fri 05/02/2016

New releases on CD & DVD

DVD: Bill

Graham Rickson

The jokes come thick and fast in this debut feature from the team behind the BBC’s Horrible Histories. Released theatrically to little fanfare last autumn, Richard Bracewell’s Bill is a delight – a joyously funny film which wears its erudition lightly. An examination of Shakespeare’s lost early years, it follows the young writer’s unwitting embroilment in a fiendish Spanish plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth. Matthew Baynton’s Shakespeare is a likeable doofus, kicked out of his boy band Mortal...

CD: Snarky Puppy - Family Dinner Volume Two

Peter Quinn

With everything they touch seemingly transforming into artistic gold, shapeshifting US collective Snarky Puppy are currently on a roll. Following their 2014 Grammy win for Family Dinner Volume One, they’ve since chalked up ‘Best Jazz Group’ in the 2015 Downbeat Readers Poll, plus a Grammy nomination in the ‘Best Contemporary Instrumental Album’ category for last year’s Sylva. This purple patch looks set to continue with the arrival of Family Dinner Volume Two.Serving up another appetizing...

CD: Elton John - Wonderful Crazy Night

Guy Oddy

A lot of water has gone under the bridge since Elton John famously jumped onstage at a 1973 Stooges gig in Atlanta dressed as a gorilla and almost...

DVD: 99 Homes

Tom Birchenough

The opening scene of Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes plunges us into the darker depths of American society, post-2008 financial crisis. We’re in the world...

CD: Sidestepper – Supernatural Love

Mark Kidel

Sidestepper have been ploughing the rich ground of "electro-cumbia" for some years now. Their appealing contribution to the world dance scene is the...

CD: GoGo Penguin - Man Made Object

Matthew Wright

Manchester post-jazz trio's Blue Note debut not quite as innovative as they think

CD: The Cult - Hidden City

Barney Harsent

Album no.10 from Ian Astbury and co. is patchy, but entertaining

CD: Rihanna - Anti

Joe Muggs

In which the world-conquering pop goddess puts on the brakes - to what effect?

DVD: Tangerines

Tom Birchenough

Powerful, understated anti-war film brings Estonian and Georgian forces together

CD: Gerard Presencer & Danish Radio Big Band - Groove Travels

Peter Quinn

Brilliant, multifaceted big band album from the British trumpeter and composer

CD: Lion Babe - Begin

Thomas H Green

Decent debut from big-haired US pop duo

CD: Emma Pollock - In Search of Harperfield

Lisa-Marie Ferla

Scottish songstress beguiles with letters to her younger self

CD: Turin Brakes - Lost Property

Russ Coffey

The Balham boys say if it ain't broke don't fix it

CD: Sia - This Is Acting

Katie Colombus

The singer who likes to remain unseen keeps herself hidden behind songs meant for other people

DVD: The Jacques Rivette Collection

Kieron Tyler

Art-auteur’s lost films could be the year’s most important home cinema release

CD: Tricky – Tricky Presents Skilled Mechanics

Mark Kidel

The Tricky Kid keeps the Bristol flame burning

CD: Suede - Night Thoughts

Guy Oddy

Brett Anderson’s mob return with a soundtrack that itches to be heard with its visuals

DVD: The Friends of Eddie Coyle

Kieron Tyler

Magnetic, slow-burn performance from Robert Mitchum in Peter Yates’ dark crime drama

CD: The Besnard Lakes - A Coliseum Complex Museum

Kieron Tyler

Hard to penetrate fifth album from Canada’s musical fantasists

CD: Daughter - Not To Disappear

Katie Colombus

Dark and deeply personal indie pop

CD: Lucinda Williams - The Ghosts of Highway 20

Mark Kidel

Songs of love, hurt and death

DVD: Ration Books and Rabbit Pies - Films from the Home Front

Graham Rickson

Assorted wartime propaganda shorts, high on entertainment value

CD: Tindersticks - The Waiting Room

Kieron Tyler

A penumbral mood piece from the perennially sombre combo

DVD: The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Jasper Rees

Bel Powley explores teenage sexuality in Seventies San Francisco

CD: Savages - Adore Life

Thomas H Green

All-female quartet throw sex and love into a sonic maelstrom

CD: J-Sonics – Different Orbits

Matthew Wright

London Latin jazz band's debut album oozes all the right flavours

CD: Guadalupe Plata - Guadalupe Plata

Guy Oddy

A serving of raw and spicy blues from Andalusia

CD: Ryuichi Sakamoto & Alva Noto - The Revenant Original Soundtrack

Joe Muggs

How does the leftfield superstar's bleak Western soundtrack stand up on its own?

DVD: 45 Years

Mark Kidel

Bravura performances by Rampling and Courtenay let down by poor dialogue


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The Winter's Tale, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Shakespeare's tale is told quietly here but with tremendous charm and...

The Devil Inside, Peacock Theatre

Compelling new Faustian-pact opera is small in scale but big on ideas

Rabbit Hole, Hampstead Theatre

David Lindsay-Abaire's examination of grief is smart and sincere, but...

Cats v Dogs, BBC Two

Which is faster, cleverer and stronger? And do our pets really love us?

Reeves & Mortimer, Leicester De Montfort Hall

The gloriously daft duo return

DVD: Bill

An irreverent Shakespearean romp, not just for kids

The Master Builder, Old Vic

False notes mar Ibsen's unsettling mix of the real and the supernatura...

White smoke at the CBSO: Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla for Music Dire...

29-year-old Lithuanian conductor follows Andris Nelsons in Birmingham

CD: Snarky Puppy - Family Dinner Volume Two

US collective delivers another appetizing smorgasbord of songs

Camila's Kids Company: The Inside Story, BBC One

Lynn Alleway's documentary gets up close and personal, but reveals lit...