Reviews

Review: Coventry – Essays by Rachel Cusk Rating 73%

Review: Coventry – Essays by Rachel Cusk

Rachel Cusk has been gained marvellous acclaim for fiction with the Outline Trilogy, three “literary masterpieces” whose narrator, Faye, perceives the world with a glinting, unsparing intelligence while remaining opaque to the reader. Lauded for the precision of her prose and the quality of her insight, Cusk is a writer of uncommon brilliance. Not always accessibly but incredible exploratory, Cusk pushes us a little outside of our comfort zone with the essays that exist within Coventry: Essays.

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Review: The Mountain Goats – Dark in Here Rating 89%

Review: The Mountain Goats – Dark in Here

Californian John Darnielle first used the moniker The Mountain Goats when, circa 1991, he purchased a Panasonic boom box and started recording his songs. His first couple of albums were released on the tape only Shrimper label and he quickly became ensconced in the American Lo-fi home recording scene. It was a genre that valued creativity over commercial viability, song-writing chops over musicianship, and an almost fetishist enthusiasm for tape hiss.

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Review: The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton Rating 95%

Review: The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

Stuart Turton, an internationally bestselling author, is either a writer who is inspired by travelling or a traveller who is inspired by writing. Stuart studied Philosophy and English which led him to a slew of jobs. The most notable being a travel writer, chasing dangerous experiences for a good story. How many can say they have been in a fight with a dolphin? It was his travels that led him to discovering the history of The Batavia shipwreck. Though the real story was too terrifying to write about, the idea of a 17th century haunted house at sea was something that stuck with Stuart. It took seventeen years for The Devil and the Dark Water to be published.

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Review: The Reason I Jump Rating 88%

Review: The Reason I Jump

Based on the book by Naoki Higashida, this immersive film explores the experiences of non-speaking autistic people around the world. Award-winning director Jerry Rothwell’s compelling documentary which is produced by Jeremy Dear, Stevie Lee and Al Morrow and has been translated by author David Mitchell is a rare cinematic and sensorial insight into the world of non-speaking autistic people.

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Review: Maple Glider – To Enjoy is the Only Thing Rating 78%

Review: Maple Glider – To Enjoy is the Only Thing

The Melbourne-based Maple Glider, the project of Tori Zietsch is soon releasing her debut LP, To Enjoy is the Only Thing, due out on June 25th via Partisan Records. Now based in Brighton Zietsch has brought us this joy of a first album, raw and acoustic to allow for those stunning vocals to soothe your nerves as you follow vignettes from her life.

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Review: Penelope Trappes – Penelope Three Rating 68%

Review: Penelope Trappes – Penelope Three

Penelope Three is the third and final instalment of Australian-born Brighton-based musician Penelope Trappes’ trilogy. Completing this ambitious triptych with an album of healing, on which she looks to release herself from fear and into love, Penelope adds a suitable conclusion to both Two and One.

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Review: The Human Factor Rating 68%

Review: The Human Factor

The Human Factor, a new film by Dror Moreh, Academy Award nominated director of The Gatekeepers, revisits three decades of an Israeli-Arab peace process from a unique perspective: that of the American mediators. Focusing intently on Clinton’s administration, it’s a beguiling documentary about the intently sad and upsetting situation on the Gaza strip and the inability to reach a deal.

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Review: Adventures with the Painted People Rating 90%

Review: Adventures with the Painted People

David Greig’s Pictish play was originally commissioned by Pitlochry Festival Theatre with the intention of it being part of their 2020 season. When the pandemic hit it was reimagined as an audio play by it’s author and PFT’s creative director Elizabeth Newman and broadcast to not inconsiderable acclaim on BBC Radio 3.

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Review: Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell Rating 73%

Review: Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell

Utopia Avenue are not your average band, I mean for one they are head hunted by their manager to perform together. And Utopia Avenue is not your average novel set during the peak of the rock and roll, and psychedelic days, the inclusion of Dutchman Jasper de Zoet sees to that. David Mitchell’s most recent epic brings Soho to life, unique moments with Janis Joplin and other various prolific icons as well as camraderie and friendship like none other between Elf, Griff, Jasper and Dean, the four that make up Levon Frankland’s dream-team, Utopia Avenue.

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Review: Dance With Oti by Oti Mabuse and Samara Hardy Rating 73%

Review: Dance With Oti by Oti Mabuse and Samara Hardy

Over the festive period we were all captivated by the choreography by Oti Mabuse and Bill Bailey during Strictly Come Dancing and with Oti’s debut book, we all have a chance to learn some moves to take to the ballroom. Well, certainly “The Bird Jive,” which is a dance that is suitable for young ones to learn alongside their parents. Slides, twists and flapping hands all feature so prepare to get physical with these wonderful new picture book with vibrant illustration from Samara Hardy.

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Review: Neu! Reekie! The Exhibition Rating 75%

Review: Neu! Reekie! The Exhibition

Meandering into the Limited Ink Gallery, a fine space just off the beaten track of Leith Walk, there was a feeling of overwhelming nostalgia as we hit an exhibition celebrating and looking back at the ten years of Neu! Reekie!’s existence. After postponing their birthday celebrations during the pandemic, the space has opened up to remind us all of the culmination of talent that come together time and time again as friends and acquaintances of the Neu! Reekie! family and a flavour of the spoken word, visual, musical and film talent that Scotland has to offer.

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