Music, Pop

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Frank Zappa: American Composer

7 Feb 2014

20 years after his death, we look at Frank Zappa's journey from cult figure to giant of modern music

20 years after his death, Frank Zappa has gone from cult figure to a giant of modern music. We review his career and find out how the hell that happened.

Lady Gaga adds UK dates to artRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball tour

29 Jan 2014

The singer has announced new dates in Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle and Sheffield for Nov 2014

Pop icon Lady Gaga has announced dates for the European leg of her artRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball tour, including three dates in the UK. Gaga will visit London, Manchester and Glasgow in support of her latest album ARTPOP, which we described as an 'unwieldy…

Beyonce to bring Mrs Carter World Tour to UK in 2014

12 Dec 2013

The show will call at Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester and London in February and March

Beyonce has just announced that she'll visit the UK as part of her Mrs Carter World Tour in 2014. The singer will visit Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester and London in February and March next year, before going on to visit Dublin, Cologne, Amsterdam…

Chart-topping pop star John Newman to tour UK in October 2014

20 Feb 2014

The 'Love Me Again' singer will visit Edinburgh, Manchester, London, Plymouth and Wolverhampton

John Newman, the pop singer behind chart-topping hits 'Love Me Again' and 'Cheating', has announced he'll be embarking on a UK tour in October 2014. The singer will visit Edinburgh, Manchester, London, Plymouth and Wolverhampton in support of his 2013…

Hall & Oates, The Boomtown Rats, Bonnie Tyler and Jason Donovan lined up for Rewind Festival 2014

30 Jan 2014

The 80s-loving music fest will take place across three sites across the UK in 2014

Hall & Oates, The Boomtown Rats, Bonnie Tyler and Jason Donovan are among the latest acts announced to perform at the UK’s biggest celebration of 80s music, Rewind Festival, this summer. The festival is hitting the UK on three dates in summer 2014…

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Singer Law set for release of EP Haters and Gangsters and live dates

16 Jan 2014

Exposure: Edinburgh-based artist tours with Young Fathers

Originally from Leicester, singer Lauren Holt moved to Edinburgh in 2010 on a whim, mostly because her partner had holidayed in the city and said it was nice. ‘I didn’t want to stay stagnant in one place,’ she says. ‘You can get stuck, you know?’ It’s…

Withered Hand - New Gods

21 Feb 20142 stars

A breezy jangle pop record that's conspicuously devoid of any real nuance, intrigue or subtlety

It’s a brave thing to make a breezy jangle pop record in the year 2014. Tastes are more sophisticated, audiences are atomised, communal experiences are rarer, music fans are constantly sated yet never more whiney (yes you, you big moanyhole). Yet amid…

Dean Wareham - Dean Wareham

21 Feb 20144 stars

The Luna/Galaxie 500 guitarist delivers perfectly crafted, exquisitely delivered songs

No one ever claimed Dean Wareham was a great guitar player, least of all himself. But eavesdropping on his ongoing search for the lost note and perfect chord progression is compelling. With a knack for plaintive melody and lyrical phrasing most other…

Usher Hall manager Karl Chapman discusses the venue's 100th Birthday Concert

21 Feb 2014

Mogwai, Rufus Wainwright and the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra will help mark the occasion

Whether or not the queen’s custom of sending congratulatory messages to those reaching their 100th birthdays extends to concert halls as well as people remains to be seen, but it’s unlikely that Edinburgh’s Usher Hall will be short of birthday greetings…

Exposure: Bdy_Prts

21 Feb 2014

Jill O'Sullivan (Sparrow and the Workshop) discusses her new alt.pop project

Glasgow alt-pop dead-ringers Bdy_Prts formed in a Little Chef, over an apple pie. The glorious machine-rock duo stars Sparrow and the Workshop's Jill O'Sullivan and Strike the Colours' Jenny Reeve, and they release their superlative debut single, 'IDLU…

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Scottish indie-pop group Camera Obscura announce UK and Ireland tour for May 2014

20 Feb 2014

The band will tour in support of latest album Desire Lines and forthcoming Sessions EP

Scottish indie-poppers Camera Obscura are set to tour the UK and Ireland in May 2014, calling at Belfast, Dublin, London and Birmingham before finishing off with a hometown show in Glasgow. The band will most likely be playing material from their latest…

Beyonce and Drake: a mess of contradictions and moral quandaries as entertainers

18 Feb 2014

Both performers combine high quality music-making with questionable artistic choices

She’s the one of the biggest global brands in pop. He’s a Jewish-Canadian rapper and ex-actor with a fierce flow and penchant for feeling sorry for himself. They teamed-up on the track ‘Mine’ and are both captivating live performers in different ways.

Phoenix - Barrowland, Glasgow, Mon 10 Feb 2014

18 Feb 20144 stars

A feelgood, no-filler show from Thomas Mars' gallic pop posse

Unlike the steady ascent of their career, there was no teasing build-up from Phoenix at this feelgood, no-filler show. The French foursome jumped straight into a succession of storming power pop tracks, while frontman Thomas Mars headed immediately for…

Interpol, Temples, Royal Blood and Circa Waves form the line-up for NME Awards Tour 2014

12 Feb 2014

Ah, the NME Awards Tour, this year sporting a four band strong line-up; suit-loving New Yorkers Interpol, psychedelic fetishists Temples, noise rock two-piece Royal Blood and Scouse garage rockers Circa Waves. Or as the eye-rolling cynic might comment…

Katy B - Little Red

3 Feb 20143 stars

A follow-up that marks Katy B's continuing development, despite some patchy moments

On a Mission was the 2011 debut album of BRIT-school graduate Kathleen Brien, and it put in some considerable legwork to define the Peckham-born pop singer as something of a new diva in the British chart-dance world, albeit one without pretension, and…

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Interview: singer-songwriter Anna Calvi on Nick Cave, the NHS and karaokephobia

30 Jan 2014

First record you ever bought Aladdin Sane by David Bowie. Last extravagant purchase you made A U67 vocal mic. First film you saw that really moved you Bambi when I was five. Last lie you told I don't remember. First movie you ever went…

Orange Juice - Four albums reissued on Domino

16 Jan 20144 stars

You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever, Rip It Up, The Glasgow School and The Orange Juice

It must have been difficult to appreciate their importance as Orange Juice struggled to produce an album – in four attempts between 1982 and 1984, all of them freshly reissued on vinyl by Domino – that lived up to the near miraculous brilliance of their…

Xiu Xiu - Angel Guts: Red Classroom

16 Jan 20143 stars

Designed to sound dark, but with enough compelling moments to make the journey worthwhile

In 2012 Jamie Stewart, the creative force behind long-running noise-rock project Xiu Xiu, moved across the States from his home in North Carolina to Los Angeles. Unbeknown to him at the time, his new neighbourhood was notorious for gang violence, with a…

Cate Le Bon set for 2014 UK tour

16 Jan 2014

Spellbinding and somewhat unsettling singer takes entrancing third album Mug Museum on tour

Cate Le Bon’s otherworldly alto is a voice to conjure with. To date, it has graced albums by sleek electro pop outfit Neon Neon and national treasures Manic Street Preachers, but it is her own spellbinding and somewhat unsettling solo work that takes…

Dum Dum Girls - Too True

10 Jan 20143 stars

Kristin 'Dee Dee' Gundred delivers a third album of better-than-average dreamy American indie-pop

‘Here is my best attempt at joining the rock’n’roll ranks,’ writes Kristin ‘Dee Dee’ Gundred – for Los Angeles’ Dum Dum Girls are fundamentally she – in an accompanying spiel to her third album. Too True also lists Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire and…

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Warpaint - Warpaint

10 Jan 20143 stars

The LA pop-rock quartet experiment with a more pared-back sound, with mixed results

It takes a lot of hard work to sound this organic and elemental. Well-connected LA quartet Warpaint have spent three years conceiving and recording the eponymous follow-up to their acclaimed debut album The Fool, with the whole painstaking process…

Interview: Django Django get ready to play Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party

23 Dec 2013

Tommy Grace from the London-based group talks about seeing out a hectic 2013

’It’s pretty massive,’ says Django Django’s Tommy Grace of his band’s imminent debut appearance at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party. ‘We’re really thrilled to be doing it, especially in the slot just before the bells.’ It’s particularly sweet for…

Miley Cyrus to visit UK as part of 2014 BANGERZ tour

11 Dec 2013

The twerk-happy controversy magnet will visit London, Leeds, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham

Miley Cyrus is set to visit the UK in 2014 as part of her BANGERZ world tour. The Disney princess turned twerk-happy controversy magnet will visit London, Leeds, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham in May 2014, in support of her best selling recent album…

Buy tickets to Neil Young & Crazy Horse and McBusted at British Summer Time Festival 2014

11 Dec 2013

Backstreet Boys and The National will provide support on two dates of the Hyde Park gig series

Neil Young & Crazy Horse and McBusted have been announced as the headliners for this year's British Summertime Festival at Hyde Park, London. The gig series, which takes place from Fri 4–Sun 13 Jul 2014, will also feature performances from The National…

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Wig Out at Jagbags

5 Dec 20133 stars

Latest outing at its best when it sounds looser and funkier

With his nice haircut and clean clothes, Stephen Malkmus doesn’t immediately strike you as a rude boy of rock. Yet, there he was a couple of years back, appealing to fans for a word that could replace ‘blowjob’ in the Beck-produced single ‘Senator’ in…