• Adele: cancelling Las Vegas shows was worst moment in my career

    Adele: cancelling Las Vegas shows was worst moment in my career
    Singer tells of devastation and vows to ‘nail’ the rescheduled dates that will take place later this yearAdele has said the decision to cancel her Las Vegas residency was the “worst moment in my career” and vowed to “nail” the rescheduled shows later this year.Speaking seven months after the dates were cancelled, the British singer-songwriter explained why she pulled out just 24 hours before she was due on stage. Continue reading...
  • ‘The original title was Wouldn’t it Be Nice – it felt meaningless’: how Nik Kershaw made Wouldn’t It Be Good

    ‘The original title was Wouldn’t it Be Nice – it felt meaningless’: how Nik Kershaw made Wouldn’t It Be Good
    ‘It was written in the knowledge I was heading for world domination. Why was it so melancholic? You’d have to ask my analyst’I was unemployed and living in a crummy rented farm cottage in the Essex countryside. It was a frustrating period, recording demos and hoicking the demo tape up to London. I’d spent a lot of time not getting a deal. Then Mickey Modern became my manager and got me signed to MCA records.Continue reading...
  • Metal: Hellsinger – where video games and heavy-metal music collide

    Metal: Hellsinger – where video games and heavy-metal music collide
    With a blistering bespoke soundtrack, and featuring artists such as System of a Down’s Serj Tankian, this shooter is a metalhead’s fever dreamVideo games and heavy metal music have long shared a passing curiosity with one another. Look no further than the iconography of Doom, or Tim Schafer’s Brütal Legend, for evidence of that. But it was in the mid 00s – during the reign of music and rhythm games such as Guitar Hero – that the link was most obvious. Count me
  • Prom 36: Vienna Radio SO/Alsop review – tight teamwork and carefree swagger

    Prom 36: Vienna Radio SO/Alsop review – tight teamwork and carefree swagger
    Royal Albert Hall, LondonMarin Alsop led the orchestra through lively performances of Bartók, Prokofiev and Dvořák, full of rhythmic drive, as well as the UK premiere of Hannah Eisendle’s evocative Heliosis“I’ve missed you,” Marin Alsop exclaimed to the Proms audience – and for the last three summers the Proms has missed her. She’s a natural here, playing off the curious informal grandeur the festival brings to this space each summer. Her or
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  • Strike! How 80s post-punk band Lining Time crystallised a moment in feminist protest history

    Strike! How 80s post-punk band Lining Time crystallised a moment in feminist protest history
    The mid-point between the Raincoats and Life Without Buildings, the short-lived Plymouth group brought improv, humour and European radicalism to their newly rediscovered debut albumIn 1982, a group of women found their collective voice. “If I can strike, you can strike, she can strike, we can strike,” they sang during a performance in Plymouth, passing the chant like a baton as they performed playground rhythms on woodblock percussion. Calling themselves Lining Time, this assemblage
  • Everyone’s a cynic! Film, TV, music, books and art about pessimism

    Everyone’s a cynic! Film, TV, music, books and art about pessimism
    From Wall Street savagery to withering R&B, choose art that shows humanity at its most misanthropicTaking place over one night in 2008, Margin Call is a taut display of sharp suits and sharper dialogue, in which the cantankerous colleagues at a Goldman Sachs stand-in have to decide between tanking their company or the world economy. It may lack the zany thrills of The Big Short, but by presenting the bankers as calculated insiders, its critique is altogether more damning. Against stiff compe
  • Svika Pick, Israel’s ‘king of pop’, dies aged 72

    Svika Pick, Israel’s ‘king of pop’, dies aged 72
    Songwriter behind hits including 1998 Eurovision winner, and Quentin Tarantino’s father-in-law, dies at homeSvika Pick, a prolific songwriter and musician who was known as Israel’s “king of pop” and by the moniker the Maestro, has died at the age of 72.He died on Sunday in his home. The cause of death is yet to be announced.Continue reading...
  • Niki: Nicole review – introspective indie from an artist in search of her sound

    Niki: Nicole review – introspective indie from an artist in search of her sound
    (88rising)
    Familiar love stories and shades of Phoebe Bridgers characterise the young American’s delicate second albumAlthough only 23, the Indonesian American singer-songwriter Nicole Zefanya, AKA Niki, has already experimented with multiple iterations of her sound. Her 2018 debut EP, Zephyr, traded on the bass-forward, hook-laden R&B exemplified by the likes of SZA and Jhené Aiko, while her 2020 album, Moonchild, moved into atmospheric synth-pop. Her second album, Nicole, fore
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  • ‘Rhythm is a thing that defines us’: Johnny Flynn on his career as actor and musician

    ‘Rhythm is a thing that defines us’: Johnny Flynn on his career as actor and musician
    Now the talented multi-tasker is co-starring in a musical heist featuring his own songs. So what drives him on?Like most of us, the current turmoil in British politics has seen Johnny Flynn – actor, folk musician, the kind of multi-hyphenate who plays the hurdy-gurdy – spend the past few weeks doom-scrolling and current-affairs-obsessing. Flynn is a multitasker. He is obsessed with news anchors and reporters and follows many of them on Twitter, noting, with alarm, how they think soci
  • Hot Chip: Freakout/ Release review – trying hard to be funky

    Hot Chip: Freakout/ Release review – trying hard to be funky
    (Domino)
    The British dance-pop favourites make forays into the wilder side, but their mellow tempo prevailsIndefatigably pleasant, Hot Chip have long specialised in steady-state club pop, powered more by melancholy than abandon. The title track of their eighth album, the promisingly named Freakout/Release, declares a shift towards proper shit-losing catharsis. “Wild, beast, freakout, release!” growls a vocoder as some stark electro-funk lurks beneath. A distorted guitar line complete
  • One to watch: Yunè Pinku

    One to watch: Yunè Pinku
    The teenage Malaysian Irish producer and songwriter has a rare ability to warp rave culture into melodic new shapesUncertainty is a core part of the clubbing experience. It’s all a gamble. Will we get in? Will it be any good? How do we get home? And, as the final line in Shut Up and Dance’s classic Raving I’m Raving puts it: “Do I really feel the way I feel?” Promising young singer-songwriter-producer Yunè Pinku makes engaging, garage-adjacent tracks that rip
  • Danger Mouse and Black Thought: Cheat Codes review – an out-and-out hip-hop masterpiece

    Danger Mouse and Black Thought: Cheat Codes review – an out-and-out hip-hop masterpiece
    (BMG)
    Razor-sharp US rapper Black Thought and his one-time acolyte, now super-producer, Danger Mouse, finally get it together on an album that’s a nonstop joyCheat Codes, the long-awaited collaboration between US super-producer Danger Mouse and Philadelphia hip-hop institution Black Thought, is an out-and-out pleasure, one chock-full of old-school hip-hop goodness. No Gold Teeth, for instance, has a funk bassline so gummy you could chew it contentedly like cud for hours, with Black Thought
  • Coldplay review – a barrage of hits and eye-popping spectacle

    Coldplay review – a barrage of hits and eye-popping spectacle
    Wembley Stadium, London
    Music of the Spheres may have confused many fans, but the album gains depth with this inventive show“You’re never quite sure when you go home how people are going to receive you,” says Chris Martin from Wembley’s stage. It’s the kind of thing that hugely successful rock stars say to get a cheer from a home town crowd, but perhaps there is a hint of disquiet in Coldplay’s world in 2022. What is, presumably, the most environmentally frien
  • Cosey Fanni Tutti: ‘I was lucky I got thrown out of home. I see it as a gift’

    Cosey Fanni Tutti: ‘I was lucky I got thrown out of home. I see it as a gift’
    The Throbbing Gristle co-founder and performance artist is seen as an elder stateswoman of the avant garde. She talks about legacy, and the liberation of revisiting her darkest experiences for a new memoirThere was a time when the performance artist and musician Cosey Fanni Tutti was persona non grata. In her late teens, when she was still Christine Newby, her father threw her out of the family home and cut off all contact. Later, as leading lights of the art collective COUM Transmissions and ex
  • From garage to charts: how Māori strum helped shape the sound of New Zealand

    From garage to charts: how Māori strum helped shape the sound of New Zealand
    The distinctive guitar pattern informs many of the country’s biggest hits, and remains an enduring cultural touchstoneIn late 2021, a series of videos started circulating social media: a gifted singer belting out R&B and hip-hop tunes with a uniquely New Zealand take. The songs were stripped back to their barest guitar basics, peppered with Māori words and New Zealand in-jokes. Behind the renditions, there was something deeply, immediately recognisable: a guitar sound musicians ca
  • ‘A gambler’s wet dream and an accountant’s worst nightmare!’: the huge allure of the micro-festival

    ‘A gambler’s wet dream and an accountant’s worst nightmare!’: the huge allure of the micro-festival
    Amid a bloated festival market, the founders of the UK’s tiniest weekenders explain why they are keeping things intimate and defiantly non-commercial“We started out with five of us putting £100 in a pot and hoping for the best,” says Henry Morris of the micro electronic music festival Field Maneuvers.Along with Leon Cole and Ele Beattie, they’ve thrown their annual “no frills rave” in a secret countryside location since 2013 when 350 people showed up to
  • Bob Dylan’s lawyers seeking ‘monetary sanctions’ over sexual abuse case

    Bob Dylan’s lawyers seeking ‘monetary sanctions’ over sexual abuse case
    Singer’s representatives cite ‘brazen’ misconduct against legal team who filed lawsuit that was dropped in JulyLawyers for Bob Dylan are seeking “monetary sanctions” against the legal team that filed a suit accusing the musician of sexual abuse.The lawsuit, which claimed Dylan sexually abused a 12-year-old girl in 1965, was dropped in July and Billboard reports that the singer’s lawyers are now pursuing sanctions, citing “brazen misconduct”. Contin
  • Star Feminine Band: In Paris review | Ammar Kalia's global album of the month

    Star Feminine Band: In Paris review | Ammar Kalia's global album of the month
    (Born Bad Records)
    The prodigious performers from Benin showcase their astounding pace of musical development, having only picked up their instruments for the first time in 2016Benin’s Star Feminine Band have had a remarkable journey to releasing their music. The seven-piece all-female group, aged between 12 and 19, only began learning their instruments in 2016, after participating in a free music workshop in their remote home town of Natitingou. Following two years of after-school rehears
  • Danger Mouse & Black Thought: Cheat Codes review – brimming with sheer love of the craft

    Danger Mouse & Black Thought: Cheat Codes review – brimming with sheer love of the craft
    (BMG)
    Contemplating everything from hip-hop to the human condition, the ebullient and long-awaited collaboration is awash with cinematic beats and vivid rhymesIf Cheat Codes – a joint album with Tariq Trotter AKA Black Thought on the mic and Brian Burton AKA Danger Mouse at the controls – feels long overdue, it’s because it is: the pair first conceived the record 15 years ago. Back then, Burton had made a name for himself as a maverick producer, moving from his bootlegged Beatl
  • The Mars Volta: ‘The most revolutionary thing we could do was to make a pop record’

    The Mars Volta: ‘The most revolutionary thing we could do was to make a pop record’
    After their 2013 split left fans in shock, Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodríguez-López reveal how the Church of Scientology drove them apart – and inspired their surprise new albumWhen Cedric Bixler-Zavala joined the Church of Scientology in 2009, he thought of it as lightly as “signing up for a yoga class or a self-help group”. Having been introduced by his new wife (TV star Chrissie Carnell) and friends, the frontman of the revered US rock band the Mars Volta
  • Megan Thee Stallion: Traumazine review | Alexis Petridis's album of the week

    Megan Thee Stallion: Traumazine review | Alexis Petridis's album of the week
    (300 Records)
    The Texan rapper comes out swinging on her latest release – slinging a seemingly limitless supply of fantastic insults at the industry and countless nameless foesReleased amid a hail of controversy – some of it stemming from an incident in which its author was shot, allegedly by rapper Tory Lanez – Megan Thee Stallion’s 2020 debut album Good News was an exercise in optimism from its title down. Two years on, there’s more controversy – the Texan r
  • ‘Better late than never’: how Brian Eno and David Byrne finally laid a musical ghost to rest

    ‘Better late than never’: how Brian Eno and David Byrne finally laid a musical ghost to rest
    When the pair sampled Lebanese singer Dunya Younes for their groundbreaking album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, they assumed the original recording was cleared. Four decades on they all meet up to find out the real storyIn early 1970s Lebanon, a young singer from a hill town north of Beirut was on the up. Before the civil war in 1975, the capital was the Arab world’s thriving artistic centre, where folk-dance traditions were reaching new heights. There, Dunya Younes was a rising star, app
  • Brahms: The Four Symphonies review | Andrew Clements' classical album of the week

    Brahms: The Four Symphonies review | Andrew Clements' classical album of the week
    Danish Chamber Orch/Adam Fischer
    (Naxos, three CDs)
    Emulating Brahms himself with an orchestra of fewer than 50 players, these fresh, engaging recordings show that less can mean a lot moreThough these days we generally hear the Brahms symphonies performed by a full-sized symphony orchestra of 70 or 80 players, the composer himself is said to have preferred smaller forces. The orchestra in Karlsruhe, which introduced his First Symphony, had 49 players, the Meiningen Court Orchestra, responsible f
  • ‘We do turn up the bass’: deaf ravers party at first Edinburgh deaf festival

    ‘We do turn up the bass’: deaf ravers party at first Edinburgh deaf festival
    Festival organisers say 2022 has been an exciting year for deaf culture but more opportunities are neededIn 2003, Troi Lee was queueing for a club with a group of friends when he noticed that others were being let in ahead of them. He approached security to ask what was going on, and was told: “You lot are deaf, you aren’t coming in.”Lee had never before experienced discrimination, despite having been a regular raver for a decade. He channelled his anger into setting up the UK&
  • Kelis’s 20 greatest songs – ranked!

    Kelis’s 20 greatest songs – ranked!
    After doing battle with Beyoncé and before her new album, Dirt, we rate the best of Kelis’s career, from the ragers to the musical recipesHidden away at the end of Kelis Was Here – after the laid-back, samba-influenced closer Have a Nice Day – is a burst of Kelis at her most winningly splenetic, turning her attention to that perennial bugbear, the Haters: “Keep my name out your mouth,” she offers, “I’ll keep my foot out your butt.” Continue
  • Hudson Mohawke: Cry Sugar review – happy hardcore will never die

    Hudson Mohawke: Cry Sugar review – happy hardcore will never die
    (Warp)
    Joining the dots between rave and contemporary hip-hop, the Scottish producer’s feverish third solo album hovers on the edge of chaosIf you believe the accompanying press release, Glasgow-born, LA-based Ross Birchard has spent the six years since his last album as Hudson Mohawke engaged in variety of intriguing activities. The sometime Kanye West and Drake producer has variously set up barbecues outside clubs, ready to feed bleary-eyed ravers at 7am; running “Bob Ross-style&rd
  • I’m not Australian, but Judith Durham’s unofficial anthem brings a tear to my eye | Brief letters

    I’m not Australian, but Judith Durham’s unofficial anthem brings a tear to my eye | Brief letters
    Judith Durham obituary | Nancy Banks-Smith | Patriarchal naming | Soft-boiled eggs | An extra hour to save energyYour obituary of Judith Durham (8 August) has a glaring omission: to credit her with singing what has become the unofficial Australian national anthem, sung on Australia Day and at sporting events, I Am Australian. It is probably her greatest legacy to her homeland. Hearing it even brings a tear to this pommy’s eye, missing her son in Sydney (and remembering singing it after a f
  • Marcus Mumford: ‘I was sexually abused as a child’

    Marcus Mumford: ‘I was sexually abused as a child’
    Mumford & Sons frontman has said that his debut solo single is about ‘the first of a string of unhealthy sexual experiences at a really early age’Marcus Mumford, frontman of the band Mumford & Sons, has said that he was the victim of childhood sexual abuse.“Like lots of people – and I’m learning more and more about this as we go and as I play it to people – I was sexually abused as a child,” he told GQ magazine. “Not by family and not in th
  • The devil went down to Gambia! The surprising history of African country music

    The devil went down to Gambia! The surprising history of African country music
    When a Zimbabwean Twitter account posted images of wedding guests moonwalking to Kenny Rogers, many were surprised. But the ties between US country and Africa reach back to its commercial outsetIn early July, a Twitter account called The Zimbabwean posted a thread highlighting the popularity of country music across Africa. The posts included videos – mostly phone footage from bars and weddings – that persuasively made the case for the claim. A man in a cowboy hat moonwalking to Kenny
  • Jarvis Cocker joins Pulp bandmate onstage to support Sheffield Leadmill

    Jarvis Cocker joins Pulp bandmate onstage to support Sheffield Leadmill
    Threatened venue played key role in launching bands including Kaiser Chiefs and Arctic MonkeysPulp star Jarvis Cocker joined his former bandmate Richard Hawley in a surprise performance at Sheffield’s Leadmill music venue in support of the ongoing eviction battle against its Landlords.Cocker joined fellow Sheffielder Hawley on the second day of his four-day residency in support of the venue, which was handed an eviction notice in March. Continue reading...
  • Ravers having it large at Castlemorton, 1992: Alan Lodge’s best photograph

    Ravers having it large at Castlemorton, 1992: Alan Lodge’s best photograph
    ‘In 1992, 20,000 people gathered for an illegal rave at Castlemorton Common. It was the thing to dance on speaker stacks or on the top of buses or trucks’In the 1970s I went to free festivals like the Stonehenge free festival and the Windsor People’s free festival. In 1974 there wasn’t a law to prevent these activities but, given we were in the Queen’s back garden in Windsor, the police came, one of whom whacked me around the side of the head. I fell off my log, spi
  • Beware of the Bull: the extraordinary life of singer Jake Thackray revealed

    Beware of the Bull: the extraordinary life of singer Jake Thackray revealed
    The first biography of the enigmatic poet-songwriter leads a resurgence in popularity for the late northern balladeer whose admirers include Neil Gaiman and Cerys MatthewsIt was around 1999 when Neil Gaiman first heard someone else mention the name Jake Thackray. Growing up in East Grinstead, West Sussex, in the 60s and 70s, the British-born author and Sandman creator had perceived Thackray as a vague voice on the peripheries of childhood, this lugubrious wooly jumpered raptor of a man, his voic
  • From Reach Out I’ll Be There to Heat Wave: six of Lamont Dozier’s best songs

    From Reach Out I’ll Be There to Heat Wave: six of Lamont Dozier’s best songs
    The hugely influential Motown songwriter and one third of Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote for the likes of Diana Ross, the Four Tops and Chairmen of the Board• Lamont Dozier dies aged 81 – news
    • Lamont Dozier, the Motown master craftsmanThe intensity of Heat Wave never ages, and its message of love as an inescapable blend of agony and ecstasy would be repeated on many of Holland-Dozier-Holland’s greatest recordings. It proved too raw for British ears in 1963, though the Who c
  • Post your questions for Arab Strap

    Post your questions for Arab Strap
    As they prepare to play this year’s Green Man festival, the duo are ready to answer your questions with their usual lugubrious candour“Sex and death seem to be my eternal occupations,” mused Aidan Moffat in 2020, shortly after his band Arab Strap released their first new music since reforming in 2016. While he was referencing excellent seventh album, 2021’s As Days Get Dark, and its songs about ancient death rituals (The Turning of Our Bones), online porn addiction (Anoth
  • The Pogues’ bassist Darryl Hunt dies aged 72

    The Pogues’ bassist Darryl Hunt dies aged 72
    Band frontman Shane MacGowan pays tribute to ‘nice guy and great friend’ who died in London on MondayThe Pogues’ bass player Darryl Hunt has died aged 72.The punk group said on Twitter they were “saddened beyond words” to share that Hunt had died on Monday afternoon in London. Continue reading...
  • Olivia Newton-John was a trailblazer in the art of pop reinvention

    Olivia Newton-John was a trailblazer in the art of pop reinvention
    After breaking out as a country star, she rode the changing moods of pop, through rock, electronic and, of course, the film musical – pre-empting the visual album along the wayOlivia Newton-John, star of Grease, dies aged 73A life and career in picturesTributes flow after Australian star’s deathThere’s a limited idea that Olivia Newton-John’s career, whether in cinema or pop, ran solely from “virginal girl-next-door” to “spandex-clad vixen”, as one
  • Lamont Dozier, Motown songwriter, dies aged 81

    Lamont Dozier, Motown songwriter, dies aged 81
    As one third of Holland–Dozier–Holland, the Detroit musician was responsible for some of Motown’s biggest hits of the 1960sLamont Dozier, the Motown legend behind hits for artists such as the Supremes, the Four Tops and the Isley Brothers, has died aged 81.The news was confirmed by his son Lamont Dozier Jr on Instagram. No cause of death has been released as yet. Continue reading...
  • ‘Sometimes they’d lick each other’: on the road with Fat White Family – in pictures

    ‘Sometimes they’d lick each other’: on the road with Fat White Family – in pictures
    From duetting with Lady Gaga to liver-crippling drinking sessions, Duncan Stafford and Andrew Zappin’s photographs take us on a tour with Britain’s wildest band Continue reading...
  • ‘My mum made outfits for us to wear on Top of the Pops’: how the Real Thing made You to Me Are Everything

    ‘My mum made outfits for us to wear on Top of the Pops’: how the Real Thing made You to Me Are Everything
    ‘I took a white label record to my local hangout in Liverpool. The DJ put it on and the floor filled up. We knew then we were on the button’It was early 1976 and Mick Denne and I were songwriters for hire. I really wanted to work with the Real Thing, who’d had a couple of chart entries and had toured and recorded with David Essex – who was huge at the time. I thought their singer Chris Amoo had a great voice. Continue reading...
  • Reel lives: how I tracked down the class of NME’s C86 album

    Reel lives: how I tracked down the class of NME’s C86 album
    In 1986 the NME’s 22-track cassette defined indie-rock for a new generation. Some bands featured, such as Primal Scream, became stars. But what became of Bogshed, the Mackenzies and the Shrubs?It was in the last box I looked in. I reached in and there was the treasure I sought: a cassette tape, battered and scratched, but its gold cover nonetheless shining through the murk of the attic. The cassette – called C86 – was one of three dozen compiled by NME during the 1980s, sold to
  • The top brass: the Tredegar Band return banding to the Proms stage

    The top brass: the Tredegar Band return banding to the Proms stage
    It’s been 33 years since the last Prom dedicated to brass band music, while Gavin Higgins’ concerto for Brass band and orchestra is the first Proms commission of its kind. It’s time to forget that Hovis ad and celebrate the banding worldIt’s quite a feat for a British ensemble older than the Proms to be making its debut at this year’s festival, but such is the case of Tredegar Town Band. Formally constituted in 1876, and with a performing CV stretching from Rambert
  • Food for thought: film, music and art to help you through the cost of living crisis

    Food for thought: film, music and art to help you through the cost of living crisis
    From a 16th-century worker’s humble lunch to raging rap, our critics find the works that grapple with the challenges of hard timesA cost of living crisis plagued 16th-century Europe – food prices rose and made life harder for the urban poor, like this man portrayed in Annibale Carracci’s The Beaneater and his unadorned meal. Carracci rejects glamour and myth, abandoning the stylishness of Renaissance art, casting his eyes on humble reality. The ragged man in a tumbledown room i
  • Post your questions for Slipknot’s Corey Taylor

    Post your questions for Slipknot’s Corey Taylor
    As the metallers tour ahead of their seventh album, The End, So Far, we invite you to peer behind the mask and ask their singer anythingOver the course of their two-decade career, Iowa heavy metallers Slipknot have stayed so laser-focused on their modus operandi – channeling messy anger into face-melting rock songs while dressed in jumpsuits and pungent-looking Halloween masks – that they’ve become essentially impervious to music’s changing tides. Their last three albums
  • ‘Alex Turner is the greatest of his generation’: Example’s honest playlist

    ‘Alex Turner is the greatest of his generation’: Example’s honest playlist
    The singer-rapper can do a mean Nate Dogg and would do Wu-Tang Clan rhymes in the playground. But what would soundtrack his boxing ring walk?The first song I remember hearing
    I had to call my mum, and she says the first song she remembers me reacting and moving to was The Tears of a Clown by Smokey Robinson.The first single I bought
    A seven-inch single of Push It by Salt-N-Pepa, aged five or six, from a car boot sale in Shepherd’s Bush, that came with a foldout poster. It’s regarded
  • Judith Durham, voice of the Seekers and Australia’s first global pop queen

    Judith Durham, voice of the Seekers and Australia’s first global pop queen
    Obituary: Durham’s distinctive voice took the quartet to international fame in the 1960s, before she forged a successful solo careerJudith Durham, Australian singer and vocalist of the Seekers, dies at 79The Seekers singer Judith Durham – a life in picturesJudith Durham’stalent shone brightly across the Australian music landscape, her powerful bell-like voice, unpretentious nature and stoicism in the face of adversity securing her countless loyal fans.Durham, who has died in Me
  • ‘The time is right’: reggae colossus Burning Spear on racism, rebellion and returning to Britain

    ‘The time is right’: reggae colossus Burning Spear on racism, rebellion and returning to Britain
    He is the Jamaican legend who liberated reggae, taking it out of Kingston, drenching it in horns – and giving it a joyous, spiritual kick. As Burning Spear hits the road, he looks back on his astonishing lifeIt’s been two decades since Burning Spear set foot on a UK stage and almost as long since he took on anything that could qualify as a tour: a remarkable state of affairs for the man who has been Jamaica’s most exhilarating performer for half a century.With an agenda that wa
  • ‘It’s the songs that count’: Erasure’s Andy Bell on being out in the 80s, living with HIV and falling from fashion

    ‘It’s the songs that count’: Erasure’s Andy Bell on being out in the 80s, living with HIV and falling from fashion
    Alongside Vince Clarke, the electropop pioneer has produced some brilliantly catchy and enduring songs. As the group releases a new album, the singer reflects on what happens when the hits dry up – and why he still loves performing liveIn the late 80s and early 90s, when the electropop band Erasure were, says Andy Bell, “kind of the darlings for a while”, they reached what he calls “saturation TV”. Bell, Erasure’s vocalist, means they were big and mainstream e
  • Travis Scott review – fireworks and lasers announce rapper’s post-Astroworld comeback

    Travis Scott review – fireworks and lasers announce rapper’s post-Astroworld comeback
    O2 Arena, London
    Nine months after the tragic Houston concert, Scott is back in front of a huge crowd – and almost overshadowed by his own pyrotechnicsTravis Scott is known for his boundless energy in live performances, and the pure chaos he invokes in his crowds – there’s a reason his fans are known as the “ragers”. This is the Houston rapper’s first big headline performance since 2021’s Astroworld festival – an event founded by Scott – wher
  • Lauv: All 4 Nothing review – a partial progression

    Lauv: All 4 Nothing review – a partial progression
    (Virgin)
    More concise than his debut, the Californian’s second album still errs on the side of average
    When singer-songwriter Ari Leff, AKA Lauv, released his debut album in 2020, it played like a marathon. At 21 tracks long, How I’m Feeling explored millennial malaise and melancholy through repetitively mid-tempo pop – as if reflecting the subject of Leff’s lyrics through the listening experience itself.Mercifully, Leff’s return on All 4 Nothing sees him editing hi
  • Calvin Harris: Funk Wav Bounces Vol 2 – irresistibly joyous

    Calvin Harris: Funk Wav Bounces Vol 2 – irresistibly joyous
    (Columbia)
    A-list guests including Dua Lipa, Jorja Smith and Stefflon Don provide the high points on the Scot’s quality funk follow-upIt may seem odd that Calvin Harris has made this belated sequel to 2017’s Funk Wav Bounces Vol 1, but actually all his albums have come in pairs. The first two were dance-pop sets featuring the young Scot as a singing frontman; the next couple were epic collaboration compilations from someone who’d somehow become the world’s highest-paid DJ

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