Review: Roots Manuva

Thursday’s show at the ABC provided a relatively rare opportunity to see arguably the biggest name in UK hip-hop live on stage. Six albums deep and nearly two decades on from his seminal debut LP Brand New Second Hand, does the troubled but brilliant Rodney Smith still have the chops to thrill a crowd?

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Review: Siv Jakobsen, Paul Thomas Saunders, Sivu & Fenne Lily

This performance at the CCA’s wonderful theatre space saw four young musicians who occupy the folk-ish, acoustic space in the musical spectrum gracing Glasgow for an oddly democratic tour; the promoter tells me in advance that the running order isn’t decided until the night on each date, with a loose rotation occurring to give everyone an equal share of the limelight. It’s a minor touch and while it might seem like independent musicians should always be this kind and ego-less, it is nonetheless a pleasant introduction to the vibe of the evening before I even set foot in the venue.

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Review: Foo Fighters – Concrete and Gold

When I read the press release announcing that Foo Fighters’ ninth album would be their attempt to make “Motorhead’s version of Sgt. Pepper…or something like that” alarm bells began to ring. The additional news that producer Greg Kurstin (known for his work with Adele, Sia and Pink) had been heavily involved added to my sense of foreboding. Still, the mash of pop and rock sensibilities can yield amazing results; Swedish Hardcore band Refused employed producer Shellback on their last album, who is best known for co-writing the likes of Taylor Swift’s We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, and the results were and are breathtaking. On that basis, I strove to keep an open mind upon listening to Concrete and Gold.

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Review: WHY?

Some background; I’m a lapsed and recently rekindled WHY? fan. Having massively enjoyed Yoni’s early abstract hip-hop for Anticon under the moniker and the first two albums released by the more widely known indie-band incarnation, WHY? somewhat lost me after their excellent sophomore LP Alopecia.

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