Shepherds Bush Empire
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Friday 11 June 2010
"I've got a pocketful of words in my brain/ I pull something out when I think I should," Raymond McGinley croons pleasantly on the exquisite "Verisimilitude" from 1995's Grand Prix, Teenage Fanclub's majestic pop album that's nearly right up there with Fool's Gold, Sugar's Copper Blue and Help!. It contains the sort of shimmery loveliness you could safely shoot off into space, confident it would enhance intergalactic relations. While their latest, Shadows, doesn't scale these giddy heights it still feels as summery as Sue Barker biting on a strawberry on Centre Court, and the new tracks, such as the plinky-plonk new single "Baby Lee", don't sag (that much) tonight.
Friday 11 June 2010
The lights go down, and a scream goes up – as do several hundred winking camera phones. This is electro-pop starlet Ellie Goulding's biggest gig to date, promoting her much-hyped debut album, Lights; her name appears in huge, curling, lit-up letters behind her.
Friday 04 June 2010
Tom Robinson has turned his 60th birthday into a prolonged petition to save his current radio employer 6 Music, with the help of, among others, Franz Ferdinand. But it's when he dusts off his own angry humanist anthems that the night catches fire.
Friday 14 May 2010
"I think this is the best line-up I've ever had," Mark E Smith told me back in March before the release of The Fall's new album, Your Future Our Clutter, to generally rapturous accolades.
Friday 16 April 2010
In my class at school in the West Midlands, some time around the turn of the 1980s, your indie credentials rested on whether you were a Stuffie, a Poppie or a Neddie. Grunge hadn't quite yet wiped its greasy maw all over the alternative-music scene and the bug-eyed goings-on in Manchester all seemed a little, well, exotic.
Monday 12 April 2010
She's a funny one, Amy Macdonald. On the one hand, she'll happily put the likes of The Libertines forward as being major influences, and then, in practically the same breath, she'll gush about how much she loves Travis.
Thursday 01 April 2010
Paloma Faith descends, waving ochre ostrich-feather fans as celestial clouds light up behind her, to a chorus of "aahs" from her backing singers, like some heavenly burlesque deity. Until, that is, you notice her head-dress: an elaborate, ridiculous ensemble of sequined fruit. She's a 2010 version of Carmen Miranda, a cabaret performer for the Gaga generation (the fruit tops off towering scarlet heels and a canary-yellow catsuit).
Monday 22 February 2010
The Plastiscines had created that sense of anticipation that use to follow me in my youth; the excitement before a gig. So there I was, surrounded by youngsters, with glow sticks, hot pants with bare legs unafraid of the cold, and drinking cider and giggling.
Monday 22 February 2010
Monday 08 February 2010
Friday 29 January 2010
Monday 25 January 2010
Tuesday 15 December 2009
Tuesday 17 November 2009
Monday 16 November 2009
The Empire's normally heaving, sweaty mosh-pit was furnished with seats for this particular concert, lending the venue a more low-key atmosphere, but one that seemed appropriate for the unostentatious Aboriginal singer-songwriter Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu. Supported by a string quartet, second acoustic guitarist Francis Diatschenko and double bass player Michael Hohnen, Gurrumul, who was born blind, was led to his seat carrying his right-handed guitar, which he plays upside down.
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