thu 24/10/2019

1980s

The Mask of Orpheus, English National Opera review - amorphous excess

Advance publicity overstated the case for The Mask of Orpheus. "Iconic"? Only to academics and acolytes, for British audiences haven't had a chance to see a production since ENO's world premiere run in 1986. "Masterpiece"? Sitting there after the...

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Black Flag, The Mill, Birmingham review – hardcore punk originators come up trumps

Prior to this week, it had been 35 years since hardcore punk firestarters Black Flag had set foot in the UK. That said, it was not without some trepidation that I made my way to one of Birmingham’s more compact venues to see a band who had once been...

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CD: 808 State - Transmission Suite

Prior to the UK dance music explosion of summer 1988, house and techno were American micro-scenes, geographically restricted to Chicago, Detroit and New York. Small coteries showed interest in the UK, but few thought of making the stuff. Mancunian...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 53: U2, Moonlight Parade, Oasis, Stray Cats, Crass, Prefab Sprout and more

It’s reckoned that this time next year vinyl sales will have overtaken CDs. It’s still a small market and anyone who thinks vinyl will one day replace streaming is living on Planet Lah-lah. There’s so much coming out even theartsdesk on Vinyl cannot...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: The Daisy Age

In the lyrics of 1989’s “Doin’ Our Own Dang”, Jungle Brothers’ Mike D noted his combo were “Breaking the beat others wished they broke.” Going further, he acknowledged “Cause you’re trying to feel what’s on my reel to reel.” Jungle Brothers...

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The Sisters of Mercy, Roundhouse review - hits delivered from the darkness

While bands such as The Birthday Party, Siouxsie and the Banshees and, especially, Bauhaus had a hand in inventing goth music at the start of the Eighties, it was The Sisters of Mercy who defined it. Their combination of black clad cowboy shtick,...

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Big the Musical - sweet if wildly overstretched

The work isn't finished on Big, if this stage musical of the beloved 1988 Tom Hanks film is ever to, um, make it big. A Broadway flop in 1996 where it was among the last shows directed by the late, much-admired Englishman Mike Ockrent, the material...

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Edwyn Collins, Concorde 2, Brighton review - enjoyable evening of tight guitar pop

In March of this year Edwyn Collins released his ninth studio album, Badbea, his fourth since two life-altering cerebral haemorrhages derailed him in 2005. It’s a vivacious collection that runs the gamut of what guitar pop can be, from acoustic...

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Falsettos, The Other Palace review - affecting search for the new normal

William Finn and James Lapine’s musical – which combines two linked one-acts, March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, set in late 1970s/early 1980s New York – picked up Tony Awards in 1992 for its book and score, and was nominated again in...

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It Chapter Two review – time to stop clowning around

Just two years after It Chapter One became the most successful horror film ever made, Pennywise the Dancing Clown is once again giving the American town of Derry absolutely nothing to laugh about. But this time around it’s audiences who...

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CD: Iggy Pop - FREE

It’s half a century since Iggy shrieked that it was “No Fun”, that it was “1969, OK”, that he wanted to be your dog. His original Stooges and his storied cohorts David Bowie and Lou Reed are all no longer with us. The Ig is the last man standing and...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Tunnelvision - Watching the Hydroplanes

A ghostly voice pronounces “there’s no need to make the sepulchre white.” Following this declaration, what sounds like an ocarina wails mournfully over spindly guitar, a sonorous bass guitar and circular, heartbeat drumming. Tunnelvision’s “Whitened...

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