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Post  misery guts on Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:07 am

Brahms & Szymanowski - Symphony 4
Yup, the 4th of these shows, with the same crew in the same place, on December 19th, 2012, with the 4th symphonies from both these guys, plus Szymanowski's 2nd Concerto for Violin & Orchestra. Leonidas Kavakos was the violinist star, with Denis Matsuev shining on the piano.

T'Pau - Live at the Water Rats
The ol' 80s stagers still willing and able to belt out the hits and enough other material to round out a good show.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:31 am

The Summer of Love - How Hippies Changed the World
An intriguing 2x1 hour doc about the strands that brought together the hippies, and how and why it didn't last. It touched on LSD, the Black Panthers, the Diggers, the Yippies, the Black Bear commune, and so on. The Monterey Pop festival in '67 represented the zenith of the movement, whilst Woodstock was a sign that the show was over. Eric Burdon's love for pot, Peter Coyote's radicalism, Country Joe McDonald and Wayne Kramer and Graham Nash were all pointed contributors too.

Electric Dreams: Nicky Horne interviews Neil Arthur
A short piece that ties back in with the concert screened weeks ago. Neil spoke of Blancmange getting mistakenly lumped in with Depeche Mode and Soft Cell, who split in 1986 because it wasn't fun any more. They've recently reformed, and done a new LP, being interested in new ideas as well as their legacy. Nice guy.

Royal Blood at Glastonbury 2017
A steady enough half-hour from the band currently at #1 in the British LP charts.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:15 am

Brahms & Szymanowski
This 5th show featured A German Requiem from the former, and Stabat Mater from the latter, though by the same line-up in the same place, on March 30, 2013. Been a good series.

Elbow at Glastonbury 2017
From the Park stage, this "surprise" set from Friday night was dominated by their Seldom Seen Kid apex, including closing on One Day Like This. I noticed their "The Birds" track owes more than a little to Gary Numan's Complex.

Dizzee Rascal at Glastonbury 2017
From the West Holts stage, later on Friday, this was over an hour of a wide choice of material, happily ending with my fave track Bonkers.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:04 am

Father John Misty at Glastonbury
With huge numbers of acts performing, but only a slender choice to feature, I'm baffled how this guy on the John Peel Stage got an hour of air-time when so many other better acts didn't.

The BET Life of Mary J Blige
Another career lookback at the "Queen of Hip-Hop Soul" from her early days in the early 90s, through highs and lows, tributes to other artistes, duets with other artistes and so on. Ja Rule, Jadakiss and Fatman Scoop were all among the THs paying homage, too.

Rag n Bone Man at Glastonbury
From the Other Stage, a lengthier than expected set which suggests he might just have the depth for a longer career after all.

Antonin Dvorak - Nine Symphonies
Another series of concerts, this time at the Rudolfinum, Prague, with Jiri Belohlavek conducting the Czech Philharmonic, from 2014, starting with the 1st Symphony in C Minor, "the Bells of Zlonice".
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Post  misery guts on Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:05 am

Shaggy at Glastonbury 2017
A short burst from the West Holts Stage, including a desperate section trying to gee up the crowd. Bless him, he keeps going.

Emeli Sande at Glastonbury 2017
Another short burst, from the Other Stage, where she preceded headliners Boy Better Know. She at least seemed to get a better crowd result, though I might have thought her 2nd LP hasn't quite matched the impact of her 1st.

Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man
From a Sydney tribute concert, 2005, with assorted acts from Nick Cave to Rufus Wainwright performing Cohen works, split up with some chatter from the man himself, and a conclusion where he performed with U2 in New York at some other occasion.

Antonin Dvorak - Nine Symphonies
As before, this time the 2nd Symphony in B Flat Major, op.4
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Post  misery guts on Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:00 am

Mike & Jules - While We Still Have Time
Mike Peters, formerly of The Alarm, has been married to Jules for 30 years. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1995, and been fighting ever since. His wife was diagnosed with breast cancer last June. This doc told their stories, as well as their Love Hope Strength Foundation, and Mike writing a new love song about the situation, and climaxing with an annual gig for his fans in Llandudno. Can only wish them both well.

Antonin Dvorak - Nine Symphonies
This time, the 3rd Symphony in E Flat Major, op.10.

Live With... Rothwell
A blonde acoustic singer-songwriter, who had several good songs of her own, and did a cover of Nina Simone's Feeling Good as well.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:43 am

Electric Dreams: Nicky Horne interviews Ekkah
They're a Brummie duo, Rebekah and Rebecca, who've known each other 11 years, had been in an indie band, but decided to have more fun after they turned 20 and went clubbing. They've got good contracts, apparently with RCA and Universal, so the lack of success might not be a problem yet.

The Pretenders at Glastonbury 2017
From the Other Stage, a short but spirited set, with Chrissie in a Motorhead t-shirt and plenty of hits for an appreciative crowd.

Electric Dreams: Nicky Horne interviews Heaven 17
Martyn Ware and Glenn Gregory are old hands who never expected things to turn out how they did. Glenn was the first choice singer for Human League, but had gone off to London. Fascist Groove Thing got banned and made their name. They marvel that young audiences discover them. They've seen great changes in technology over 40 years. Their magnum opus LP Penthouse and Pavement was done in the same studio at the same time as the Human League did their magnum opus LP Dare.

Sommernachtzkonzert at Schonbrunn 2017
An annual event, with Christoph Eschenbach conducting the Vienna Philharmonic at the Schonbrunn Palace. They did some Dvorak, Tchaikowsky, Rachmaninov, Stravinsky, and others. Soprano Renee Fleming was on hand to do some singing along the way too.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:27 am

All Things Must Pass
A lengthy epic about the rise and fall of Tower Records. How Russ Solomon saw a market for record shops, and inspiring a workforce that led to a decades-long expansion, until the death of his long-time financial partner and the arrival of Napster led to the rapid destruction of the business - except in Japan, where several shops in the chain still thrive. Dave Grohl, Bruce Springsteen, David Geffen and others spoke fondly of being consumers, whilst Elton John claimed he probably spent more money there than anyone else.

The National, at Glatonbury 2017
Saturday night on the Pyramid stage, as the American band got nearly an hour of coverage. Maybe they'll be headliners one day - they'll have to write some hits before that happens.

Pop Pride & Prejudice
Part of a season on gay rights, this considered how Dusty Springfield and David Bowie were pioneers, how disco made a difference, and how so many 80s acts were gay and successful. Times have changed, largely for the better.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:16 am

Antonin Dvorak - Nine Symphonies
The series continues, predictably, with the 4th Symphony in D Minor, op.13.

Live With... Sounds of the Sirens
Never heard of them, their debut LP is called "For All Our Sins", they are Abbe and Hannah, they've been together 10 years, and their songs were OK.

Radiohead at Glastonbury
Headlined the Pyramid Stage on the Friday night, and delivered a 2+ hour show with familiar and unfamiliar tracks from their many albums. It was also the 20th anniversary of their landmark OK Computer LP and the Glastonbury headline gig they did to promote it. They did 2 encores, and managed to fit in almost all of their hits too, closing with Karma Police. Great stuff.

Wacken 2014 - Saxon
An hour or so from the heavy metal legends, with singer Biff referring to 25 years of the Wacken festival, and 35 years of Saxon. They made sure to include their biggest hits and plenty of other good material.

Lorraine - Ben Haenow
Last Friday, the 2014 UK X Factor winner, plugged a new single, Alive, and talked about his new record deal, his upcoming marriage, working with his brother, touring in October and doing festivals in the Summer.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:39 am

Antonin Dvorak - Nine Symphonies
The 5th Symphony in F Major, op.76, and also the 6th Symphony in D Major, op.60. Only three to go!

Becoming A Lied Singer - Thomas Quasthoff and the Art of German Song
TQ is a retired lied singer who now works as a Professor, and tutor to upcoming lied singers, and who had instigated a competition to find such new voices since 2009. His professional singing career ended after his brother died, and he lost his voice. He now sings jazz which is apparently easier. Schubert and Brahms were the most noted composers of lieder music. It was originally music to be sung in recitals in drawing rooms, rather than the concert halls it is often heard in now.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:58 am

Lang Lang - Chopin and Tchaikowsky - Live in Versailles - In the Hall of Mirrors
The piano whizz does four scherzi by Chopin, followed by The Seasons, 12 pieces of music by Tchaikowsky, from 2015. A pleasantly impressive show.

Antonin Dvorak - Nine Symphonies
His 7th Symphony in D Minor, op.70 this time.

Music For Mercy
A charity concert of sorts, connected with the Pope's Jubilee of Mercy in 2016, held at the Roman Forum, Rome. Old sweats like Andrea Bocelli and Elaine Paige mixed with newer stars like Carly Paoli, as they dealt with old favourites like Nessun Dorma and I Know Him So Well, to other less familiar works.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:42 am

Antonin Dvorak - Nine Symphonies
The 8th one, in G Major, op.88, though parts of this actually sounded familiar, so maybe this is a good one.

Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the LSO
The first in a different series, this having been held at the Barbican in London, on Mar 12, 2015, with three pieces from Matthews, Gershwin and Shostakovich, in some kind of cultural, British-American-Russian billing.


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Post  misery guts on Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:37 am

BBC Proms '17: Barenboim's Elgar
Daniel Barenboim conducted the Staatskapelle, from Berlin, in a program which started with a lengthy piece by Harrison Birtwistle, who was present to accept applause at its end, and then three pieces by Edward Elgar, during which Danny made a speech encouraging anti-isolationism, and claiming not to be political. Good stuff all the same.

Sound and Vision: The Women of UK Rap
Billie JD Porter met Lady Leshurr to talk about the barriers faced by women who want to be Grime MCs, and how Ruff Sqwad members Slix and Prince Rapid are supporting projects to help encourage those who wish to make their way in the business, from Flohio to Lyrical T.
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Post  misery guts on Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:31 am

Antonin Dvorak - Nine Symphonies
The 9th Symphony in E Minor, op.95, probably the most famous of the whole series, thanks to the Largo which was used in a famous bread commercial here.

Live With... Wilko Johnson
The guitar hero who continues to defy the odds, with a steady half-hour that included the title track from his recent collaboration with Roger Daltrey.

World Stage: Ultra Worldwide - Hardwell
A series of performances from shows in Miami, Split, Tokyo, Rio de Janiero and back to Miami. I can't pretend it frightened the horses, but the crowds seemed happy enough.

The Summer of Love
A new show that felt repeatedly like I must have seen it before. Made by the same people who do those "Discovering..." shows, and with some of the same talking heads, it was an unstoppable flood of things about 1967 which represented the changing of the times, from cars to clothes to drugs to bands to films to festivals and so on. DJ Johnnie Walker, producer Joe Boyd and critic Will Hodgkinson were among the talkers.
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Post  misery guts on Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:31 am

BBC Proms '17: John Williams Film Prom
Keith Lockhart conducted the BBC Concert Orchestra through nearly 2 hours of tunes by the composer with 5 Oscars and 23 Grammys to his credit, but to be honest between the Raiders March, Jaws & Superman themes, through to the main music from Star Wars, there was an awful lot of undistinguished stuff.

Camille O'Sullivan - Live at the Union Chapel
Back again for another spirited hour of covers, notable for her verve in choosing Oasis, Bowie and Pink Floyd, before finishing with Purple Rain.
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Post  misery guts on Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:05 am

Sir John Eliot Gardener conducts Mendelssohn
Continuing the LSO series at the Barbican, this time on a bash at Mendelssohn's First Symphony in C Minor, followed by A Midsummer Nights Dream, including help from the Monteverdi Choir. This latter is of course infamous the world over for the Wedding March.

Sound and Vision - Hastune Miku - The Virtual Popstar
A look at vocaloid technology, whereby access to a computer bank of vocals means that you can now type your own songs and have a computer creature sing them back (probably helps if you know tunes too). Miku is, inevitably it must be said, a Japanese creation, being a blue-haired schoolgirl. It's early days, but I could see the scope for the future.

Nick Heyward - Live at the Water Rats
An hour partly to plug his new Woodland Echoes LP, his first since 1999 or something, but also to play some classic hits from his heyday in the early 1980s. Still sounds good.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:40 am

The LSO Collection: Sir John Eliot Gardener conducts Mendelssohn & Schumann
More from the Barbican series, this time on Jan 21, 2014, as Sir JEG oversees Schumann's Piano Concerto, and Mendelssohn's 3rd Symphony, and Overture to the Hebrides. Good stuff.

Live With... Gabby Young & Other Animals
Unsure if I've seen this before, but a decent folky half-hour all the same.

Rodrigo y Gabriela - In Concert - Baloise Session 2016
Given the lack of captions, or artist introductions, this was pleasant but mostly wasted, as two undeniably talented musicians played through maybe a dozen or so tunes which didn't all sound the same, but which didn't sound like anything special.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:56 am

BBC Proms '17: Malcolm Sargent Revisited
To mark 50 years since the noted conductor and icon of the Proms died, this concert recreated the 500th Prom, held on Jul 23, 1966, which was the First Night in that Proms season. This time, Sir Andrew Davis, very much in Sargent's mould, conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra through a varied bill from Berlioz, Schumann, Elgar, Walton, Holst, Delius and finally Britten. A fine memorial for "Flash Harry".

The LSO Collection: Valery Gergiev
Still from the Barbican Hall, London, in 2014, simply presenting Berlioz' version of "Romeo and Juliette". Impressive stuff.

HARDtalk: Sir John Tavener
A repeat from 2013, as the noted composer reflected on his recovery from a heart attack, and how it took a while for him to rediscover the creative impulse, and that he was now writing shorter pieces than before. He had some strident views on religion, and scorn for his often-negative response from critics.

BBC Proms '17: Scott Walker Revisited
Jules Buckley conducted the Heritage Orchestra and a series of guest vocalists as they recreated over an hour of works from the distinctive voiced pop star. Jarvis Cocker, Richard Hawley, John Grant and Suzanne Sundfor shared the vocal duties, and they didn't do "Jacky" to my disappointment.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:05 am

Sound and Vision - The Rise of UK Afrobeats
A pertinent half-hour putting a term to a musical genre which is taking greater prominence in the charts these days. It's about a new African musical identity and imagery, whilst dance contests popularise some tunes, and the lack of women is an issue. Fuse ODG was the most famous of the acts mentioned here.

BBC Proms '17: Ades conducts Stravinsky
Thomas Ades conducting the National Youth Orchestra through pieces by Coll, Ades himself, and chiefly Stravinsky's famous Rite of Spring. Pleasant enough stuff. This was also the 50th Prom for the NYO, and there was a piece in which several previous conductors spoke warmly about working with them.

Sir Simon Rattle conducts an Imaginary Orchestral Journey
More from the LSO Collection, as the first half saw pieces by Wagner and Bartok (his 2nd Piano Concerto), and the second half being something of a megamix from 11 different Haydn pieces, which formed the titular Journey, mainly from symphonies, but even including music from mechanical organs. Different.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:48 am

Live With... Sarah Darling
Pleasant enough material from someone who might be from Wyoming.

Best Before: Jackmaster at Crossrail Gardens
A promising new series with continual mixes from assorted talents in quirky locations. Steady stuff here.

The LSO Collection: Gergiev conducts Berlioz
From the Barbican, London, in November 2013, doing three different pieces by old Hector.

MTV Crashes Plymouth: Charli XCX
She's back with a new single, Boys, but live you just notice how many hit songs she's done with/for other people, whether Rita Ora or Iggy Azalea.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:50 am

BBC Proms '17: Ella and Dizzy Revisited
To celebrate the centenaries of Dizzy Gillespie and Ella Fitzgerald, John Mauceri conducted the BBC Concert Orchestra, with James Morrison on the trumpet and Dianne Reeves doing the singing turns. They did some Ellington and several Gershwin numbers, and encored on "It Don't Mean a Thing (if it Ain't Got that Swing)". A fine excuse.

Arthur Brown - Part 1 - The God of Hellfire
At last some more Cherry Red gems. This saw Iain McNay talking about Arthur's upbringing and journey to dreaming up his master-work, the #1 hit "Fire". Arthur has had much spiritual thought in the past half-century, perhaps unsurprisingly, and made several concept albums in the 1970s. He did fall into the trap of becoming bored with material and performance, and challenging the audience to keep it fresh.

BBC Proms '17: Dausgaard's Rachmaninov
Thomas Dausgaard conducted the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra through the Russian composer's 3rd Piano Concerto in D Minor and his 2nd Symphony, with assistance from the Latvian Radio Choir on a couple of sympathetic pieces, and archive from the Proms in 1991 on a similar theme.

The South Bank Show: Benjamin Clementine
The 2015 Mercury Music Prize winner had a curious backstory, deeply religious parents in North London, and living rough in Paris at the age of 19. He learned a piano style which owed a lot to drumming, and was spotted while busking, and achieved fame at Cannes in 2013. He's got his 2nd album out now/soon. I wasn't wholly won over, I think it's fair to say.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:39 am

George Ezra's Mixtape
He talks about making the videos for Don't Matter Now, Listen To The Man and Blame It On Me, whilst also talking of his appreciation for Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Sigrid, Haim and Sam Smith. Nice bloke.

Who Do You Think You Are? USA - Josh Groban
Likeable musician finds his family arrived in the USA in the late 17th century, and he heads to Stuttgart to find an ancestor who was a deacon who taught music, but also got into astronomy, and believed Halley's comet was a harbinger of doom for the church, which presaged his quest for the New World, though he died before he got there.

Larry King Now - Annie Lennox
She's no plans for writing or touring, busier using her profile to campaign against HIV/AIDS, having been inspired by Nelson Mandela's 46664 charity. She only uses Facebook to be serious, and feels technology is accelerating. There have been many changes for the better in her lifetime. HIV is being treated, not cured. She met Prince once when he came to see Eurythmics in a small basement show.

A Very Boyz II Men Soul Train Special
There's only 3 of them now, and they've not had any hits of note in the UK since I think 1998-9. But they seem like nice guys. They did a good covers tribute LP in 2004 which sounded interesting, and now perform in Las Vegas.

Live With... Empathy Test
A synthpop duo with 2 LPs, and on this evidence, some good songs like Bare My Soul.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:25 am

Best Before: Joe Goddard - Live at Voodoo Ray's
The erstwhile member of Hot Chip and The 2 Bears took a took at spinning the discs in what looked very much like a pizza parlour. The crowd seemed happy enough.

The Big Beat - Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock N Roll
A lengthy treatise on Antoine Domino Jr, the 9th child of 9, who was born in New Orleans in 1928, was taught piano by Harrison Verrett and never looked back. He helped lead in the new sound of R&B. The wind beneath his wings, though, was Dave Bartholomew, erstwhile bandleader and co-writer. With that help, and taking his name from Fats Waller, Mr Domino hit big in the 1950s. He scored with Ain't That A Shame, and saw Pat Boone cover it a week later. But this at least drew attention, and he carried on with I'm In Love Again and Blueberry Hill. He appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in November 1956, but telly appearances usually came with gags about his weight, part of the segregation issues of the times. Touring began to pall, and the hits dried up, but he kept working and touring for another 40-odd years.

Charli XCX's Mixtape
Stories about the videos for Boys, I Love It, Boom Clap, Fancy, Doing It, her admiration for Britney Spears and Hilary Duff and LMFAO, and working with Iggy Azalea, Lil Yachty, Mura Masa and Rita Ora. She's a busy old thing.

BBC Proms '17: Philip Glass and Ravi Shankar
A performance of their collaborative album Passages, by Anoushka Shankar and with Karen Kamensek conducting the Britten Sinfonia.
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Post  misery guts on Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:33 am

Best Before: Hannah Wants - Live at Fitzroy Lodge Boxing Club
Set up in the centre of the ring, another useful little set with a couple of tracks I knew for once (Shakedown's At Night and Marian Hill's Down).

BBC Proms '17: Bach's St John Passion
John Butt leading the Dunedin Consort in their Proms debut of a piece which premiered on Good Friday 1724 in Leipzig. Steady enough stuff.

Nick Currie - The Momus Story
Another Cherry Red gem from c.2010 perhaps. Nick had a long and busy career with brief spells on 4AD and Creation, but mainly on Cherry Red. He gave Iain great praise for keeping up the flag for indie labels. He had interesting touring stories with Alan McGee, and spending the 1990s having success in Japan with acts inspired by him and the label he was on. He got married but lost the use of his right eye along the way. He'd also got a couple of books coming at the time this was done. Seemed an interesting guy. Here's one of his biggest hits: The Hairstyle of the Devil
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Post  misery guts on Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:17 am

MTV World Stage: DNCE
From Il Fosos Square, Floriana, Malta, June 2017, a better show than I expected. Yer man whose band it is has clearly a taste for covers to fill out an otherwise steady set, and a medley of Wannabe, Oops I Did It Again and Fade does at least score points for novelty.

Stormzy's Mixtape
Nice chap really, talking about early videos, respect for others like Wretch 32 and Lethal Bizzle, working with Chip, saluting Tinie Tempah and Kehlani, MNEK and Raye.

Noisey: Lagos
Zach Goldbaum takes on more than he can chew, trying to interview Wizkid in Nigeria. He meets other acts trying to develop from the same background in AfroPop, the legacy of Fela Kuti, the problem with counterfeit goods, and the struggle to record material when your studio relies on generators instead of a proper electricity network. One highlight was meeting an albino rapper called White Man who introduced Agoro, a freakishly tall man who seemed a lot more of a star than White Man. Inevitably, WizKid was too busy to meet Zach, but the show didn't need him.

Live With... Purdy
Her LP "Diamond in the Dust" signals her sound referring back to classic torch singers, and she may yet become one herself.

Best Before: Pete Tong and the Heritage Orchestra - Ibiza Classics
A longer than usual show, from a club in Ibiza and with guests like Jessie Ware on the odd track. It's a simple enough shtick, but well done here.
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