion with the man whose emotional and spiritual quests have provided the GPS mapping for more than one generation is, in fact, more of an act of worship.
Sunday 22 June 2008
Wednesday 18 June 2008
Sunday 15 June 2008
Saturday 10 May 2008
It was in his trademark dour tone (two octaves lower than Leonard Cohen) that Steve Coppell last night issued his rallying call in Reading's fight for Premier League survival. "Just be grateful that after the season we've had we still have this opportunity to stay up," he declared.
Friday 09 May 2008
I start so many books and then get distracted. I've just read The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. It is the story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, who wrote the book by blinking the letters of the alphabet because he was paralysed everywhere else. It is strange how uplifting it is to read – it makes you appreciate the small things in life. The other book I've read is The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It is about the end of the world, and describes a journey taken by a father and son. As post-apocalyptic survivors, they wander through America. It's quite a long book but is aimless because what are they walking towards? They are walking to stay alive. Both of these books get to the root of what it means to be alive.
Wednesday 12 March 2008
Leonard Cohen, the troubadour of melancholy whose career as a poet, writer and musician has spanned more than half a century, is to embark on a world tour featuring eight dates in Britain.
Thursday 14 February 2008
Monday 04 February 2008
If an artist's second album is the tricky one, perhaps kd lang might enlighten us as to how the next eight go. Her wariness at the reaction to Watershed – record number 10 in a two-decade-plus career – was obvious here the day after its release, at the first show of a worldwide tour.
Sunday 27 January 2008
Thursday 10 January 2008
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- 1 What if 35 Palestinians had died, and 800 Israelis?
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire