wed 06/07/2022

New Music Reviews

The Great Escape 2022, Brighton review - sunshine, queues, and thrilling new bands

Caspar Gomez

My friend George claims to have nightmares about The Great Escape. In them he’s standing in an endless queue, never reaching the front, never entering the venue, and never seeing the band he wants to see. That was his experience the only time he attended, and he consequently reckons The Great Escape is rubbish.

“I’ve been going for years and that’s never happened to me,” I said to him.

“Yeah, well, you’re press, aren’t you,” he responded, with only a smidgeon of bitterness.

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Music Reissues Weekly: 999 - A Punk Rock Anthology

Kieron Tyler

“Ramonic buzzsaw impressionism guitars lovingly poured like a truckload of Quaker Oats over the indecipherable lyrical content that sounds like a rancid moggie that has snorted too much Pro-Plus.”

So that was a possible thumbs-up from NME’s Tony Parsons in his review of 999’s August 1977 debut single “I’m Alive.”

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Transgressive Records showcase, The Great Escape, Brighton review - five acts offer intriguing pop alternatives

Thomas H Green

Onstage at The Old Market in Hove, New York’s Mykki Blanco has been waving around a knot of garlic bulbs as if it were a wand or occult aspergillum. At some point during Blanco’s punchy rendition of 2016 single “Loner”, or possibly the dizzier “Summer Fling”, they transfer it to the flies of their trousers, let it hang there, all mischief. They explain that this is the result of the band becoming obsessed with “a mad coven of witches in Italy”.

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theartsdesk in Estonia: Tallinn-Narva Music Week review - solidarity through music on the Russian border

Kieron Tyler

The gentleman in the centre of the picture above is Ivan Dorn. In Ukraine, he’s a pop star. A big pop star. His music, as he puts it on stage during the show opening Tallinn-Narva Music Week, is “pure Ukrainian house music.” Yep, there’s the bing-bong piano lines and cowbell beats of the pop end of house.

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alt-J, Barrowland, Glasgow review - unlikely anthems from the shadows

Jonathan Geddes

Prior to alt-j’s encore getting underway their video wall switched to the Ukrainian flag. “Fuck Putin!” bellowed keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton, to hearty roars of approval, in what was both a brief reminder of the outside world beyond the increasingly humid Barrowland and also a look at the band themselves and their own emotions, which otherwise remained distant during this show.

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Music Reissues Weekly: Kokomo - To Be Cool

Kieron Tyler

Over January, February and early March 1975, British music fans could buy tickets for what was titled The Naughty Rhythms Tour. Three bands were billed, with the running order changing each evening. The tour was the idea of Andrew Jakeman, who worked for one of the bands, and Chris Fenwick, the manager of another: on their own, each band couldn’t fill larger venues. Together, more tickets would be sold and fans would be picked up.

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Spiritualized, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - a curate's egg of a show from Jason Pierce's space rockers

Guy Oddy

Most artists tend to view the live arena as an opportunity to commune with fans old and new, with audience reaction being an integral part of the whole experience. Not so much Jason Pierce’s Spiritualized.

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Music Reissues Weekly: Dusty Springfield - Dusty Sings Soul

Kieron Tyler

First on were The Supremes with “Baby Love.” Next, The Miracles performed “You Really Got a Hold on me.” After this, Stevie Wonder’s “I Call it Pretty Music But the Old People Call it the Blues,” The Temptations’ “The Way You do the Things You do” and Martha & The Vandellas’ “Heatwave.”

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The Divine Comedy, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - a pleasing pop trip through the years

Jonathan Geddes

Careful consideration is needed when leaving your seat at a Divine Comedy gig. “He’s off for a drink,” observed Neil Hannon of the audience member ambling away during a rendition of “Gin Soaked Boy”, before adding, accurately, “this song’s excellent.” Indeed it was, and a fitting closer to the first half of this leisurely, career-spanning set dedicated, mostly, to the hits.

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The Vaccines, Barrowland, Glasgow review - pacy but predictable rock'n'roll

Jonathan Geddes

You could never accuse the Vaccines of being the most subtle of bands. When the London quintet ran through the intro to “Surfing in the Sky”, their frontman Justin Young started to shoogle around onstage as if, yes, he was riding a surfboard, in case the song’s title and Ventures-cum-Beach Boys opening hadn’t made the inspiration clear enough.

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