Hanzhi Wang: On The Path to HC Andersen

We’re not often taken aback in the Review Corner (at least not in a good way) but such an event has occurred with this new programme of accordion music. We usually associates the accordion with Last Of The Summer Wine tweeness, or of pirates with one parrot and fewer legs, or Cajun or, in more […]

The Kooks: Let’s Go Sunshine

“Consider the lilies” said Brian in Life of Brian only for a member of his audience to heckle, “He’s having a go at the flowers now”. We feel the same about The Kooks; what can you say? The music might be bland but they’ve made a career and have got a strong fanbase who doubtless […]

Idles: Joy As An Act Of Resistance

Bonkers but brilliant is this second album from punks Idles; the spirit is that of an angry person in a serious demo carrying a witty sign that gets in the Guardian. The sound is thunderous, tribal punk — imagine Nick Cave sounding like John Lydon with early Banshees as a backing band — but the […]

Bugzy Malone: B. Inspired

We’re not the demographic for hip-hop, but we like Bugzy Malone. This album smacks of a man who’s absorbed lots of music, and achieved some genuine wisdom. He’s also from Manchester, so we feel more affinity with him than some lad from London: at least we’ve seen the streets he’s talking about. Bugzy Malone — […]

Tami Nodaira, Ichiro Nodaira, Toru Takemitsu: Japanese Guitar Music Vol 4

Despite the title, this is actually a guitar and flute recital; works for flute accompanied by guitar. It’s also not particularly “Japanese” in feel; it’s mostly a gentle and almost ambient sound, with little in the way of metre. “A unique sensibility and an imaginative flair for its colours and expressiveness,” say the sleeve notes […]

Sebastian Weigle: Richard Strauss Also sprach Zarathustra

There’s no point pretending otherwise, but we’ve heard more than the famous bit in Also sprach Zarathustra: the fanfare at the start (Sunrise). It was most effectively used in 2001: A Space Odyssey, although equally effectively played by Flaming Lips as a fanfare to their set at Jodrell Bank’s Bluedot earlier this year. Kubrick (and […]

Plan B: Heaven Before All Hell Breaks Loose

Plan B shot to mainstream fame after following up his inner-city rap album Who Needs Actions When You Got Words with his successful Motown persona in The Defamation of Strickland Banks, telling the tale of Mr Banks, a British soul singer. The boy could sing, and had soul. Soundtrack Ill Manors came next, a “hip […]

Johnny Marr: Call the Comet

Marr’s career will always be like that of Orson Welles: his finest moment is behind him. Welles made Citizen Kane when he was 26, the millstone round Marr’s neck broke up in 1987 when Marr was 24. He’s now 54 and will never be as good as he was for those few years. Lucky for […]

Panic! at the Disco: Pray For The Wicked

We were never into that whole theatrical branch of emo, led by My Chemical Romance but including Panic! Over the years Panic! have shed members for a variety of reasons: some were sacked, founder member Ryan Ross wanted to craft rockier fare. The band even went from Panic! to Panic after the ! was sacked […]