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Post  misery guts on Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:13 am

Prokofiev - Symphony #3 in C Minor, op.44
In St Petersburg this time, lively stuff.

Tiree Music Festival - Sharon Shannon & Skerryvore
The latter band were the main act, really, as some of them were from the area, but Sharon joined them on her piano accordion for a few numbers. Quite good.

Children In Need Rock The 80s
A special concert to encourage charitable giving, with Bananarama, Erasure, OMD and Jason Donovan belting out some of their hits, a-ha doing an acoustic version of Take On Me (as I believe they're pushing an acoustic album of their own), a caped Mica Paris did none of her own but did get to cover Madonna, Tina Turner & Michael Jackson, whilst Boy George did Purple Rain, and Europe, of all people, did the finale. Somewhat as mad as the decade it celebrated.

Prokofiev - Symphony #4 in C Major, op.47
Still in St Petersburg, still a few more of these to go.

MTV WorldStage: a-ha Unplugged
From somewhere in Norway on 2 nights in June of this year, and with a couple of guests, it was Morten, Mags & Pal doing their acoustic thing. Though their 2 biggest hits are justifiably remembered, I find I'm more drawn to the lesser heard ones like their Bond theme.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:12 am

Perthshire Amber - Mischa MacPherson Trio
A short set from this celtic outfit, at Blairgowrie Town Hall.

Prokofiev - Symphony #5 in B Flat Major, op.100
Still in St Petersburg for this one, good stuff.

Live at Eden - Van Morrison
A summery gig with him plugging his then-forthcoming new LP, and playing many of his old hits, to crowd delight. Despite his truculent reputation, he does have a little fun with it.

Showstoppers at the BBC
Another hour compilation of usual suspects like Joe Cocker or Mahalia Jackson, but with the odd surprise like Jeff Buckley and Mary J Blige.

Tiree Music Festival - Red Hot Chili Pipers
It took until the 2nd song until I realise my mistake, but they were a good bunch anyway, and had some interesting covers in their "bagrock" material.
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Post  misery guts on Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:37 am

Prokofiev - Symphony #6 in E Flat Minor, op.111
The usual set-up, in St Petersburg, this piece is apparently an elegy for the tragedies of WW2.

The Great Songwriters: The Flaming Lips
To be precise, Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd. Coyne was from Oklahoma, Drozd moved there. They didn't expect the band would last 35 years. They talked about the impact of punk in making music seem a more possible life. They sang 4 songs, happily including the 2 I like, Do You Realise? and Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, Pt 1. They were delighted to find crowds responded to their sometimes esoteric stage shows, and keep all the past props should they be needed again.

Live With... Newton Faulkner
I would have sworn I'd seen this before. He does Dream Catch Me and other material from his latest album.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:27 am

Prokofiev - Symphony #7 in C Sharp Minor, op.131
As ever in St Petersburg, this was his final symphony before his death in 1952.

Belladrum 2016 - Cridhe Tartan - Gruff Rhys
The former frontman of Super Furry Animals, here doing a short acoustic set wholly in his native Welsh. Pleasant enough.

Tiree Music Festival - Blazin' Fiddles
A return gig in 2016, having last played there in 2012. They spoke of how the scene had changed over the past decade, as new acts come in who are slicker. But they were entertaining enough in their way.

Crooners at the BBC
Another hour compilation from the obvious like Crosby and Sinatra, down to more modern voices like Lana Del Ray and Josh Homme. I might have thought Brandon Flowers deserved inclusion, but there it is.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:08 am

Prokofiev - Symphony-Concerto in E Minor, op.125
Still in St Petersburg, this piece was notable for Alexander Ramm on the cello.

Passions: Barry Humphries on The Music Hitler Banned
Australian comedian discusses the Weimar culture, dada art movement, and avant-garde composers like Kurt Weill, EW Korngold and Wilhelm Grosz. The film Cabaret was of course inspired by these times. But the Nazis saw them as degenerates, and those who did not see the writing on the wall, met with a terrible destiny. Humphries' celebration of their music at least shows they won in the long run.

Ceol bho Perthshire Amber - Dougie MacLean
A couple of acoustic numbers from Dunkeld Cathedral. A curious little schedule filler.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:57 am

Prokofiev - Scythian Suite, op.20
In Moscow this time, a piece ostensibly influenced by Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, although you'd perhaps need to be more familiar with it to know.

Skipinnish aig Barrowland
A Scottish bunch hit the big time in Glasgow, and get an entertaining hour of performance material, and band members have names like Norrie and Angus, and they get special guests from other Scottish bands like Runrig. I thought it was quite good.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:41 am

Prokofiev - Piano Concerto #1 in D Flat Major, op.10
Denis Kozhukhin handled the piano work whilst the rest of the gang were in Moscow.

Passions: Chi-Chi Nwanoku on Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
To my surprise, this turned out to be about an early black classical composer who achieved a few modest successes, but sold some of his rights too cheaply, and died at 37. He's remembered in Croydon, but in few other places. His case apparently helped inspire the Performing Rights Society to protect other composers. Nwanoku is of course the mover behind the Chineke! orchestra.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:44 am

Prokofiev - Piano Concerto #2 in G Minor, op.16
Still in St Petersbiurg for this, with Denis Matsuev doing the honours on the piano, and adding a little encore at the end. Nearly at the end of this series.

Gregory Porter's Popular Voices
Three hours to divide singers into Showstoppers, Crooners and Truth Tellers. The bottom line is that Greg likes Nat King Cole, and his new album reflects that. Otherwise this series touched a lot of the usual bases.

The Great Songwriters: Noel Gallagher
There was a mysterious acoustic guitar in his house, and the rest was history. Once he wrote Live Forever, he realised how bad his previous songs had been. He was surprised that Don't Look Back In Anger has taken on a life of its own, particularly in relation to the Manchester Arena attacks back in May. He's worked with David Holmes on his latest album (#1 this very week), and Holmes kept pushing him to come up with something new and different, for which Noel was eventually grateful. He considers himself among the dwindling band of proper songwriters left (Paul Weller, Johnny Marr and Paul McCartney included). He's always good thoughtful copy.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:51 am

Prokofiev - Piano Concerto #3 in C Major, op.26
Still in St Petersburg, with Daniil Trifonov on the piano. There's part of this about 1/3 of the way in that sounded very familiar, but I can't think why.

Ceol bho Perthshire Amber - The MacLean Project
A short burst from Perth Concert Hall, from 2014, pleasant enough.

Truth Tellers at the BBC
The last of these compilations accompanying the Gregory Porter series, with some expected names here (Dylan, Cohen, Scott-Heron), and some less expected (Winehouse, KanYe, Pulp).

Twenty Feet From Stardom
A documentary film about background singers, Merry Clayton and Darlene Love, people like that. Top-line stars like Sting and Bruce Springsteen spoke warmly of their contribution, though many had tried to cross the line to become stars in their own right (Lisa Fischer, Tata Vega) and failed through no fault of their own.

Tiree Music Festival - The Levellers
A steady set in 2016, from a reliable bunch who've not troubled the charts much for a long time, but still have the drive and the songs to succeed live.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:27 am

Prokofiev - Piano Concerto #4 in B Flat Major, op.53
Still in St Petersburg, but nearly at the end of the series. Sergei Redkin did the piano honours this time.

Lang Lang's New York Rhapsody
A quirky showcase of artistes like Suzanne Vega and Rufus Wainwright, on various NY tunes from old favourites like Somewhere, to more recent efforts like Empire State of Mind. A pleasant enough performance from May 2016.

Belladrum 2016 - Cridhe Tartan - C Duncan
A short acoustic burst from a Scottish threepiece. Nice enough.

Live at Eden: Bastille
The third of these shows from the summer, they're an odd lot who I often feel I don't really get.

Passions: Puccini by Andrea Colombini
The conductor from Lucca examines the life of the composer from Lucca, as a prelude to his own staging of Puccini's La Boheme. The 2nd half was about the show, so at least scored for novelty. Puccini was a night-time composer and a ladies man.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:06 am

Storyville: Liberation Day
The story of how Slovenian art-rockers Laibach were invited to do a gig inside North Korea, in August 2015, and the strife it took to happen through preparations, publicity, practice, technical tensions, their choice of cover versions, censorship, and ultimately the concert.

Prokofiev - Piano Concerto #5, op.55
Still in St Petersburg, this time with Vadym Kholodenko on the piano, in April 2016.

Mike Aremu - Live at Jazz Café
From 2013, with Mike promoting his Coat of Many Colours album, being the head of a 12 piece band, and the word Skatajabajantise. Quite. The music was fine, and his backing singers were clearly good too.

Larry King Now: Steve Dorff
Larry had his wife Shawn alongside for some reason. Dorff is plugging his book "I Wrote That One Too", talking about how he came to LA in 1972 and went from there. He didn't manage to get Barbra Streisand to record with Willie Nelson. It's harder now to make money from getting songs on albums, only as hit singles. His son Andrew was also a songwriter but died suddenly last December, aged 40. He's never liked jazz, and admires Clive Davis, and Jimmy Webb. He was a self taught pianist. He came across Whitney Houston at the start of his career, and also wrote for Celine Dion.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:22 am

Jonas Blue's Mixtape
The producer talks fondly of David Guetta, Disciples, DJ Snake, Martin Solveig, Martin Jensen, Neiked, Raye, Years & Years and Zedd.

Prokofiev - Violin Concerto #2 in G Major, op.63
The last one, with Kristof Barubi on the violin. Been an impressive series.

Alexander Armstrong - In A Winter Light
Another year, another album of covers for Christmas. This time he has produced a mixture of old and new, Christian and pagan, and so on. He spoke fondly of Christmas family traditions, and I don't doubt he'll be releasing albums for as long as he can.

Tiree Music Festival
A mixture of performances from Skerryvore, Fergus MacDonald and Flook.

Classic Albums: American Pie
Don McLean's early 70s masterpiece, notable for the title track, Vincent and others. George Michael covered The Grave in 2003, which Don was complimentary about. They even fit in the story about Lori Lieberman and Killing Me Softly.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Dec 18, 2017 7:45 am

A Shot Of Whisky
A look over the history of the Whisky-a-Go-Go club in Los Angeles, with staff and owners talking fondly, as well as many musicians who'd played it, from John Densmore and Glenn Highes to the late Lemmy and the Mael brothers. Many stories blended, which reinforced rather than contradicted. One aspect was the variety of acts booked, from the Doors, to Count Basie, to the Hollies, to Madness, and so on. A legendary place.

Fern Britton meets... Barbara Dickson
Dunfermline's finest folk singer, who starred on stage for Willy Russell singing Beatles tunes, had chart hits in the 1970s, and a UK #1 with Elaine Paige, but suffered with stage fright for a long while. She married a man 11 years her junior back in 1983, but they're still together. She's 70 and planning for a big tour in 2019.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:59 am

The Quay Sessions: Iain Morrison
A steady set from the Scottish performer.

The Great Songwriters: Kelly Jones
The Stereophonics' frontman had a musical father, and fell in love with the business while lugging equipment for his dad. He learned on an acoustic guitar, and drummer Stuart Cable lived 4 doors down. Their first band was Zephyr. Jones didn't want to sing, but was pressured because his father had been a singer. His writing draws from experiences. They headlined Glastonbury with their 3rd LP. They toured with David Bowie with the following album, and had a moment of revelation, leading to the writing of Vermillion, which became Dakota. Jones claimed to feel the song wrote itself in a direction he didn't expect. Their last few albums have been smoother because they have their own studio. He takes a no-nonsense approach from Stanley Kubrick. The band back him up.

Toots & the Maytals: From The Roots
Fred Hibbert told his tale, with Joe Boyd, Keith Richards and others singing his praise, and there was also performance of songs like Monkey Man and 54-46 That's My Number.


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Post  misery guts on Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:23 pm

Belladrum 2016 - Cridhe Tartan - Bella Hardy
A short burst of acoustic tunes.

The Quay Sessions - The Little Kicks
A spirited enough band, their big finish, the lengthy Heartbreak appears to homage Giorgio Moroder.

Take That! - Wonderland
A quite lengthy effort from the O2, London, as they did songs from across their career, and finished up on Rule The World.

Alexander O'Neal - Live at the Hammersmith Apollo
A crazy night from March 2006, with Alexander often talking to the audience to introduce his songs, discussing the English obsession with tea, and the accent, and finally bringing half the audience on stage anyway. Most alarming was the session where he brought a "single lady" to sit on a bed on stage whilst he sang a song to her.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:30 pm

Swinging' Christmas
A 2010 repeat of big-band swing music, some of which was Christmassy. Seth McFarlane was one of the main singers, and Curtis Stigers was a special guest (for 1 song!). Nice enough, marred only by a whining presenter and some pretty strange set-ups.

2Cellos - Score ...and more - Live at the Sydney Opera House
Backed by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the first half was music from the movies, then more familiar rock interpretations, often by AC/DC. Fun stuff.

An Audience With Donny & Marie
From 2009, the Osmonds sang, joked, answered questions, danced and bantered. They've decades of experience for shows like this.

Belladrum 2016 - Cridhe Tartan - Tiggs D'Author
A short set, interspersed with chat about how it felt to be making his debut, how it felt to be on Jools Holland's show, and where his name came from.

Bruno Mars - Live in Harlem
At the Apollo Theatre, no less. He ran through a predictable set, most of which was more recent stuff, and there were skits of him and his Hooligans bringing music and magic to the good folk of the area.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:08 pm

Asa - Live Concert
From IndigO2, London, an hour or so which was pleasant enough, even if I probably missed the full measure of it.

Steven Spielberg & John Williams - The Adventures Continues
A recording session covering some of their works which were lesser successes, to make a complete record, or something. There were tunes from Catch Me If You Can, Amistad, The Terminal, Lincoln and others.

Skipinnish Agus Caraidean
At the Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom, a shorter set, with Angus & Andrew discussing attitude to rehearsals along the way.

New Year's Day Concert from Vienna
The annual curtain-raiser from the Vienna Philharmonic, here conducted by Riccardo Muti. It was mainly a celebration of the many Strausses, with a few others slipped in here and there, some waltzes and all kinds of other pieces.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:16 am

Michael Ball - Both Sides Now tour
From the Hammersmith Apollo, a good couple of hours with some modern tunes in the first half, and then show-tunes in the 2nd, and some lively encores like One Step Out Of Time. I love the way he's unafraid to have a bash at some of these songs and give them slightly fresh takes.

Live From The McKittrick Hotel - Liam Gallagher
A good hour in Manhattan, mixing his new material with oldies from Oasis. The division of songs associated with his vocals and Noel's puts me in mind of Pink Floyd.

The Quay Sessions: C Macleod
A short but welcome set from this Scottish act who've got plenty to offer.

Scaletonez - Live In Concert
Unsure where or when this was, and it was a challenge to know what the songs were at times, let alone the identity of some American guest they were proud enough to bring on.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:32 am

MTV World Stage - Bleachers
At the Avalon, Los Angeles, last August, they did a short but steady set.

The Great Songwriters: Seal
Finally got round to this, he was with his long-standing friend Gus, who's been a great help for 30+ years. His first record was the Brothers Johnson's "Stomp". He had trouble with record companies, but the drummer from Big Audio Dynamite encouraged him to widen his horizons, and he knew then he was writing better stuff as a result. He respects Trevor Horn for creating the difference between a song and a record. He values collaborative creativity, but feels no pressure from having won awards. His recent album of jazz covers has inspired him to get back to writing, but he wouldn't pin down any future plans.

The First Silent Night
Simon Callow went to Salzburg and other Austrian places to retell the story of how poor Joseph Mohr wrote the words to Silent Night, and then 2 years later, he works with Franz Gruber on the tune to go with it. An American translated it 40 years later, and the rest is history.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:06 am

Supersonic
Major re-telling of the Oasis story, from origins to the Knebworth gigs, all told in audios, and with archive clips, of which there was an awful lot. Debbie Turner is the unsung hero who helped blag them a gig in Glasgow, where they were spotted and signed by Alan McGee. The downsides, such as drugs in America, line-up troubles in the ranks, and Noel walking out briefly after a calamitous gig in Los Angeles, were refreshingly relayed for once. Reformation remains unlikely.

Top of the Pops - The Story of 1985
Dead or Alive, Paul Hardcastle, power ballads, a-Ha, King, black DJ Dixie Peach, Loose Ends and the Christmas #1 from Shakin Stevens, with a little bit of Live Aid and the Style Council for fibre.

Live With... Jonny Lang
Supposedly a Grammy-winning blues-rock act. Fair enough stuff.

Tiree Music Festival: Trail West
Seemed surprising from the Scattermaster stuff, but South Australia definitely sounded familiar, so I can't tell whether I've seen this before or not.

Top of the Pops - 1985 Big Hits
The usual compilation hour with the Smiths, Kate Bush, Doug E Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew, Colonel Abrams, the Cure, Sister Sledge and Phyllis Nelson giving a different side to the year.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:32 am

Tiree Music Festival: Sharon Shannon
Different to the previous show I saw, this was from July 2016, and saw Sharon at centre stage, though she also spoke about her background in County Clare, and coming from a musical family, and what motivated her. She closed with Galway Girl (not that one, of course).

Fern Britton meets... Gregory Porter
He was born in Sacramento in 1971, moved to Bakersfield, one of 8 kids, his mother was a big influence because his father was living in LA. He was headed for a sports career, but a shoulder injury turned his thoughts towards music. He worked in theatre, wrote a musical about Nat 'King' Cole, met his wife at a gig in Russia, has won 2 Grammys, and his latest album was returning to his love for NKC.

Prince - Last Year of a Legend
Literally, a timeline of events in his final 12 months, from gigs and political works such as the song 'Baltimore'. He seemed enthused by an acoustic tour featuring songs from his back catalogue, but a painkiller problem relating to a hip injury seems to have caught up with him, just as he was on the point of finding help.

Nicki Minaj: My Time Again
From 2015, covering the period from the release of the "Anaconda" video, a disastrous double turn at the VMAs, feeling the strain from a full schedule, revisiting old haunts, working in studio on the Pinkprint album, narked by lower standards for what counts as rapping, feeling it important to embody love, and a hope for domestic happiness someday.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:27 am

In Concert: Paloma Faith
Around an hour from a recent Radio 2 gig, Ms Faith obliged mainly with tracks from her new The Architect album, but a few from the rest of her career.

Larry King Now: Sam Jones
Photographer and interviewer from Off Camera, he's made music docs on Wilco in the past, and his chat varied between stories about people he has snapped (eg De Niro, Steve Martin, Obama) and those he has interviewed or wants to interview, why he likes using black and white, his worries for his children's futures, and so on.

Belladrum - Cridhe Tartan - Turin Brakes
From 2016, their first appearance at the festival, and a lengthier set than some, notable for some big hits like Painkiller and Fishing For A Dream.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:48 am

MTV World Stage: Fall Out Boy
From the Monterrey Arena, Monterrey, Mexico, on Oct 3rd, 2013. I find them a bit smug at times, however I am prepared to let it slide because I like Thnks Fr Th Mmrs, with which they closed this performance.

The South Bank Show Originals: Cher
From 1999, just after her 'Believe' comeback. She was a talkative and fearless interviewee, to the point where I wondered whether she's written it all down in an autobiography or not. Apparently, she's kicking back on Twitter amongst other things these days, and I can well believe it.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:51 am

Nicki Minaj - Live From Brooklyn
July 2015, on the Pinkprint Tour, from the Barclays Center, Brooklyn. It didn't help that I only recognised about 1 track in 5, some of which seemed to be mixtape medleys too. The large parts of the audience singing every word was notable.

Machine Head - Catharsis special
Noisy metal band have new album out, their 9th, so Robb Flynn chatted to Matt Stocks. He's turned 50 now, and has been experimental with the new album, and expects the fans to respect his judgement calls. He pays tribute to the Beatles' Hamburg days, talks about how music overcame his introversion, working on a 1 : 4 ratio of good songs written to bad, how a YouTube demo about the 2016 US Election spread the word about them to a wider audience, and so on.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:48 am

The Righteous Brothers
From the Roxy, Hollywood, California, apparently their first taped-for-later effort in 21 years. They seemed in good mood, belting through what surprised me as a mostly-covers set (of course, Unchained Melody is one, but I didn't realise it was pretty much their usual stock). They did a few medleys too. They paid lip service to Barry Mann & Cynthia Weill, who were in the audience.

Binneas - Tryst
A short burst from Na Trads in 2016, enlivened still further because they were a bagpipe band.

Live With... The Professionals
Originally the post-Sex Pistols project of Steve Jones and Paul Cook, only the latter is part of this reformation, but they belted through the songs, which were pretty fine.
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