Monthly Archives: July 2012


From an editor: A brief recommendation. Derek Walker is every editor’s dream writer. He consistently submits clear, insightful prose that is cleanly copy-proofed and conforms exactly to our standards. He is a self-starter, a prolific writer, whose fresh words are … Continue reading

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Marcus Brigstocke: Seriously Funny

Marcus Brigstocke gets collared for a chat. Who wouldn’t want a gap year being Marcus Brigstocke? It could include performing on Have I Got News For You and QI; acting in Spamalot and Love Actually; snowboarding in the Alps and … Continue reading

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Tinariwen: Imidiwan:Companions (World Village)

Desert bluesmen follow up a global success with quantity as well as quality 4 Stars Time: CD  14 Tracks / 60 minutes Time: DVD 30 minutes It was never going to be easy following the sensational Aman Iman, the desert … Continue reading

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How Brian Houston Dealt with Barracking – and Earned a Baracking

Somehow, Ireland produces more good musicians than the average nation.One of them, Brian Houston, is a living example of what makes independent music so exciting. Here is a bundle of his Gospel – and Barack Obama – moments. This CM … Continue reading

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When They Were Still Fledgelings – The Housemartins

Once upon a time, the late John Peel was excited about a band called The Housemartins. Taking his advice, a very young Derek Walker netted them on their first tour, before a small gig outside Aylesbury. Before anything in everyday … Continue reading

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Revisiting Tom Hollander

The complete Rev collection. When my daughter Chloe returned from a visit to the BBC as part of her media course, she brought home an in-house magazine. It mentioned that the BBC had commissioned a new comedy series, tentatively called … Continue reading

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Eliza Carthy: Neptune (Hem Hem Records)

Eliza Carthy is exhilarating in her passion for invention 4 Stars Time: 10 tracks /50 Minutes When a disc begins with the line, “I was drinking champagne with Jerry Springer” it’s a good start, but then the name Eliza Carthy … Continue reading

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Abigail Washburn: City of Refuge (Rounder / Foreign Children Records)

Decemberists producer and clawhammer banjo player join forces to create a fascinating, lush take on nugrass, with an exotic oriental edge. It is superbly executed by world-class players. 4+ Stars Time: 11 tracks / 41 minutes This may be a … Continue reading

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Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal: Chamber Music (Six Degrees)

These interweaving strings are as warm and relaxed as late evenings in Mali… 4.5 Stars Time: 10 Tracks / 55 minutes As a partnership principally between two solo strings players, this may fall into the love-it-or-hate-it category. With only one … Continue reading

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Brian McLaren – This Charming Man or Bigmouth Strikes Again?

Anyone who smiles as much as Brian McLaren does is either a very contented man or a politician. After meeting him, I still wasn’t sure which I took him to be.

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