Classical Music Album: Weinberg String Quartets Vol 2

The Arcadia Quartet write that classical music tends to categorise composers into those who are well-known, whose music is often played and … the others. Mieczyslaw Weinberg fits into the latter group. When the quartet encountered his music, they felt…

Love Is The Magician That Pulls Man Out Of His Own Hat”: A Marvellous Light By Freya Marske

If Freya Marske’s debut novel were a cocktail, it would be both paradoxically delicious and delightfully moreish. A cornucopia of ingredients, deftly stirred so as to transcend the merits of its individual components and become an esemplastic feast for the senses. The recipe might at first glance raise a cynical eyebrow yet from the first sip, dextrous literary accretion acts an invisible dynamic agency producing something truly magical. Our young baron epitomises a finessed sense of noblesse oblige, charismatic…

Review: Ings Strings At Art In The Dale, Kirkby Malham

With a secular fatalism that later became his artistic blazon, Philip Larkin once said that ‘nothing contravenes the coming dark’, and though he may have had a point respecting the inexorable certainty of death, his life, and poetic judgment, were terminally shadowed by the prospect of it. I like to think of the poet as a ghostly visitant at the beautiful medieval church of St Michael’s in Kirkby Malham, not least at the concert of classical and popular pieces performed…

Reviewing Eurovision 2022

Our Eurovision Song Contest 2022 fan and arts correspondent, Jeremy Williams-Chalmers, had a good, albeit nail-biting night in on Saturday. Approaching the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 as a resident of the United Kingdom certainly felt different in tone to previous years. With the last win for the UK having been quarter of a century ago, the announcement that the BBC were teaming up with TaP Music, musical home of Dua Lipa, it became clear that there was a change…

Album Review: Belle And Sebastian - A Bit Of Previous

A Bit Of Previous is the ninth studio album by Belle and Sebastian and their first full length album in seven years. Was it worth the wait?Undoubtedly, yes. It is a collection of jaunty, melodic and memorable songs that make you smile.Belle And Sebastian- A Bit Of Previous Young and Stupid; If They’re Shooting At You; Talk To Me Talk To Me; Reclaim The Night; Do It For Your Country; Prophets On Hold; Unnecessary Drama; Come On Home; A World

The Divine Comedy - A Charmed Life On Tour

When The Divine Comedy released Charmed Life, The Best of the Divine Comedy earlier this year the album was a gentle education to introduce me to the songs of Neil Hannon who to all intents and purposes, is The Divine Comedy. Songs such as National Express and Becoming More Like Alfie were more in the public’s consciousness but others maybe not so. Even when Hannon had his first taste of success his music never really seemed to fit in with what was…

Senoy, Sansenoy And Semangelof: When I Close My Eyes By Jemma Wayne

The lack of control experienced by the somnambulist is frightening and this novel explores the fear and sense of uncertainty it may arouse in sufferers. Physical torture is bad, mental torment is so much worse. Lilith shares a name with Adam’s first wife - not Eve, the one we all know about, but the first one, the one made equal who did not want to be subservient to a man; the one who, punished by God and robbed…

Album Review: Florence + The Machine Dance Fever

S Formed 15 years ago, Florence + The Machine, of course, exploded onto the music scene in 2009 with the release of their debut album Lungs. With their first three albums having reached the #1 spot on the album charts and selling to Platinum (and multi-Platinum) status,…

Anne-Marie On The Dysfunctional Tour

British singer Anne-Marie has come a long way over the last ten years, from being part of the Rudimental line up, appearing with them at the 02 Academy in Leeds. The charismatic star appeared at Leeds Arena on her first big tour. Part of the appeal of Anne-Marie has always been her personality which was still allowed to shine in the vast confines of the arena. Her smile was still visible and her laugh as infectious as ever. Part of Anne-Marie's…

Sensitive, Hilarious & Emotional – Poet’s Take On Dementia

Playwright, Frances Poet, has a wonderful ear for northern dialogue that translates beautifully to her latest play, Maggie May: a caring, humorous and emotionally heart-wrenching take on dementia. My dad suffered from the same affliction but, despite the perceived tragedy of this ‘disease’, we once found ourselves rolling in the aisles at ‘Jimmy’s’ hospital after he dramatically shouted ‘duck’; we all did. “My God,” he said, “that train just missed you!” Seconds later, ‘normality’ returned! And that is dementia, so beautifully articulated…

Paul Weller Returns In Style

"I am sure this place looks smaller than it used to be" announced Paul Weller as he arrived on the stage at St George's Hall in Bradford. Weller should know, the musical chameleon has played the venue many times - forty-four years ago when The Jam stormed into Bradford, then as a member of The Style Council and latterly as a solo artist. He could easily fill bigger venues but Weller decided to play more intimate venues on his current tour. There…

Poem Of The Week: 'This train has left the city ...' by Paul Henry

This train has left the city … This train has left the city approximately ten years late. You sway and stare at the glitter thinning out into fields, a Hopper model darkness frames, your hair tied back, your dress still thinking it’s summer. We share a cup’s hand-warmer. Here comes a tunnel, a pause where I cannot hear clearly the song that nests in your head. I used to know it by heart. It’s our station already. Drink up. We were never here. Edward Hopper’s lone figures occupying seats in the diners and offices of…

The Cher Show – Three Cheers For Cher!

What a fabulous show! Written by Rick Elice and directed by Arlene Phillips, The Cher Show tells the story of Cher’s spectacular rise to fame from humble beginnings living in California to the global stardom she now enjoys. The show races through the decades charting Cher’s strengths and vulnerabilities, whilst highlighting her complicated relationship with Sonny and the eventual breakdown of their marriage, the constant pressures that inevitably accompany fame, her new found relationships, and of the millions earned, lost and…

Joe Pasquale Returns To The North In Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em

Hilarious mishaps and DIY disasters are bringing the house down, quite literally, as Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em hits the road with Joe Pasquale (New Faces, I’m a Celebrity, Spamalot, The Producers) as the lovable accident-prone Frank Spencer, written & directed by Guy Unsworth the adaptation of the hit TV show is coming to Blackpool. Betty has exciting news for Frank, but he’s preoccupied by possible newfound fame as a magician. With guests arriving for dinner and crossed wires all around,…

Gregory Porter - A Jazz Revival On Tour

For me, jazz music is best heard in the confines of a small club or perhaps outdoors sat under the palm trees in the south of France at one of the various summer jazz festivals, not a prodigious venue such as Leeds Arena. As soon as Gregory Porter took to the stage in Leeds any initial fears I had about the size of the venue soon disappeared. Experiencing Porter live is not just about his music, great though it is, jazz…

Classical Music Album: Franz Schubert 21 Songs Coote/Drake

There are so many delights radiating from this disc. First, the fabulous Coote and Drake combo, second, the deliciously appetising repertoire flawlessly performed, and third, excellent programme notes from the…

Review: The Lost City

Who doesn’t love a good treasure hunt? And, as we venture nearer and nearer to summer blockbuster season, a film like The Lost City feels most welcome on our big screens. However, despite the comparisons to Steven Spielberg’s landmark Raiders of the Lost Ark, it is the blood of Robert Zemeckis’ Romancing the Stone which races through the veins of the Nee Brothers’ enormously enjoyable throwback jungle action/comedy romp, which comes with some modernised trope twists. The film stars Sandra Bullock…

Interview With Eurovision Hopeful Sheldon Riley

23 year old Sheldon Riley is no stranger to public vote competitions. Having first come to prominence on the 2016 series of X Factor Australia, where he competed both as a soloist and as part of a group, he has since appeared on The Voice (Australia) and America's Got Talent. Now four years after the release of his debut single, he is set to appear on the biggest television song contest in the world. We caught up with him to…

Album Review - Thunder, Dopamine

British rock group Thunder has returned with a new album of sixteen excellent tracks spread across two CDs. With the…

Album Review: Sigrid - How To Let Go

Back in 2018 the pressure was mounting for Norway's Sigrid. Having been met with a flurry of hype for her initial singles and EPs, she suddenly found herself named the winner of BBC Music Sound of 2018 and the winner of Newcomer of the Year at the…

Album Review: Staring At The Sun: Talking About X By JARR

Staring At The Sun: Talking About X JARR - The One Who Was Pale As Milk; The One Who Took The Job In New York; The One With Psychedelic Eyes; The One Who Stared At The Sun Without Blinking; The One Who Ghosted You; The One Who Never Knew; The One Who Was Terrified Of Cats; The One Whose Sister Died; The One Who Collected Animal Bones. Limited Edition: For more information, or to purchase Talking About X, see here:…

Interview With Eurovision Hopeful Amanda Tenjford

Even during the speculation stage of Eurovision 2022, the excitement that Amanda Tenjford might be representing Greece was high. As a result, the pressure was on for her to deliver. And wow. She has done just that! Die Together is powerful and beautiful. While there may have been questions as to how it would sound live, acoustic performances since have only heightened the depth of its beauty. With Amanda firmly on our list of potential winners, we were excited to…

Twinnie Chats About Her New Track

Following the release of her debut album, Hollywood Gypsy, last year, Twinnie returns with her new single Dying Inside. The York born artist mixes country and pop music into one that has won her radio plays on Radio 2 for her previous singles. What was the inspiration behind your new single Dying Inside? It's about how we can all pretend that everything is alright when perhaps it's not the case. Some people are very good on putting on a front…

Classical Music Album: The Vivaldi Piazzolla Mandolin Season

The Vivaldi Piazzolla Mandolin Season Vivaldi The Four Seasons Piazzolla Las cuatro estaciones porteñas Vivaldi Violin Concerto in F minor ‘Winter’ RV297; Violin Concerto in E major ‘Spring’ RV269; Violin Concerto in G minor ‘Summer’ RV315; Violin Concerto in F major ‘Autumn’ RV293 Piazzolla Invierno porteño ‘Winter in Buenos Aires; Primavera porteña ‘Spring in Buenos Aires’; Verano porteño ‘Summer in Buenos Aires’; Otoño porteño ‘Autumn in Buenos Aires’ Jacob Reuven Mandolín. Omer Meir Wellber Accordion Harpsichord & Conductor. Moritz Klauk Cello Sinfonietta Leipzig (members of…

Poem Of The Week: 'Giorno Dei Morti' By D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)

Giorno dei Morti Along the avenue of cypresses, All in their scarlet cloaks and surplices Of linen, go the chanting choristers, The priests in gold and black, the villagers. . . And all along the path to the cemetery The round dark heads of men crowd silently, And black-scarved faces of womenfolk, wistfully Watch at the banner of death, and the mystery. And at the foot of a grave a father stands With sunken head, and forgotten, folded hands; And at the foot of a grave a mother kneels With pale…

Little Mix - Go Out In A Blaze Of Glory On The Confetti Tour

When Little Mix won the X Factor in 2011, the girl group were at the beginning of a journey that has made the pop world a brighter and happier place . With the announcement the group would be taking a break with their current Confetti tour the last for a while,the concert at the Leeds Arena was always destined to be a celebration of their past rather than a fond farewell. As Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards arrived on a…

Interview With Eurovision Hopeful Emma Muscat

Maltese singer-songwriter Emma Muscat first rose to prominence on the Italian talent show, Amici di Maria De Filippi, where she made it all the way to the semi-finals. A record deal with Warner followed by the number 3 charting EP, Moments. Now her audience is set to extend even wider as she represents Malta with the stunning I Am What I Am at this year's Eurovision Song Contest in her second home, Italy. We absolutely love I Am What I Am.

Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps: The Christie Affair By Nina De Gramont

I have always been a fan of Agatha Christie novels. I remember discussing them with my form teacher in the lower sixth as we swapped different volumes and compared our thinking. It was a great means of reading so many more volumes of a popular collection of mysteries. I also now live in Harrogate where Agatha Christie so famously spent her few lost days – the ones she claimed not to remember - and where a Crime Writing Festival is…

Interview With Eurovision Hopeful Stefan

It's a case of fourth time lucky for Estonia's The Masked Singer winner Stefan, who is finally getting the chance to represent his home country at Eurovision after coming very close in previous Eesti Laul attempts. It would be fair to say that he never lost Hope, and that is something we are thankful for. We took a moment with him to learn a little more about his Eurovision hopes. Hi, first and foremost, how are you? Hello! I’m good, thank…

Mae Muller - A Celebration Of Better Days

Those fortunate enough to arrive early for the Mae Muller concert at the Warehouse in Leeds were rewarded with an accomplished and polished set from newcomer Cat Burns. Burns admitted that when off stage she was quite introverted though you would never have known it with the confidence she exuded during an assured performance. It felt like watching an artist who had been performing for years with several hits not just with the Top 5 song, Go which ended the all…