Claire Foy Cover Story

“I suppose it was lovely to know that I wasn’t going into a scene where I was howling, crying, or delivering intense dialogue for once,” Claire Foy says with a laugh, reflecting on her upcoming role as 19th-century governess Emily in The Electrical Life of Louis Wain. “So many of the characters I’ve played in recent years have been... incredibly intense emotional experiences,” she says, eyes wide and reflecting on the plethora of roles that have made her a household name on both sides of the Atlantic…

The 17 worst episodes of your favourite TV shows

It feels like we’re treated to new episodes of great television series every week – but even our favourite shows sometimes get it wrong. Remember the episode of Stranger Things when Eleven went AWOL to team up with a gang of runaways? Or the episode of Friends that lazily told the story of Ross and Rachel’s romance entirely through a clip show? These are the episodes we’ve come to hate and, below, we run through the worst (and most polarising) episodes of your favourite shows, including Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad...

The Q&A: Brian Cox

FOR A LEGION of viewers, Brian Cox is now best known as fire-breathing über-CEO Logan Roy in Jesse Armstrong’s comedy-drama Succession. But as his new memoir, Putting The Rabbit In The Hat, reveals, it’s been a long journey to Logan: from Cox’s Scottish working- class roots to numerous high- profile roles in films such as Braveheart and Manhunter — plus lesser-known parts along the way, including one in The Glimmer Man alongside Steven Seagal, an actor he declares“as ludicrous in real life as he appears on screen”. With Succession’s third season now airing, Cox doesn’t hold back...

Rebel Dykes - Review

Harri Shanahan and Siân A. Williams’ documentary charts the groundbreaking work of female LGBTQ+ activists in the ’80s, opposing the Tory government’s homophobia by any means necessary. Rebel Dykes tells the little-known story of a group of friends who met in the ’80s and bonded over art, punk and, most importantly, queer women’s rights. It charts their journey from their beginnings as a rebellious punk-art group to a band of powerful activists for the LGBTQ+ community, via high-profile protests…

The urgent need to make live music spaces safer for women

Sarah, 23, was enjoying her first festival post-lockdown when it happened. She was near the stage in a crowded space, and a man started to dance close to her. She felt uncomfortable. “I asked him to move,” Sarah recalls. “He just ignored me.” She moved away, but he followed her. “Ten minutes or so after this, he put his hand up my skirt and assaulted me. He then disappeared into the crowd.” Sexual assaults like this at gigs and festivals are endemic...

Bastille Cover Story - Rolling Stone

Bastille are attempting to fit onto a small black couch in a studio in east London. They’re struggling to get their faces into full view on the laptop screen and so squeeze up some more. Bass player Kyle Simmons perches on the left arm of the sofa next to frontman Dan Smith, who he asks to “budge up”. Drummer Chris “Woody” Wood sits snugly next to Dan and guitarist Will Farquarson bookends the quartet, all four squashed together and sinking awkwardly into the sofa until they find their balance…

The art of Radiohead’s Kid A and Amnesiac: ‘We were all in a state of wild madness’

“I don’t think anyone is prepared for fame and all the things that come with it,” says long-term Radiohead collaborator Stanley Donwood. The visual artist should know: he has created all their album covers to date and was there to witness how shell-shocked the group were following the success of their third album, 1997’s OK Computer. “Everyone thinks fame is great but it’s very weird. Psychologically, being famous put them into a really strange place.

Gregory Porter - The Saturday Interview

I said my whole life my father gave me nothing,” says jazz musician Gregory Porter, “but the very reason I fill the Royal Albert Hall, the very reason I do television shows and all this, is because of a gift from him.” That gift was his voice. A velvety blues-baritone, it melds optimism with grit, hinting at pain without ever letting it dominate. It’s been compared to Lou Rawls, Bill Withers and Teddy Pendergrass – but he got it from his dad.

Edgar Wright: ‘The idea of there being the good old days in any form is a fallacy’

“I still get anxiety at the start of every working day,” says Edgar Wright, now almost 27 years into his filmmaking career. Outwardly, the director of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead is confident – gregarious even, both on set and today on video call from a London hotel – but he is hardly immune to nerves. “I get asked by film students if I ever suffer from imposter syndrome,” he explains, “and I say, ‘Yes, every single day.’ I always walk onto set thinking that I’m going to be found out…”

Tori Amos: ‘I was on my knees emotionally. I could not deal with one more crisis’

On the cover of her new album Ocean to Ocean, Tori Amos stands atop a cliff in Cornwall, her adopted home since moving here from the US in the late Nineties. Her famous flame-red hair flows down a long black dress, the colour signifying both personal loss and the loss she’s felt from afar over the past year. She has one arm outstretched, pointing across the sea to where her family and friends are located. A year spent apart from them through the pandemic, she says, took a huge emotional toll…

Scott Pilgrim vs The World - The Vegan Police Scene

In a film full of gloriously surreal moments, //Scott Pilgrim Vs The World//’s vegan-police scene might well outdo all else. After an epic showdown with evil ex and professed vegan Todd Ingram (Brandon Routh), Scott (Michael Cera) tricks him into sipping a coffee with half-and-half; cue the bombastic arrival of the VPD (Thomas Jane and Clifton Collins Jr), bursting through a wall, wielding neon-green finger laser guns, and arresting Todd for infraction of vegan code 827. This is not how combat sequences are generally resolved in a Hollywood film.

Doc and roll: Why we’re living in the golden age of music documentaries

It has to be about much more than music,” Lana Wilson, director of Taylor Swift’s Miss Americana, says on what makes a successful documentary about a musician. “As I filmed and events unfolded, I realised people watching this film are not just seeing their favourite pop star; they’re not just seeing one of the best songwriters of all time in action. They’re seeing a model of how you can be a woman in this world and not be silenced.”

Album reviews: Lindsey Buckingham (self-titled) and Enrique Iglesias – Final Vol 1

It’s been a tumultuous few years for Lindsey Buckingham. After being fired from Fleetwood Mac in 2018, he had to undergo life-saving, open-heart surgery in 2019 and then the pandemic hit. Buckingham called it “a trifecta of events that were completely off the charts” – which is, perhaps, putting it mildly. Despite his troubles, Buckingham’s seventh studio album is far from a dour, downbeat affair. In fact, it’s quite the opposite...

Spice Girls: How Girl Power Changed Britain – a damning look at the music industry

In the first episode of Spice Girls: How Girl Power Changed Britain, we see father and son management team Bob and Chris Herbert holding auditions for “a girl version of Take That”. They have a rating system for the applicants, and Chris reads aloud the scorecard of one such hopeful: a 20-year-old Victoria Beckham. “Dancing – six; singing – five; looks – seven, not very good skin; personality – five.” It’s just one example of the patriarchal behaviour the group come up against…

Jennifer Hudson: ‘Playing Aretha Franklin was the scariest thing ever’

Jennifer Hudson was “blessed” to have been able to hang out a fair bit with Aretha Franklin before getting to play her in a film. She undertook the gargantuan task of embodying the late Queen of Soul for the upcoming biopic, Respect, but the fact that Franklin respected Hudson too went a long way. Franklin famously never allowed singers to open for her throughout her career. She was, however, particularly taken with Hudson after seeing her as a contestant on American Idol in 2004, so she made an exception...

Album reviews: Common – A Beautiful Revolution Pt 2

Veteran rapper Common breathes a sigh of relief after one of the darkest periods in America’s history. With a new president and galvanised communities post-Black Lives Matter protests, the artist-activist sounds buoyed, looking to the future with optimism. On several tracks, he raps about the power of community affecting change over upbeat funk, snatches of jazz and Afro-futurist themes. A soulful chorus from LA singer-songwriter PJ on “A Beautiful Chicago Kid” is an inspirational message of triumph, while...

ABBA announce album Voyage and release first new music in 40 years

Swedish pop icons Abba have announced their long-anticipated reunion today (September 2), after almost 40 years apart. Following the announcement this evening in London, the group – made up of Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid (Frida) Lyngstad, Agnetha Fälskog and Björn Ulvaeus also unveiled two new singles: “I Still Have Faith In You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down". Both songs will appear on their forthcoming, 10-track album, Voyage. The album, which will be the group’s first studio album since “The Visitors"....
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