Sunday 19th November

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Villiers Quartet
Tamaki Higashi, James Dickenson, Nick Stringfellow, Carmen Flores

Villiers Quartet: New Works Competition

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As always, a treat to take in the gorgeous canal views from an outside sofa during a balmy Sunday at the wonderful King’s Place. The double whammy being the equal treat for chamber music enthusiasts of the Villiers Quartet New Works Competition. This only comes around once every couple of years and is not to be missed.

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Category: Music
Brian Charette

Brian Charette: Square One

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I was thrilled to get my hands on Brian Charette’s 2014 CD Square One. Having heard him play in ensemble at Jazz Club Soho earlier this year, he told me that he plays London too infrequently. His new recording is a treat for all Jazzers and a special offering for fans of Jazz organ. It may suffice until he returns to The Smoke.

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Category: Music
Kate Bush

Kate Bush @ Hammersmith Apollo

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At some point the mirror cracks and dislodges the illusions of youth. That’s what I thought had happened in Kate Bush’s horror of a short film ‘The Line, the Cross and the Curve’. “A load of bollocks” she describes it. I recall cringing with embarrassment having dragged along a colleague who happened not to be a Kate Bush fan.

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Category: Music
Tom Gamble at Jazz Club Soho, London.
Tom Gamble at Jazz Club Soho, London.

Tom Gamble: CD + London dates

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Classically-trained guitarist Tom Gamble recently played a solo set at the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden, going down a storm with the assembled literary crowd at the Playerist Comedy Night. He’s soon to leave these shores to further his studies abroad so catch him while you can. Meanwhile, music lovers will be more than satisfied with Mr Gamble’s fantastic début Jazz CD Rooftop Music. Recently graduating with a First from Trinity Laban Conservatoire in Greenwich, the maestro leads the Tom Gamble Ensemble at the South Bank Centre on August 8. He then departs with fitting flourish as Director of the Quiet Nights Orchestra at a very special gig at the National Portrait Gallery on August 22.

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Category: Culture
Kenesha
Photograph by Martin Slidel

Kenesha @ Alley Cat

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I rocked up at the great Alley Cat Club about eightish when unusually for live gigs the party had already started. In retrospect unsurprising as the popular Kenesha had not one but three top-level support acts. I made it in to the soulful yet gravely voice of Alex Bay for spot-on delivery of his David Gray-esque Love Never Dies. Next up was Blues singer Winston Skerritt whose gently styled speech-singing was matched by sensitive and rhythmic guitar. Terrific changes of tempo and dynamics included the slowed-down end of the hypnotic The One That Got AwayJoe Garvey’s clever and witty ramble Long Way to Fall boasted admirable articulation of otherwise tongue-twisting lyrics. This followed with what else but a down-and-dirty version of MJ’s Beat It.

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Category: Clubs
Kenesha
Photograph by Martin Slidel

Kenesha EP Launch // Thursday July 10 // Alley Cat

I caught up with North London Roots singer Kenesha over lunch on a not-so-sunny Sunday though her very presence illuminated the afternoon. She spoke with infectious enthusiasm about her forthcoming EP, ahead of its launch at the world-famous Alley Cat venue in the heart of London’s music district. Her new and inspirational collection features pared-back acoustic interpretations of Bluesy yet contemporary balladry, as requested by fans.

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Category: Music
Cyprien Katsaris
Photo credit: Carole Bellaïche

Katsaris @ Wigmore Hall + New CD

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Cyprien Katsaris has a twinkle in his eye, and his improvisation revealed a delightful sense of fun, matched by sheer showmanship. Trailing his hand alongside the boat for Offenbach’s Barcarolle, he unexpectedly coursed to Rodrigo; keys thrummed as if the neck of a guitar. Was that a touch of Plaisir d’Amour as he whisked us around the world? Stopping-off to chime the bells of St Clement’s. Khachaturian, fancified and scrumptious; Tchaikovsky, summoning visions of ballerinas. Then, clouds across the sky, dark and dramatic. A glissando, and a single note to end.

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Category: Culture
Tom Gamble
Tom Gamble

Playerist Comedy Night 2 // Poetry Café // Review

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A school night if not for half term, those in the know braved the dullest weather to arrive at a sparkling evening of comedy by Playerist Performance Collective at the Poetry Café.

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Category: Art