tue 15/10/2019

2000s

The Last Tree review - young, angry, and black in '90s UK

Putting a radical spin on a fish-out-of-water story, The Last Tree explores troubling aspects of the African diaspora experience in an England riddled with xenophobia and black-on-black racism. Shola Amoo’s semi-autobiographical second feature is...

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JT Leroy review - pseudonym, avatar, literary hoax

Based on Savannah Knoop’s memoir Girl Boy Girl: How I became JT LeRoy, Justin Kelly’s film skims the surface of the sensational literary hoax of the early 2000s, that far-off time before avatars, gender fluidity and fake online identity were part of...

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the end of history ..., Royal Court review - raises more questions than it answers

An apocalyptic title proves somewhat of a red herring for a slight if intriguing play that returns the dream team behind Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to their erstwhile stomping ground at the Royal Court. Set across 20 years in the Newbury...

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P!nk, Principality Stadium, Cardiff review - stunning theatrics astound

“I want to be just like P!nk,” a little girl screams as the lights begin to dim and the introductory music grows louder. It’s no wonder this leg of the Beautiful Trauma World Tour sold out in under 15 minutes. The whole stadium is packed full of...

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CD: Norah Jones - Begin Again

There's a remarkable lightness to the way Norah Jones has glid through her career. She once told theartsdesk that even in her early 20s, faced with the global hyper success of Come Away With Me, “I think I was smart enough to know at the...

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Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train, Young Vic review - shards of power amidst much that is overwrought

An entirely electric leading performance from the fast-rising Ukweli Roach is the reason for being for revisiting Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train, back in London for the first major production since the late Philip Seymour Hoffman brought his acclaimed...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 47: The Beta Band, Ry Cooder, The Cardigans, Sgt. Pepper goes jazz and more

Let’s cut straight to the chase. Here are reviews of 48 records, running riot across genre boundaries and categorizations, from preposterous pop metal to woodland-themed classical piano pieces. It’s the wildest vinyl ride in review-land, an...

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CD: Ladytron - Ladytron

When Ladytron appeared in 1999, at a time when electronic music was glutted with pop-trance, Mitsubishis and superclubs, they drew instead directly on the post-punk synth-pop explosion of 20 years before, The Human League and the like. While all...

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The Music of Harry Potter, CBSO, Seal, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - orchestral wizardry

Imagine an orchestral concert made up exclusively of contemporary works by living composers: a programme in which every note was written within the last two decades. Imagine not only that this concert is sufficiently popular to fill a 2,000-seat...

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CD: Hawkwind - Road to Utopia

Implausible times call for implausible music, and it doesn't come much more unlikely than this. Hawkwind, the die-hard troupers of gnarly cosmic squatter drug-rock, have re-recorded highlights from their catalogue, arranged and produced by Mike Batt...

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Jake Shears, Concorde 2, Brighton review - a blitz of glitz

One of the biggest crowd roars of the night comes right at the start when Jake Shears runs onstage. He is wearing a grey top hat, a white tail-jacket with glittered lapel-edging, silver glittery trousers, a tight black sequinned vest top, and a bow...

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CD: Jake Shears - Jake Shears

There are two schools of thought on the Scissor Sisters. One was that they were vapid, over-cheery retro-pop of the worst order. The other is that they were an extension of New York’s ever-mischievous underground in all its underground LGBT+ disco...

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