Category Archives: Reviews

More strings than swing

From my review of Gregory Porter’s latest visit to the Albert Hall: This might have been a world record. Has anyone in the history of mass marketing dared to perform The Christmas Song when we are still recuperating from Easter? Since this … Continue reading

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Shock tactics

You are a middle-aged, female musician playing a solo gig at a small venue where a gaggle of laddish men, completely uninterested in your songs, are making so much noise that you can barely hear yourself. You politely ask them … Continue reading

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Joan Baez’s “Fare Thee Well” tour

The folk queen is on the road one last time, or so she says. Her voice may be darker than it once was, but that actually is no bad thing – the lengthening shadows give the lyrics extra resonance.  The … Continue reading

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Voices

Sandra Bernhard clearly loved being at Ronnie Scott’s. Wouldn’t it be fun if she became a regular visitor? Mr S himself would probably have enjoyed her brand of humour: Who would have thought she would end up here? Sandra Bernhard … Continue reading

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Nige swings George

My review of Nigel Kennedy’s Gershwin gig at Ronnie Scott’s: Fist-bumps all round. Nigel Kennedy never disguises his pleasure at being on the same bandstand where, as a teenager, he once played alongside his mentor, Stéphane Grappelli. Nearly half a … Continue reading

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Folk fail & thrill

There was a standing ovation at the end. I had the feeling that I was the only person in the Union Chapel who didn’t enjoy The Transports: Its heart is in the right place, and the singing is full of … Continue reading

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Two singers, two styles

Diana Krall at the Albert Hall. Fine music, but something was missing: …In mood and tone this was not that different from the days, 20-odd years ago, when she was playing to 100 or so fans at the Pizza Express … Continue reading

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Underwhelming and over the top

Ute Lemper seeks inspiration in the writings of Paulo Coelho. Her fans gave her a standing ovation at Cadogan Hall, but it was a difficult night for the rest of us: How you will respond to the show depends to … Continue reading

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Time travellers

Early music meets folk. From my review of the Emily Askew Band’s date in Clerkenwell: Perhaps some things never change. Miri It Is, one of the songs in Emily Askew’s opening set, written in Middle English, dates from the 13th century … Continue reading

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Marooned

Well, I went in with my expectations set reasonably low – the swooning and gasping from many of the critics automatically put me on my guard. (Remember how they tried to convince us that “Skyfall” was the best Bond film … Continue reading

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