Britpop and Kurt Cobain 20 years on

News: Main section | - 03 april 2014 - 16:16
As the music world marks two anniversaries, Alexis Petridis looks at the impact the death of the Nirvana star and birth of a musical phenomenon had on pop culture Rock stars on the death of their musical heroesApril 2014 brings with it two musical anniversaries. This Saturday it is 20 years since the death of Kurt Cobain. The 25 April, meanwhile, marks 20 years since the release of Blur's third album Parklife, the vast commercial success of which it went straight to No 1, stayed in the charts... [continue]

Gary Barlow review 'The audience is in the palm of his hand'

News: Main section | - 03 april 2014 - 11:56
Hydro, GlasgowTouring his latest album, the Take That songwriter casts a slick solo spell over a rapt audienceSince I Saw You Last is the name of Gary Barlow's current album, and therefore also this arena tour. If it feels like a wink-wink title, it's because the recently retired X Factor judge has been unavoidable since 2006, and deservedly so: the Take That comeback upended the laws of boy-band thermodynamics by making the reconditioned version even hotter than the original. Barlow is dapper,... [continue]

Tove Lo review 'A punchy UK debut'

News: Main section | - 03 april 2014 - 11:55
Notting Hill Arts Club, LondonLo certainly knows how to pen a chorus, but she sidesteps clever-clever pop nous in favour of frank, sweary, mascara-smeared outpourings"Anyone going through a breakup?" asks Swedish pop-star-in-waiting Tove Lo midway through her punchy debut UK live show. "Well, this is the only advice that works!" Then, in a sweaty west London basement, she launches into her single Habits, a remixed version of which is currently nestled on the Radio 1 B-list.... [continue]

Frankie Knuckles obituary

News: Main section | - 01 april 2014 - 19:40
Trailblazing American record producer and club DJ hailed as the Godfather of House"Disco's revenge," was the way Frankie Knuckles, who has died aged 59 after a long period of ill health, mischievously described house, the style of music that was born in his club, the Warehouse in Chicago. The raw, machine-driven, four-to-the-floor kickdrum sound that Knuckles helped conceive went on to become one of the dominant forces in popular music over the next 30 years, upping the energy in dance... [continue]

You Me at Six review 'Confetti is showering from the ceiling'

News: Main section | - 31 march 2014 - 18:22
O2 Academy, GlasgowMale fans are thin on the ground as these headbanging head-turners dodge giant bananas and keep the young crowd screamingBoy bands have been welcomed on stage with less shrill a rapture than greets this catalogue-model-handsome young Surrey rock sextet at the Academy, where male fans are distinctly in the minority. You Me at Six have truly crossed the Rubicon from Kerrang! darlings into the mainstream pop domain. Two songs in, during Fresh Start Fever, and confetti is... [continue]

Justin Timberlake review The crowd gasp when he appears

News: Main section | - 31 march 2014 - 17:21
Arena, SheffieldTimberlake moonwalks, spins and thrusts his groin sometimes all at once in this spectacular show in which grown women look set to spontaneously combustThe first thing Sheffield sees of Justin Timberlake is his giant silhouette on an enormous backdrop. The lights change and there are gasps as the crowd realise that he's been standing there for a while. It's the sort of visual trickery we once got from Michael Jackson, and Timberlake is surely aware of the parallels: a former... [continue]

X Factor winner Sam Bailey tops the UK album chart

News: Main section | - 31 march 2014 - 09:15
The 36-year-old singer becomes the first winner of the show to score a No 1 with a debut LP since 2009, with stronger first-week sales than Bruce Springsteen and Pharrell WilliamsSam Bailey has topped this week's UK album chart, becoming the first X Factor winner since 2009 to have an album debut at No 1.Bailey, 36, sold about 73,000 copies of The Power of Love in just seven days. This is much higher than the first-week sales for Bruce Springsteen's High Hopes and Pharrell Williams' G I R L,... [continue]

Debbie Harry: soundtrack of my life

News: Main section | - 31 march 2014 - 09:15
The Blondie singer on the outrageous example of Screamin' Jay Hawkins, the folk happenings of the hippy era and unwinding with a bit of BizetBorn at the end of the second world war and adopted by two gift-shop owners, Debbie Harry grew up in suburban New Jersey. After apprenticeships in folk band the Wind in the Willows and girl trio the Stilettos, she was 31 when Blondie released their 1976 debut LP. Their first UK hit was 1977's Denis and by 1978's Parallel Lines they were global stars.... [continue]

Tinie Tempah review A brash show with odd moments of intimacy

News: Main section | - 31 march 2014 - 09:15
Apollo, ManchesterTempah says he wants to make 'deeper music' after battling with the notion of selling out, but there are few signs of hidden depths amid this ear-splitting performance"Manchest-ah!" yells Tinie Tempah, as he appears atop a giant roofed construction, wearing a silver glitter suit. A bona fide pop star following two unit-shifting albums, he performs his lucrative grime/dance/hip-hop/pop formula backed by an ear-splittingly loud live band, with shrieking guitar... [continue]

The five albums you need to hear this week

News: Main section | - 31 march 2014 - 09:15
From Cloud Nothings' short and punchy garage-rock to Hurray for the Riff Raff's bluesy murder ballads, here are five new albums our critics recommendRap collective Wu-Tang Clan may only be making one copy of their 31-song double album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, but luckily our reviewers got their hands on slightly more accessible releases this weekend. Here are five albums our critics strongly recommended in Fridays G2 Film & Music and Sundays Observer New Review. Have a gander at the... [continue]