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 … Continue reading John Paul White – Live at Omeara
“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 … Continue reading In Defence of The New Yorker and Freedom of Speech
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, … Continue reading In memory of Tessa Jowell
Soul music has always seemed to me the music that people need when they’ve been sufficiently beaten down by the world, and just need something that can put them back together again. Whether it’s Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together’, Sam Cooke’s 'Just For You’, Etta James’ ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’ or Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’, these … Continue reading Aretha Franklin’s Living Memory: an essay on the collective loss of historical memory
There is a photograph in a book dedicated to a lesser known war photographer Dickey Chapelle. Chapelle reported from around the world, including the battle of Iwo Jima, the reconstruction of post-war Europe, the Algerian civil war and most notably, the Vietnam war. In addition to this, Dickey also covered relief and aid work in … Continue reading “Round and round we go, where it stops nobody knows”: an essay on political short-termism.
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 … Continue reading ‘Stay Lucky’: an interview with Nerina Pallot
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 … Continue reading The Musical is Political: ‘White Man’s World’ – Jason Isbell