After the headrush

Rip It Up and Start Again: Post-Punk 1978-1984 Simon Reynolds, Faber & Faber, 2019, 608 pages MARK GULLICK savours an appreciation of an excitingly original music scene Punk rock in both its British and American incarnations is probably as thoroughly documented as any musical genre. Punk seen as a transition, stage or catalyst, however, and…

50 years of Sticky Fingers

CHRISTOPHER SANDFORD recalls the shambolic genesis of the Stones’ masterpiece At about eleven on the Monday morning of 9 March 1970, a somewhat distressed-looking olive green, midsized BMC lorry of the kind typically used to haul heavy goods around the country, crunched up the gravel driveway of a sprawling manor house located just outside the…

Orpheans of the fringes

STUART MILLSON celebrates Celtic composers We tend to think of British music, and the landscape of the British repertoire, as belonging to English composers such as Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten. But it is not just bucolic, visionary southern English landscapes that have inspired great music. The Welsh landscape is just as much a place…

From iconoclasm to ruins

All paintings by the author ALEXANDER ADAMS surveys the story of deliberate destruction We are familiar with the folly and – from the Baroque period onward – the purposefully constructed ruin used to enhance the pathos of a place, most especially a view of a country estate. This would be a view that could be…

Classical Kent

Peter Warlock STUART MILLSON searches for unjustly overlooked Kent composers A recent release on an innovative recording label – with the somewhat obscure title, Heracleitus – brings a mysterious figure from 20th century music in this country into view. The CD from the recording arm of the English Music Festival, an organisation dedicated to the…

Canadian rock revisited

Derek Turner interviews Canadian rock titan EDGAR BREAU Q. Canada’s musical heritage is as varied as its landscape – from the Celtic-and French-infused “music of the maritimes”, via Portia White, Oscar Peterson, Paul Anka, Neil Young, Steppenwolf, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell, to M.O.R. mega-acts like Rush, Bryan Adams, Céline Dion, Michael Bublé, and Justin…

Moby Grape – the greatest rock-and-roll combo you’ve never heard of

CHRISTOPHER SANDFORD recalls a brilliant, betrayed band All rock musicians carry a strong potential for disaster. On top of their youth and volatility, already a toxic combination, they swim in the notoriously shark-infested waters of showbusiness. Add the proximity of mind-warping drugs, uncomplicated sex and other inducements, and, notwithstanding the example of a few carefully…

A gallop through English myth

John Gardner, 1917-2011 The Ballad of the White Horse by John Gardner. Hilary Davan Wetton conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra, City of London Choir and Paulina Voices, with Ashley Riches, baritone. EMR CD057 STUART MILLSON relishes a forgotten folkish treat In the late 1950s, the English composer, John Gardner (1917-2011) – one of many forgotten…