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...

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

Interview - James Bay

“I’ve been sat in a pond for ages!” James Bay bellows, just moments after we’ve had only the briefest of introductions. “It was joyous,” he says, exaggerating his description to the point where I’m not sure if he’s being serious or satirical. I ask him, uncertain, if he normally spends his mornings in ice-cold ponds. “It’s not as non-glamorous as it sounds,” he assures me, still leaving me non-the-wiser about his early morning pond adventures. He does tell me that the pond was in a sunny central London location in grandiloquent surroundings. “See, glamorous,” he laughs.

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

'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' Season 14 - everything we know so far

When the new season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia airs, the beloved show will officially become the joint-longest running live-action sitcom in American television history, equalling 1950s and 60s show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Against the odds, Dennis, Mac, Charlie, Dee and Frank have already made it to a mammoth 13 seasons after 14 years on the air. Season 14 is now on the way – and there are plans for a 15th season, too...

Pride, Pynk and Prince - Janelle Monáe at The Manchester International Festival

The last time Janelle Monáe visited Manchester, in Sep- tember 2018, the 33-year-old Prince protege delivered a powerful statement of intent: “We all need to embrace who we are, even if it makes others feel uncomfortable.” Celebrating difference via flesh-and-blood humanity, Monáe dispensed with the flawless futurism of her fiction- al android alter ego, Cindi Mayweather – a Bowie-like per- sona who’d graced her music since her Fritz Lang-inspired 2007 debut, Metropolis. “I didn’t want to talk about the Janelle Monáe in therapy,” the musician said last year, admitting she'd still prefer to be the “cybergirl without a face"...

Reggie Gray: 'Flexing is storytelling. Our bodies become the vocabulary'

Brooklyn-based dancer Reggie “Regg Roc” Gray never imagined that a street dance style he invented during his lunchtimes at school would go on to become a global craze. Used by Madonna, Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj, to name a few, Gray’s “flexing” dance became a phenomenon thanks to the audacity of its moves – many of which look physically impossible – and its powerful political comment.

Albums of the week: Madonna, Kate Tempest and Bastille

Coming 36 years after her self-titled debut, Madonna’s Madame X might just be one of the most exciting, baffling and bold albums of her career. Influenced by her life in Lisbon, London, New York and LA, Madame X is dizzying in its range of influences. There’s Latin pop, house, disco, reggaeton, trap, even classical snatches of Tchaikovsky. Many moments impress, mostly because of how much they surprise: Madonna, below, revels, as always, in being unpredictable...

Review - BTS at Wembley Stadium

BTS-mania hit London on Saturday as the K-pop marvels performed the first of two sold-out Wembley Stadium gigs. Screams from the teenage BTS Army reverberated throughout in this no-expense-spared show. The septet nod to all the great boybands of yesteryear, yet their style transcends the past. Segueing pop, rap, EDM and hip-hop with ease, theirs is a genreless approach with mass appeal — even singing in their native language proves no barrier to fans who sang in Korean all evening. All seven m

Carly Rae Jepsen review — Pure pop joy with understated confidence

The setting for Carly Rae Jepsen’s first headline London show in four years could hardly have been more intimate as she played the 800-capacity XOYO in Shoreditch last night. For her cult fan following, the opportunity to see Jepsen up close was as joyous as the reception she received on opener No Drug Like Me, taken from her recent fourth studio album, Dedicate. Her delivery was both understated and confident — a delicate balance that the former Canadian Idol star has perfected over the course

Ryan Bingham: A Wild Ride

Ryan Bingham is just hours away from playing a sold-out, headline slot at London’s Union Chapel. “It’s certainly been a hell of a ride getting here,” he laughs, reflecting on how special the venue is to him: he says he feels “lucky” and “astounded” to be playing here. Bingham has won an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a Grammy for his song "The Weary Kind" from Crazy Heart and has had multiple, critically acclaimed albums: isn’t he used to playing such iconic venues by now? “I guess I’m still humbled...

Here's all the reaction to the most shocking moments of the 'Game of Thrones' finale

The last episode of Game of Thrones has aired and reactions are coming in to what has proven a divisive final episode for many. Earlier in the evening, cast members were bidding farewell to the show on social media whilst fans around the world spent the hours leading up to the final anticipating what would happen. The result, for many viewers, proved an unexpected surprise and continued the mixed reactions to the final episodes of the long-running show which has so far seen over 1 million peop

Albums of the week: The National, Lewis Capaldi, Slowthai and Carly Rae Jepsen

What's so great about Britain?” slowthai snarls on the title track of his provocative debut. Via candid anecdotes and evocative storytelling, he explores the division and deprivation of Brexit Britain through a highly critical lens. The Northamptonian’s sound is uniquely ambiguous: not quite punk, rap or grime, he creates an idiosyncratic sound somewhere between Sleaford Mods, Skepta and the Sex Pistols. Over minimalistic strings and synths, his message and sound are dystopian, yet there are brief moments of hope and humanity too...
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