Tag Archives: review

➤ Bowie at V&A: more than a rock star, Bowie reveals the process of art and design

David Bowie ,V&A exhibition, Davie Jones, Manish Boys, 1960s,Denmark Street, Tin Pan Alley,joesalama,YouTube

The first room at the V&A exhibition gives this glimpse of a pre-Bowie Davie Jones, aged 18, possibly filmed in Tin Pan Alley, London, in 1965… Click on pic to read the full story by Shapersofthe80s and view the home movie discovered in 2011

➢ 1965, Teenage Bowie flashes priceless smile to an amateur cine camera – read how the clip was found

V&A, review,exhibition, Geoffrey Marsh, David Bowie Is,

The V&A’s new exhibition David Bowie Is: “a grand stage for an inspirational artist who reshaped a generation”


❏ Just spent a blissed out evening at the V&A David Bowie is exhibition. It blew my mind! It is indeed a remarkable show… and to see all those pretty things that I’ve looked at in photos over and over again over the years is something akin to a religious experience… Not only is the clever curation of memorabilia and associated artefacts an inspiration (a lipstick stained tissue anyone?) but I got to personally thank both Mr Mick Rock and Mr Kansai Yamamoto for their wondrous workloads that helped transport me from village idiot to le freak! As the post-show party relocated from the V&A museum to The Rembrandt hotel across the road, the assembled fashion freaks, who also included fashion writer Judith Watt and costume designer Fiona Dealey, went crazy when Mr Yamamoto, who was responsible for many of Bowie’s flamboyant stage designs, entered. The fervour that greeted the legendary designer was akin to the Bowie-mania witnessed earlier in the evening when guests queued around the block to attend the private view.

➢ A great read about a great show – Sarah Crompton in the Telegraph, March 18:

In the opening room of the V&A’s new exhibition David Bowie Is, there is a four-second clip of film of a 17-year-old Bowie striding through the streets of Soho. The sun is shining, and as he catches sight of the camera he turns his bright blond head and smiles before vanishing from sight. The film was found on an old Super 8 camera. The amateur cameraman had been filming his wife in the Soho sunlight; it was quite by chance that he caught the nascent superstar. What is extraordinary is how, even then, Bowie behaves like the idol he was to become. If a camera is running, it must want to catch him in its lens. The mystery of David Bowie, the confidence that inspired a quiet boy from Bromley to become one of the most significant artists of his generation, hangs quietly over this entire show…

Geoffrey Marsh, a co-curator, says he is the first musical figure to be examined on such a scale: “This museum was set up to show how art and design work, to reveal the process. Although there have been a huge number of books about Bowie, they are by rock journalists and may not be of interest to the general public. The reason he is interesting is that he is more than a rock star”…

All the exhibits, presented using cutting-edge technology by – among others – the team behind the video projection at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, add to that sense of a fertile intelligence, changing constantly, shaping the world. You can see how firmly Bowie was in charge of everything he did.

The sheer grandeur [of the final room] brought tears to my eyes. I felt as I felt when I first saw Bowie live – simply glad to be in the same building as a man who could make music like this… / Full review at Telegraph online

➢ David Bowie is a retrospective exhibition of 300 possessions drawn from Bowie’s personal archive displayed at London’s Victoria & Albert museum, March 23–Aug 11.

David Bowie, NYC,The Next Day,Jimmy King, album charts,

Snowy Bowie, March 20: The Next Day debuts at #1 on charts in 12 countries and tops iTunes charts in 60. This week’s photo by Jimmy King

➢ Bowie is Go! Taster reviews for this week’s record-breaking V&A exhibition


➤ Who better than PJ to take Timberbloke to task for his new Mirrors video?

Justin Timberlake,Mirrors, Popjustice,review,video ,

Justin in hall of mirrors: Click on pic to run video in new window

♫ Taster of PJ’s verdict on Mirrors:

We admire the way Justin doesn’t appear until the boring bit, thus ensuring that music channels have to play the entire video when, had he featured in the main bit of the song, most of them would have chopped it off after the proper song finishes… His dancing around is a bit silly and there are no two ways about that, sorry… / Continued at Popjustice


♫ 2013 has already seen some exciting moments with the triumphant returns of The Knife, Destiny’s Child, Ciara and Justin Timberlake to the OG Sugababes. Now the Dazed April playlist features James Ferraro, MikeQ, The Knife, Sugababes plus new sounds from Bishop Nehru, MikeQ & Brenmar-produced Tigga Calore, Iggy Azalea, Cosmin TRG, James Ferraro and the new one on-cult label L.I.E.S.

♫ This week i-D online teamed up with “the hottest rising label in contemporary dance Blasé Boys Club” to co-host a monthly club night at The Shoreditch Butchery above XOYO. Sebastian Burford played an eclectic mix of dance classics, then deejay MNEK got the dance floor moving with tracks like Montell Jordan’s This Is How We Do It and Fatman Scoop’s Be Faithful. The climax of the evening came in the live performance of Duke Dumont’s new single Need U (100%), with live vocals provided by A*M*E [video interview above]. – More by Declan Higgins at i-D online
plus ♫ the i-D February Mixtape

DJ, Blitz Kids,Rusty Egan, Swinging 80s, clubbing,

Former Blitz Club co-host and deejay Rusty Egan, pictured then and now

♫ Welcome to the Dancefloor: a fresh club set remix from Rusty Egan:


2012 ➤ Pet Shop Boys show today’s pop pretenders the view from atop Mount Olympus

❚ THE NEW ALBUM ELYSIUM from the Pet Shop Boys this week entered the UK album chart at number 9. Curiously, it is being greeted with mixed reviews from younger critics, which is a shame for a creative duo widely regarded as a national treasure. Andy Polaris, lead singer with Animal Nightlife who provided a soundtrack to UK clubbing during the golden age of 80s pop, has offered to redress the balance with this review for Shapersofthe80s …

Pet Shop Boys , London Olympics, Elysium, album, pop music,video

London Olympics closing ceremony, August 12: The Pet Shop Boys sing West End Girls from rickshaws. Their orange pointy masks were said to depict the London rush hour. (Photo: Reuters/ Phil Noble). Click pic to view video of PSBs talking on BBC Breakfast

❏ Andy writes:
The Pet Shop Boys were part of the UK music explosion of the 80s which saw the British invasion of the US and much other global success. Today, along with Yazoo and The Eurythmics, they are the last of the electronic duos from the 80s who are still intact and flourishing.

The passage of time is a recurring theme in their eleventh album, produced by Andrew Dawson who worked on three successful Kanye West albums. Despite their last few albums as recent as Yes in 2010 receiving Grammy nominations (how many of their 80s contemporaries can say that?), if you’re not constantly on heavy airplay rotation or in rehab people assume you’re dead or retired. The perennial problem is: Are your best years behind you? How relevant are you in the current pop climate?

You’ve been around but you don’t look too rough/ And I still quite like some of your early stuff.” The lyric to Your Early Stuff wittily captures frequent comments from cab drivers and others when confronted with these pop icons. They need not have worried, having popped up twice during the Olympics, at the closing ceremony, riding origami rickshaws, and again last week performing outside Buckingham Palace their new song Winner (from Elysium), along with West End Girl and Go West. This had the Olympic champions and contestants swaying and singing along with the crowd.

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Video grab from Invisible: “Am I tragic or a joke/ Wrapped in my invisibility cloak?”

The PSBs have a vast, enviable back catalogue of melodic hits but are still producing catchy electronic pop and Elysium contains some trademark mixes of — dare I say it? — their early stuff. Uptempo dance pop with strong choruses include the opening track Leaving, Requiem In Denim and Leopardskin, A Face Like That (no doubt with remixes already in the works), plus Radio 2-friendly songs like Hold On, Memory of A Future, Give It A Go and Winner, which all show off their knack with a melody. On the sombre, reflective ballads Breathing Space and Invisible, remorse never sounded so good.

Finally, never taking themselves too seriously, we have the brilliant, arch Ego Music which owes more to their influences, Sparks and Yellow Magic Orchestra. Lyrically, this number shreds the current crop of pretentious pop stars: “In the sea of negativity I’m a statue of liberty/ That’s why people love me, it’s humbling.”

I would recommend this whole album for its consistency and lack of filler tracks, which is unusual these days. If you haven’t heard the PSBs’ recent output, just sample Ego Music and Invisible. The album title was inspired by a walk in Elysian Park in Los Angeles, a protected area dating back to the founding of the city and given a name appropriately derived from the Greek word for paradise.

➢ Sample Elysium at Pet Shop Boys website

➢ View video for Invisible by Pet Shop Boys at NME


➢ “Pet Shop Boys have written their own eulogy” — by Ryan Thomas at The Line of Best Fit

➢ “Intimate loungetronica” — Elysium album review by Mayer Nissim at Digital Spy … plus video for Winner

➢ “The pop pair’s warmest and wisest yet” — Nick Levine at BBC online … plus audio clips of all tracks


➤ Up close and cool — Paradise Point’s first official video

❚ THIS SIZZLINGLY COOL STUDIO VIDEO of the single Run In Circles is launched today at YouTube by Paradise Point, London’s teen livepop band who’ve been together now for six months. PP’s first concert review at Shapersofthe80s said of their debut: “Paradise Point are in the wide-eyed realm of Romeo and Juliet. They are great romancers, who cast the vocalist Cam as Romeo putting his heart through the Magimix for his Juliet.” Since then talent-spotter Callofthewyld has added: “Paradise Point are a 2011 take on classic boy bands such as Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and even ABC. They surely must have been made in some manager’s laboratory … This lot are sex on legs and even if they weren’t actually any good they would still find it hard to walk on stage without being shrieked at. Fortunately their music is excellent too.”

Paradise Point, Run In Circles , video, Cameron Jones,pop musicThis hot and elegant new video for Run In Circles was directed by the bass player Roman Kemp, who studied film at sixth-form college. It was shot in the family “studio” — “My games room,” insists Roman’s dad, Martin — and the camera lingers so intensely on the singer Cameron’s lips that Boy George is said to have tweeted the sort of compliment we couldn’t possibly repeat here. Compare and contrast the new vid with their live debut before an audience at London’s Punk club last November, shot by Shapersofthe80s, below…

➢ Paradise Point’s next show will be filmed at the O2 Academy Islington, Wednesday, June 29 at 7pm, tickets £5 from Ticketweb