sun 14/07/2024

New Music Reviews

The Godmother of Rock'n'Roll, BBC Four

howard Male Sister Rosetta Tharpe: Bob Dylan called her 'sublime and splendid' and without her there might have been no Elvis

Question: which American star had their third wedding in the Griffith Stadium, Washington in front of more than 25,000 paying fans and recorded the whole thing for release as an album? If you’re wondering how you could have missed hearing about such a quintessential 21st-century publicity stunt it might be because, firstly, this extraordinary event occurred in 1951, and secondly, because the guitar-strumming bisexual bride (who hadn’t even found a groom when the event was arranged) has...

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Cheikh Lo, The Scala

howard Male Cheikh Lo typically attired - Joseph, eat your heart out!

As part of my homework before last night’s gig at the Scala I played Senegalese singer Cheikh Lo’s latest album Jamm over and over again, waiting for some of its tunes to lodge in my mind - waiting to be compelled rather than feel duty bound to play it again. But no, I just couldn't connect with it. There’s nothing ostensibly wrong with the thing: it’s brimming over with easy-going cheer and passion, it's beautifully played and sung, and it’s all wrapped up in that familiar crystal-...

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Vinicius Cantuária and Bill Frisell, Ronnie Scott's

peter Quinn

McCartney and Wonder. Jagger and Bowie. Mullard and Baker. Music history teaches us that the star collaboration doesn't always transmute into artistic gold. The Chairman of the Board himself, with a little help from Vandross, Streisand, Bono et al, had a spectacular misfire with Duets Vol 1.

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Terje Isungset's Ice Music, Somerset House

Kieron Tyler

Clichés about the frozen North aside, music from the Nordic countries is often described as redolent of glacial landscapes or icy wastelands. But the music of percussionist Terje Isungset goes further – his instruments are carved from Norwegian ice. Pulled up from the depths, his ice is 600 years old, crystal clear with no imperfections. Ice Music is literally that: music played on ice.

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When Harvey Met Bob, BBC Two

graeme Thomson An Eighties 'Odd Couple': Domhnall Gleeson and Ian Hart as Geldof and Goldsmith

At one point in Joe Dunlop’s Boy's Own adventure-style dramatisation of the events leading up to Live Aid, concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith asked Bob Geldof: “Why are you doing it, that’s the question?” I’ve interviewed Geldof on a number of occasions and there’s no doubting either the sincerity or enduring nature of his commitment to Band Aid. I’m not sure, however, that I or anyone else, and certainly not this film, has ever quite got to the bottom of Goldsmith's question. Why...

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Imagine: Ray Davies, Imaginary Man, BBC One

Kieron Tyler

"Compared to the way I feel now", said Ray Davies 50 minutes in, “having a nervous breakdown was a jaunt.” His voice was even, matter of fact. He didn’t look distressed, merely appeared to be stating what he thinks is obvious. Julian Temple’s documentary about The Kinks’s leader and songwriter was packed with such moments – revealing and so open that it was impossible not to be affected by Davies’s low-key passion. This assured portrait was more than the story of a pop star.

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Simply Red, O2 Arena

Kieron Tyler

When theartsdesk asked Simply Red’s PR company for some pictures of the band to accompany this review, the images sent were of Mick Hucknall – alone. Which is probably all you need to know about who Simply Red are. Last night’s audience at this, Simply Red’s final ever live show, needed no reminding that it was all about Hucknall, however he’s billed. For them, his arrival on stage after the band had set the groove drew more applause than the music.

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Festivals Britannia, BBC Four

howard Male An infestation of human beings, temporarily invading a sizeable stretch of southwest England

A startling one in 10 British adults apparently went to a music festival this year. Given that I’m a music journalist and I didn’t, maybe I’m some kind of astronomically unlikely anomaly. I’d like to think so. But those familiar aerial shots of Glastonbury – not just a few fields but a sizeable expanse of Britain’s patchwork-quilt landscape, completely overrun by an infestation of teeming humanity - is enough to make me feel smugly sane to have decided, as usual, to just remain cosily at...

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Frankie Rose and The Outs, Luminaire

Kieron Tyler Frankie Rose and the Outs on their way to audition for 'Macbeth'

Miss Frankie Rose is the veteran of scads of über-trendy bands. In desperately hip, always stewing Brooklyn, she's a one-woman music scene. Inspired by the mid/late-Eighties UK indie sound, The Cramps, Phil Spector and Sixties girl groups, she's landed in north London with her new band Frankie Rose and the Outs. Their debut album is a wonderful fuzz-pop confection, but could it work live?

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Suede, O2 Arena

Bruce Dessau

If you stick the phrase "Britpop Revival" into Google, the first page of results suggests that there has been one in 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005 and even 1998, barely a handful of months after Britpop was the epitome of Cool Britannia.

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