mon 30/03/2015

Bruce Dessau

bruce.dessau

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Bio
Bruce specialises in music, TV and comedy. He writes for The London Evening Standard and is the author of biographies of numerous major figures, including George Michael and Rowan Atkinson. His latest book is Beyond A Joke: Inside The Dark World of Stand-Up Comedy (Random House). He is also the editor of comedy website beyondthejoke.co.uk

Articles by Bruce Dessau

Steve Strange, 1959-2015

The death of Steve Strange, aged 55, was both a surprise and not a surprise to me. His adult life in and out of the spotlight had been something of an unpredictable rollercoaster ride where anything...

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Album of the Year: Morrissey – World Peace Is None Of Your Business

Morrissey went beyond parody years ago. Titles on his 10th solo album such as "Kick The Bride Down The Aisle” or “Earth is the Loneliest Planet” could easily come from a Buzzfeed spot-the-send-up...

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CD: Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots

Was Britpop really two whole decades ago? As rumours fly around about an Oasis Glastonbury reunion, Noel’s nemesis Damon Albarn has certainly not stood still. After Mandarin opera, world music and...

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Album of the Year: Arctic Monkeys – AM

2013  was yet another year when hip hop added a bit of punch to old rockers. Elvis Costello had a crack at his own distinctive version of rap on Wise Up Ghost, while Arctic Monkeys' fifth...

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CD: Elvis Costello & The Roots – Wise Up Ghost

Alex Turner says he wants to sound like 50 Cent. Adele has recently been recording with Wiz Khalifa. There really are very few musical barriers to be demolished these days. But 59-year-old Elvis...

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Richard Hawley, Somerset House

The specially erected sign on the lamppost on the way in said "Sheffield". For one night only the People's Republic of South Yorkshire seemed to decamp to Somerset House in honour of one of its...

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CD: Pet Shop Boys – Electric

Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe's twelfth studio album sounds strangely familiar. I thought for a moment they had already released an album with the same title and then I realised that I was thinking of...

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The Stone Roses, Finsbury Park

When the Stone Roses first made a splash with their eponymous debut album in 1989 they were almost perfect. The only mistake was a brief flirtation with flared trousers. Nearly a quarter of a century...

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CD: Camera Obscura – Desire Lines

It says something about the commodification of modern music that Scottish poppets Camera Obscura are probably best known for "French Navy" because it is used by wine company Echo Falls on the...

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Depeche Mode, 02 Arena

Even the most committed lover of long odds would not have bet on Depeche Mode still being this big when they first tinkled their way into the charts over three decades ago. The smart money would...

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Mick Hucknall, Hammersmith Apollo

There was a point about two-thirds of the way through last night's gig when someone lobbed something onto the stage in front of Mick Hucknall. It was not clear exactly what it was due to the sea of...

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CD: Ian McCulloch – Holy Ghosts

When I suggested reviewing Ian McCulloch's new album, our glorious editor was under the impression that it was just a live collection of ancient tracks. It is actually a double album – mainly old...

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Noel Gallagher, Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Royal Albert Hall

"Noel. Noel." Damon Albarn had to shout twice before Noel Gallagher joined him onstage to strum his guitar during Blur's neo-bluesy "Tender". Maybe Albarn's former Britpop rival wanted their historic...

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CD: Edwyn Collins – Understated

Sympathy vote time is over. After Edwyn Collins suffered two cerebral haemorrhages in 2005 his comeback album, 2007’s Losing Sleep, was greeted with ecstatic reviews. It was a certainly pretty good,...

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CD: Billy Bragg – Tooth & Nail

If you want a jolting snapshot of how British pop culture has changed in the last three decades, take a look at the clip below of Billy Bragg singing "Between The Wars" on Top of the Pops in 1985....

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10 Questions for Suede's Brett Anderson & Mat Osman

Suede, led by the arrestingly beautiful Brett Anderson, was one of the finest bands to come out of the UK in the first half of the 1990s. Their eponymous debut album, released in 1992, won the...

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latest in today

Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity, BBC Two

The presenter teases out the answers to the questions the viewer wants to a...

Ronald Stevenson (1928-2015): A virtuoso remembered

Memories of a maverick pianist and composer of 80-minute homage to Shostako...

Why everyone should see The Mysteries from Cape Town

How a medieval play from Chester ended up in Xhosa and Zulu

Something Must Break

Sensitive Swedish examination of identity and transgender love

CD: Pombagira – Flesh Throne Press

A stoner epic from the doom rock duo

Coalition, Channel 4

How traditional two-party politics was forced to confront the unthinkable

CD: Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

Experimental songwriter returns to his roots on gut-wrenching new album

White Night

Beautifully stylish horror adventure shines out

St Matthew Passion, Anton Bruckner Choir, St John's Smi...

A heartfelt and moving performance with a star Evangelist

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Specials

Fragmentation and wilfulness on the three 2 Tone albums by Jerry Dammers an...