thu 18/04/2024

New Music Reviews

theartsdesk at Salzburg Jazz & the City Festival - perfection in free venues

Sebastian Scotney

As a cultural destination, Salzburg really is hard to beat. Each year, a million and a half tourists descend on this compact city with its baroque architectural delights, and a population of just 150,000. The city of Mozart and of the Salzburger Festspiele was also once home to Paracelsus, Heinrich Biber, Stefan Zweig, Georg Trakl, and more recently – of course – The Sound of Music and Red Bull.

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Rodrigo y Gabriela, Town Hall, Birmingham review - Mexican superstar guitarists bring a set of new sounds

Guy Oddy

Despite playing together for almost 25 years, Rodrigo y Gabriela are still taking chances in the live arena and refusing to take the easy path. They certainly didn’t put on a heritage act set in Birmingham this weekend.

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Music Reissues Weekly: Serge Gainsbourg - L'Homme à tête de chou

Kieron Tyler

Marilou lies on the ground. She’s been bludgeoned to death by a fire extinguisher. Its foam covers her body. Her murderer is a forty-something man who has become obsessed with her. She shampoos hair in a barbers, where he first comes across her. Their affair turns sour after he finds her in bed with two other men. After the murder, her killer ends up in a mental hospital.

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Snayx/Shelf Lives/Monakis, Patterns, Brighton review - storming, punking triple-header

Thomas H Green

Patterns is a small, low-ceilinged, underground, seafront venue. Tonight it would be a feast for any passing ancient succubae who happens to feed on raw human energy. From 7.00 PM until 10.00 PM, the room plays host to a package tour of three rising bands. Their short, vim-filled sets are hard-wired to a thrilling, relentless punk intensity.

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Maisie Peters, O2 Academy, Glasgow review - conjuring up an enjoyable pop spell

Jonathan Geddes

When Maisie Peters first appeared onstage she loudly asked if the crowd were ready for “the best night of their lives”, and given the youthful nature of the audience the ensuing 80 minutes might have lived up to the hype. There were screams, hysteria and, in one case, an emotional lass getting on her phone to tell her significant other that hearing break-up songs brought home how much they appreciated them.

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Album: Emma Anderson - Pearlies

Kieron Tyler

Well, this is lovely. Pearlies opens with “I Was Miles Away”, a puffball of a sonic cloud which marries twinkling electronica with guitar-led shoegazing. It has a familial resemblance with the sort of thing perfected by Sweden’s I Break Horses, but lacks the frostiness. Here, there is a glow akin to that of a fire’s embers. Next, the vaguely bossa nova-ish and similarly exquisite “Bend the Round”.

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Madonna, Celebration Tour, O2 review - spectacular, ambitious and occasionally bemusing

Thomas H Green

Exactly 40 years since Madonna’s first UK hit, “Holiday”, was skittering about the Top Five, she launches her global Celebration Tour at the O2.

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Music Reissues Weekly: Ibrahim Hesnawi - The Father of Libyan Reggae

Kieron Tyler

Initially, it doesn’t sound so unusual. The collection’s first song is titled “Never Understand.” Sung in English, it’s poppy reggae with a light feel, twinkling keyboard lines and a lengthy, rock-oriented guitar solo. The singer appears to be a fan of Bob Marley. Originally, it was the last track on Side One of Hesnawi and Peace, the 1980, Italy-recorded debut album by Ibrahim Hesnawi.

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The Last Dinner Party, SWG3, Glasgow review - affection and adulation for rising stars

Jonathan Geddes

The first declaration of love for the Last Dinner Party arrived approximately one song into their set. “I love you too,” declared a delighted looking Abigail Morris, the band’s pirouetting frontwoman, in response, and the ensuing hour suggested outpourings of affection are just one of many reasons for Morris to be cheerful these days.

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Album: Melanie De Biasio - Il Viaggio

Kieron Tyler

Il Viaggio is a form of soundtrack. Its lyrics, music and soundscapes are created in response to the journey referenced in the title. Though born and raised in Belgium, Melanie De Biasio’s paternal grandfather was Italian. After the Europalia arts festival contacted her to see if she would create a work on its chosen theme of “Trains & Tracks” she chose to explore her roots. This took her to Abruzzo, in central eastern Italy – where Il Viaggio was born.

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