fri 01/03/2024

festivals

Tallinn Music Week 2023 review - when music is unavoidably the language of freedom

Estonia’s Mart Avi styles himself as “the twilight samurai of alternative pop”. He creates “nowhere-somewhere music, mapping uncharted territories between avant-pop and timeless grandeur”. The characterisations are issued via AVICORP, his internet...

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The Great Escape Festival 2023, Brighton review - a long, hot, messy Day Three

“stay with the beer. beer is continuous blood. a continuous lover.” So said Charles Bukowski in his poem “how to be a great writer”. Who am I to argue. It’s a bright day and 11.50 AM. The sun isn’t past the yard-arm but the beer is cold and good....

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The Great Escape Festival 2023, Brighton review - a vibrant dip into Day One

Brighton is writhing with music biz sorts. The Great Escape is here, the multi-venue festival that’s taken place here for over a decade-and-a-half, presenting bands from all over the world, most of them little known, at least in the UK. It takes...

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Gravity & Other Myths: Out of Chaos, Brighton Festival 2023 review - eye-boggling acrobatics

With acrobatics at this level, they make it all look so easy, it’s possible for an audience to become complacent. By the time the show Out of Chaos, by the troupe Gravity & Other Myths, from Adelaide, Australia, has finished, the Brighton Dome...

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Jah Wobble, Brighton Festival 2023 review - Coronation bank hol Sunday marathon

Jah Jah Jah blah blah blah. We’ll get to that.I meet Everest at Worthing station at 3.20pm. He’s clad in a light brown corduroy jacket and a cap. He looks dapper. Like a Len Deighton spy. We board the train to Brighton. I hand him a chilled bottle...

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Vossa Jazz 2023 review: Norwegian festival’s 50th-anniversary edition keeps traditional music close

Two drummers are drumming. One held the beat on ABBA’s “Super Trouper”. He is Sweden’s Per Lindvall, more usually associated with jazz. The other is Norway’s Rune Arnesen, whose recording credits are also stylistically varied. Locked-in tight...

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Northern Winter Beat 2023 review - Panda Bear, Sonic Boom and Širom amongst the highlights in Denmark’s north

It’s the sound of the sun. Panda Bear – born Noah Lennox – is singing in a voice with the purity and warmth of Brian Wilson. Beside him, Sonic Boom – Pete Kember – has more of a growl, a timbre which might make announcements in a railway station....

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Trans Musicales Festival 2022 review - vibrant eclecticism rules in Rennes

It’s Friday night and I’ve finally arrived at 43-year-old French music festival institution Trans Musicales. Due to some dreadful nonsense, it’s taken a 12-hour train journey, two baguettes, one short Stephen King novel, six large beers, a tumbler...

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Other Voices Cardigan review - a celebration of music on the cusp

Other Voices is, according to its founder Philip King, a festival which celebrates what’s about to happen. Indeed, artists like Hozier, Fontaines DC and Amy Winehouse cut their teeth at this unique musical event which, although it has its home in...

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theartsdesk at Wexford Festival Opera - the bad, the good and the glorious

Festival punters who eagerly return to this pleasant haven in south-east Ireland are happy to take a risk on the three rare operas served up each year. As a Wexford virgin, I knew I wanted to come here this autumn for Dvořák’s last opera Armida,...

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Denk, RSNO, Macdonald, Lammermuir Festival review - dark Sibelius and mighty Brahms

Once the shock of Queen Elizabeth’s death has faded, attention will surely turn to the many organisations and institutions of which she was patron. This concert not only marked the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s debut at the Lammermuir Festival...

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Camp Bestival Shropshire, Weston Park review - a musical mixed bag for the pre-teens and their parents

When I first started going to music festivals in the late 80s and early 90s, they were all wild celebrations of bacchanalian excess. Children were nowhere to be seen and there was always a crustie on hand, openly plying a wide array of brain...

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