tue 13/11/2018

New Music reviews, news & interviews

theartsdesk on Vinyl 44: Thom Yorke, Primal Scream, Elvis, Noisferatu, R.E.M., Bauhaus, Mo'Wax and more

Thomas H Green

Enough hyping! This month, without further ado, let’s head straight to the reviews…VINYL OF THE MONTHLOR Lunar Orbit Rendezvous (Lo Records)

CD: Imogen Heap - The Music of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Thomas H Green

London’s Palace Theatre this week celebrated the thousandth performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which opened there back in 2016.

CD: Liela Moss - My Name is Safe in Your Mouth

Kieron Tyler

My Name is Safe in Your Mouth takes off with “Above You, Around You”, its fourth track. Up to that point, progress has been stately. Minimal piano...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Jazz on a Summer's Day

Kieron Tyler

When Jazz on a Summer's Day was first seen in American cinemas in March 1960, it showed that seeing popular music live could be a leisure activity...

CD: Sarah Gillespie - Wishbones

Howard Male

Whatever happened to real singer-songwriters? That is to say the kind of artist that raged against society’s ills in one song, and sung tenderly or...

CD: J Mascis - Elastic Days

Joe Muggs

The wizard of introspection completely fails to peak, and that's the magic

CD: Olly Murs - You Know I Know

Barney Harsent

The likeable entertainer gives us exactly what you'd expect, with predictably ordinary results

CD: The Good, The Bad & The Queen - Merrie Land

Guy Oddy

This modern-day supergroup is a reminder of why supergroups are generally a bad idea

The Prodigy, Brighton Centre review - a proper bangin' night out

Thomas H Green

Ferocious and noisy as ever, the three-man electronic dance rampage take the lid off the south coast seafront venue

Reissue CDs Weekly: John & Beverley Martyn, Mott The Hoople

Kieron Tyler

Revisiting Island Records: The Martyns’ ‘Stormbringer!’ and ‘The Road to Ruin’, and Mott’s ‘Mental Train’ box set

CD: Marianne Faithfull - Negative Capability

Tim Cumming

Searing songs of poetry and experience from the great rock chanteuse

Caro Emerald, Royal Albert Hall – an injection of sunshine for the weary soul

Ellie Porter

The Dutch superstar's UK tour swings through London in superb style

Slow Moving Clouds, Purcell Room review - a new take on folk

Tim Cumming

Rich acoustic lyricism drawn from the Irish and Nordic traditions

CD: Barbra Streisand - Walls

Joe Muggs

At 76, Streisand is still doing precisely what she does best - and it'd take a hard heart not to take notice

More Blood, More Tracks review - Bob Dylan opens up

Tim Cumming

The fourteenth volume in the Bootleg Series is a keeper

CD: The Prodigy - No Tourists

Guy Oddy

After almost 30 years together, the veteran Essex rave crew are still producing the goods

Best Albums of 2018


theartsdesk's music critics pick their favourites of the year so far

Corrosion Of Conformity & Orange Goblin, O2 Institute, Birmingham review – international gang of veteran rockers get drunk and get wild

Guy Oddy

Pepper Keenan’s rockers head up a night of spirited rock’n’roll

CD: Rosanne Cash - She Remembers Everything

Liz Thomson

A feast for the ears

Reissue CDs Weekly: Cocteau Twins

Kieron Tyler

‘Treasure Hiding’: complete collection of the influential trio’s years with the Fontana label

CD: The Struts - Young&Dangerous

Thomas H Green

Brit rockers' second is jam-packed with tunes and over-the-top retro references

CD: David Crosby - Here If You Listen

Liz Thomson

A beautifully wrought album beckons us to a kinder, gentler world... at least temporarily

John Fogerty / Steve Miller Band, BluesFest 2018 review - keep on chooglin'

Adam Sweeting

Sixties survivors unpack their back catalogues

CD: Robyn - Honey

Jo Southerd

Long-awaited album from beloved Scandi icon doesn’t disappoint

Sŵn Festival 2018 – a welcome return to form

Owen Richards

Cardiff's crown jewel festival hits stride with four nights of music and delight

Duane Eddy, London Palladium - the twang's the thang

Liz Thomson

Still movin' and groovin' at 80

CD: Ex Mykah - 16, 17

Thomas H Green

Intriguingly offbeat debut from Los Angeles scenester

CD: Micah P Hinson & The Musicians of the Apocalypse - When I Shoot At You With Arrows, I Will Shoot To Destroy You

Guy Oddy

Micah lays down some fine gothic country blues for the wee small hours

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Action

Kieron Tyler

‘Shadows and Reflections’: classy box set celebration of the great, George Martin-supported Sixties band

Footnote: a brief history of new music in Britain

New music has swung fruitfully between US and UK influences for half a century. The British charts began in 1952, initially populated by crooners and light jazz. American rock'n'roll livened things up, followed by British imitators such as Lonnie Donegan and Cliff Richard. However, it wasn't until The Beatles combined rock'n'roll's energy with folk melodies and Motown sweetness that British pop found a modern identity outside light entertainment. The Rolling Stones, amping up US blues, weren't far behind, with The Who and The Kinks also adding a unique Englishness. In the mid-Sixties the drugs hit - LSD sent pop looking for meaning. Pastoral psychedelia bloomed. Such utopianism couldn't last and prog rock alongside Led Zeppelin's steroid riffing defined the early Seventies. Those who wanted it less blokey turned to glam, from T Rex to androgynous alien David Bowie.

sex_pistolsA sea change arrived with punk and its totemic band, The Sex Pistols, a reaction to pop's blandness and much else. Punk encouraged inventiveness and imagination on the cheap but, while reggae made inroads, the most notable beneficiary was synth pop, The Human League et al. This, when combined with glam styling, produced the New Romantic scene and bands such as Duran Duran sold multi-millions and conquered the US.

By the mid-Eighties, despite U2's rise, the British charts were sterile until acid house/ rave culture kicked the doors down for electronica, launching acts such as the Chemical Brothers. The media, however, latched onto indie bands with big tunes and bigger mouths, notably Oasis and Blur – Britpop was born.

By the millennium, both scenes had fizzled, replaced by level-headed pop-rockers who abhorred ostentation in favour of homogenous emotionality. Coldplay were the biggest. Big news, however, lurked in underground UK hip hop where artists adapted styles such as grime, dubstep and drum & bass into new pop forms, creating breakout stars Dizzee Rascal and, more recently, Tinie Tempah. The Arts Desk's wide-ranging new music critics bring you overnight reviews of every kind of music, from pop to unusual world sounds, daily reviews of new releases and downloads, and unique in-depth interviews with celebrated musicians and DJs, plus the quickest ticket booking links. Our writers include Peter Culshaw, Joe Muggs, Howard Male, Thomas H Green, Graeme Thomson, Kieron Tyler, Russ Coffey, Bruce Dessau, David Cheal & Peter Quinn

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