Posts Tagged ‘music’

A fair amount of new music comes my way on a fairly regular basis: and most of the time now I decline to post reviews.

This is partly because this website juggles a bunch of different content subjects/genres and I get less time than I’d like to focus on music (I really did primarily want this to be a music blog at one point in time); and also partly because I don’t like to write negative or critical reviews of fellow musicians – meaning that I tend to only post about music I genuinely like.

So when Phantom Sun‘s album Caldera came on to my radar, I was happy – because I genuinely really liked what I was hearing. (more…)


Following, somewhat fortuitously from an article here a few weeks ago on protest music, I’ve had the opportunity to interview self-identified Protest Singer, Sam Draisey, to talk about music as protest, the difficulties of trying to make it as a musician, and about the general state of DIY music in the UK.

Sam, from Wolverhampton, has gained a big profile as a folk singer and especially as a live performer, also with three albums under his belt and a continuous array of performances drawing media attention. He tracks much of his experience on a blog here, which is a real gigging performer’s blog. His new album, As I Live and Breathe, is also available now. (more…)


It may have become a little cliched to wax lyrical about the late Amy Winehouse and her talent; I’ve done it once or twice here too.

But it was recently the ten-year anniversary of her monumental album, Back To Black, so this is more a reflection on that album than on Amy herself – though admittedly it it quite difficult to separate the two subjects, as so much of her popular identity is tied up in this particular piece of work.

I will say this: to my mind, Back To Black is arguably the greatest individual album released in the 21st century so far. I said arguably. (more…)


The ‘turning down Amy Winehouse’ bit is admittedly a slightly misleading title.
What I mean to say is that one of my lingering regrets in life is that I once turned down the chance to see Amy live in Camden Town – at what would’ve been a tiny, intimate venue, and before she was famous.



On October 21st 1995, the 28 year-old Shannon Hoon was found dead on the Blind Melon tour bus after what was reported to have been a cocaine overdose.
Though I’m a little late with this piece, it was recently the 20th anniversary of Hoon’s premature passing and I couldn’t not find some way to mark it.

I remember Hoon’s death quite vividly. I had only been into Blind Melon for a couple of months, having bought their second and final album, Soup, on cassette tape after hearing an acoustic performance of the single ‘Galaxie’ on a late-night BBC radio show. (more…)


Twenty years ago, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were in an odd place.

They were one of the biggest bands in the world at that time, chiefly due to the breakthrough success of their 1991 album Bloodsugarsexmagik and particularly its lead singles ‘Under the Bridge’ and ‘Give It Away’. (more…)

David Bowie

It’s really weird when someone like David Bowie dies, because he’s one of those people who seems immortal, like they’ll be around forever; like he’s such a permanent part of the cultural landscape that he couldn’t possibly not be there anymore.
It’s as if the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty were suddenly gone from Paris or New York.




The tradition of musicians writing songs or composing projects centered around issues of social justice, race, prejudice or war, is of course a longstanding one.


I can’t believe Debbie Harry turned 70 today. Whatever that woman’s diet is, we all need to know for future reference.
But here’s a proper, old-school musical and cultural icon, who first came to fame a few years before I was even born and is still out there, doing her thing with singular style and energy, and pushing her craft even now. Singer, musical icon, counter-culture icon, style icon, actress, activist.
She’s one of the all-time great rock stars, one of the two or three most influential and unforgettable frontwomen of any era, and she also fronted probably one of the greatest and most important bands ever.