Green and pleasant: festivals for 2014

Dust down the sleeping bags and camping stove, the start of festival season is only a couple of months away. These days, music festivals are working harder to attract a following, offering debating sessions and workshops, banquets and ballooning, hoping to carve out a unique and identifiable image from a sea of formulaic events. Here…

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Cool tracks: Orlando Seale and the Swell at St Pancras

Of all the train stations in London to find yourself in with time to spare, St Pancras is the most pleasant. A few shops, wine bars, artisan type food outlets, and occasional announcements in French – and I discovered Orlando Seale and the Swell were  entertaining the crowds. There’s even more going on at the…

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Phildel: The Disappearance of the Girl at St Pancras Old Church

Phildel used her surroundings of St Pancras Old Church to create a mixed media experience, instead of simply performing her songs – this was an inspired move. This tiny church has a rich history and amongst those buried in its churchyard are a vampire writer, a composer and a sculptor. It clings to the edge of the glitzy…

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Review: King Charles at 02 Empire Shepherds Bush

What a transformation for the flamboyant musician King Charles. Last year I saw him perform in a church in Hackney, where a polite crowd clustered round the stage, supping wine and swaying gently. A year on, and he’s headlining at Shepherd’s Bush. The place seems rammed to the rafters with the most excited crowd I’ve…

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Phildel: The Disappearance of the Girl

Phildel is more than a singer songwriter, she’s a multi-talented performer whose artistry permeates every aspect of her work. So I was keen to buy the physical CD of The Disappearance of the Girl and enjoy the art work and read the lyrics. Sometimes I just think, damn those soulless downloads: music without its history. For Phildel,…

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Mixing it up at Bush Hall: Phildel and Ali Warren Band

Bush Hall, with its its rich red velvet drapes, majestic chandeliers and upstairs bar with viewing gallery is opulence in miniature. Such swagger for such a tiny place. This Sunday eve is Mixellaneous Melodies, and true to its name, it’s a very random mix of artists who play to a relaxed weekend crowd. Ozzie band…

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Location, location: music for 2013 in unforgettable venues

From tiny, friendly gigs where you feel as if you’re in someone’s living room, to the big, bold and outlandish, 2013 is all about statement venues. Here are a few to whet the appetite. 1. February 17: Bush Hall, Shepherds Bush, west London. Only £5. A mellow Sunday evening under the chandeliers beckons at this…

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