Shipbuilding: Three Decades on.

‘Is it worth it…’, the last great politically inspired British pop song opens with a line more pleading than angry, highly contrasted with the boot-stamping rage typifying much of Elvis Costello’s other songs. It is with resignation that ‘Shipbuilding’ plays out an era of political music that the country has struggled to return to, and […]

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Beck ‘Colors’ Review

When Beck won the Grammy Award for Best Album in 2015 for Morning Phase, which Kanye thought should have gone to Beyoncé, he had yet again become creator of serene music for introverts a la Sea Change, of acoustic guitar soul-soothers for shrinking violets and wallflowers. Having once had my Latin teacher youtube ‘The Golden […]

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Yak Review

As a relative newcomer to Yak, two things initially intrigued me about the rough and raucous London trio. First was their reputation as an unpredictable, formidable live act. Despite their youth (only in their third year as a group), critics already make gushing comparisons to early era White Stripes, The Stooges, and even those mythological […]

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The Hoosiers Review

The Hoosiers’ first album, The Trick to Life, was the first album I ever bought, ten years ago.  I suspect its best tracks – ‘Goodbye Mr A’, ‘Worried About Ray’, etc –  hold strong feelings of nostalgia for much of the current UK student population.  Since then, it’s fair to say that The Hoosiers have […]

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Oldie of The Week: Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (1965) The Animals

A surprising classic of the so-called British Invasion, given its transatlantic origins as a 1964 single by Nina Simone. The Animals spiced up the original jazzy harp arrangement with simple side-by-side guitar and organ riffs, and of course, Eric Burdon’s almost pitifully bluesy vocals. Burdon’s signature deep, heart-on-his-sleeve vocals are what really make the song […]

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Live Review: John Murry at The Basement

Almost everything about John Murry is uncomfortable. From his dark backstory tracking lifetime cycles of addiction and mental instability, to the stark figure he cuts on stage, murmuring eccentric jests between sowwngs, and awkwardly outfitted like an Oscar Wilde caricature, in a suit with red velvet bow round his neck. If it weren’t for his […]

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