Music

Fascinating and compelling: Bruce Hornsby at Shepherd’s Bush Empire reviewed

16 November 2019 9:00 am

In the unlikely event that Bruce Hornsby and Morten Harket, A-ha’s singer, ended up featuring in the Daily Mail for,…

The open-hearted loveliness of Hot Chip

9 November 2019 9:00 am

Squeeze and Hot Chip are both great British pop groups. But they never defined a scene. Their ambitions extended further…

Woke slogans welded to incompetent grunge: Neil Young’s Colorado reviewed

9 November 2019 9:00 am

Grade: B- Horribly woke boilerplate slogans welded inexpertly to the usual incompetent Crazy Horse grunge. Young and his pick-up band…

‘The only place I can’t get my plays on is Britain’: Sir Peter Brook interviewed

2 November 2019 9:00 am

‘Everyone of us knows we deserve to be punished,’ says the frail old man before me in a hotel café.…

I was born to be on this Bob Dylan podcast, says Geoff Dyer

12 October 2019 9:00 am

Podcasts will soon be like porn. Every interest, desire or idle flicker of curiosity will have been anticipated and catered…

What’s the point of the Today programme?

21 September 2019 9:00 am

What else is there to write about in the week that John Humphrys, that titan of the BBC airwaves, retires…

‘Bob Dylan? He’s like Confucius’: Cerys Matthews interviewed

31 August 2019 9:00 am

‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ was a Christmas classic for more than half a century until people suddenly began to worry…

Why a whole new generation of young Europeans are turning to old-school reggae

24 August 2019 9:00 am

Acamera sweeps across the verdant, shimmering beauty of Jamaica before descending on to a raffishly charming wooden house built into…

Britain’s jazz scene is in full swing

17 August 2019 9:00 am

Jazz died in 1959. At least, that’s what New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton wrote in 2011 as part of a…

Sweet but formulaic: Blinded by Light reviewed

10 August 2019 9:00 am

Once upon a time two men sat in a New York bar lamenting the state of Broadway. So they decided…

Reliably odd but the deranged proggery grates: King’s Mouth by The Flaming Lips reviewed

10 August 2019 9:00 am

Grade: B- So a queen dies as her giant baby is being born. The baby grows very big indeed and…

Young love: Ihlen and Cohen in the 1960s

Uncomfortable and distasteful: Marianne & Leonard reviewed

27 July 2019 9:00 am

Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love is Nick Broomfield’s documentary chronicling the muse-artist relationship between Marianne Ihlen and Leonard Cohen.…

Kanye wipes the floor with David Letterman

6 July 2019 9:00 am

My plan to cut the BBC out of my life entirely is working well. Apart from the occasional forgivable lapse…

Hideously tasteful elegies to useless country singers: Bruce Springsteen’s Western Stars reviewed

6 July 2019 9:00 am

Grade: B– The first Springsteen song I ever heard was ‘Born To Run’, back when I was 14. I clocked…

The early death of Lili Boulanger is the most grievous of all among composers

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Total immersion weekends can prove tricky. The established masters don’t need them, while lesser-known figures often turn out to be…

Aspiring to profundity: Robyn at Ally Pally

At her best Robyn is magical – but her contribution to pop is hardly unique

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Last autumn, anyone who a) has an interest in pop music, and b) reads the weightier end of the press,…

Magnificently incoherent: Royal Trux’s White Stuff reviewed

9 March 2019 9:00 am

Grade:A Royal Trux are back — kind of. Singer (if that’s what you want to call what she does) Jennifer…

How good really was Berlioz?

23 February 2019 9:00 am

Hector Berlioz was born on 11 December 1803 in rural Isère. ‘During the months which preceded my birth my mother…

The soul of Lou Reed and the looks of Harry Styles: Matt Healy and the 1975

As so often, teenage girls called this one right: The 1975 reviewed

26 January 2019 9:00 am

The teenage girls are often right. They were right about Sinatra and they were right about Elvis. They were right…

Philipp Fürhofer's handsome and often ingenious designs for the Royal Opera's overcomplicated new production of The Queen of Spades. Photo: ROH 2018 / Catherine Ashmore

Never quite pivots from thesis to drama: Royal Opera’s Queen of Spades reviewed

19 January 2019 9:00 am

We increasingly accept the collision between life and art. Whether we’re puzzling over the real identity of Elena Ferrante, choosing…

Doors drummer John Densmore and Police percussionist Stewart Copeland. Photo: BBC / Somethin’ Else Sound Directions Ltd / Nico Wasserman

According to BBC4, what was one of the ‘most important inventions in modern music’?

12 January 2019 9:00 am

Here’s a tricky quiz question for you. What word completes this sentence from a BBC4 documentary on Friday: ‘The world…

British poet Salena Godden presenter of Mrs Death Misses Death on Radio 4. [Photo: Roberto Ricciuti / Getty Images]

Listening to people talking about death can be strangely consoling

8 December 2018 9:00 am

‘Without death,’ says Salena Godden, ‘life would be a never-ending conveyor belt of sensation.’ For her death is what gives…

Gidon Kremer and the Kremerata Baltica performing performing Mieczyslaw Weinberg's Concertino for Violin and Strings in 2014. Photo: Hiroyuki Ito/ Getty Images

As a symphonist, Mieczyslaw Weinberg was a master: Weinberg Weekend reviewed

1 December 2018 9:00 am

It’s a strange compliment to pay a composer — that the most profound impression their music makes is of an…

Reluctant sex object: Brett Anderson, lead singer of Suede, in 1993

Brett Anderson on fame, fear and being 50

29 September 2018 9:00 am

‘I always think they’re not lusting after me,’ Brett Anderson says of the middle-aged fans who still turn up to…

Handel is rowed in a gondola on the Thames, in an illustration for ‘The Water Music’

Handel’s greatest hits — the glorious London decades

15 September 2018 9:00 am

England has been home to three great composer-entrepreneurs since 1700: Benjamin Britten in the 20th century; Arthur Sullivan in the…