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Post  misery guts on Wed Nov 05, 2014 1:48 pm

Being Earth, Wind & Fire
Part of Black History Month (!), this saw fans like Nas, Montell Jordan, Will.i.am (who else?) and Questlove pay homage, whilst Philip Bailey, Ralph Johnson and Verdine White accepted the praise. Maurice White only appeared in flashbacks, which tells its own story. EW&F's music is better than shows like this.

Sugababes: Live at Camden Crawl
From 2010, when they were on to their 4th line-up, and still hanging on by their fingertips. Given they managed so many good songs during their time, it's a shame that the line-up changes killed them in the end.

Gustav Mahler - Symphony #3 in D Minor
Another in the 2011 series from the Concertgebouw, conducted by Mariss Janssons.


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Post  misery guts on Sat Nov 08, 2014 12:30 pm

BBC Music - The John Peel Lecture : Iggy Pop
After a comically arse-kissing intro from the likes of Chrissie Hynde, Don Letts and Noel Fielding, Iggy delivered a 40 minute treatise on "free music in a capitalist society". He seemed somewhat relaxed, but then he dispensed enough advice to cover almost any generality. He took a few questions at the end (the audience included the likes of Bernard Sumner, Jarvis Cocker & so on - it was that kind of gig).

Goth at the BBC
An hour-long clips-fest of 16 acts, from the obvious (the Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees), through the more middling (Depeche Mode, Shakespear's Sister) to the more obscure (Specimen, Sex Gang Children). Alas, there was no accompanying documentary on the movement, so it seemed as much a look as a sound (which seems unkind).


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Post  misery guts on Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:19 pm

Gustav Mahler - Symphony #4 in G Major
The usual place and band, but this time conducted by Ivan Fischer, for whatever reason. Still good.

Ariana Grande & Friends - Top 10
A rundown, enlivened by a few comments from Ms Grande about Jessie J, Nicki Minaj, Ryan Tedder, Iggy Azalea and Bruno Mars (she likes them all). The 'Break Free' vid was great fun to make, unsurprisingly.


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Post  misery guts on Sat Nov 15, 2014 12:14 pm

Astaire & Rogers sing George & Ira Gershwin
A short clip show culled from their films, nevertheless fitting in They All Laughed, Let's Call The Whole Thing Off and They Can't Take That Away From Me, amongst others.

The South Bank Show Originals: Stephane Grappelli & Yehudi Menuhin
The 1980 show pitted two worlds of violin magic together. Grappelli learned from a looser improvised school, whereas Menuhin was very much by-the-book. But he was respectful and admiring of Grappelli's gift.


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Post  misery guts on Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:03 pm

Gustav Mahler - Symphony #5 in C Sharp Minor
Still at the Concertgebouw, but this time under the conducting of Daniele Gatti instead. Solid stuff.

Music In The Air
The story of classical music on telly, not just referencing the efforts of Leonard Bernstein, but also Christopher Nupen, Pierre Boulez and many others. David Attenborough was able to point out that programmers took more chances 50 years ago than they do now (extra concerts from the Proms isn't really good enough). No mention of Andre Rieu, but then again, that's probably not surprising..


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Post  misery guts on Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:41 am

Neil Diamond - For One Night Only
An excuse to plug his new album this was mainly a gig with old material and new, but also a film with Neil in New York and Welsh comic Rob Brydon as obligatory guest fan host. He did join Neil in the gig to sing "Song Sung Blue", but Neil did his stuff well enough the rest of the time.

Heyday TV: World's Greatest Albums: Slade Alive!
I get more fascinated by the team making these shows than some of the actual subject matters. A 7-track live album containing 4 covers might be a good sample of Slade's live act, but a rather desperate example for lauding as a great album. Still, Krusher presented and most of the usual faces (Chris Charlesworth, Les Davidson, Tony Dolan etc) were on hand to salute. This seems to have been from 2005, which suggests most of this output is as well.


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Post  misery guts on Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:52 pm

Mostly Autumn - V Show
Likeable enough hour+ concert from 2004, but without captions it just became one track after another, only a couple of which were introduced at all.

Gustav Mahler - Symphony #6 in A Minor
The usual Concertgebouw series from 2011, this time conducted by Lorin Maazel. Quite a long one, but pleasant enough.


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Post  misery guts on Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:08 pm

Live With... Hazel O'Connor
With accompaniment, she ran through some emotional songs she seemed particularly happy with, but did at least finish on "Will You?"


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Post  misery guts on Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:41 pm

Olly Murs' #Hangout
To plug his new album, the former X-Factor runner-up chats about his videos, working with Rizzle Kicks and Cheryl Cole, thoughts on One Direction, admiration for Ryan Tedder etc He seems set fair for a few more years at least.

Gustav Mahler - Symphony #7 in E Minor
The series at the Concertgebouw continues under the conducting this time of Pierre Boulez. Very pleasant, too.

Festive Advent Concert
From 2010 in fact, at the Frauenkirche, Dresden with the Staatskapelle, under the conducting of Bertrand de Billy. Mercifully shorter than some, but just as pleasant.


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Post  misery guts on Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:55 pm

Heyday TV: Music In Review - Oasis
In fact, pretty much the story of 'Definitely Maybe', as they progressed through 4 singles, wowed the crowds at Glastonbury, and provided infinite media copy because of their attitudes, and brotherly tension. Mary Anne Hobbs presented, many familiar faces from these shows sang their praises.

Gustav Mahler - Symphony #8 in E Flat Major
Getting towards the end of this series, with Mariss Janssons conducting the usual Concertgebouw crowd, with many choirs and soloists included. Matches the standard of the other concerts.


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Post  misery guts on Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:28 pm

Gustav Mahler - Symphony #9 in D Major
The penultimate gig in this series sees Bernard Haitink conducting the Concertgebouw gang in the usual place. Impressive stuff.

Music Nation
A fascinating 2nd series on UK music sub-cultures, from Grime and Northern Bassline, through the Glasgow outsiders to Bhangra and British Asian sounds generally. Much talk was of a brief creative flowering, brought short by corporate interest. I found the Scottish section to be most interesting (I never knew Strawberry Switchblade were Scottish).


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Post  misery guts on Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:40 pm

Chris de Burgh and Band: Footsteps - Live in Concert
From 2010, An entertaining hour or so blending many classic numbers with a few more recent ones. He remains uncool, but the live crowd loved him, which has always been the more important thing.

Fern Britton meets: Richard Coles
The musical genius in The Communards, who had a brief burst of success before falling foul of social scares about AIDS. Coles later found himself called to God, and is now a popular "celebrity" Reverend, and also a savvy media presenter. Also just had his autobiography out, which is probably a pretty good read.


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Post  Adric on Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:46 pm

Aaaaah .... how can one not adore Chris DeBurgh? Very Happy No, I'm not hyped up because he did 'The Lady In Red' as 99% of the US population would only know. I'm just thrilled that in 1983, he actually made the Top 40 in the states with 'Don't Pay The Ferryman'. To this day, I'm amazed that song made it here and am so glad it did. It was so unique and different. I was all of 10 then, but hey, I grew up when music was at its' best, imho. Fell in love with Thompson Twins, Naked Eyes, Madness ... and never knew until years later that my fav artists all crossed over from the UK Very Happy
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Post  misery guts on Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:21 am

Well, if that's not a heart-warming Christmas story, I don't know what is Laughing

Yeah, I prefer his more narrative songs like Don't Pay The Ferryman or seasonal rave A Spaceman Came Travelling or I think it's called Spanish Train, but his more ordinary material tends to be alright too.

Never mind the story about me confusing him with the (also awesome) Chris Rea, though Embarassed
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Post  misery guts on Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:07 pm

Gustav Mahler - Symphony #10
The series finally ends with the Concertgebouw gang conducted by Eliahu Jubal. Lucky, I see some Shostakovich likely to fill this gap.

Ben Haenow - X Factor champion!
A quickie show where Ben talked about his journey, his single, the judges, plans for tours, how he rates Ryan Tedder's songwriting, his rival Fleur East, and One Direction. I suspect his long-term future is no rosier than Steve Brookstein or Shayne Ward or James Arthur, really.

Nobel Peace Prize Concert 2014
As with last year, this Oslo shindig was edited from the full concert. Malala was the name to conjure with here, so we saw Laura Mvula, Gabrielle (the Norwegian one), Amjad Ali Khan and Steven Tyler (eh?). Queen Latifah hosted, and her song was much the best of the bunch.


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Post  misery guts on Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:37 pm

Rock Milestones: Yes - Close to the Edge
Disappointingly no Rick Wakeman, but at least Steve Howe contributes, as does album artist Roger Dean. The narrative was that this was the culmination of a productive direction, after which the wheels fell off. Another intriguing doc, though.

Inside ELP
More prog legends, here considered on an album-by-album basis, with Woody Woodmansey making a somewhat random, but welcome, inclusion along with the likes of Malcolm Dome and Hugh Fielder from the regulars. Maybe they were just a bit too clever for their own good.


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Post  misery guts on Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:20 am

New Year's Concert at the Vienna Philharmonic 2015
With Zubin Mehta conducting, a plethora of tunes from various Strauss members, closing with the Blue Danube and the Radetsky March. Not bad, really.

Top of the Pops: The Story of 1980
Another year, another reflection. The tone was of change, a new decade, and new stylistic touches to the 16-year-old show, with a new producer (Michael Hurll). The show spent 2 months off due to a strike about orchestral playing rights. Highlights were the story of the Piranhas and their anti-war version of "Tom Hark", how Kelly Marie became a hit via word of mouth, and the backstage schisms between different musical worlds, eg Johnny Logan and OMD's Andy McCluskey. The inclusion of McCluskey, Adam Ant and Phil Oakey signified the forthcoming highlights of 1981.

Dmitry Shostakovich - A Man of Many Faces
The great man himself (in clips), with a narration from John Hurt, and Valery Gergiev also contributing. This show was the curtain-raiser to a run of concerts featuring Shostakovich's many symphonies. Oh yes.

Top of the Pops 1980: Big Hits
A one-hour accompaniment featuring a mix of the familiar as already discussed in the main prog (Dexys Midnight Runners, The Piranhas, OMD) but also some of the other big names otherwise overlooked (Fern Kinney, Bad Manners, Hot Chocolate). In spite of this, still no space for The Specials or Kenny Rogers, who did at least have #1 hits that year.
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Post  misery guts on Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:19 am

Carpenters
A gig from the early 1970s, sometime between their 2nd and 3rd albums, I think. Not much more than half an hour, but packed with material, including a Bacharach & David medley. Always an under-rated act.

Dimitry Shostakovich - Symphony #1 in F Minor, op.10
Valery Gergiev conducts the Mariinsky Orchestra at the Salle Pleyel, in Paris, on Jan 7, 2013. And very well done it was too.


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Post  misery guts on Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:33 pm

Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony #2 in B Major op.14
"To October", but the next in the series of gigs with Gergiev conducting the Mariinsky crowd at Salle Pleyel, etc, on Jan 7, 2013 in this case. The piece was composed in 1927, apparently.


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Post  misery guts on Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:26 pm

Dimiti Shostakovich - Symphony #3 in E Flat Major op.20
Yup, the next in this series, known as "the First of May". Shorter than some of the others, thankfully, recorded on Jan 8, 2013.

Snow Patrol - Phenomenon
A well-put together effort explaining their rise through their first 4 albums, and their early days on the Scottish rock scene under the name Polar Bear. The big hits with Run and Chasing Cars brought them to wider and wider audiences, though I doubt people really put them in the same bracket as a band like Coldplay.

Foreigner - Live on Air
A bundle of recordings of concert footage. The strength was in showcasing their other material, though they made sure to close with the two big hits Waiting For A Girl Like You and I Want To Know What Love Is. Perhaps the pre-dominance of those two tracks skews the image of the band, but sometimes that's the way it goes.

Nigel Kennedy at the Proms
Unsurprisingly, and with help from The Palestinian Strings and The Orchestra Of Life, clad in his beloved Aston Villa colours, Nigel gave the crowd another hearing of Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" from 2013, with a few musical tweaks here & there to amuse the crowd and probably annoy the purists. A good time was had, nevertheless.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:04 am

Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony #4 in C Minor op.43
Continuing the same set of concerts, now from Dec 1, 2013, same cast & setting as before.

Nigel Kennedy at the BBC
As with the Domingo one, this was more than a mere best of. His early piano work aged 7, his change to the violin, playing jazz with Stephane Grappelli, time spent at the prestigious Julliard school, a guest on Wogan at 27, the spiked hair, the career-defining turn with Vivaldi's "Four Seasons", duetting with Harpo Marx, a guest with Jools Holland in 1996, at Womad in 2004 and the Proms in 2013. He's had a fuller career than many would admit, but the hair perhaps always counts against him, and the lisp.

Congo Calling - An African Orchestra in Britain
The Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra on a week-long tour of places like Manchester and London, meeting and performing with British acts. The highlight was probably when the tuba player was gifted his own proper tuba, rather than the makeshift one he had to make do with.

The South Bank Show Originals: Daniel Barenboim
From 2003 in Seville, a town synonymous with mavericks, the home for the controversial West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Both Daniel and his friend Edward Said, who put the Orchestra together, spoke mightily of its importance to the people it was drawn from, and how momentous it was to audition for Palestinians to play, and getting such a big response to guarantee the composition of it. Hopefully, their future will flourish and prevail.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:53 am

Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony #5 in D Minor op.47
The usual suspects once more with their 1937 work, performed on Dec 2, 2013. Clocked in under an hour.

Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony #6 in B Minor op.54
And again, a 1939 work, performed the night after the above, and rather shorter, but still lovely.

Stevie Wonder - Broadcasting Live!
Another of these compilations of performance, which did at least provide a wide range to cover, from Fingertips to his 80s peaks. Finished with a bash at That's What Friends Are For alongside Gloria Gaynor and Dionne Warwick (and possibly others). He's another one who doesn't seem likely to be releasing another album any time soon.


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Post  misery guts on Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:17 am

Play It Loud: The Story of Marshall
A huge number of rock people, guitarists particularly, told the story of how Jim Marshall was moved to create a new British amp which has resulted in a louder sound ever since. Though he died in 2012, his legacy will last for as long as bands want to play it loud.

Arctic Monkeys: Behind The Music
As with the Snow Patrol doc, Christian Stevenson presented, as the impact of their first 2 albums was assessed, and how the Sheffield band were able to remain true to themselves and use hype to their own benefit.

Dimitri Shostakovich - Symphony #7 in C Major op.60
The usual suspects came back for this piece, dubbed "Leningrad".


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Post  misery guts on Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:12 am

Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony #8 in C Minor op.65
Written in 1943, performed in recent years by the same mob as in the previous editions of this series.

Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony #9 in E Flat Major, op.70
As above, only written in 1945, performed on Feb 1, 2013.

Thin Lizzy - Up Close And Personal
Phil's mother Philomena was a lively and valuable contributor here, raising the bar. Eric Bell and Brian Robertson are always a joy, it's odd that they both leave because of a big hit that doesn't fit their image of the band. Snowy White and manager Terry O'Neill also helped relate the story of the Irish desperadoes who are often overlooked by a business that would rather fawn over U2.

Gershwin's Summertime - The Song That Conquered The World
The opening to his opera 'Porgy & Bess', turned into a jazz standard by Billie Holiday, and subsequently adopted wholesale by the civil rights movement as a black power anthem (of sorts). Its continuing appeal, and frequent cover versions, attest to its malleability in all sorts of musical genres, and enduring success. Personally, I think Gershwin wrote better works, but hey.


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Post  misery guts on Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:08 am

Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony #10 in E Minor op.93
As ever, very well done.

Robbie Williams - Phenomenon
A few different faces in this one, covering his albums up to "Intensive Care". The pivotal moment was of course the song "Angels", and enabled him to play up his party animal side whilst making plain he was sensitive underneath (honest). His frequency of releases, and inevitable success seemed to put him in a rut, and his time in rehab and separating from Guy Chambers as a song-writing collaborator suggested he wasn't infallible after all. Since his return to Take That! was short-lived, it'll be interesting to see what worlds he has left to try and conquer.

Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony #11 in G Minor op.103
"The Year 1905", written in 1957, here performed on Feb 18, 2014. Lovely.


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