sun 14/07/2024

New Music Reviews

Meat Loaf, Wembley Arena

Russ Coffey

It’s often assumed that people who write about music just sit around listening to achingly hip bands and rare grooves. Not true. You’ll often catch me listening to such Jeremy Clarkson-endorsed combos as Genesis or ZZ Top. Meat Loaf? Certainly. Guilty pleasure? As charged. Phil Spector may have had his pocket symphonies for the kids, but Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman gave them six-minute operas. To my mind there hasn’t been a song written that conjures up the glorious tragedy of being 16 quite...

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Imagine: Bruce Springsteen, Darkness Revisited, BBC One

graeme Thomson

Anyone who has ever spent even a little time in a recording studio will be aware that the process of making an album lies somewhere between “watching paint dry” and “ripping out your own toenails” on the scale of interesting and enjoyable activities. It rarely makes for great television. The first image we saw in last night’s Imagine was of a youthful Bruce Springsteen...

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The X Factor 2010, Week 9, ITV1

joe Muggs

Another week, another “fix” in the glorious cavalcade of manipulation, ill-feeling, class hatred, allegations of racism and – oh yes – singing that is The X Factor. This week it was another shift in the rules, seemingly in order to allow the judges to vote off 50-year-old Irish till operator and Shirley Bassey soundalike Mary Byrne and keep in a quantifiably worse singer, the steely-eyed and prematurely wizened teenager from Malvern, Cher Lloyd.

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Pendulum, Wembley Arena

joe Muggs The full lineup of Pendulum, their facial hair as untrendy as their sound

Next time BBC2 want to do one of those periodic “what happened to the white working class” documentaries, they could do worse than come to a Pendulum gig. The crowd at Wembley Arena last night were defiantly not “studenty” as many for post-rave music acts can be, and neither were they multicultural; in fact, switch the haircuts and outfits around and you could pretty much transplant the same set of people back 30-odd years to an early Iron Maiden show. This was a 21st century heavy metal crowd...

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Arcade Fire, O2 Arena

David Cheal

One of the great pleasures of watching live music lies in witnessing the joy that people get from making it; to experience a great live band in their prime, to see them interacting with each other, feeding off each other, pushing each other on, is a marvellous thing. Arcade Fire are like that: this show, the second of two nights in London from the Montreal band, was an infectious outpouring of feverish emotion and raw energy.

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The Concretes, The Lexington

Kieron Tyler

There’s something going on in the North. Iceland’s Hjaltalín incorporate a disco sensibility and Sweden’s Concretes draw from the same well on their new album WYWH. Although this is probably not the future direction of Nordic music, it’s now an important part of it, showcases a reinvented Concretes and, judging by last night’s show, they might as well be a new band.

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Singles & Downloads 8

Thomas H Green Pet Shop Boys: Still looking and sounding sharp after all these years

Two lots of abiding electropop royalty, classicist Slovenian techno, an indie band who play electronica, a hyper-synthetic R&B superstar, Irish-Mancunian disco-boogie, "buzzsaw fuzz" meets Phil Spector, Paris-Bordeaux-Alabama-Berlin rock chaos, Welsh psychdelic dreams, a post-dubstep crooner and a novelty song about Gillian McKeith - (almost) all human life is here in Thomas H Green and Joe Muggs's round-up of tracks of interest out to buy now.

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Lemmy

Adam Sweeting

As Ozzy Osbourne puts it, “He’s just Lemmy. You just take him or you fucking don’t, and he doesn’t give a flying shit whether you do or not.” It’s this irreducible Lemmyness of Lemmy which lies at the core of the gnarled heavy metaller’s mystique. Beyond fashion, as ageless as a rock’n’roll Flying Dutchman and with a constitution seemingly forged from buffalo hide and wrought iron, Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister is surrounded by his own private myth-bubble wherever he goes.

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Heaven 17, Corn Exchange, Brighton

Thomas H Green

Heaven 17 are an underrated group. Sidelined by electro-pop festishists and too egg-headedly wordy to be embraced by Eighties kitsch afficionados, they're easily best known for their 1983 hit "Temptation". Last night they played this late in their set - of course - but before the encore. Not the recognisable single, mind, but a percussive work-out redolent of pumping Italo-house.

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The National, Brixton Academy

David Cheal It just didn't happen: The National

I spent a long time waiting for this gig to take off, but eventually realised that it wasn’t going to happen. To begin with I thought the band were just pacing themselves, playing a slow-burning set that would eventually explode into life, opening with the modest thrum of “The Runaway”, and following it with the similarly restrained “Anyone’s Ghost” and “Mistaken for Strangers”. But in the end, although The National moved up through the gears and finished the show with a big warm...

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