Tuesday, 15 February 2011
To coincide with the current Reggae Britannia documentary being screened in two parts of BBC Four, my piece about the venues that fostered the music, particularly Hackney's Four Aces. It was originally to be printed in the 14 February edition of New Statesman, until happenings in Egypt bumped it online.
I talked to one of the all-time great guitar groups, Wire, for the Quietus. "I remember bumping into graham lewis once and he was gurning so hard, he looked like a camel," was the sole comment the resulting article provoked. Quality, not quantity.
Friday, 11 February 2011
I visited the former 'Dome again in December. The O2 is nothing if not made for someone with lungs like Shakira. She affected the post-Jackson Pop MessiaH pose to a tee, with "real talent" (larynx, stomach muscles) to back it up. In this tent that is fast becoming the centre of Britain's 21st century Tin Pan Alley - hosting, as it does, the industry's before (X Factor) and after (Brit Awards) - this was a showcase of a global pop ideal which, naturally, felt a bit flat. Reviewed for the Daily Telegraph.