Big and bold Abba exhibition revisits 70s UK and nul points

Immersive show at the O2 will have music, memorabilia and a homage to Brighton Dome It became an instant hit and helped propel four unknown Swedes to superstardom, but the opinion of the British jury at the Eurovision song contest in 1974 was a less enthusiastic nul points. The British vote proved irrelevant. Everybody else seemed to love the performance by show at the Southbank Centre staged by its then artistic director, Jude Kelly, to mark the end of a year of Nordic arts and culture. The Abba team loved how seriously we took their story, Kelly said. They asked how would I approach it if it had a much bigger footprint. While the Southbank show was in a small …

Did we make Nicki Minaj retire or is she pulling the biggest troll of 2019?

The musician has paved the way to fame for other female rappers but she has struggled to accept a changing industry wrote on Twitter. I know you guys are happy now. The early retirement seemingly comes out of nowhere. The rapper has been as prolific as ever appearing on popular tracks like Hot Girl Summer and BAPS this year and regularly hosting her Queen Radio show. There is the sneaking suspicion Minaj might be pulling the biggest troll of 2019. But theres an even worse fear: shes telling the truth. Minaj put a time limit on her musical career from the very start. As long as seven years from now Im taking my daughter to preschool, she rapped on her …

DJ Arafat fans who forced open coffin and took photos held by police

Fans of Ivorian singer who died in motorbike crash clashed with police after funeral Ivorian police have detained 12 people as part of an investigation into the desecration of DJ Arafats tomb after fans opened the musicians coffin to take pictures of him shortly after his burial, according to officials. The incident took place on Saturday following an overnight funeral concert at Abidjans main stadium, where tens of thousands paid tribute to the singer who died aged 33 in a motorbike crash last month. Events took a dark turn when fans tried to enter the Williamsville cemetery where the singers family had given him a private burial, prompting clashes with police. Several made it past security, forced open the fresh …

Peaches on her post-human sex toy art show: ‘It’s disturbing but a lot of fun’

The pop provocateur has created an artwork in which an army of fleshies, or masturbation devices, seek sexual liberation. She talks us through its deeper meanings Best known for her vagina bodysuits and sexually charged lyrics, Peaches seems an unlikely art-world darling. But in 2007, the French artist Sophie Calle asked the electropunk queen to respond, in the form of a song, to a breakup email Calle had received. The work was one of 100 that appeared in Calles show Cut Piece, letting audience members snip away at the singers clothes until they had entirely gone. Now, 20 years after unleashing her sex-positive signature song Fuck the Pain Away, Peaches finally has an exhibition of her own. I was like, …

‘It felt like a wonderful dream’ DA Pennebaker on making Monterey Pop

In a final, previously unpublished Guardian interview, the late great documentarian looks back at his groundbreaking film with Lou Adler, the legendary music festivals promoter Lou Adler, promoter and producer In 1967 there was a meeting at John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas. He said: Why dont we do a festival, add more days, and get the acts to play for nothing? This was a chance to elevate how rocknroll was thought of. We had six weeks. Without Berry Gordy understood what we were doing. You had to really buy into it if your acts werent going to get paid. Not on my network Hendrix on stage at the festival in June 1967. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images …

Mark Mawstons best photograph: Yoko Ono’s electrifying power

She came on stage with a black silk bag over her head and walked straight into the mic stand. It didnt ruin anything though. The crowd were in raptures I took this shot of Yoko Ono 14 years ago, in 2005 at bagism a practice she and Lennon engaged in as a way to deindividualise speakers and emphasise their message by wearing a nondescript bag over their heads. So she came out with this black silk bag obscuring her vision, and walked straight into the mic stand. It didnt ruin anything though. The crowd were in raptures. In a split second when I managed to take my eyes off her, I realised that Sean Lennon, her and Johns son, was …

‘The show needed to come back’: how Drake rescued the druglords of Top Boy

It was Britains answer to The Wire. But the gang drama was dead until the rapper stepped in and pitched it to Netflix. Its stars and writer talk grime, gentrification and Boris Johnsons Britain I told them I was on my way out to meet some singer called Drake, says writer Drake was a fan of Top Boy, Bennetts Channel 4 drama about the lives of drug dealers and residents on a fictional Hackney estate called Summerhouse. He had been recommended it while on tour and loved it so much, he began posting stills from the show on Instagram with clumsy attempts at London slang (real bod man). When he found out it had been cancelled, he decided to bring …

Noel Gallagher: I liked my mum until she gave birth to Liam

Jeremy Corbyn, the climate crisis, nuclear war and feminism: the former Oasis songwriter has opinions to burn. But its all a bit of a laugh until it gets to his younger brother This, says Noel Gallagher, nodding towards my dictaphone, is going to end in trouble. It always does. Well, lets hope so! An hour spent in Gallaghers company is thrillingly unfiltered territory. Interviews are an occupational hazard, he says, settling down with a cup of tea. But thats because theyre such weird situations. Youre sat in a room with some guy from Stockholm who youve never met and hes asking you about your mum. Its fucking preposterous. Because the honest answer to that is: Whats it got to do …

‘We need freedom’: Sehaq, the party space for Amsterdam’s queer refugees

As well as contending with racism, queer refugees face homophobia and transphobia even from their fellow refugees. One Dutch group is trying to carve out a safe space At the dinner table, conversations bubble around people as they tuck into a three-course meal. A plethora of different nationalities and identities have pulled up a chair and, here at Sehaq; a network of LGBT refugees run entirely by volunteers. Regularly meeting in members houses, they put on events specifically for queer refugees that range from dance parties to workshops. Where there is a cost or meal involved, all refugees attend for free and non-refugees pay a small donation. Poster for a Sehaq event. Photograph: Sehaq Nisreen, one of the founding members, …

Why the 1975’s collaboration with Greta Thunberg matters

Why have a band who hate guest stars teamed up with the worlds most famous environmental activist? As viral stunts go, getting the weather onside for your collaboration with the worlds most famous environmental activist is quite the coup. But, unlike newsagents hawking two-for-one lollies and tabloid front pages extolling fun in the sun, the 1975 and Greta Thunberg arent pretending theres any silver lining to this heatwave. Unless we recognise the overall failures of our current systems, we most probably dont stand a chance, says Thunberg has pointed out that Steves and Marys identifying themselves as Brexiteers have been united in their dismissal of the track. The BBC has told the Guardian that they couldnt fix touring overnight, but …

Johnny Clegg obituary

Singer-songwriter who used music to defy apartheid in South Africa Johnny Clegg, who has died of cancer aged 66, was a white singer-songwriter who became a national hero in South Africa by using music to defy the apartheid-era segregation laws. He challenged the authorities by forming mixed-race bands, performing to both black and white audiences, and mixing Zulu influences into songs that brought him international success. Known as the white Zulu or umlungu omnyama (the black white person), he spoke fluent Zulu and was an energetic and skilful exponent of Zulu dance. He was best known for the poignant, stirring 1987 anthem Asimbonanga (We have not seen him), a tribute to joined Clegg on stage in Frankfurt as he was …

‘Artists don’t value it’: pop accused of taking advantage of dancers

Vague promises of exposure used as cover for poor pay and insecure working conditions, Guardian told Last year, one of pops rising stars was heading to London for a show and needed local dancers to accompany her. The singers management only wanted the best, a handpicked group who could live up to the high standards expected from the US entertainment industry. It was an amazing opportunity, with one large catch: the gig didnt pay. Some dancers, however, jumped at the chance. Instead of payment you were going to get exposure, said Windy Tsoi, less than minimum wage for the hours I invested and that she couldnt afford to eat [and] was sweeping studio floors to be able to practice my …

Paul McCartney writes first musical, stage version of It’s a Wonderful Life

Former Beatle is to write songs for Frank Capras universal story, working with Lee Hall, author of Billy Elliot He has written perhaps the greatest canon of pop music, collaborated with everyone from Elvis Costello to Rihanna, and even soundtracked a video game, but at 77, Paul McCartney is ticking off another career first: writing a musical. His first stage musical is to be an adaptation of Frank Capras 1946 film Its a Wonderful Life, and will open late in 2020. McCartney will write music and lyrics for the project. Lee Hall, author of Billy Elliot and screenwriter for the recent Elton John biopic Rocketman, is also writing lyrics, and the shows book. The musical was initiated by Bill Kenwright, …

Otis Williams: ‘The Temptations didn’t love themselves’

The only surviving original member of the hit R&B group talks about the darker side of a legacy and the musical it inspired One of the first times Otis Williams, the founder and last surviving original member of the Temptations, realized his music made an indelible impact on their fans occurred after he received a letter in the mail. Im reading it and it said to give them a call the first chance I had, Williams remembers. She gets on the phone and told me she was ill and asked: God, dont take me until I speak to Otis Williams. She said she wanted to tell me how much the music meant to her before she died. I didnt have …

Willie Nelson: Ride Me Back Home review upbeat and defiant

(Legacy) Overturning customary ideas about older artists slowing down, Last Man Standing) in which mortality looms large. In contrast to the sombre hues of late era Come On Time battles ageing. Two songs from the late Guy Clark, My Favorite Picture of You, supply rueful gravitas, while the title track, written by Sonny Throckmorton, gets sloppy, a mawkish tribute to the stable of 70 retired horses Nelson has saved from the knackers yard. The voice has weathered like timber, but his timing is impeccable, his Tex-Mex guitar flurries thrilling. The cowboy sage (and Original Article : HERE ; Curated & posted using : RealSpecific

Yesterday review predictable romcom

Danny Boyles fantasy about a world without the Beatles turns into a Richard Curtis greatest hits show This high-concept romantic comedy is billed as a collaboration between two of the most distinctive voices in British cinema. But, in fact, it is Danny Boyle rather drowned out by Curtiss instantly recognisable writing style. In fairness, its a style that has proven highly successful over the years: the joshing, bantering dialogue; the mannered inarticulacy with members of the opposite sex; the mortifying public declaration at the crest of the third act. But it feels a bit like an overfamiliar playlist of greatest hits. Theres a heart-sinking moment when you realise that you know exactly where the story is going. And you wish …