mon 15/08/2022

pop

Album: Beyoncé - Renaissance

There’s polarising discourse and there’s polarising discourse, and then there’s Beyoncé discourse. On the one hand, there’s “the Bey Hive”: the very model of a furious modern fandom who will boost her and monster her critics at a microsecond’s...

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Album: The Kooks - 10 Tracks to Echo in the Dark

From Brighton to Berlin with the Brit School alums, who formed 20 years ago – allegedly out shopping in Primark. Virgin signed them three months later. What started as “a joke” has endured through five albums – and here comes their sixth, 10 Tracks...

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Haim, OVO Hydro, Glasgow review - charismatic siblings personable as ever

Sweetness never lasts too long at a Haim gig. No sooner had Alana Haim, the youngest of the Californian siblings, finished a speech about her delight about being back in Glasgow by announcing she was going to “smell the f****** roses” then bass-...

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Album: Imagine Dragons - Mercury - Act 2

“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” That’s the rule, right? Unless, of course, what happens is that you form a pop-rock act with a remarkable ear for a route-one hook and a direct line to the emotional core of teenagers everywhere. In that case...

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The Rolling Stones, BST Hyde Park review - let it rock!

A few spots of rain greeted the arrival of the Rolling Stones on BST Hyde Park’s stage on Saturday night, and after “Street Fighting Man”, as Mick Jagger dedicated the show to the much-loved and lamented drummer Charlie Watts, a rainbow appeared...

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The superstar, the Svengali and a rising young talent

I'm at the New Theatre in Oxford. Elvis Costello is playing through the final stages of his 2022 UK tour. The venue is full of memories: I saw The Kinks and Tom Jones here in the 1960s and then The Who in the early 70s. On my left, there’s Paul...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 71: Sparks, Ibeyi, Amy Winehouse, The Residents, Hanterhir, Astor Piazzolla and more

Summer has arrived outside and sunny sounds are blasting from the speakers at theartsdesk on Vinyl. But not just sunny sounds, to be truthful, also sounds that cover most of the human emotional range, all from plastic discs in varying colours. Check...

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Harry Styles, Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow review - pop prince lets the music do the talking

A guessing game could be played prior to Harry Styles taking to the stage at this gig, the first night of his UK tour and, as he later noted, his first stadium show as a solo act. There were ripples of excitement whenever anyone was near the stage...

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Charli XCX, O2 Academy, Glasgow review - sweat-drenched pop amid feverish atmosphere

“This town makes me sweat”, declared Charlotte Aitchison at one point in this set, as she took a brief breather between songs. The 29-year-old should have tried being in the audience, for this was a sweat-drenched evening right from the opening...

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Album: Dubstar - Two

Dubstar didn’t really fit the niche where the 1990s put them. Signed to Food Records, original home of Blur, they were lumped in with Britpop but their music was always closer to the thoughtful electronic pop of Saint Etienne, and they also had –...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Marc Almond of Soft Cell

Soft Cell, the duo consisting of Marc Almond and Dave Ball, announced they were calling it quits in 2018. The two sold out shows at the 02 in London were supposed to be their swan song, waving goodbye to their Soft Cell days. But as their eponymous...

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Album: Soft Cell - Happiness Not Included

When Soft Cell first caught the imagination of the nation it was a time of hope, opportunity and change. One of the first bands to bring technology to the top of the charts, they seemed to herald a new age after the grey years of the Seventies. They...

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