mon 16/12/2019

2015

Under the Shadow

We haven’t been here before. Tehran in 1980, bombed by its Iraqi invaders and jumpy with revolutionary fervour, is a place preoccupied with ordinary fear. Showing the normal if pressurised life he remembers from childhood in this demonised country...

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First Night of the Proms, BBCSO, Oramo, Gabetta, Borodina

The first notes of the first night of the Proms weren’t the ones expected. Instead of either “God Save the Queen” or simply the start of the Tchaikovsky, the “Marseillaise” rang out into the Royal Albert Hall, the Tricouleur projected in coloured...

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Tony Allen and Jimi Tenor, Café OTO

Questions of what is authentic and what is retro get more complicated the more the information economy matures. Music from decades past that only tens or hundreds of people heard at the time it was made becomes readily available, gets sampled by new...

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Albums of 2015: John Grant - Grey Tickles, Black Pressure

When was the last time a singer really spoke to your inner thoughts? Not the sanitised version you offer up on Facebook, nor even your occasional breakdown, but the everyday stuff – the indignation, cynicism and justifiable anger you carry...

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Best of 2015: Dance & Ballet

It was business as usual in the British dance world in 2015. Looking back over the year, theartsdesk's dance critics see the industry's many talented, capable people continuing to do their jobs well, but we don't recall being shaken, stirred or...

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Best (and Worst) of 2015: Television

It's hard to disagree with Matthew Wright, in his brisk analysis of the shortcomings of British crime drama (see below). He notes how flashes of inspiration are smothered by skimpy budgets and the timidity of commissioning editors. The disastrous...

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Albums of 2015: Jewel - Picking Up the Pieces

Music can be passed down through generations like family heirlooms, precious and forever.For me, I was gifted Johnny Cash, Perry Como, Burt Bacharach, Joni Mitchell, Elton John. Songs that have resonated with me throughout my whole life, seeing me...

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Best of 2015: Opera

How ironic that English National Opera turned out possibly the two best productions of the year after the Arts Council had done its grant-cutting worst, punishing the company simply, it seemed, for not being the irrationally preferred Royal Opera....

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theartsfest 2015 - Sunday

So, the first day's done. We awake, bleary-eyed and emerge from our tents and survey the scene. No matter how bad it looks for our immediate future health, the clouds are sure to clear before the inaugural beer and opening bands. The quality...

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Albums of 2015: Julia Holter - Have You in My Wilderness

For some musicians operating on the leftfield, achieving accessibility or commercial success means compromising their unique vision. Not so with Los Angeles singer-songwriter-producer Julia Holter. Her first three albums – four, if you include 2009'...

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Best of 2015: Theatre

Say what you will about London theatre during 2015, and by my reckoning it was a pretty fine year, there certainly was a lot of it. I can't recall a year that brought with it a comparable volume of openings, not least during September and December,...

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theartsfest 2015 - Saturday

The festival market is one that has, like much of Britain, become oversaturated of late. Here at theartsdesk however, we feel that there’s room for one more as long as it’s of the highest possible quality. Here, then, is our line-up, a dream...

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