i wrote a piece about Glastonbury’s radical spaces

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How true is Glastonbury in 2017 to its politically radical heritage? This year’s festival boasted a headline-making speech from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the Eavis family’s usual impressive commitment to green causes. But with Johnny Depp a guest of honor at Worthy Farm despite recent accusations of domestic abuse, and allegations that current ticket prices have priced out the working class, is it still the hippie utopia it claims to be? April Clare Welsh went down to the festival to discover its flames of radicalism are still burning – but nowhere near the Pyramid Stage…read the full article.

Radiohead Glastonbury review

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When Radiohead took to Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage in 1997, they made history. Widely regarded as one of the greatest headline sets, not just Worthy Farm folklore, but in UK festival history as a whole, Thom Yorke and co. emerged icons from their first time topping the bill in Pilton. Twenty years later, fresh from the release of last year’s A Moon Shaped Pool, the Oxford band returned to the Pyramid last night to attempt to repeat the glories of that day – a tough ask for a group more used to looking forward than looking back. April Clare Welsh headed to the festival to find a band in triumphant, reflective mode…read the full article.

Italo disco feature for FACT

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Italo disco emerged in the late ‘70s as the gloriously European interpretation of America’s four-to-the-floor phenomenon. The unashamedly fun, synth-driven sound ruled the Euro disco throughout the ‘80s, before enjoying a resurgence in recent years with labels like Dark Entries and Italians Do It Better. Ahead of his show at London club night Hypnotic Tango, April Clare Welsh takes a trip back through the classics with Italo don Fred Ventura…read the full article.

I reviewed the new Slowdive album

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Shoegaze icons Slowdive have arguably proved more popular in death than they were in life: dismissed by the press in their ‘90s heyday, the band who were signed to (then dropped by) Alan McGee’s fabled Creation Records have amassed legions of new followers in their time apart. 22 years on, the UK group’s comeback album finds them cementing their legacy. April Clare Welsh delves into a record that was worth the wait…read the full article.

Casual Gabberz feature

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Since its birth in Rotterdam in the early ‘90s, gabber has largely been derided by “serious” clubbers as as whizz-fueled music for puerile head-bangers. But forget what you’ve heard – a new generation of French gabber obsessives are pumping fresh blood into a maligned genre to bring a taste of gabber to a contemporary club audience. April Clare Welsh meets the Casual Gabberz.

Nosebleed tempos, chainsaw samples, skull-crushing bass drums, a lurid dress code and frothing skinheads gurning their faces into oblivion – gabber, in its original form, probably isn’t for everyone. Rotterdam’s homegrown strain of hard techno began life in the early ‘90s as a counterattack to the highbrow house music that had started sweeping through Amsterdam a few years prior. Kickstarted by the self-styled “godfather of hardcore” DJ Paul Elstak, whose 1992 single ‘Where the Fuck Is Amsterdam?’ – engraved with the words “It’s Not A Disgrace To Be Gabber!” – laid the template, gabber exploded into a massive yet short-lived cultural phenomenon that grabbed Dutch teenagers by the scruff of their necks….read the full article.

T2 Trainspotting review

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Set two decades after the original Trainspotting, T2 shows that some things never change. April Clare Welsh takes a closer look at the sequel to a film that marked a generation.

“Choose watching history repeat itself,” Renton says halfway into Danny Boyle’s new Trainspotting sequel, T2. Renton’s ‘Choose Life’ monologue, one of the original movie’s defining scenes, is given a 21st century update that swaps CD players and big televisions for Twitter and Instagram, and his words resonate throughout the film as we watch familiar cycles of opportunity, betrayal and resolution unfold…read the full article.

Helena Celle FACT Rated

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Kay Logan rarely goes to clubs. The fact that she’s made one of the best electronic records of the year, released under her alias Helena Celle, doesn’t make her feel any less detached from dance culture. “I don’t feel like I can ever really belong in clubs,” she says. Instead, it’s among the “weirdos” of Glasgow’s fertile punk scene that she feels most at home, she says, having joined hardcore band Anxiety last summer. “They gave me employment, encouraged me, and most importantly accepted me.” They also put a roof over her head when she arrived in the city from the Scottish town of Airdrie around three years ago….read full article.