thu 20/02/2020

alternative

Album: Tame Impala - The Slow Rush

And so, Tame Impala’s evolution from riff-laden psych-mongers to dancefloor-fillers is complete. It’s undeniable from the opening drum machine on “One More Year” supplanting Kevin Parker’s trademark kit-work. The band’s music has always been built...

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Celtic Connections 2020, Glasgow review - Yorkston/Thorne/Khan and Roaming Roots Revue celebrate joy of collaboration

While there’s usually something for everybody on the Celtic Connections festival programme, where Glasgow’s midwinter festival tends to shine is in its collaborations and special events. Over the past 18 days the city has hosted folk icon Peggy...

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John Grant, Roundhouse review - simplicity, with a bit of space opera

John Grant’s entry onto the stage was unobtrusive, appropriate for a set-up that consisted of just a grand piano and an electronic keyboard (with accompanying keyboardist). He began with similarly unadorned songs, the ballads that peppered the start...

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Album: Field Music - Making a New World

“Only in a Man’s World” is a snappy pop-funk nugget with an Eighties feel. There’s a kinship with Peter Gabriel and “Once in a Lifetime” Talking Heads. Its lyrics though are something else. They begin by asking “Why should a woman feel ashamed?” and...

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Albums of the Year 2019: Liz Lawrence - Pity Party

Picking the best album at the end of the year is always unfair on the early releases. Recency bias means the newer albums carry more excitement. Better Oblivion Community Center's self-titled debut would be a major contender if it had released in...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 55: Peaky Blinders, Graham Coxon, 2 Tone, Redrago, Gary Numan, The Clash and more

Britain is unpleasant to look at right now, ugly and foolish, so why not lock down with some tuneage. Below is the best plastic that’s hit theartsdesk on Vinyl over the last month, all genres, all the time. Watch out for the forthcoming Christmas...

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IDLES, Barrowland, Glasgow review - rowdy and raucous, but with heart

As the number of sweaty bodies increased towards the front of the Barrowland stage, IDLES singer Joe Talbot had a direct message. “Keep safe” he implored on several occasions, like a concerned dad warning his kids, or perhaps a shepherd guiding his...

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Björk, SSE Hydro, Glasgow review- Icelandic experimentalist reimagines live performance

Grimes, the Canadian art pop performer, made headlines last week when she predicted the end of musical performance as we know it on a podcast interview with theoretical physicist Sean Carroll. Live music, she said, would be “obsolete soon”, while...

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Iggy Pop, Barbican review - proto-punk legend goes jazz... sort of

A few years ago it would have been hard to envisage proto-punk maniac Iggy Pop being a star feature of the EFG London Jazz Festival. His last few albums, though, have been heavily flecked with jazz, and let’s not forget that as far back as The...

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CD: Beck - Hyperspace

Beck stands on the front cover of his new album Hyperspace with a vintage Toyota and Japanese text resplendent above. It’s the perfect scene setter for an album you could easily imagine soundtracking a midnight drive through Tokyo. Or if the lyrics...

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CD: Pumarosa - Devastation

Pumarosa picked the perfect time of year to launch their second album into the world: its skittish drums, claustrophobic melodies and haunted vocals are the perfect soundtrack to witching season. But the horrors that inspired Devastation are far...

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Ben Elton, Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall review - magnificent return to stand-up

It has been 15 years since Ben Elton, known as Motormouth in his 1980s heyday – last toured. A decade-and-a-half ago, one of the instigators of alternative comedy tells us at the top of the show, he could have still passed muster as young or cool....

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