The WHO Return To The North With A Full Orchestra

Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and band along with a full orchestra will be performing music from throughout the band’s nearly 60-year career, including sections devoted to classic albums Tommy & Quadrophenia as well as other beloved Who tracks and songs from their 2019 WHO album, their first studio release in 13 years. The 2023 UK tour will feature THE WHO’s full live band comprised of guitarist/backup singer Simon Townshend, keyboardist Loren Gold, second keyboardist Emily Marshall, bassist Jon Button, drummer Zak…

The Cunning Little Vixen: Opera North

Leoš Janáček was a troubled soul. He was a gifted child but his teachers found him to be a "problematic and wayward student". He was expelled from school and in later life irritated his contemporaries for his sharp criticisms of their work. He found his own work rejected for being "too academic". In Opera North's exciting, tragic and ultimately uplifting production of Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen there is a feeling that the composer's feisty nature has become visceral. Janáček was…

Classical Music: Sola Music for Viola by Women Composers

How do you deal with a large exhibition at an art gallery? The fifty or sixty…

Albums: Pierre de Maere Regarde-moi

Pierre de Maere is destined for superstardom. That may seem a bold statement to open a review of a debut album, but it is a simple statement of fact. Having debuted back in 2019 with the song Judas, the 21 year old Belgian singer/songwriter…

Classical Music: Martin Messe Pour Double Chœur Duruflé Requiem

As a recording company dedicated to church and organ music, Regent has established itself as leader in the field. There are many reasons for this; as I have mentioned in previous reviews Regent is a trailblazer for recording new music coupled with excellence in the quality of the recorded sound.…

Nature Does Abhor A Vacuum: Funeral Song By Robert Edric

The title sets the tone for this, the last novel of the Song Cycle Quartet and the opening pages continue the nostalgic feel with a Raymond Chandler style narration: Philip Marlowe seems to be still alive and kicking, albeit in Hull. Leo Rivers, a Private Investigator, is employed by local businessman, Ray Dixon, to deliver £10k in used notes, to a blackmailer, in return for ‘the rest of a roll of film’ – photos of his daughter. It is supposed to…

Albums: Sam Smith Gloria

Sam Smith is at a pivotal moment in their recording career. Having debuted to critical acclaim, their success was phenomenal, yet their credibility often overlooked due to the repetitive Adele comparisons. Now a…

Getting In Touch With Tosca

Puccini's famous opera Tosca has it all: luscious music, a storyline filled with politics, intrigue and passion, and has enthralled millions since its première in 1900. Like the best of operas, it is a spectacle in both sound and vision. Some even extend the sensory range with scratch cards - allowing the audience to sniff-along to the action. Extraordinary, but true! But not all potential opera lovers can fully experience the entire range of senses. And not all budding Tosca…

Silver Screen Weekly - What's Coming Up At The Cinema From Friday 3 February 2023

Our film critic and media correspondent has been looking and trawling the new releases. Here's what you can see on the big screen this week! From Friday 3 February Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (PG) Puss in Boots is back in swashbuckling action in Dreamworks Animation’s acclaimed sequel. The Last Wish catches up with our cream-lapping hero Puss (Antonio Banderas), as he reaches the scary realisation that he has used up eight of his nine lives, and in this last life faces…

Albums: Paul Carrack And The SWR Big Band- Don’t Wait Too Long

Paul Carrack's covers album celebrates the pioneering golden era in…

The Darkness And Black Stone Cherry – Shine Brightly On Tour

When The Darkness arrived on the music scene in 2003 with their debut album Permission To Land the band were seen to be saviours of rock when the genre was going out of fashion. Led by the charismatic Justin Hawkins, the group is still going strong as witnessed at the Manchester Arena on their current co-headlining tour with Black Stone Cherry. The Darkness’s rise to fame seemed to be almost instantaneous - within a year of their first chart…

Y Not Festival Announces Line-Up

Y Not Festival has revealed its first wave of acts for 2023. The festival is held in Pikehall just 25 miles south of Sheffield. Triumphantly returning last year after two years away, the sixteenth edition of the North’s three day music festival is back on 28th - 30th July. Headlining are award-winning alternative duo Royal Blood, rock giants Kasabian, legendary musician Paul Weller, plus Ivor Novello winners Bombay Bicycle Club will get the party started early on Thursday. Opening the weekend…

Incognito At Ronnie Scotts

Returning back to its spiritual home at Ronnie Scotts Jazz club in London for a five-day run of sold-out concerts, Incognito continued to prove why the British jazz funk band is still on a winning streak with a concert that highlighted the excellent musicianship within the current line-up. Led by Jean-Paul 'Bluey' Maunick, the band has won considerable acclaim since releasing its debut album in 1981. The music is best heard in small clubs where the audience can experience…

90s Baby Brings Biggest Acts Of The Era To Manchester Arena

Boyzlife, Five, Right Said Fred, Jamelia, Samantha Mumba, Louise, Culture Beat 90s Baby launched last year and more than delivered on its promise of a nostalgia trip. With stunning performances from Gala, Heather Small, B*Witched, Five and Whigfield, it was an amazing celebration of all the anthems that made a whole generation move. Following the success, the most authentic and immersive old school experience is back on Saturday 28th October when 90s Baby the pop edition rolls into Manchester Arena. This…

Poem Of The Week: Sneak By Geraldine Mitchell

Sneak Age comes, and then infirmity, not beating on the door with knotty stick, announcing its arrival with due pomp and medication, but insinuating noxious vapours into lung and heart, round knee and hip, curling through the brain like smoke, invisible yet choking with an acrid autumn smell. Irish poet, Geraldine Mitchell’s poem speaks to those of us of certain years for whom age is gradually withering our physical presence, either in appearance or internal function, or both. The process is cruel: ‘Sneak’ is an apposite term for the slyness of decline,…

Tramlines Festival Announces Outstanding 2023 Lineup

Tramlines Festival, Sheffield’s Biggest Party is over the moon to finally reveal the 2023 lineup. Richard Ashcroft, The Courteeners, and Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott will headline The Sarah Nulty Main Stage in the celebratory 15th edition of the three-day event at Hillsborough Park, Sheffield from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd July. Also amongst the first lineup announcement are: Blossoms, DMA’s, Kaiser Chiefs, Sugababes, Bloc Party, Beabadoobee, Kate Nash, Katy B, Sea Girls, Pale Waves, special guests The Enemy and…

BBC Unveils Eurovision Song Contest 2023 Visual Identity

We are on official countdown to the Eurovision Song Contest 2023. With entries being revealed at regular intervals, we are yet to find out when the UK will announce theirs (although we know 4 acts are shortlisted...), however, we are excited to learn that the BBC has now revealed the official logo and slogan for Liverpool 2023. New slogan, ‘United by Music’, reflects the power of music to bring people together Identity designed through creative partnership between UK and Ukraine creative…

Spider Season: I Wanted To Be Close To You By Katie Oliver

It is easy to be misled by the titles of Katie Oliver’s short stories: archly simple, the received effect is diversionary, inclined to blindside the reader towards satisfying conventional expectations. And up to a point they do, like bottles of HP Sauce, describe their contents. But Oliver’s universe is surreal, fetid, and teeming with organic purpose, as though to reify the intrinsic meaning of the title tenfold, to make an irony of its apparent directness. ‘Together we Grow’, a dark excursion…

Strictly Come Dancing - The Live Tour

Up until last year Strictly Come Dancing had evaded me; but the colourful and often extravagant programme brightened up my dreary autumn nights with flamboyance, glitter and more than a touch of glam - I became hooked. The current tour is so popular that the extravaganza is playing in arenas across the country with a demand that requires, in many instances, consecutive nights at certain venues. As the lights dimmed at the Leeds Arena it felt like I was right in the…

Albums: The Reytons - What’s Rock And Roll?

The north has a history of producing successful bands from a working-class background, think Oasis and Arctic Monkeys. In the last fifteen years there has not been one big band to break through with the same impact and influence of those two groups. Rotherham band The…

Silver Screen Weekly - What's Coming Up At The Cinema From Friday 27 January 2023

Our film critic and media correspondent has been looking and trawling the new releases. Here's what you can see on the big screen this week! From Friday 27th January The Fabelmans (12a) Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical acclaimed new film is both a tribute to the cinema experience, and a testament to the ups and downs of family life. Telling the story of young Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle), The Fabelmans focuses on his dysfunctional family and social life and how the power of movies, not…

Films: A Man Called Otto

In so many instances when European stories make the leap to America, there seems to be a need to scrub away the darker edges. Yet, it is in these edges that we sometimes find the most impactful points and meanings. So, in spite of the marketing making Finding Neverland director Marc Foster’s comedy drama appear like a full on sweet and feel good romp, it is so refreshing to see the faithfulness with which it has been refashioned. An adaptation…

Classical Music: Frederico Mopou Música Callada

I had not heard of Spanish composer Frederic Mompou (1893-1987), who is mainly known for his piano works and who composed sounds that Stephen Hough once wrote, "represent the music of evaporation", which according to Philip Clark is an oddball strategy for any composer to…

Albums: Ava Max - Diamonds & Dancefloors

Songs about heartbreak set to pulsing dance-poo beats is nothing new. ABBA did it. Robyn stole hearts doing it. Heck, even Steps named one of their albums over their ability to…

Ana Moura - Islington Assembly Hall

Seven years had passed since Ana Moura treated the world to a new record. While she had featured on many a collaboration in the years since 2015's impressive Moura, her loyal fanbase the world around had waited patiently for the arrival of Casa Guilhermina in 2022. But they say that the best things come to those who wait, and in this instance, they most certainly weren't wrong. As the Album of the Year in the p.ublished group's countdown of…

Albums: Belle And Sebastian - Late Developers

If you enjoyed Belle and Sebastian's, 2022 A Bit of Previous, you could be forgiven for…

Prose Poem Of The Week: At The City Gates By Oz Hardwick

At the City Gates When the city gates open, dreams flood out, like dockers on bicycles when the four o’clock siren sings freedom, oiled chains whirring like bees. It’s been an age since anything worked, but there are grooves worn in blistered tarmac that you can see if you kick away the residue from the last high tide, and when you drop the needle the whole world spins like a charity shop album, playing a song everyone danced to when you were a teenager, though not

Opera North: Tosca

The greater the artistic achievement, the more likely it is that a work will lend itself to be re-interpreted for changing times. For example, directors of another era might well have foregrounded rebellion and political freedom as the dominant themes of Puccini’s Tosca, or perhaps anti-clericalism. In the 2020s, director Edward Dick’s modern dress version emphasises Florian Tosca’s dilemma in facing Scarpia’s lust: a MeToo rendering of this powerful masterpiece. The point is explicitly made from the end of Act 1…

Basia - No Longer Miles Away

For someone who dislikes the cold, dark and grey bitterness of winter, there must be a very good reason to make a special journey half way across Europe to arrive in a country that is even colder than back home. That reason is Basia and the country is Poland. Her brand of music - a heady mixture of soulful pop mixed with a slice of jazz conjures up thoughts of warm, balmy summer days spent under a hot Mediterranean sun, nights sat…

The 1975, Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham

The 1975 is celebrating a decade since the release of its eponymous debut album. While mostly praised by critics at the time of its release, very few would predict that the quartet formed of close secondary school friends would develop into the gargantuan arena filling global icons that they are today. With a tour appropriately named, At Their Very Best, they not only celebrate the release of their sensational fifth studio album, but also their huge back catalogue as they…