Music

Music

Music review: Steven Osborne

In many ways, this late-night piano recital from Steven Osborne encapsulated what the Lammermuir Festival is all about: a remarkable venue – St Mary’s Church in Haddington – whose acoustic was gloriously exploited; a world-class artist sharing their personal passions; and a provocative programme – piano music by US experimentalists Morton Feldman and George Crumb – that you’d be hard pushed to find elsewhere among Scotland’s concert offerings.

Music

Music review: BBC SSO

As season openers go, this BBC SSO one was a refreshing curiosity. The aim – part of a theme this year delving into “Composers’ Roots” – was to set Beethoven’s seminal Ninth Symphony in the context of composers whose influences helped shape his musical personality.

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The National band

Music review: The National

The National arrived in Edinburgh celebrating their first UK Number One album, but the four new tracks from Sleep Well Beast with which they chose to open the first of two Usher Hall shows may well take some time to bed in. Despite the anticipation-raising “please stand by” notice flashed on the big screen alongside backstage footage of the band waiting in the wings (no crazy pre-gig rituals to see here), the opening half hour felt like a moody preamble, with the audience left wondering when the gig was going to start.

Music

Music review: LCD Soundsystem

According to the lyrics of one of LCD Soundsystem’s best loved songs, New York brings them down, but Glasgow lifted them high last night, as the Brooklyn cool cat ensemble returned to play the first of two sold out shows in their favourite venue, turning Barrowland into a Studio 54 boogie wonderland with their signature spinning discoball.

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The National

Music review: The National, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

THE National arrived in Edinburgh celebrating their first UK Number One album, but the four new tracks from Sleep Well Beast with which they chose to open the first of two Usher Hall shows may well take some time to bed in. Despite the anticipation-raising “please stand by” notice flashed on the big screen alongside backstage footage of the band waiting in the wings (no crazy pre-gig rituals to see here), the opening half hour felt like a moody preamble, with the audience left wondering when the gig was going to start.

Lifestyle
Steven Osborne

Music review: Steven Osborne, St Mary’s Church, Haddington

IN MANY ways, this late-night piano recital from Steven Osborne encapsulated what the Lammermuir Festival is all about: a remarkable venue - St Mary’s Church in Haddington – whose acoustic was gloriously exploited; a world-class artist sharing their personal passions; and a provocative programme – piano music by US experimentalists Morton Feldman and George Crumb – that you’d be hard pushed to find elsewhere among Scotland’s concert offerings.

Music
Scope

Under the Radar: Scope

Many of Scotland’s biggest acts of the past decade have come from outwith the Central Belt, which bodes well for budding star Lewis Schofield, aka Scope. Hailing from the small fishing village of Portpatrick, the young hip-hop artist swiftly signed a deal after his first single and then disappeared into a converted farmhouse to work on his debut album.

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James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem

Music review: LCD Soundsystem at Barrowland, Glasgow

According to the lyrics of one of LCD Soundsystem’s best loved songs New York brings them down, but Glasgow lifted them high last night, as the Brooklyn cool cat ensemble returned to play the first of two sold out shows in their favourite venue, turning Barrowland into a Studio 54 boogie wonderland with their signature spinning discoball.

Music
Ryan Adams performs at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh. PIC: Alan Rennie

Music review: Ryan Adams at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh

If there are not already enough purely musical reasons to love Ryan Adams, his quirky insistence on the anachronistic use of swathes of fragranced dry ice, more suitable for an 80s goth band or a production of Phantom of the Opera than one of the most adored Americana songwriters of his generation, could well have clinched the love affair.

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Harpsichordist John Butt

Music review: Lammermuir Festival

The sensuous harmonies of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde Prelude felt like great waves of sound surging to fill the cavernous interior of St Mary’s Church, Haddington, then breaking over the capacity audience. It was an appropriately imposing opening to this year’s Lammermuir Festival, as grand, generous and confident as the ten-day East Lothian event itself feels, having recently won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s 2017 festival award in just its eighth outing.

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Gallagher and bile: The vicious  and at times undoubtedly witty  rivalry between the Mancunian siblings offers better entertainment than any potential reunion gigs for Oasis

Aidan Smith: Don’t reform Oasis, lads, you’re more fun when you fight

It’s the rock reunion many want but Aidan Smith reckons Noel and Liam’s insults are better than their songs

Opinion
The Foo Fighters deliver poise and power in their new album, Concrete and Gold

Album reviews: Foo Fighters | Gun | Ricky Ross | Neil Young

Dave Grohl invites some of his showbiz friends to help out on the new Foo Fighters album, while a legendary Neil Young bootleg gets a long-awatied official release

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Martin Taylor is regarded as a leading interpreter of the music of Reinhardt. Picture: Simon Murphy

Jazz: Martin Taylor joins Scottish National Jazz Orchestra to celebrate Django Reinhardt

Music
Thea Gilmore (Picture: Rex)

Music review: Thea Gilmore

Having come through the everyone-wants-to-sign-her phase, and then the I-can’t-believe-she’s-not-more-successful phase, the prolific but fiercely independent Thea Gilmore has sealed her I’m-doing-it-my-way credentials by entering what she describes as her awkward 1970s Neil Young phase, in which she refuses to play anything from her latest album.

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Simon Rattle's return was a triumph. (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

Music review: This is Rattle

Entitled This is Rattle, the opening concert of the Barbican series represented the triumphal return home of the British conductor who had been at the helm of the Berlin Philharmonic for so long that he had seemed to have forsaken his native land. For “Rattle,” we should read not only a hopefully reborn London Symphony Orchestra and a dreamed-of new London concert hall, but also a celebration of British composers, and the vision of a musical renaissance for the country as a whole. We should also take heart from the fact Sir Simon Rattle is a passionately committed European: as Brexit tears Britain apart, it is cultural leaders like this who may help limit the damage already being done to our country.

Music

Music review: Amor

A new quartet with an illustrious pedigree, Glasgow’s Amor are an odd proposition on paper; a party-ready disco band comprising one avant-garde musician and songwriter (Richard Youngs), one Turner Prize-nominated artist (Luke Fowler), a Norwegian minimalist composer (Michael Francis Duch) and the drummer from Franz Ferdinand (Paul Thomson). Their music is light and accessible, but the richness of their cultural reference points shouldn’t be underestimated; it clearly wasn’t by the educated throng bustling around Mono’s low stage at this label show for Night School Records.

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Neil Sedaka PIC: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Music review: Neil Sedaka at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

With an old school showbiz flourish, a booming voiceover bid us welcome “the voice and the songs of Neil Sedaka”. The man and the music take equal billing at a Sedaka concert and both were still in great shape 65 years into his songwriting career (“I started when I was two,” he quipped, possibly not for the first time).

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Ashton Lane

Under the Radar: Ashton Lane

Ashton Lane are a modern Americana/country act based in Glasgow. The creative force at the core is husband and wife duo Esther and Tim O’Connor, with co-writer and producer Graeme Duffin completing the line-up. They have a talent for penning catchy, radio-friendly country hits, and have had an impressive year, touring throughout Europe, performing at the Isle of Wight Festival, Millport Country Festival and Fynefest. They were also nominated for Best Duo and Best Song at the British Country Music Awards and enjoyed airplay on BBC Radio 2.

Music
John Legend PIC: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

Music review: John Legend, Glasgow Hydro

John Legend is a smooth operator. Musically, a touch too smooth. The La La Land star is a traditional soul crooner who sticks to the middle of the road. His Darkness and Light tour offered up a slick, bland take on the righteous r & b of the Stax and Motown stables, with a dash of reflected cool from his hip-hop collaborations, served with all the zing of a non-alcoholic cocktail.

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