tue 16/04/2024

songwriters

Album: Nadine Shah - Filthy Underneath

Indie national treasure Nadine Shah is back, which is excellent news. Not least because it might not have happened. She lands, this time, with extra baggage – divorce, rehab, death and near-death flavour this, her fifth album. It’s not an easy...

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Fascinating Aida, London Palladium review - celebrating 40 glorious years of filth and defiance

You don’t expect a couple of septuagenarian contraltos, aided by a spring chicken of a soprano in her fifties, to sing naughty ditties about jacksies and titties. Then again, if you are a Fascinating Aida fan, you do. Thousands of fans turned...

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Mad About the Boy: the Noël Coward Story, BBC Two review - the making of The Master

They called Noël Coward “The Master”, and Barnaby Thompson's 90-minute documentary marking 50 years since his death reminded us why. Though there was nothing here in the way of hitherto unknown revelations, the tale of how a boy who left school at...

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Ben Folds, Royal Albert Hall review - piano pyrotechnics and modern musings

When Ben Folds emerged in the mid-90s he was like Billy Joel’s snot-nosed little brother: another virtuoso pianist and songwriter but one whose style was sarcastic, subversive and a little bit punky.He has now mellowed into something of an elder...

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Album: Paul Simon - Seven Psalms

Paul Simon is an ornery bugger. Full of awkwardness and perversity as a person, seemingly hugely detached, but as an artist capable of as much tenderness and directness as just about anyone out there. Capable of making world-changing artistic...

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Album: Rickie Lee Jones - Pieces of Treasure

Reuniting with Russ Titelman, the producer of her eponymous 1979 debut and its follow-up 1981’s Pirates, Rickie Lee Jones approaches the great American songbook as if she was reuniting with an old flame, the thrill of it smouldering and...

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Album: Marina Allen - Centrifics

Marina Allen’s singing voice fluctuates between the conversational and the flutingly melodic. In one song, she can be asking “Why do I sing my song for you” in a no-nonsense Randy Newman manner and then shift into a series of spiralling, ascending...

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Music Reissues Weekly: John Barry - The More Things Change

By 1970, John Barry had composed music for Born Free, The Lion in Winter, Midnight Cowboy, You Only Live Twice and about 38 other films. His work with cinema began in 1960 and averaged around five films a year. In 1965, eight films were released...

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Album: Maverick Sabre - Don't Forget to Look Up

Michael Stafford aka Maverick Sabre is the definition of a modern journeyman vocalist. Since 2008 he’s released three albums and appeared on a huge range of British and Irish rap, dubstep and drum’n’bass artists’ records. He’s had several top 40...

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The Tiger Lillies' Christmas Carol: A Victorian Gutter, Southbank Centre review - cult band get inside Scrooge's head

Charles Dickens and Martyn Jacques is a marriage made in heaven (well, hell I suppose): the Victorian novelist touring the rookeries of Clerkenwell the better to fire his imagination and, 150 years or so later, the post-punk maestro mining London's...

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The Last Five Years, Garrick Theatre review - bittersweet musical treat gets West End upgrade

Much has happened in the five years since your reviewer braved the steep rake at The Other Palace and saw The Last Five Years (not least my now getting its “Nobody needs to know” nod in Hamilton – worth a fistful of Tonys in prestige, I guess) so it...

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Album: Gary Kemp - Insolo

Spandau Ballet started well, their slick, slightly angular pop-funk adding a certain something to early Eighties new romantic frippery. Later, especially with the success of global schmaltz-smash “True”, they lost what teeth they had, drifting into...

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