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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Friday 26 June 2009
A striking anthology of modern faith-based ruminations, some custom-built to fit the compilation's prescient brief, others sourced with impeccable taste from the likes of The Handsome Family ("Grandmother Waits for You") and Slint singer/guitarist Ryan Driver ("When Were You in Mexico").
Sunday 24 May 2009
The best ideas are usually the simplest, and Andrew Smith's quest to interview all the men who've walked on the Moon turned into an award-winning bestseller.
Thursday 23 October 2008
Think festival and most people conjure up a muddy field, a beer tent, some loud music and, depending on their taste, either one of the best or worst experiences of their life. Yet this limited scenario does the modern festival sector a disservice. There is a festival to suit every taste, be it the mega-crowds and headline bands of Glastonbury, the anarchic acts of the Edinburgh Fringe or the more rarefied atmosphere of the Cheltenham Literature Festival.
Friday 25 July 2008
Talvin Singh ('Ok' - Winner 1999)
People got to know my music that had never heard it before, so that is a positive point, and the Mercury Prize can stretch your career in that way, but I've never really taken much advantage of that because I've been on a bit of sabbatical from recording for the past few years. When I won you couldn't get my records for four months because the record company had never thought of me winning so they didn't stock up. So, for record sales, that didn't really help.
Tip to win: Burial
Friday 28 March 2008
Friday 14 March 2008
"I'm asking you to back a horse that's good for glue," sings Guy Garvey on "Starlings", the opening track of Elbow's fourth album – though on the evidence here, this band is far from ready for the knacker's yard.
Friday 22 February 2008
I went to this Richard Hawley gig with the intention of reviewing the celebrated Sheffield crooner, and I can safely say that it would have been a good review. For the first time in years, though, I was excited and overwhelmed by the brilliance of the support act, Vincent Vincent and the Villains. Most people feel a twinge of annoyance when they have to stand through several support acts, but as an avid music fan, I'm always keen to see what bands lower down on the bill have to offer. Anyone who makes a point of just turning up for the main act would have missed out here.
Tuesday 19 February 2008
After the usual greetings, Richard Hawley issued the battle cry: "Let's ballad!" Heartfelt and serious in its baritone delivery, last Monday's show featured all that is good about Hawley. Lady's Bridge, released in late 2007, dominated the set while the Mercury-nominated Cole's Corner featured heavily too.
Thursday 24 January 2008
Midem used to be a bit of a jolly for the music business, especially for staff at the major labels. Networking, wheeling and dealing at Cannes, on the French Riviera, in January? What’s not to like?
Sunday 07 November 1999
Friday 19 July 1996
Sunday 17 March 1996
Saturday 10 June 1995
THEATRE / Otis interruptus: The odd word, an odder space. Marianne Brace watches rehearsals for one of the more claustrophobic shows in the London International Mime Festival
Friday 15 January 1993
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history
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