Supernatural and super – Watermill Ensemble’s Shakespeare double bill
Dance / Fantasy / Music / Rock / Soul / Theatre

Supernatural and super – Watermill Ensemble’s Shakespeare double bill

A double bill of supernatural Shakespeare has been touring the UK, performed by the remarkable Watermill Ensemble. I don’t normally review plays on this blog (I normally review them for this hyperlocal site in Cardiff), but these exceptional productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth deserve exceptional treatment. Continue reading

Funk / Jazz / Music / Pop / R&B / Rock / Soul

Chaka Khan and Van the Man – big-name veterans top the Love Supreme bill

It’s understandable that Jazz FM has been blowing its own trumpet this week. Landing two big-name veterans to top the bill at the annual Love Supreme Festival is worth trumpeting. American jazz-funk and soul star Chaka Khan will headline on the Saturday (July 4) and Northern Ireland’s rock-blues-jazz-pop maestro Van Morrison is the man on … Continue reading

Music / Pop / Rock / Songwriting

More Leigh-on-Sea than LA, meet the Essex Steely Dan

Much of Steely Dan’s music oozes California sunshine. Which is odd because Donald Fagen and Walter Becker are born-and-bred New Yorkers. But here’s something odder – jump a further 3,000 miles east and you find a new bunch of Dan-alikes, who are actually more Leigh-on-Sea than LA. I say “bunch”. Actually, I don’t know how … Continue reading

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If you’re seeking a pop-inspired philosophy, be a driver, not a rollercoaster rider

Maybe pop songs aren’t the best place to seek your philosophy of life, but if that’s where you’re looking, may I recommend you pay more heed to the acid-jazz/funk of Brand New Heavies than to the pop-pop/pop of Ronan Keating? Ronan told us in 2000, “Life is a rollercoaster/ Just gotta ride it” and I’ve … Continue reading