2020s

Spencer – film review

A chilling psychodrama about coercive control, Spencer works equally well as a Hitchcockian ‘woman in peril’ horror and as a true-life insight into the dynasty that has ruled Britain for more than a century.

When I first saw and heard Fontaines D.C. they were the most exciting new guitar band I’d seen in decades. I wasn’t the biggest fan of their second album but Dave Clarke’s remix transforms the song into a dancefloor banger.

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When I first heard this joyful celebration of Africa and freedom, on a mixtape made by Polly Harvey, I thought it must be by an African group. In fact it’s an entirely home-grown affair – a collaboration between the British neo-soul collective Sault and the British singer Michael Kiwanuka.

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Fightmilk – Overbite

19th November 2023 · 2020s, 2021, Music

I was hoping to see Fightmilk on Friday night at a night of LGBTQ+ music at the Sebright Arms, headlined by Belfast’s energetic feminist punks Problem Patterns. But because my friend Alex was late after missing his bus, and his train, I only caught their last number as they were the support act.

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Little Richard was not just one of the formative figures in the birth of rock’n’roll but an influence on those to follow. Even if he did ‘borrow’ his own sound and look from a little known predecessor.

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Even in the darkest depths of my lifelong jazzophobia I had a soft spot for Carla Bley. I’m not sure why; maybe because a female jazz musician is such a rarity.

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Dead Writers – Among Spirits

16th September 2023 · 2020s, 2021, Glam, Music

Last night I went to see these guys, Dead Writers, at a goth-filled Camden pub with the apt name The Black Heart, on my way back from cricket at Lord’s. And I had a very good time.

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Hannah Hu and The Specials perform their spellbinding reggae-fied version of the Talking Heads song Listening Wind from their classic album Remain In Light.

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Here’s another group I don’t know much about. The Du-Rites are a New York-based funk duo of drummer Jay ‘J-Zone’ Mumford (no relation, thankfully) and Pablo Martin who plays guitar and bass. 
 

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I I know there are those who find roots reggae a little tiresome, seeing it largely as a vehicle for rambling about Rastafarianism while smoking humungous quantities of marijuana. To be fair, there’s a lot of that. And I love it.

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