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2000 - 'Rock Criticism: Getting it Right', written by Mark Godfrey. A thought provoking reflection on the art of rock criticism.

The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

Entries for 'Anthony Morrissey'

17
David Gray 'Draw the line'
A review of David Gray's album 'Draw the line' Review Snapshot: David Gray's "Draw the line" - new songs, new band, new outlook. Same old same old. The CLUAS ver...

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05
Calvin Harris 'Ready for the weekend'
A review of the album 'Ready for the weekend' by Calvin Harris Review Snapshot: "Ready for the weekend" is a disco pop sugar rush. Set a late noughties  badly lit overcrow...

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11
Royksopp 'Junior'
A review of the album 'Junior' by Royksopp Review Snapshot: After an uninspiring and uneven second studio album Royksopp get their groove together with "Junior", their summer col...

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12
Tony Christie 'Made in Sheffield'
A review of Tony Christie's album 'Made in Sheffield' Review Snapshot: Medallion man steps out of comfort zone, and covers the Arctic Monkeys. "Made in Sheffield " is uneasy ...

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09
Joan as Police Woman 'To Survive'
A review of the album 'To Survive' by Joan as Police Woman Review Snapshot: Joan Wasser has musical smarts to die for but they're not that evident on "To survive". Never was ...

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19
Dennis Wilson 'Pacific Ocean Blue'
A review of the album 'Pacific Ocean Blue' by Dennis Wilson Review Snapshot: Dennis Wilson was the handsome Beach Boy - he had the musical smarts but they were sidelined till 1977 wit...

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05
Frank Sinatra 'Sinatra at The Sands'
A review of the album 'Sinatra at The Sands' by Frank Sinatra Review Snapshot: 'Sinatra at the Sands': the world's most famous performer recorded at his peak. The Cluas Ver...

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05

Spiritualized (live in Tripod, Dublin)

Review Snapshot: Saints or stoners  - you decide- a rejuvinated Spiritualized storm the Tripod with a set of old, rather obscure, favourites and tasters from their new album. With Jason Pierce looking merely heavily tubercular rather than close to death, the band in its current state is working a minor storm and its back catologue gets better and better with time.

The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10

Full Review:Spiritualized - Live in Tripod, Dublin

A Wednesday in early May and I’m talking to a neighbour. "I’m going to a gig." "Who?" "Spiritualized – Jason Pierce, the singer, has nearly died, like loads of times, he never made a penny from any of his records but he’s a genius, he does this atonal drone thing, there’s feedback, and one minute he’s all gospel, the next he’s a screaming junkie, you should see him, he looks like death warmed up. Like, literally."

"Great- we’re going to a gig to – Boyzone in Belfast, I can’t wait, a girl’s night out. "

Two weeks, three hours and twenty minutes later and Pure Phase is pumped through the speakers as an intro – it’s a synth thing from Electric Mainline and while it’s a simple single note call and response, like much of what Spiritualized do it’s effective and affecting. Jason Pierce himself looks unwell, as opposed to looking close to his last breath – last time I saw him he sat down through the entire show but tonight he’s moving unassisted. The band open with one of Songs From A&E’s lesser cuts, You Lie, You Cheat and basically set it on fire. On the album it’s an under produced filler but here it’s full of bile, madness, sadness and utterly controlled anger. The band leave the song behind and morph into a guitar driven wig out, a stinking, spitting beast of a thing, and just when you think your heart will explode in a millisecond, the band go from a blizzard of feedback to Shine a Light, one of the quietest and most serene pieces the band have recorded.

This gig is ostensibly a showcase for Songs From A&E, the new album, but it’s typical of Pierce’s cussedness that Spiritualized only play two or three of the new songs- the single, Soul on Fire, won’t sell a copy but it’s close to perfection, full of real emotion and power.  Pierce also dips into Amazing Grace, one of the band’s less impressive albums for a pumped up Lord let it Rain on Me, a ripping Cheapster and a gorgeous Oh Baby. The encore just about sums up the band’s inherent contradictions, with a calculating take on Come Together, a stoner’s anthem, followed by a stunning evangelical Take Me to the Other Side. It’s a case of hymns taking on heroin but it works.

Throughout the show Doggen, the lead guitarist, more or less spars with Pierce, making sounds a guitar should never make, the coloured girls go "doo doo doo doo", and hardly a note is wasted.

Life is made up of moments, some good, some bad, some dreary – Spiritualized are contradictory, maddening and self indulgent but they have given me more spellbinding moments than most. Pierce, these days, is for him relatively robust and has a fantastic bunch of musicians around him and a back catalogue to die for. See Spiritualized if you can –and soon.

Anthony Morrissey


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25
Elbow 'Seldom Seen Kid'
A review of the album 'Seldom Seen Kid' by Elbow Review Snapshot: Top class intelligent rock pop – Elbow could never make you happy but they could afford you a better class of misery...

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03
Animal Collective 'Strawberry Jam'
A review of the album 'Strawberry Jam' by Animal Collective Review Snapshot: The Animal Collective- they'll always call a spade a frog. "Strawberry Jam" is a collection of le...

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