Review: Remnants, The Print Room

Published in The Telegraph on June 20, 2017

Dubbed an “electro-folk drama” by theatre-maker Patrick Eakin Young, director of the company Erratica, Remnants is a work that resists categorisation – a potent tapestry of song, electronic music, dance and recorded interviews. Continue reading “Review: Remnants, The Print Room”

Jane Weaver on Spiritualist art, slut-dropping onstage, and music industry sexism

Published in The Independent on July 10, 2017

“Some songs arrive like little vignettes, little scenes. Or I get a full orchestra of a song in my head. How do things come to us: are they just in the air?” Jane Weaver – writer, musician, singer and producer of gloriously spacey psych-rock – is musing about the muse with just the sort of ethereal wonder you might expect from someone whose new album is called Modern Kosmology, and was inspired by Spiritualist avant-garde painter Hilma af Klint.   Continue reading “Jane Weaver on Spiritualist art, slut-dropping onstage, and music industry sexism”

The woman who could ‘draw’ music

Published in BBC Culture on May 30, 2017

Few people know Daphne Oram, but she helped shape the sounds, and songs, we listen to today. A pioneer of electronic music, she wrote Still Point – thought to be the world’s first composition which manipulates electronic sounds in real time – in 1949. In 1957, she set up the famous BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The same year, she began working on her Oramics machine, which turned graphical gestures into music: the user could ‘draw’ the sounds they wished to hear.

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When pop stars score theatre

Published in The Independent on October 31, 2016

“Look up here, I’m in heaven/I’ve got scars that can’t be seen.” So opens Lazarus, a song on David Bowie’s final album Blackstar – and also the title of a stage musical sequel to The Man Who Fell To Earth, which premiered in New York last year before his death, and opens in London next week. Continue reading “When pop stars score theatre”

Talking pub politics with Charlotte Church

Published in Refinery29 on October 17, 2016

No-one would have predicted that the biggest hit at po-faced super-muso festival All Tomorrow’s Parties earlier this year would have been former “voice of an angel” Charlotte Church doing pop covers in a spangly leotard. But this is her latest project – her Late Night Pop Dungeon – and the Welsh singer absolutely smashed it: the crowd went wild for her band covering everything from En Vogue to Joy Division to Nine Inch Nails. Continue reading “Talking pub politics with Charlotte Church”

Review: Kissing the Shotgun Goodnight, Oval House

Published in What's on Stage on October 10, 2016

Let’s just say this now: this was a gig, and this is a gig review. It’s a shift in form that Christopher Brett Bailey – whose last show, the acclaimed This Is How We Die, concluded with noisy guitars – set out in a photocopied handout given to the audience, with earplugs. Continue reading “Review: Kissing the Shotgun Goodnight, Oval House”

Warpaint interview: ‘We don’t need a lead singer but we do need each other’

Published in The i on September 2, 2016

There’s always been a gap between Warpaint, the bouncing live band, and Warpaint, the downbeat foursome of their records. Meeting two of the American dream-pop/psych-rock group – bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg and guitarist Theresa Wayman – they give the impression that both their fans, and the band themselves, have always preferred their more upbeat incarnation. Continue reading “Warpaint interview: ‘We don’t need a lead singer but we do need each other’”