Blair Dunlop – Gilded (2016)

On first listen this is the album that will see Blair Dunlop fulfill plenty of the much heralded promise heard on his first two records – the superb debut Blight and Blossom and the giant leap forward that was 2014’s House of Jacks. Gilded pushes boundaries, is rightfully commercial and comes packed with memorable hooks Read More…

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra 09:03:2016

As religious works go, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem has come down to us more or less as the composer intended it – as a source of comfort to the living as they come to terms with loss. It’s an arm around the shoulder, a warm hug, an empathetic look that acknowledges the pain of grief and offers Read More…

Dr John Cooper Clarke 10:02:2016

Dr John Cooper Clarke + Mike Garry + Luke Wright Lighthouse, Poole It’s all about balance – the sweet with the dour, the gruff with the smooth, the happy with the mad… Strikingly attired in tails, spray-on jeans and ox blood DMs with Eraserhead hair to challenge that of the headline act’s in its prime, 30-something Read More…

Sam Lee & Friends 03:11:2015

Lighthouse, Poole Having earned a Mercury Prize nomination for his debut album, Ground Of Its Own, and found praise heaped upon its follow-up, last year’s stunning The Fade In Time, it’s a tall order to keep expectation in check when faced with the 30-something singer who is almost routinely feted as both the guardian and Read More…

Larmer Tree Festival 2015

Larmer Tree Gardens, 14-19 July Where other festivals have spread out to accommodate more and more people, to its eternal credit Larmer Tree has steadfastly refused to pack the place – surely one of the most beautiful festival sites on the circuit – preferring instead to grow longer rather than denser. Thus, this year’s silver Read More…

Jimmy Webb 17:04:2015

Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne An evening of songs and stories in the company of one of popular music’s most revered songwriters was hardly likely to disappoint – and so it was with Jimmy Webb’s very welcome Wimborne debut. This is a show those in the know would gladly travel no small distance to see and it’s Read More…

Garland Jeffreys 22:02:2015

Mr Kyps, Poole It’s asking a lot to find greatness on a cold, wet Sunday night in the back streets of Ashley Cross. It’s asking even more of a 72-year-old singer songwriter who has already battled through delayed flights from New York, a rushed Radio 2 interview in London and a typically tardy Sunday train Read More…

Animals & Friends feat. Steve Cropper 31:10:2014

Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne Whatever the official billing, this is the return to Wimborne of that most unlikely of pairings – the Animals and Steve Cropper (right), house songwriter/guitarist from the heyday of Stax Records, home of southern soul giants such as Booker T and the MG’s, Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd and Sam & Dave. Lest we Read More…

Oasis – What’s the Story (Morning Glory) (Chasing the Sun edition)

Back when it was all fields ’round here, big bands used to come out of the starting blocks like a rocket, make a racket, stash a packet and rattle off their first two albums before they even stopped for breath. Nowadays we keep hearing how new acts struggle with their ‘difficult second album’ and are Read More…

Purbeck Folk Festival 2014

Purbeck Folk Festival is the Jurassic Coast’s answer to Brigadoon – a weekend party in a happy valley that emerges from the ether for just a few days every summer as a gentle calm pervades what is otherwise a working sheep farm. There is movement between stages, but no rush. People tend to languish a Read More…