Stormzy was a big winner at the 2018 BRITs

The BRITs 2018: actually surprisingly okay

As someone tasked with reviewing the BRIT award I watched last Wednesday night with both trepidation and excitement: trepidation that something horrendous might be about to unfold, excitement about being able to write about it. Such is the cultural moment we live in that anyone with Twitter may fear awards ceremonies for the fierce backlashes […]

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Justin Timberlake at the 2018 Super Bowl

Justin Timberlake, we need to talk about lip-synching

Justin Timberlake’s performance at the Super Bowl this year was predictable. Compared with Lady Gaga’s performance last year when she soared into the arena from the roof wearing a rhinestone-encrusted bodysuit, Justin’s show was lacking in spectacle, and he seemed keen on turning the stadium into a large dancefloor full of slightly awkwardly-dancing teens. The […]

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Erwin_Kiennast_conducting

Conducting as an Introvert: Self-Confidence vs. Self-Glorification

Bright lights, centre stage and hundreds of pairs of eyes staring up at you… If you’ve ever suffered from performance anxiety, you’ll recall just how crippling it can be. Even for the bravest and most extroverted musicians amongst us it’s no easy feat. Tentatively signing up for a year-long conducting course, apprehension began to set […]

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The war on Christmas ends today: call Oxmas what it is

Oxmas is one of those traditions that Oxford is so proud of. Every year, to celebrate the fact that colleges need to maximise their conference incomes over the holidays and so can’t carry on teaching us, we have our own little Christmas a month before anyone else. Aren’t we lucky? Two Christmases! Institutionalised good cheer […]

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‘Sexminster’ proves that Parliament remains a toxic environment

It isn’t often I agree with Laura Pidcock, the outspoken Labour MP for North West Durham, but in the midst of the Westminster sex scandal(s) I am inclined to review the words of her maiden speech. In this rather blunt polemic she noted of Parliament: “This building is intimidating, it reeks of the establishment, and […]

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Make America safe again: how many more mass shootings will there have to be before we see change?

A lone gunman fires into a public space, killing innocent victims caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. The next day the nation mourns the victims. ‘Never again’ people say; never again will families have to wake up to the news that their loved ones have been taken away from them. Sound familiar? […]

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