Less than two years ago, the Manic Street Preachers played the 20,000-capacity O2 Arena. Now, they play to a tenth of that audience size, the intimacy of this west London venue - and others on this tour - ideal for their new, 11th studio album, Rewind the Film, which revolves around gentle acoustic modes. It seems that in their middle age the Welsh band are embracing subtlety (musically, at least).
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Sunday 15 September 2013
An album about midlife resignation may not sound like the best spark to relight creative fires, but the Manics’ return is an unlikely victory even by their standards. After 2004’s potential career-killer Lifeblood, their last three albums proved they could still draw on a patented friction between brazen populism and brittle introspection. But their 11th is fresher still, its mostly acoustic intimacies offering searing, sublime dispatches from a stand-off – “in between acceptance and rage” – with middle age.
Tuesday 03 September 2013
See the AIM Independent Music Awards winners in full (below)
Friday 17 May 2013
Returning after eight years away, Texas shoot straight to the top of 2013's Unnecessary Albums chart with The Conversation. It's not that it's actively bad – that would be interesting, at least – but that it lacks impetus, panache and compulsion, just for starters. The title track is OK, in an ersatz country-soul way, and the country-pop of “Dry Your Eyes” works well too.
Thursday 21 February 2013
From mindless juries to Mantelgate, it seems a new virus is raging
Monday 18 February 2013
Yesterday, fans of Bill Turnbull et al were alarmed upon turning on their televisions to discover Bargain Hunt, while Today was switched for The Kitchen Cabinet. Of course, it was due to an NUJ strike.
Friday 02 November 2012
Three years ago they were playing gigs in the upstairs rooms of student pubs in Leeds. Today they wake up as the next big thing in British pop. Such are the whims of the Mercury Prize.
Saturday 13 October 2012
Presley gets back on track, with help from her friends
Sunday 29 July 2012
Williams is best known as the bassist and, more recently, co-frontman of Dexys, playing nice cop – literally – to Kevin Rowland's "burning" protagonist, his gentle voice a counterpoint to Kev's impassioned yell.
Friday 20 April 2012
Rufus Wainwright believes this to be "the most pop album" he's ever made, and he's probably right, so long as you're thinking 1970s pop.
Friday 02 September 2011
"Do you remember the first time?" Jarvis Cocker pleads on Pulp's opening number? I do. As a gob-smacked audience member witness-ing a libidinous Cocker perform "Underwear" – one of Pulp's best live numbers and sensational tonight – on TV's The White Room in 1995, on a bill shared with Portishead. Forget the dismal Blur vs Oasis debate, the two P-bands were the most spine-tingling acts to emerge from these shores since The Smiths. If Portishead evoked J D Ballard's dystopian science-fiction, then Pulp were more reminiscent of Alan Sillitoe's kitchen-sink dramas, particularly Tom Courtenay's lanky rebellious teen in The Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner. Only with added smut, oodles of added smut.
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