wed 29/06/2022

rock

Elvis review - Austin Butler shines in patchy biopic

Strictly Ballroom aside, I’ve never been entirely persuaded by Baz Luhrmann. Once you rip open the plush packaging of his films, you often just find satin and tissue paper inside. Elvis isn’t his worst movie (they can’t take that accolade away from...

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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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Album: Foals - Life is Yours

For the Oxford alt-rock mainstays Foals, the past two years brought an anti-climactic pause to a triumphant 2019: their meteoric trajectory had kept pace with their duo of albums, Everything Not Saved Will be Lost Part 1 and 2. The sister albums had...

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Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Brighton Dome review - screams, not whispers

The usherette’s hands are clamped over her ears, and Elvis Costello is playing like it’s 1996, when the briefly reunited Attractions played a pummelling last stand, burying fatal internal rifts with punk thunder.The Imposters – the Attractions with...

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Album: The Utopia Strong - International Treasure

Who’d have thought that Steve “Interesting” Davis OBE (as he was mercilessly dubbed by the original Spitting Image in the 80s – at a time when he was wiping the floor with the best of the international snooker world on a regular basis) would turn...

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Bloc Party, Barrowland, Glasgow review - falling back on past glories brings a jubilant response

As Bloc Party singer Kele Okereke noted at one point in this gig, his band have now been visiting Glasgow for nearly two decades. Yet few of the shows played in that 18 year span, which have touched upon nearly all of the city’s main music venues,...

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My Chemical Romance, OVO Hydro, Glasgow review - caring, sharing emo kings holler to the heavens

It is a testament to the enduring appeal of My Chemical Romance that this show was credited with having sold the most tickets in the OVO Hydro’s history, and yet still formed one of the group’s smaller dates on the UK leg of their reunion tour.Then...

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Alice Cooper & The Cult, Resorts World Arena, Birmingham review - rock’n’roll veterans bring it on

Rock’n’roll has been credited with incredible powers of rejuvenation many times before, but if there are two men who seem to have seriously benefitted from its mystical power, it’s Alice Cooper (74 years old) and Ian Astbury (60 years old). These...

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Album: Def Leppard - Diamond Star Halos

This album starts and ends so brilliantly. It kicks off with a salvo of three tracks that remind you exactly why Def Leppard became one of the biggest bands in the world in the mid Eighties. They distilled the things they most loved growing up – T...

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Album: Liam Gallagher - C'Mon You Know

While Britpop was a retrogressive media construct, Oasis were a genuine socio-musical phenomenon (albeit also retrogressive!). And at their heart was, of course, Liam Gallagher, bullishly Manc, sneeringly rude and pugnaciously charismatic, a proper...

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