Cate Le Bon: ‘I’d play piano to stop thinking about chairs’

Published in the i May 23, 2019

Cate Le Bon has spent just over a decade carving her own musical niche, via surreal lyrics sung in a deep, deadpan voice, angular guitar parts and wonky, ear-snagging melodies. I’m meeting her ostensibly to talk about her fifth album, Reward. Instead, we’re chatting about furniture.

Continue reading “Cate Le Bon: ‘I’d play piano to stop thinking about chairs’”

The Ryan Adams revelations are all too familiar. Time’s up for the tortured male genius myth

Published in The Independent February 15, 2019

“To anyone I have ever hurt, however unintentionally, I apologise deeply and unreservedly.” So tweeted Ryan Adams when The New York Times article on the singer-songwriter’s alleged sexual misconduct and manipulative behaviour towards women was published this week. His forthcoming album has been pulled; he’s reportedly being investigated by the FBI over the allegations that he exchanged explicit messages with an underage girl.

Continue reading “The Ryan Adams revelations are all too familiar. Time’s up for the tortured male genius myth”

It’s a Theater, With Craft Beer and D.J.s Until 6 a.m.

Published in The New York Times February 3, 2019

The stage filled with women in Princess Diana masks, smashing VHS cassettes with hammers. A dancer wove her way through a bar, muttering about kittens. A figure wrapped in a filthy comforter emerged from a tent, crawling among clubbers dressed in fetish gear.

I wrote about The Yard – London’s only theater-slash-nightclub – for the New York Times. You can read the full piece here.

How LSD influenced Western culture

Published in BBC Culture on October 17, 2018

When you think of LSD, a very specific aesthetic probably leaps to mind: the psychedelic pink-and-orange swirls of the 60s; naked people with flowers in their hair; the shimmer of a sitar. After its psychedelic properties were accidentally discovered in the lab by Albert Hofmann in 1943, the drug was banned in the UK in 1966. LSD is still most strongly associated with hippies who embraced its mind-expanding properties. Continue reading “How LSD influenced Western culture”

‘It was therapeutic’: How Frightened Rabbit found solace making music for a new play, following the death of Scott Hutchison

Published in The Independent on August 10, 2018

When playwright Gary McNair was asked who should provide the music for his new play Square Go, there was only one answer: Frightened Rabbit. He’d been friends with the Scottish indie rock band for years – as well as being a huge fan – and had been waiting for a chance to work with them on the right show. Continue reading “‘It was therapeutic’: How Frightened Rabbit found solace making music for a new play, following the death of Scott Hutchison”

Why The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine is a trippy cult classic

Published in BBC Culture on July 25, 2018

In 1968, The Beatles got in a yellow submarine and sailed away to the sea of green – on screen at least – in an animated caper designed to fulfil their three-picture contract for United Artists, without much effort on their part. Continue reading “Why The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine is a trippy cult classic”

Botis Seva: ‘We need a massive shift in the dance work put on stage’

Published in the Observer on July 21, 2018

Choreographer Botis Seva was born in south London in 1991 and raised in Dagenham. After training with hip-hop dance company Avant Garde, he set up his own company, Far from the Norm, whose work blends hip-hop with experimental theatre and dance. Continue reading “Botis Seva: ‘We need a massive shift in the dance work put on stage’”

Smack That: domestic violence survivors celebrate resilience in dance

Published in The Guardian on June 8, 2018

“I have been fighting for vaginas for a very long time now.” Rhiannon Faith is smiling, but she’s also completely serious. The choreographer’s work, too, exists on this tightrope: her latest show is an immersive dance party about domestic violence. Continue reading “Smack That: domestic violence survivors celebrate resilience in dance”