The Asteroids Galaxy Tour at Oslo, Hackney

Oslo, the new(ish) restaurant, bar and music venue is one of the latest new destinations after the avalanche of closures of grimy, characterful music venues in north, west and central London over the past few years. (Actually, make that countrywide, with Liverpool currently undergoing selfsame problems). So it’s been heartening to see a new wave of well-thought out, spruced up venues…

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Trentemoller, bringing dark Danish sounds to Meltdown

There’s so much going on over the summer at the South Bank – or Southbank Centre, as it’s now renamed. On this night alone there’s raw, dirty blues from The Amazing Snakeheads and a comeback set from Edwyn Collins. I’m off to see Trentemøller. The last time I saw the Danish electro multi instrumentalist was at 2am in a field at Big Chill…

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Music news: Phildel and Metallica (but not together)

Phildel has just won Pop/Top 40 category for Moonsea in the International Songwriting Competition where she was up against over 20,000 entries. A fantastic result from a multi-talented and extremely hardworking performer. This prestigious songrwriting competition was judged this year by such luminaries as John Mayall, Black Francis (The Pixies), Robert Smith (The Cure),  Tom Waits and Imagine Dragons.This is…

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Review: Kurt Vile at St James’s Church

St James’s Church, Piccadilly, it’s a beautiful jewel of a church designed by Christopher Wren, and like several London churches, moonlights as a music venue. Nothing of the Metallica variety, obviously. We are here to see Kurt Vile do a solo set which is more in keeping. Despite its beauty, the church’s viewing experience is only just adequate;…

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Review: Simone Felice at Bush Hall

Simone Felice starts his gig at Bush Hall with New York Times – it’s a haunting and gritty number which encapsulates familiar Felice territory – man’s vulnerability and cruelty, human struggle, death. But also love, finding beauty and joy in life, and the pleasure and importance of good friends. Of the grittier subject matter, Felice doesn’t shy away but tackles things head on, and…

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Review: The See See – psychedelia with attitude at The Lexington

The See See were part of a swirly psychedelia night at The Lexington on Pentonville Road two years ago, and they particularly caught my attention. (Also memorable were Canadian band Elephant Stone whose music is enriched with Rishi Dhir’s mesmerising sitar playing). Fast forward two years and we were back at The Lexington last week for The…

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Review: Courtney Barnett at ACE hotel, Shoreditch

The Aussie-accented, country-tinged tones of Courtney Barnett’s songs have been floating over the Radio 6 music airwaves of late. Last Thursday was her second London appearance, this time at Ace Hotel, Shoreditch. Courtney takes keeps things minimal, walking on stage to plug all the leads in before she’s joined by her bass player and drummer. With…

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Focus on folk music: Pete Seeger; Inside Llewyn Davis

There is a certain poignancy to the death this week of the great folk hero Pete Seeger, the singer and songwriter of protest songs who helped define the folk music landscape of the last century. There are several of his compositions that I remember from my childhood and they feel like traditional songs passed down through…

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