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Monday, October 23, 2017

Simple Things festival review – neo-glam, power punk and the giddy glow of trance

Various venues, Bristol
From HMLTD and IDLES to Nadine Shah and the British Paraorchestra, festival season wound down with a wildly eclectic lineup – and no need for wellies

With most British festivalgoers having packed the mermaid leggings away for another year, Bristol’s Simple Things gives wristband junkies one final hit by setting up shop across a number of the city’s indoor venues. Like the Great Escape, Tramlines and other similar ventures, national stereotypes about queuing are tested to their limits; on the plus side you don’t have to tape up your feet against welly-chafe.

The foyer of the Colston Hall – soon to be rebranded to exorcise the spectre of the slave trader it is named after – plays host to, in their words, “the most incongruous sight in the history of popular music”: neo-glam troupe HMLTD, who you suspect would rather be playing a Transylvanian castle orgy than a thoroughfare in a medium-sized arts venue. Dressed like Beetlejuice and the Lost Boys doing their Goldsmiths foundation year, they play not so much songs as flounces in sound, as frontman Henry Spychalski constantly beseeches the hipsters in the front rows, who studiously try not to fall in love with him.

Related: The month's best music: Post Malone, Björk, Lorenzo Senni and more

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by Ben Beaumont-Thomas via Electronic music | The Guardian

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Destroyer: Ken review – shot through with scorn

(Dead Oceans)

You never know what to expect from Dan Bejar, whose albums as Destroyer range from balladry to art rock. Ken, the Canadian’s 12th set, is informed by New Order in their 80s pomp, though Bejar’s lyrics are cryptic and shot through with scorn. “The groom’s in the gutter and the bride just pissed herself,” he sings on the lofty opener, Sky’s Grey, which starts slowly then grows menacing, its wintry riff energised by Bejar’s sneery voice. Over the course of the album, however, his mannered delivery grates, turning Ken, with two notable exceptions (Tinseltown Swimming in Blood; Saw You at the Hospital), into a twisted strain of cabaret.

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by Paul Mardles via Electronic music | The Guardian

Friday, October 20, 2017

Jessie Ware: 'I didn't get maternity leave! I'm self-employed – being a musician is my business'

The London singer has had her first child – and with it a whole host of insecurities. She discusses anxiety, writing with Ed Sheeran and why she got hypnotherapy after a bad Guardian review

“Are you sure I don’t sound mad and unhinged?” Jessie Ware asks, again. We have spent two hours discussing hypnotherapy, impostor syndrome and her fears about failing as a mother as she tours her third album, Glasshouse, with her one-year-old in tow. No, I tell her. She sounds like a new mum who apologises too much because people like to make new mums feel they’re failing. Babies cry, that’s what they do – her daughter was meant to be asleep in their Berlin Airbnb all afternoon, but did a giant poo and woke up as we were about to start talking. “We’re buggered!” Ware laughs, before husband Sam Burrows takes the tot to the park.

Tonight, Ware will play a small club in Kreuzberg, debuting an ambitious, poppy revamp of her sophisticated soul sound. She wants to wear a sleeveless top but it’s being filmed for German TV: “Bingo wings, fuck that.” She’s nervous. Last night in Paris she had a massive cry, finally unleashing the pressure of spending nearly two years managing a career and new parenthood. “I felt like maybe this whole attempt at trying to be a superwoman was coming crashing down at the last hurdle,” she says.

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by Laura Snapes via Electronic music | The Guardian