Category Archives: Reviews

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

Posted in Film, History, Reviews, Uncategorized, World War 2 | Tagged , ,

Over-heated

Is Europe really committing suicide? The reasonable arguments in  Douglas Murray’s polemic about Islamism and immigration are undermined by ultra-Powellite rhetoric. My review in The Times: Anyone who has seen Murray — a gay, Old Etonian associate editor of The … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Politics, Reviews, UK politics | Tagged , , , ,

Is Moonlight really the best film of the year?

It’s years since I wanted to rush out to see a film just because it won Best Picture at the Oscars – I’ve been burnt far too many times. So I went along to “Moonlight” telling myself not to fall … Continue reading

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The circus brothers

My Times review of Truevine, Beth Macy’s account of the lives of the black albino brothers, George and Willie Muse, star turns in American freak shows: As minor celebrities they appeared in the pages of The New Yorker — usually … Continue reading

Posted in History, Race, Reviews | Tagged , , , ,

The voice

It goes without saying that the new release from Rhiannon Giddens is my record of the week in the Sunday Times: So much for that “difficult second album” challenge. If the roots singer/banjo player’s 2015 solo debut was a breathtaking … Continue reading

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Good vibes, bad sound

A mixed bag at the Festival Hall. My review of the latest Transatlantic Sessions roadshow: In the end the joie de vivre pouring forth on the stage made up for the oddly harsh sound mix. Amplification isn’t usually a problem … Continue reading

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The Nix, the hype

My Times review of the much-lauded debut novel from Nathan Hill: Can a novel attract too much attention? That might sound like a foolish question in the age of digital distraction, when writers know they are competing with the cookbooks of … Continue reading

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The man, not the legend

Another biography of Elvis Presley, another opportunity to wonder what went wrong. And to imagine what might have happened if The King had said yes to La Streisand. From my review in The Times: Two years before his death, when … Continue reading

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Her funny Valentine

This classical diva has a sense of swing. My review of Renée Fleming at the Wigmore Hall: So, can she really sing jazz? I wasn’t entirely convinced beforehand, but long before the recital ended Renée Fleming had banished any doubts. While … Continue reading

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The best jazz albums of 2016

  My Sunday Times choices. Full details here [£]. 1 JOHN BEASLEY: Presents Monk’estra, Vol 1 (Mack Avenue) 2 CHARLIE HUNTER: Everybody Has a Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth (GroundUp) 3 MADELEINE PEYROUX: Secular Hymns (Impulse!) 4 … Continue reading

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