wed 01/02/2023

1980s

Noises Off, Phoenix Theatre review - much revived classic farce gains in poignancy

There’s a chance – a slim one – that you haven’t seen Noises Off, Michael Frayn’s farce about a farce that, as legend has it with The Rocky Horror Show, must surely be going up somewhere in the world every day.If you’re in that minority,...

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Music Reissues Weekly: Bob Stanley / Pete Wiggs Present Winter of Discontent

At some point in 1979 a duo called The Door and the Window are playing a London Musician’s Collective show in a large brick building along the road from Cecil Sharp House in Camden. One of them has a synthesiser, probably a WASP. The other has tape...

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Album: Iggy Pop - Every Loser

Iggy Pop is one of rock’s great survivors but his fans are divided into two categories; those who claim he hasn’t done anything worthwhile since the late-Seventies and those, like this writer, who find much to enjoy, right up to the present.Every...

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Empire of Light review - cinema of broken dreams

Sam Mendes assembled most of the ingredients necessary to make Empire of Light a wrenching English melodrama with a potent social theme. The stars are Olivia Colman, Colin Firth, Micheal Ward and Toby Jones. Mendes teamed with his usual...

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Music Reissues Weekly: Guerrilla Girlsǃ - She-Punks & Beyond 1975-2016

In December 1977, the music weekly Sounds included an article about the County Durham punk band Penetration. By Jon Savage, it was headlined The Future Is Female. The same four words would be used by the band for their promotional badges.Penetration...

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Album: Debbie Gibson - Winterlicious

Those old enough will recall Debbie Gibson as a squeaky clean, flash-in-the-pan teen pop star of the late 1980s. She was globe-trottingly huge for a couple of years – a peer of Tiffany “I Think We’re Alone Now” Darwish – but then her star waned....

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The Silent Twins review - the tragic story of the Welsh teens who were sent to Broadmoor

The fascinating story of the silent twins, June and Jennifer Gibbons, who were incarcerated in Broadmoor for 12 years for minor crimes, has been told before, several times. There’s a 1986 BBC film by Jon Amiel based on Marjorie Wallace’s book about...

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White Noise review - sprawling riffs on love and death

This is Noah Baumbach’s most capacious, overreaching work, corralling Don De Lillo’s novel of catastrophising, neurotic academia into a film jazzily dependent on rhythm, hooked on language and wildly diverse in tone.Jack Gladney (Adam Driver) is a...

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Armageddon Time review - James Gray goes back to skool

Was it lockdown that did it? Forcing filmmakers to sit at home, contemplate their lives, and conclude that just as soon as the masks came off, it was time to shine a light on their youth?Since Covid struck, we’ve seen Kenneth Branagh’s growing-up-in...

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The Crown, Season 5, Netflix review - is the royal epic outstaying its welcome?

Now into its fifth season, Netflix’s royal pageant is entering that danger zone where once-majestic TV series suddenly find they’re running out of steam. Perhaps Harry and Meghan’s publicity-hogging shenanigans and the real-life loss of the Queen...

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Tammy Faye, Almeida Theatre review - Elton John's often dazzling new musical

I’ll confess to a certain schadenfreude when the American televangelists who seemed so foreign to us Brits were led away to be papped on their perp walks, ministers in manacles: One big name after another skewered on their own hubris, gulling the...

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Album: Red Hot Chili Peppers - Return of the Dream Canteen

Does the world need to hear more from Red Hot Chili Peppers? Outside the bouncin’ bro’ fanbase, a regular consensus is that, despite being one of the biggest bands in the world, doing their global stadium rock thing – with free added funk! –...

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