thu 07/07/2022

New Music Reviews

Mdou Moctar, Hare & Hounds, Birmingham review - Tuareg rock’n’rollers have their audience entranced

Guy Oddy

It doesn’t happen very often that I find myself experiencing a performance of music that I don’t really know, sung in a language that I don’t speak – and completely entranced by what’s going on. But prior to this week, Mdou Moctar was a bit of an unknown quantity to me.

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10cc, London Palladium review - still firing rubber bullets 50 years on

Jasper Rees

What a remarkable band 10cc were. For most of the 1970s they made highly unusual pop that careered without a care between bubblegum and prog. Their ease migrating across style lines from Pythonesque japes to dense seriosity lay in the personnel: four bandleaders who all brought a sensibility to a democratic collective.

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Killing Joke, O2 Institute, Birmingham review – post-punk titans blow the roof off

Guy Oddy

It’s said that even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day. While Killing Joke are by no means a stopped clock, it feels that the time is again ripe for their politics-heavy brand of muscular post-punk.

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Music Reissues Weekly: The Prefects - Live At The Festival Suite 1978, Un-Scene! Post Punk Birmingham 1978-1982

Kieron Tyler

It was going to be great. Birmingham’s Digbeth Rag Market was hosting 1977’s highest-profile punk festival on 17 July. The Clash were headlining. Also billed were The Heartbreakers, Rich Kids, The Saints, Shagnasty, Stinky Toys, Subway Sect and Tanya Hyde & the Tormentors.

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Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow review - pop songstress partying like it's 2020

Jonathan Geddes

There are few people, especially musicians, who would wish to revisit the spring and summer of 2020 with any fondness, but Sophie Ellis-Bextor might be an exception. Her kitchen discos, in which she and her husband Richard Jones, aided by their children, played a variety of covers became a lockdown source of solace and regular entertainment at a time when it was much needed.

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Music Reissues Weekly: All Turned On! Motown Instrumentals 1960-1972

Kieron Tyler

Motown and its related labels have been heavily collected and meticulously scrutinised since the early Sixties. There ought to be nothing left to say. Yet here this is, a smart, 24-track collection of Motown instros which includes five previously unreleased tracks.

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The Weather Station, Scala review - communion achieved against the odds

Kieron Tyler

Acknowledging the contrast between personal and public situations, The Weather Station’s Tamara Lindeman says “I have a lot of songs about not being heard, yet I’m holding this microphone.” An individual’s voice can be ignored, but if it’s given a context which enables reaching out – it may be heard.

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Dream Wife, St Lukes and the Winged Ox, Glasgow review - an exhilarating reminder of live music's power

Jonathan Geddes

Rakel Mjöll has a nice line in understatement. “We released this album in July 2020”, she said at one point, referring to her band’s sophomore record “So When You Gonna...” before adding, dryly, “which wasn’t the best time”. Finally, nearly two years later, Dream Wife have managed to get out on the road and actually tour those songs, and, thankfully, this was an evening worth the wait.

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Album: Maridalen - Bortenfor

Kieron Tyler

At first, Bortenfor comes across as an all-instrumental extended mood piece. A breathy saxophone and trumpet mesh over a gently see-sawing double bass. Clusters of piano notes occasionally intersperse themselves into the undulating textures. A pedal steel evokes shimmering water.

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Wardruna, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - Norwegian neo-pagans stage a triumphant return to the live arena

Guy Oddy

It’s been 14 months since the release of Wardruna’s most recent album – Kvitravn. However, repeated waves of Covid have since prevented them from going a-viking and bringing their new show to live audiences around the UK.

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