sat 07/12/2019

New Music Reviews

Rick Wakeman’s Grumpy Old Christmas Show, Cadogan Hall review – solo piano and Yuletide nostalgia

Sebastian Scotney

The cape, the banked-up synths and the glam have gone. Rick Wakeman’s Grumpy Old Christmas Show consists of just the man, his piano and his stories and jokes, mostly about Christmas and family.

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My Baby, Concorde 2, Brighton review - Dutch three-piece deliver trance dance power

Thomas H Green

“Trance boogie,” states My Baby frontwoman Cato van Dijck before submersing herself in the rising tribal rhythm of “Sunflower Sutra". Trance boogie is, indeed, what My Baby do. The song is decked with floating flecks of glissando guitar from virtuosic New Zealand bandmate Daniel Johnston on the other side of the stage. “Sing with me, brother,” Cato demands with a smile and behind his drum kit her sibling Joost leans into his microphone and harmonises.

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ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition, O2 - one for the supergroup's completists

Veronica Lee

Abba fans can already have an immersive dining/dancing/singing experience at the O2 in Mamma Mia! The Party, and now, almost as a companion piece, is ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition, a show that sets out tell “the story of the band, their music and the era they defined”.

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IDLES, Barrowland, Glasgow review - rowdy and raucous, but with heart

Jonathan Geddes

As the number of sweaty bodies increased towards the front of the Barrowland stage, IDLES singer Joe Talbot had a direct message. “Keep safe” he implored on several occasions, like a concerned dad warning his kids, or perhaps a shepherd guiding his flock.

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The Chemical Brothers, O2 review - eye-boggling monster rave-up

Thomas H Green

The O2 is usually a bright, sterile space before the bands come on. Its starkly lit US sports event ambience is accentuated by humanity milling around layered plastic seating clutching giant tubs of soft drink. Not so tonight. The venue has been open for three hours before the headline act is due.

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Bat for Lashes, St Bartholomew’s Church, Brighton review – a heartfelt homecoming

Nick Hasted

Natasha Khan is ending this intimate UK tour where her dreams first took shape. Study at the University of Brighton began 12 years in the bohemian town, and her twice Mercury-nominated, mythology-minded pop life.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Mercury Rev - All is Dream

Kieron Tyler

In the liner notes to the new reissue of 2001’s All is Dream, Mercury Rev’s Jonathan Donahue says it is “a weird astral album musically, and yes the symbolism lyrically runs many layers down and deep – different coloured layers of rock, soil and ash on an archaeology dig.”

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Amon Amarth, O2 Academy Brixton review – London welcomes its new Viking overlords

Ellie Porter

“Are you ready to do battle with us?” bellows Johan Hegg, Amon Amarth’s imposing yet cheery frontman, immediately prompting an enthusiastic roar from the packed-out Brixton crowd. “GOOOOOOD!” He’s the most genial Viking you could imagine - six-foot plus with a gigantic beard and massive hair, a drinking horn holstered on his thigh, and a huge smile plastered across his face.

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Björk, SSE Hydro, Glasgow review- Icelandic experimentalist reimagines live performance

Lisa-Marie Ferla

Grimes, the Canadian art pop performer, made headlines last week when she predicted the end of musical performance as we know it on a podcast interview with theoretical physicist Sean Carroll. Live music, she said, would be “obsolete soon”, while she gave a window of a couple of decades in which artificial intelligence would become “so much better at making art” than human creatives.

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Sam Fender, O2 Academy, Glasgow review - pop bangers with pathos

Jonathan Geddes

If this is what Sam Fender can provoke on a Monday night, then Lord knows the reaction he generates at a weekend.

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