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“Bad news, guys. Billie Joe has got laryngitis. But I’m here!” said drummer Tre Cool, taking centre stage before singing a solo rude version of “All By Myself”, thus setting the tone for an evening of nostalgic messing around.
"I won’t sit down and I won’t shut up/ And most of all I will not grow up", belts out the lean 30-year-old Frank Turner on his rousing anthem "Photosynthesis", and the bolshie folkie from Winchester is the highlight of this inaugural Able2UK concert for disabled awareness.
It would appear that YouTube really is the new MTV.
Named after the inscription “dramma per musica” to be found on 18th-century opera librettos, Dramma offers a remarkable collection of arias mostly drawn from longforgotten works by (now) unperformed composers.
Brandon Flowers & Co's previous album brought forth the famous (infamous) lyric: "Are we human, or are we dancer?" But the artwork for the Nevadans' new LP Battle Born ups the ante. It features not only a lovely cod-metal lightning strike but a horse and a car (a mustang and a Mustang!) playing a game of chicken.
When Glyndebourne invited Jonathan Kent and Paul Brown to realise Purcell’s ‘semi-opera’ The Fairy Queen, it was with slight trepidation, as they had no idea how this amalgam of Purcell’s music and filletings from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream would go down.
Audacious, perhaps, to lure an audience of thousands with promises of Beethoven, then let Pierre Boulez steal the show. Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra placed Boulez’s Dérive 2, a work for 11 musicians that lasts for 50 unbroken minutes, at the core of the first evening of its complete Beethoven symphonies cycle. The result: a revelation.
“We don’t do encores... If you want an encore then this is the last song, if you don’t, this is the second to last.” At a time when encores at gigs have become almost mandatory, and therefore meaningless, Laura Marling’s approach to them is refreshingly unconventional.
When Glastonbury takes a year off, smaller festivals have a chance to mark out for themselves as much of the massive void left behind as possible.
This masterly work of fiction illuminates the music, and magic, of the bagpipes
He has been termed music's greatest iconoclast. But in his centenary year, is John Cage going mainstream?
If the maverick theatre director Ken Campbell had been asked to form a boy band, he might well have come up with the Flying Pickets. In their thirties and resembling the line-up in The Usual Suspects, the Pickets were unlikely looking pop performers. Yet they topped the charts for five weeks around Christmas 1983 with their a cappella cover of Yazoo's "Only You".
'I've created such an odd band but Pino will hold it together'