John Paul White – Live at Omeara

Happy is not a word that is usually associated with John Paul White’s music. Full of longing, heartbreakingly beautiful but definitely not happy. But in this case, White brought the sweetener, bringing the bitter taste to a halt. White opened with ‘I Wish I Could Write You a Song’ delivered in his pure and haunting…

In Defence of The New Yorker and Freedom of Speech

“I wholly disapprove of what you say—and will defend to the death your right to say it.” –      Voltaire “Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;.” –      First Amendment, United States Constitution   Last week David Remnick, political journalist and editor of The New…

In memory of Tessa Jowell

Foreward I wrote the following the day I found out that Tessa Jowell had died. I remember reading the news on my phone, as one now does, and crying. As explain below, the New Labour government, which encompassed Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Tessa Jowell and many many others, was instrumental to my mother, my brother,…

‘Stay Lucky’: an interview with Nerina Pallot

Three years ago, Nerina Pallot released The Sound and the Fury an intensely political record that reckoned with the death and legacy of Margaret Thatcher, the murder of Lee Rigby, the now-closed refugee camp in Calais, and the intricacies of navigating the world as a woman. The record was infused with electro-pop and heavy synths and…

The Musical is Political: ‘White Man’s World’ – Jason Isbell

Nina Simone once said, “An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times. I think that is true for painters, sculptors, poets, musicians. As far as I’m concerned it’s their choice. But I choose to reflect the times and the situations in which I find myself. That to me is my…

Lily & Madeleine: Growing Pains

I met Lily & Madeleine exactly two years ago in London. It was November and it was just as cold. They had just released their second album Fumes and were in the midst of their European tour. The mood in that room that cold November night, was one full of hope and excitement. The sisters…