King Krule Album Review, “The OOZ”

Friday 13th October 2017

7.5/10 stars

kingkrule_newmusicPhoto: Press

Emerging from a counterpoise between The BRIT School and the avant-garde, it’s hardly surprising that the urbane cool of King Krule aka Archy Marshall has made him a subcultural celebutante. Since his 2013 debut “6 Feet Beneath The Moon”, the artist has been smothered by the embrace of the Vans generation, by scores of magazine covers and big name collaborations – all nourished by the singer’s very marketable visage. And yet in truth “6 Feet Beneath The Moon” was always the work of a musician still a little wet behind the ears, of a precocious talent awaiting delivery.

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Shigeto Album Review, “The New Monday”

Friday 6th October 2017

7/10 stars

shigeto_the_new_mondayPhoto: Press

“You could find the Abstract listening to hip-hop / My pops used to say, it reminded him of be-bop”. So went the opening lines from A Tribe Called Quest’s 1991 LP, “The Low End Theory”. Jump forward to 2017, and a hip-hop record will probably remind very few people of jazz music, although the genres are more closely knit than ever. At this Tralfmadorian fulcrum point in our musical evolution, it’s not always clear who is borrowing from who, where one movement ends and the other begins.

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Queens of the Stone Age Album Review, “Villains”

Friday 25th August 2017

5/10 stars

Photo: Press

Queens of the Stone Age frontman Joshua Homme is a virtuoso of the sex-rock guitar riff; when I saw him play live with Iggy Pop last year, his Herculean performance of classics like “Sixteen” and “Funtime” might have done what no other guitarist has done yet – cuckold the late Ron Asheton. But the old adage says that great craftsmanship doesn’t always make great art, and whether he’s bolstering the creative weight of Iggy Pop or even Alex Turner, it’s hard not to think that Homme’s most soul-affirming music has always come from the vision of these more discerning songwriters. At their best, I daresay Queens of the Stone Age can be ‘fun’, and yet their songs certainly never engage you beyond the fugacious joy of a thundering guitar riff.

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The Sherlocks Album Review, “Live For The Moment”

Tuesday 15th August 2017

2/10 stars

thesherlocks_750_123Photo: Press

Most epic poets plunge “in media res” … That is the usual method, but not mine. My intention was to think of a cheeky Sherlock Holmes-related pun to really get this album review rolling. But, dear reader, after about five minutes of serious introspection it occurred to me that I’d probably spent way more time than The Sherlocks had trying to think of an original way I could introduce a tiny ray of sunshine into your humdrum lives – so in the end I didn’t bother.

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Blissfields 2017 Review

Monday 10th July 2017

Headliners Metronomy and The Cinematic Orchestra stepped triumphantly up to the mark, but the smaller acts deserved far greater recognition than they got at this year’s Blissfields Festival

Photo: Niall Green

The attendance at Blissfields has increased continually since its conception in 2001, a fact due in no small part to its consistently eclectic, if not entirely discerning, musical line-ups. Vanguards of modern British music like Tricky and Super Furry Animals have played here, as did Wolf Alice and Laura Marling in their formative years, but an unfortunate preponderance of Radio Friendly Unit Shifters have also been invited to perform at the Hampshire festival, ensuring that it always attracts both music fans and veritable non-fans alike.

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