wed 23/10/2019

England

CD: Elbow - Giants of All Sizes

These horribly remarkable times can shake the strongest souls. Since the popular acceptance of The Seldom Seen Kid, Elbow at their worst have sometimes resembled their friends and supporters Coldplay, offering anthemic placebos to vaguely...

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Keane, De La Warr Pavilion review – hometown heartbreak

Keane grew up six miles away in Battle, making this night in balmy Bexhill-on-Sea as close as they can practically get to a hometown gig. Prior to their first headline tour in six years, they’re playing new album Cause and Effect in full in an “in-...

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CD: Keane - Cause And Effect

Keane were always the best of that post-millennium Coldplay crowd. Tim Rice-Oxley showed adult craft in his lyrics and keyboard textures on their 5 million-selling debut, Hopes and Fears, where the small-town specificity of Battle, Sussex’s biggest...

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Faith, Hope & Charity, National Theatre review - a grim compassion

Alexander Zeldin continues his devastating analysis of modern Britain in this culminating play of a (very loose) trilogy that started with 2014’s Beyond Caring, followed by LOVE two years after that. These are bleak dramas that show human...

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Gazelle Twin, Mirth, Marvel and Maud review - sardonic folk

Elizabeth Bernholz, known on stage as Gazelle Twin, comes straight from a line of musical visionaries – rebels and misfits whose influences fleet through her songs like will-o’-the-wisps. Here is the formal, clever ennui of The Stranglers, the...

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What Girls Are Made Of, Soho Theatre review - euphoric gig-theatre

It’s now Edinburgh Fringe transfer season in London, but here’s one they made earlier: Cora Bissett’s Fringe First-winning autobiographical play from the 2018 Festival about her time in 1990s indie band Darlingheart. Though the broad shape of this...

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Prom 53: Connolly, Gregory, Tappan, BBCSO & Chorus, Davis review - citizens of the world unite

Let's be clear: this was a Prom of world-class works by English composers, not a conservative concert of English music. Politically speaking, Elgar was one of the few on the right, but how different inwardly, speaking through the poet Arthur O’...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Gounod, James MacMillan, Johannes Pramsohler

 Gounod: Symphonies 1 and 2 Iceland Symphony Orchestra/Yan Pascal Tortelier (Chandos)Roger Nichols’ lucid sleeve note underlines the point that Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique singularly failed to kick off a 19th century French symphonic...

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DVD: Are You Proud?

Ashley Joiner’s expansive documentary Are You Proud? opens with the testament of a redoubtable nonagenarian remembering his experiences as a gay man in World War II. Though followed by the admission that he had to live his later life as a lie, it’s...

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Rinaldo, Glyndebourne Festival review - teenage dreams

If you’d started senior school when this production premiered, you’d be finished by now and out in the world of work or at university, your first year days a distant memory. A lot’s changed since the curtain first came up on this version in 2011,...

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Cindy Sherman: #untitled, BBC Four review - portrait of an enigma

Cindy Sherman predicted the selfie, so goes the claim. From our current standpoint, it is all too easy to analyse her many hundreds of photographic self-portraits made since the late 1970s as cultural forebears of the digital medium. What this BBC...

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Eugene Onegin/Georgiana, Buxton Festival review - poetry and pantomime

It’s the saddest music in the world: the quiet heartbeat and falling melody with which Tchaikovsky opens his opera Eugene Onegin. Imagine a whole society, a whole lifetime of solitude, longing and disillusion, evoked in a single bass note and a few...

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