Music

Viv Albertine, left, at Alexandra Palace, 1980; and right, today

Viv Albertine of the Slits on anger, honesty and being an arsey feminist

14 April 2018 9:00 am

Viv Albertine, by her own admission, hurls stuff at misbehaving audiences. Specifically, when the rage descends, any nearby full cup…

How the Moody Blues only became good once they realised they were crap

24 March 2018 9:00 am

Rarely has one irate punter so affected a band’s trajectory. Without the anger of the man who went to see…

Does Gerald Barry hate music?

17 March 2018 9:00 am

Blue Gadoo is one of those cats whose face looks like it’s been bashed flat with a wok. He lives…

Debussy appears to have had no real sympathy for, or interest in, other people

Debussy: the musical genius who erupted out of nowhere

24 February 2018 9:00 am

At the end of his study of Debussy, Stephen Walsh makes the startling, but probably accurate, claim that musical revolutionaries…

Nick Coleman hears better with half an ear than the rest of us do with two

3 February 2018 9:00 am

If you’ve ever had a text or email thread spiral wildly and unexpectedly out of control or clocked a couple…

The vibrant tradition of English folk song

16 December 2017 9:00 am

After hundreds of densely packed pages on folk song in England — a subject for which I share Steve Roud’s…

Radio 3 offers a refreshing antidote to the current conversations about Europe

16 December 2017 9:00 am

The season of Advent, for most children, means anticipation, gleeful waiting, the counting down of days. But after a certain…

She is a severely limited songwriter – and singer: Taylor Swift’s Reputation reviewed

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Grade: D+ I was suckered in by the brio of Taylor Swift’s first big single, ‘Love Story’, despite the clunking…

From desolation to euphoria and back again: Nick Cave at the O2

Mourning glory

7 October 2017 9:00 am

On the face of it, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds aren’t exactly a natural fit with the O2. Cave’s…

Vice and virtue

5 October 2017 2:00 pm

‘Can the ultimate betrayal ever be forgiven?’ screams the publicity for The Judas Passion, transforming a Biblical drama into a…

Bring on the dancing-girls: Follies at the Oliver

Age concern

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Stephen Sondheim’s Follies takes a huge leap into the past. It’s 1971 and we meet two middle-aged couples who knew…

Mozart’s mischievous muse

2 September 2017 9:00 am

If you were to compare Mozart to a bird it wouldn’t be the starling. Possibly the wood thrush or nightingale,…

The maestro could hear if a single player was doing something wrong, even in the most noisy tutti

The morality of conducting

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Now he is the greatest figure for me, in the world. [Toscanini is] the last proud, noble, unbending representative (with…

Scabrous and sarcastic: singer-songwriter Randy Newman

His dark materials

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Randy Newman is already struggling to keep up with himself. His dazzling new album, Dark Matter, was written before the…

Scabrous and sarcastic: singer-songwriter Randy Newman

His dark materials

3 August 2017 1:00 pm

Randy Newman is already struggling to keep up with himself. His dazzling new album, Dark Matter, was written before the…

Down – if not out – in Paris

29 July 2017 9:00 am

Virginie Despentes remains best known in this country for her 1993 debut novel, Baise-Moi, about two abused young women who…

Jay-Z: 4.44

15 July 2017 9:00 am

Grade: B – All criticism is pointless, I suppose, given the sheer magnitude of the Shawn Corey Carter machine —…

Band apart: conductor John Wilson, whose orchestra boasts some of the best wind and brass players on the planet

Let there be light

13 July 2017 1:00 pm

If you’ve never heard the John Wilson Orchestra, it’s time to experience pure happiness. Buy their 2016 live album Gershwin…

Beth Ditto: Fake Sugar

8 July 2017 9:00 am

Boy is she fat, and getting fatter. I realise this is something we’re not meant to mention when talking about…

‘Tennis’, 1930, by Eric Ravilious

Match made in heaven

8 July 2017 9:00 am

Tennis is best played with a wooden racket on a shady lawn somewhere close to Dorking. There is no need…

We want them not to give us what we want: Radiohead at the Roundhouse reviewed

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Radiohead have been at the top of the musical tree for so long now that it’s easy to forget what…

Doing it for themselves: the first issue of the first punk fanzine ‘Sniffin’ Glue’

Nothing sacrilegious about this British Library Punk show, says Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols

28 May 2016 9:00 am

There have been many punk exhibitions over the years so I can’t help but chuckle at the ‘experts’ who are…

King of heavy metal Bruce Dickinson at Madison Square Gardens in 1983

Meet the fans who risk death for heavy metal

14 May 2016 9:00 am

We in the West may snigger at heavy metal, but in some parts of the world its practitioners face the death penalty. Karen Yossman reports

The Heckler: love your music, Macca, just not sure about you

7 May 2016 9:00 am

It’s slightly galling, after years of sticking up for Paul McCartney, to read a new biography of the bloke and…

‘Wanna come to Prince’s house?’

30 April 2016 9:00 am

The untold story