mon 26/09/2022

songwriters

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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1971, Apple TV+ review - rock'n'roll's golden year?

Back in the mid-Eighties, BBC television started broadcasting The Rock'n' Roll Years, one of the first rock music retrospectives. Each half-hour episode focused on a year, with news reports and music intermixed to give a revealing look at the...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 64: Chet Baker, Lava La Rue, Bob Mould, Krust, The Yardbirds, The Fratellis and more

Things got out of hand at theartsdesk on Vinyl this month and these reviews run to 10,000 words. That's around a fifth of The Great Gatsby. It's because there's so much good music that deserves the words, from jazz to metal to pure electronic...

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Album: Matt Berry – The Blue Elephant

Well this is rather groovy! National treasure and the man with that voice, Matt Berry has been locked away in his lair, channelling the early seventies and twiddling with lots of knobs. Save for the drums, he plays every instrument (all 19 of them)...

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Album: Ted Barnes - 17 Postcards

Ted Barnes is an outsider by design. Not in the sense of being wilfully awkward or outré – the music on his first solo album in almost 13 years years is gentle, harmonically rich, extremely accessible – but in that he has sidestepped standard career...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Daryl Hall

Writing something people want to stream one billion times is inconceivable for most of us. But then, most of us aren't Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Daryl Hall. Alongside John Oates, he is behind some of the greatest pop songs of all time: "Maneater...

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Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliche review - memorialising her mother

There was always something a little diffident about teenage Marion Elliott-Said, who created her on-stage persona Poly Styrene after putting together her band X-Ray Spex from a small ad in the back pages of the NME in 1977. Male fans and the music...

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