Who should win the Mercury Prize?

OxStu Music give you their insight on the Mercury Prize nominees Alt-J: An Awesome Wave There is a temptation to regard this album as over-hyped or pretentious given the, admittedly at times ridiculous, praise it garnered and the obscure literary references with which it is peppered. Perhaps these temptations are valid, but this is beside […]

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Interview: Noise-rockers Japandroids

Ashley Cooke talks Formula 1, alcohol and Guns ‘n’ Roses with Japandroids’ Brian King Back in 2009, Japandroids provided the Pitchfork reader’s summer anthem. ‘Young Hearts Spark Fire,’ with its insanely catchy refrain and fuzzy guitar, spawned fan sing-a-longs lamenting their, and the band’s, fading youth. Post-Nothing, the album from which the single came, was […]

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Dressed or undressed opera – who cares?

A diverse audience, especially in terms of age, isn’t exactly the norm for opera houses. But giving credit where it’s due, the English National Opera (ENO) must have had some success in overcoming this, their audience members under the age of 44 averaging at 30% for each of their performances. ENO’s new campaign, ‘Opera Undressed’ […]

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Live Review: Newton Faulkner

Sarah Poulten reviews Newton Faulkner-featuring violent old ladies, dog food and Kermit the Frog impressions.  Newton Faulkner just about registers in my musical consciousness as the guy with rust-red dreadlocks (hence the nickname ‘ginger yeti’) who sung ‘Dream Catch Me’. Apparently, alongside this wistful love song that dominated the radio airwaves of summer 2007, he’s also […]

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Behind Enemy lines: lads on tour

Ashley Cooke talks FIFA , album charts, and social commentary with The Enemy’s Liam Watts. Everyone’s heard of The Enemy. We’ll Live And Die In These Towns went straight to number one in 2007, shifting 222,000 copies that year, and spawning two top ten singles. But few are aware that they’ve released two top ten […]

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Live Review: Oxford Chamber Music

Maria Le Brun reviews Oxford Chamber Music. Last Tuesday I went to see former BBC Young Musician of the Year and St Catz alumnus Mark Simpson and Stephen Upshaw in concert at the Holywell. The event was billed as a fringe concert which accounts for the unusual pairing of the experimental composer Berio with Brahms, […]

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Between rock and a hard piece

Will Upton discusses classical music performed in squats, caves, and subways. My most exciting musical memory is of a concert in a squat in a disused care home of one of Manchester’s notorious suburbs. The largely destitute audience came for soup and stayed for music. A twitchy skinhead trying to bum a joint was hushed […]

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Live Review: Anna Meredith

Hettie Burn reviews Anna Meredith live in the Southbank Centre. Listening to Black Prince Fury feels like you’ve been handed a box containing four objects you never knew existed, each so perfectly formed that it seems at once both completely fresh and an old acquaintance. The electro-acoustic sounds are reminiscent of those with which we […]

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The sophisticated side of pop

Lewis Coenen-Rowe explains why pop and classical music are really the same thing. I turned on the radio the other day and found myself confronted by a wall of noise: an orchestra surging forwards with unstoppable momentum, a mass of sound inexorably rising upwards, violin strings strained to breaking point, the whirr and shriek as […]

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