thu 29/02/2024

Wales

Album: John Cale - Mercy

John Cale has always walked a cutting-edge. At 80, he is still making music that stretches the mind. He is accompanied on his most recent album by a number of talented and original ground-breakers from both sides of the pond – from the eccentric and...

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Album: CVC - Get Real

CVC stands for Church Village Collective, a six-piece who hail from the countryside near Cardiff. They were the best live act I saw last year (of a long list which includes Melt Yourself Down, Paul McCartney, The Prodigy and Wet Leg). It was a...

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The Silent Twins review - the tragic story of the Welsh teens who were sent to Broadmoor

The fascinating story of the silent twins, June and Jennifer Gibbons, who were incarcerated in Broadmoor for 12 years for minor crimes, has been told before, several times. There’s a 1986 BBC film by Jon Amiel based on Marjorie Wallace’s book about...

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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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Blu-ray: The Owl Service

The Owl Service is instantly unsettling, Bridget Appleby’s credit sequence cutting between flickering candles and shadow puppets while a plaintive Welsh folksong is drowned out by the sound of a motorcycle. Alan Garner’s uncompromising 1967 fantasy...

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The Feast review - slow-cooking folk-horror

Lee Haven Jones’ Welsh-language folk-horror debut dissects a family’s treachery to the land in eventually apocalyptic fashion. It starts in silent, jagged style, the characters seeming as artificial as their minimalist house, abstract paintings and...

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Edinburgh Fringe 2022 reviews: Kiri Pritchard-McLean / Lou Sanders / Snort

Kiri Pritchard-McLean, Monkey Barrel ★★★★Wearing a heavily sequinned leotard - she thought this was how we’d all dress after “living in trackies during lockdown” - Kiri Pritchard-McLean wants to address some very serious subjects, such as...

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Album: Gwenno - Tresor

“The historic, the prehistoric, the natural, architectural, geological, ornithological, or on the side of its folklore, Christian or heathen – the place teems with subject matter that is as curious as it is interesting.” So the Gothic Revival...

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Violet, Music Theatre Wales/Britten-Pears Arts review - well sung and played, but to what end?

Best new opera in years, they said – don’t ask who – after the Aldeburgh Festival premiere of Tom Coult’s Violet. I’d have been happy in Hackney had it been as good as, say, Philip Venables’ 4.48 Psychosis or Stuart MacRae’s The Devil Inside. Alas,...

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First Person: composer Gavin Higgins on his new cantata 'The Faerie Bride'

I was a strange child, I didn’t really fit in. I would twitch and distort my face into awkward shapes. I obsessively bit my fingers and knuckles till they bled. I collected leaflets and piled them high in neat stacks in the corner of my room. I was...

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The Corn Is Green, National Theatre review – Nicola Walker teaches a life lesson

Let’s talk repertoire. Over the past decade the range of British plays, especially those from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, has shrunk in state-subsidized theatres. You can no longer easily see work by Shakespeare’s contemporaries, Restoration...

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Classical CDs: Escalators, dead leaves and a sixth-century bard

 Eric Nathan: Missing Words (New Focus Recordings)“Inspired by words from Schottenfreude by Ben Schott” reads this double album’s tagline, a high-concept project based on Schott’s 2013 lexicon of newly-invented German compound words. Words like...

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