This gig is being recorded for BBC Four and, as with this kind of thing, there’s something slightly odd about tonight’s proceedings. We’re in the splendid hall of a restored 18th century church, sitting around tables, mindful of the cameras and lengths of cables snaking across the floor, practising clapping for the Assistant Stage Manager. If “live” is a spontaneous celebration of the power of rock’n’roll, then we’re a long way from Kansas, Toto.

It is, arguably, a somewhat incongruous environment to see Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds play, anyway.


Read More >>

I am the proud owner of my late grandmother's radio. It's a Ferranti, bought, so my mother tells me, around 1950/1, from an electrical shop in Tattenham Corner in Surrey, where my grandparents lived at the time. Radio enthusiasts note, it's a 215 model, with a walnut-finish cabinet and, according to a quick Google, would have cost £27 back in the day, very expensive in a post war world of rationing. It carries Long, Medium and Short Wave and, sometimes, there's a rather eerie whistle running underneath the programme when it's on, like the ghost of electricity moping around in the ether.


Read More >>

About three songs in to her set, Jana Hunter peers over the rims of her glasses, squints at the audience and asks: "Is there someone here called Neil that I know from Panama?"


Read More >>

Leafing through last week's edition of Entertainment Weekly during a quiet moment in the office, I came across a three-quarter page spread devoted to a new band called She & Him. The "Him" here is M Ward while -- and this is what piqued my curiousity -- the "She" is Zooey Deschanel, the American indie actress who made her rep in David Gordon Green's brilliant All The Real Girls.

It struck me, following on from Scarlett Johannson's album of Tom Waits' covers, that this is the second time in as many months an alt-Hollywood "It" Girl has made a record. Which, inevitably, led me to wonder why exactly the good ladies and gentlemen of the movie industry feel the need to divert their talents out of their immediate comfort zone and into the world of music.


Read More >>

After the sad news of Charlton Heston's death yesterday morning, I had hoped that the rest of my Sunday would pan out in a more genteel manner -- The Archers omnibus, a mooch round Borders, maybe a pint, that kind of thing. That was until an email from our web queen, Farah, pinged into my inbox.


Read More >>

This morning's edition of Radio 4's Broadcasting House chose to mark the death of Charlton Heston with a montage of scenes from his three most iconic films: The Ten Commandments (1956), Ben-Hur (1959) and Planet Of The Apes (1967). These were huge films in every sense, made during the golden age of Hollywood and Charlton Heston was a monolithic presence at their centre -- competing in chariot races, or parting the Red Sea, or cursing humanity in front of what's left of the Statue of Liberty.


Read More >>

Excuse me for hijacking my own film blog to write about TV, but the first episode of Series 4 of the rebooted Doctor Who, "Partners In Crime", has just aired on BBC1.


Read More >>

Damien Love pays tribute to two icons of Hollywood's Golden Age: Richard Widmark and Jules Dassin.


Read More >>

In one of those strange coincidences, I happened to buy a new DVD player the other week, and the film I chose to christen it with was The English Patient. It’s one of my favourite films, an unashamedly epic romance played out across the burning sands of Cairo, a self-conscious throwback to the kind of Technicolor splendour you associate with David Lean’s movies.


Read More >>

Neil Young, like Dylan, has a lot to live up to. Most obviously, he has to contend with his own reputation, and the expectations of his audience: two things which are not entirely compatible.


Read More >>

Newsletter


Editor's Letter

The 44th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


To Cargo, earlier this week, for what I think might have been one of my favourite gigs of the year. I wrote about Xylouris White and their "Goats" album a few weeks...