Michael Kiwanuka – ‘KIWANUKA’ review

Looking ahead even as he evokes the work of greats as such as Bill Withers and Gil Scott-Heron, Michael Kiwanuka's bravura self-titled record sees him fiercely reclaim his identity “Are you really giving up? Are you really going to stop right now?” Michael Kiwanuka asks on new track ‘Living in Denial’, the lyrics from his self-titled latest feeling like pages from his diary five years ago. An artist well known for his struggles with self-confidence, Kiwanuka may well have spoken those words to

Kele Okereke – ‘2042’ review

Kele Okereke is no stranger to politics. He recently wrote music to accompany the anti-Brexit play Leave to Remain, and this extremely outspoken new album follows suit. Where its predecessor, 2017’s ‘Fatherland’, saw the Bloc Party singer anticipating becoming a father for the first time. Here Okereke has gone back to his fierce experimental roots; the folk leanings of ‘Fatherland’ feel like a distant echo. The assured sonics on ‘2042’ mirror the commanding social commentary, as he scrutinises the fractured world his children (he has a second on the way) will inherit. Okereke explores what it means to be black, British and gay in 2019.

The Lighthouse review: the most gripping horror film of the year

An extraordinary, unsettling film that will stay with you long after the final credits Stories of humanity raging against the elements (and going a little mad with it) have long dotted film and literature – Melville’s Moby Dick, Stevenson’s Treasure Island, Coleridge’s The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner to name a few. Now, via The Witch director Robert Eggers, there is another, The Lighthouse, in which William Dafoe and Robert Pattinson battle nature as its most ferocious and wild. Playing two li

Cher's Live Review - London

“I’m 73, what’s your grandma doing tonight?” a beaming Cher bellowed to the O2 Arena last night, moments after a career-spanning montage reminded the audience of her extraordinary 50 years in showbusiness. With multiple costume changes and a fearsome energy many younger performers would struggle to match, Cher commanded the sold-out audience throughout with a breathless, hit-filled set. Her candid political views emerged early on too after she termed Donald Trump an “asshole”, before adding to loud cheers: “Boris isn’t much better.”

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – 'Ghosteen' review

Like C.S. Lewis’ 'A Grief Observed', this devastating album is the work of an artist attempting to make sense of loss. "Peace will come," Nick Cave assures us, although it never really does The last few years have seen Nick Cave engage with fans more directly and openly than ever before. “You can ask me anything,” was the simple and direct message he posted to fans on the launch of his Red Hand Files website. Over the past 12 months, Cave answered questions from fans on everything from the bana

Kele Okereke: “I’ve never experienced such widespread public racism”

Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke opens up about Brexit Britain, Brandon Flowers' comments on Morrissey, the artists failing to fight far right rhetoric, and his ambitious new album '2042' On the face of it, Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke has a lot to celebrate. He’s soon to become a father for the second time, his anti-Brexit soundtrack and play ‘Leave to Remain‘ premiered to rave reviews earlier this year, and the first two single releases from his upcoming fourth solo album ‘2042’ have been praised as em

Pet Shop Boys still light years ahead at BBC Radio 2 Live

The sold-out audience at BBC Radio 2’s Festival in a Day were surprised yesterday as an Indian summer unexpectedly descended, basking Hyde Park in glorious sunshine. Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall came more prepared than most during his opening set of the day, clad in a short-sleeved shirt and shades and armed with a host of summer-tinged hits. The joy progressed with Bananarama whose mix of breathless Eighties disco and warm humour brought buckets of fun to the afternoon.

Jaden Smith Live Review - London

In a recent interview with Zane Lowe, Jaden Smith — son of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, brother to Willow — said his two albums to date had opposing personalities: one explored a heavenly side, the other a hellish one. “Syre is the nice one … the more sensitive one,” Smith explained. “Erys,” he said of his latest release, “doesn’t really care at all.” From the outset of his show at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town last night, the 21-year-old segued these two identities...

“This is a very traditional love story, but also a very queer love story too": Shura - A Vision of Love

Shura hasn’t had much sleep when our interview begins. Just a few hours earlier, she’d arrived at a deserted Heathrow Airport in the early hours of the morning after her flight from Sweden – where she’d been appearing at Way Out West festival – was delayed. After landing in London, Shura and her band were delayed further when they couldn’t exit the plane...

“Beauty was a curse for Nico”: Maxine Peake on playing the iconic avant garde singer at Manchester International Festival

“People think of beauty as a blessing, but I think for Nico it was definitely a curse,” Maxine Peake says, a few weeks before she’s due to start rehearsals for a play she’s co-created about the German musician, model and muse. The Nico Project, which is currently showing at Manchester’s International Festival, focuses on Nico’s solo work as a musician...

Features | Baker's Dozen | The Weirder The Better: Buzz Osborne Of Melvins' 13 Favourite Records

“Don’t quiz me on which thirteen records I picked because I can’t remember,” Buzz Osborne of Melvins tells me, moments before we’re due to begin our chat about his thirteen favourite records. “Sometimes, it changes hourly,” he adds. I explain that I have a list of choices he sent over a few weeks ago. “Phew, that’s alright then! I might change my mind though.”

Interview with James Bay

“It was nerve-wracking releasing anything after my first album being as big as it was, “Bay says. “But trying to live up to it was also still exciting. I chose to follow my heart and do something different which felt right at the same time. I didn’t just want to reinterpret the same thing in the same way – that didn’t feel like the most honest move.” Bay wanted his record to reflect the new influences he was discovering at the time, even if that meant gambling on the change in direction...

Steve Clarke and Rachel Goswell debut album review, The Soft Cavalry

Somewhere between shoegaze and synth-pop, tackling frustration, anxiety and confusion, this powerful debut shows it's never too late to follow your dreams. The Soft Cavalry’s eponymous debut is borne out of an old-fashioned love-story. Until 2014, Steve Clarke – the group’s mastermind, lead vocalist and guitarist – was working as a jobbing musician, providing backing vocals for various musicians whilst also balancing work as a tour manager. In 2014, Clarke was asked to work with the newly reformed Slowdive...

Janelle Monáe live review: London

“Everyone give it up for this Dirty Computer!” Janelle Monáe bellowed before inviting Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o on stage at the Wembley Arena. “It’s only right that you share some of this juice,” Monáe teased, before the two danced together during the outro of I Got The Juice. Elsewhere, the arena erupted into a celebration of Dirty Computers everywhere. Dirty Computers is Monáe’s metaphor for flesh-and-blood humanity and difference. Eradicating the flawless-futurism she once promoted...

Glastonbury Festival 2019 review, Sunday

Sunday at Glastonbury got off to the brightest of starts thanks to the enduring good weather and a surprise appearance from Sir David Attenborough on the Pyramid Stage. Receiving a welcome normally reserved for rock stars, the 93-year-old praised Glastonbury for its decision to go plastic-free just days after Extinct Rebellion led a procession of 20,000 through the festival’s fields to raise awareness of climate change. Attenborough’s appearance was brief but powerful and the pinnacle of the gr

Review - Thom Yorke, 'Anima'

Thom Yorke’s third solo album feels like it begins where Radiohead’s OK Computer left off: “Goddamned machinery, why don’t you speak to me? / One day I am gonna take an axe to you,” he torments on new offering The Axe. Where OK Computer was the warning, Anima is the reality: technology has taken over and our true inner selves, our “animas”, are lost. In Yorke’s new world, humans are devoid of self, walking around in a limbo state somewhere between dreams and foggy realities. His falsetto haunts

Political Pilton: here’s your guide to all political happenings at Glastonbury

Politics in 2019 has once again excelled itself at being a cross between The Thick of It and Brass Eye. If you’re well and truly fed up of Theresa’s tears, Boris’ buses and Jeremy *unt, then it’s time to take yourself to Glastonbury’s Left Field where they’re aiming to ‘Recharge Your Activism’ via a series of brilliant speakers and debates. All the important issues of the day are up for discussion. At ‘The Hostile Environment – Who’s Responsible?’ the UK’s treatment of refugees is explored with
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