Review: Her Last Promise By Kathryn Hughes

Ok, after quite a variety of reading matter, recently, it felt like time to sit back on a staycation and relax with a comfortable summer read – after all the sun has shown its face (understatements ‘r’ us!) – so, off the bedside pile came Her Last Promise by Kathryn Hughes. Hughes creates believable characters who are endearing – or sometimes not! Violet Dobbs is as realistic and down to earth as her alter ego, Violet Skye, is idealistic, attention-seeking and…

Classical Music: Hollywood Soundstage

Hollywood Soundstage Erich Korngold Overture from The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex; David Raksin Theme from Laura; Herbert Stothart / Harold Arlen Suite from The Wizard of Oz; Frederick Loewe Transylvanian March and Embassy Waltz from My Fair Lady; Max Steiner Suite from Now, Voyager; Johnny Mandel Main Title from The Sandpiper; Franz Waxman Suite from Rebecca; Alfred Newman Street Scene from How to Marry a Millionaire. Sinfonia of London John Wilson Chandos CHSA 5294 HYBRID SACD Release Date: 9 September

Album Review: Hayley Kiyoko Panorama

Hayley Kiyoko has taken the slow and steady approach to achieving superstardom. Having started out in the pop group The Stunners, she went from supporting Justin Bieber on tour through to appearing in a series of hit TV shows and bagging some pretty decent…

The Swamp Ghosts Of Pripyat: Stalking The Atomic City By Markiyan Kamysh

First published in 2015, the currency of Ukrainian writer, Markiyan Kamysh’s, dark investigation into the aftermath of Chornobyl is immoderately underwritten by present events: the invasion of his land by Russia in February, the surrounding of the power station by its forces, and the crisis now enveloping the reactor at Zaporizhzhya are the latest instalments in a real-time dystopian narrative. Kamysh, the denizen of a post-meltdown landscape, is Kamysh the documenter of Descent, and his strange, compelled presence in the deserted…

Classical Music: London Symphony Orchestra Digital Downloads

Introduction to Overtures & Preludes Beethoven: Egmont Overture, Op. 84 (Wyn Morris); Bernstein: Candide - Overture (Marin Alsop); Brahms: Tragic Overture, Op. 81 Bernard Haitink; Debussy: Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (François-Xavier Roth) Weber: Euryanthe Overture (Sir John Eliot Gardiner); Mendelssohn: Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 21 (Sir John Eliot Gardiner) Tchaikovsky: The Storm, Op. 76, TH 36 (Gennady Rozhdestvensky); Wagner: Lohengrin, WWV 75, Act 3: Prelude (Barry Tuckwell); Tiomkin: Cyrano de Bergerac: Overture; The

‘So Many Dead In The Ashes’ : Dust Off The Bones by Paul Howarth

I reviewed Howarth’s debut novel Only Killers and Thieves a few weeks ago and said I would get hold of the sequel, which I have – and I read it just as quickly, captivated once again by the characters and events. Dust off the Bones begins five years after the end of Only Killers and Thieves and, with a couple of time leaps, ends sixteen years later. It may be read as a standalone but the reader benefits from having…

Interview With Dave Hemingway - Ex Beautiful South Singer

The man who once told us he loved us from the bottom of his pencil case, founder Beautiful South member Dave Hemingway, returns with his new band Sunbirds. Having retired from the live scene at the back end of 2016, Dave has been keeping busy together with erstwhile South colleague, guitarist/songwriter Phil Barton, new discovery singer/violinist Laura Wilcockson and drummer Marc Parnell. I chatted to Dave about his time in the Beautiful South and his new band. Why did you decide it was

Classical Music Album: Bridge & Britten: Works For Viola

Bridge & Britten: Works for Viola Frank Bridge Cello Sonata in D minor, H 125 (arr. for viola and piano by Hélène Clément); There Is a Willow Grows aslant a Brook, H 173 (arr. for viola and piano by Benjamin Britten); Three Songs, H 76 (for medium voice, viola, and piano); Benjamin Britten Elegy (for solo viola);Lachrymae: Reflections on a Song of Dowland, Op. 48 (for viola and piano) Hélène Clément (viola); Dame Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano) Alasdair Beatson (piano). Chandos

Interview With Victoria Dowd - Author Of The Smart Woman’s Mystery Series

Victoria Dowd’s debut novel The Smart Woman’s Guide To Murder won the People’s Book Prize for fiction in May 2021. Since exchanging a criminal barrister’s powdered wig for an author’s pen, Dowd has written a further three gloriously quirky crime novels, this scintillating quartet now forming her rather marvellous Smart Woman’s Mystery series. Having reviewed all four of her deliciously corpse-strewn books, each laced with Wilde-like wit and brought to effervescent life with unforgettable characters, perfectly manufactured plots and a…

Album Review: James Taylor Quartet - Man In The Hot Seat

Fans of the James Taylor Quartet might be in for a surprise on this lush and cinematic album. Instead of the usual Acid Jazz tracks associated with the band the listener here will find that Man In The Hot Seat owes more to composers such…

The Endless Opportunity Of Words: Lanyard By Peter Sansom

Acclaimed poet, teacher and publisher, Peter Sansom’s, fine new collection of poems for Carcanet fingers out into the hinterland of Nottinghamshire as though the constellation of his experience could not be separated from the network of roads, byways and redundant pit villages that formed it. The neural connections of the imagination are the microcosmic equivalent of other mappings, of recalled landscapes of woods and fields, dams and playgrounds. Perhaps the indivisibility of the association is what confers on Lanyard such…

New York Singer-Songwriter And Producer Ade Is Back And Talks To Jeremy Williams-Chalmers

New York singer-songwriter and producer ADE is back with innovative new single, Opposites. Simultaneously evoking the heady pull of a hazy dancefloor and the dull ache of morning-after regret, the subversive dance-pop cut paints an empathetic and exhilarating picture of navigating love, lust and friendship in the algorithmic age. Blending buzzing dance rhythms with babbling synths and clean-cut vocals, Opposites glimmers with bleary-eyed hedonism and sees the New York City-native amp up the confident cut-and-paste production he deployed on 2021…

Album Review: Berries - How We Function

If you like artists such as The Breeders, Wolf Alice, Biffy Clyro and Red Hot Chilli Peppers chances are you will enjoy this stunning new debut album from Berries. The three piece girl group deliver tight, crunchy guitar lines over puncturing rhythmic patterns set against some melodic songs. Sounding bold and brave these tracks…

Exceptional Christina Aguilera On Tour

Former Mouseketeer Christina Aguilera followed very quickly in the footsteps of her former colleague Britney Spears to become a global icon way back in 1999 with the release of her debut single, Genie In A Bottle. However, it became very quickly evident that she could easily play the pop game, there was far more to Xtina than first met the eye. Having recently released her ninth studio album (and second in Spanish), she is back on the road to celebrate…

Interview With The Brooks

Named 'best kept secret of Canadian funk' by the Quebecois newspaper La Presse, The Brooks are a band of accomplished musicians, well-known in the soul/funk scene across the Atlantic. Expert instrumentalists led by Alexandre Lapointe create a dazzling combo with frontman Alan Prater - an incredibly energetic showman who has worked alongside some of the biggest names in the music industry. As the band were set to give their debut performance at the Nice Jazz Festival I caught up with…

Poem Of The Week: Wheel By Stephen Dee

Wheel The well-kept gardens this side of town, rose mounted borders, cornflowered, lilac-laden around the back of the old stone primary (boys chiseled above one entrance, girls chiseled above the other) have never looked more dishevelled. Lowcloud, bulbous, dark as tripes eases itself across the sky. Underfoot the muscular cobbles, tyretread tattoos displayed on slick, moistened skin, channel drizzle where it gathers and begins to roll toward the valley floor. Over at Bob Crossley's the light, polished to silver in his workshop window, clings to the frontage like paint and in the yard his…

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Velazquez, Chats To Jeremy Williams-Chalmers

Jesus Correderas, AKA Velazquez, is an independent artist-producer who blends Indie Dance with Synthpop and Flamenco, adding a new playful flavour to the genre while captivating his audience with retro-futuristic and gaming aesthetics. Velazquez combines popular synthesizers from the 80s with flamenco guitar loops and computerized sounds. Poolside Stranger Thing vibes at times, at others Game Boy and 8-bits feels. We are thrilled to have the privilege of premiering his latest single, Disco Dancing!, and to have a quick chat…

Album Review: Example - We May Grow Old But We Never Grow Up

“Ten years ago, remember remember Example like the 5th November” raps Elliott Greave, better known as Example on the title track on his new album We May

Joe Jackson - As Sharp As Ever In Long Overdue Concert

Singer and musician Joe Jackson is best known for one of his biggest hits - Is She Really Going Out With Him? At the start of his career he was unfairly labelled as part of the New Wave movement, which seemed uncalled for as his music also touches on soul and jazz besides pop. Making a rare live appearance at The Barbican in York the anticipation amongst the audience was palpable - and Jackson was not going to disappoint them. Along…

Gig Review: Lady Gaga An Artist Who Needs No Introduction.

Lady Gaga is an artist who needs no introduction. Singer, songwriter, dancer, actor, philanthropist are just fragments of Stefanie Germanotta, a global icon, who during the first lockdown released Chromatica. In many ways her most personal album to date, Chromatica dealt with her mental health struggles and failed romance in a defiant, celebratory and all-embracing manner. Packed from start to finish with killer anthems, it unsurprisingly ended up being one of the best selling records of the year and reinvigorating…

Francois Klark In Conversation With Jeremy Williams-Chalmers

Francois Klark is a Canadian-based artist who has many achievements under his belt: from garnering over 15M streams on Spotify alone to getting his music playing a key role on Netflix hit film Feel The Beat (feat. Sofia Carson): It is clear that Francois is making his way into the mainstream scene, to share a message that is sure to impact many. He releases his new album, Adventure Book, this week, so we caught up with him to learn a…

Classical Music: Vaughan Williams On Brass

What’s not to like or enjoy about this wonderful CD? It's a welcome addition to the catalogue marking the…

Album Review: Beyoncé Renaissance

Six years ago Beyoncé released Lemonade, which followed after a series of impressive albums, but showcased a greater depth to her artistry. Honest, refreshing and innovative, it was hailed as her finest moment. While a collaborative record with…

Jeremy Loops Chats About His New Album

Fresh from collaborating with Ed Sheeran on the single, Better Together, Jeremy Loops has released his third studio album, Heard You Got Love. After travelling the world when working on a Superyacht, Jeremy started up multiple charities that tackle the growing (and worrying) amount of plastic found in the ocean. The album includes his collaboration with his childhood legends Ladysmith Black Mambazo. To learn a little more, we caught up with him. Hi Jeremy, how are you? Pretty good! Just spent the…

Album Review: Mabel - About Last Night

While the singles charts seem to be awash with solo female singers so auto-tuned to death that they all sound the same, it is a relief to hear Mabel yet again standing out from her peers on her second album - About Last Night. The whole…

Weekend Interview: The Peach Tree Rascals

Comprised of producer/mixer Dominic 'Dom' Pizano, rappers/singers Issac Pech, Tarrek Abdel-Khaliq, Joseph Barros and creative director Jorge Olazaba, the group started as a teenage DIY group, based out of a shed in San Jose. As the band grew, they added Jasper Barros on guitar and EJ Atienza, Jorge's right hand man assisting him with all things creative. The group has now accumulated over 300 million streams and are certified gold in the US for their track Mariposa. With a UK…

Classical Music: Ferdinand Ries: Piano Trio and Sextets

Ries…

Melody Of Peace: The Electric By Tim Murgatroyd

How often do we give any thought to the effect a film’s musical score has on an audience? Music has a vital role to play. I recently heard it referred to as a leading character. It reflects the mood of the scene and helps the audience to anticipate what is about to happen; repeated motifs are used to highlight the ascendancy of a character: think Bond or Ethan Hunt when the hero once more gets the upper hand. I always…

Poem Of The Week: The London Dinner Party By Jayne Joso

The London Dinner Party Said the composer I have even met some working-class people And some of them Yes, some of them Are quite decent people I clear my throat Clink the ice in my drink People are nodding, not only a musical genius But what a kind man he must be And I? I will not play the chameleon, but I need a refill Someone offers and I accept as they pour The composer smiles as he awaits my cheering him I rise And I? I have met some very posh people in my time And…

“Something Fishy About This Case”: A Book Of Murder By Victoria Dowd

Victoria Dowd’s Smart Woman’s Mystery series began with her exquisitely quirky debut novel, The Smart Woman’s Guide to Murder. Back in 2020, Dowd presented us with an esemplastic tour-de-force in which she cleverly coaxed new tunes from a rather old, but much adored, fiddle. With sedulous legerdemain, Dowd took the classic tropes of the murder mystery genre and innovatively laced them with gothic leitmotifs, wittily acidic badinage worthy of Oscar Wilde, and lashings of ribald, Wodehouse-like humour. ...Dowd has once again…