Marilyn Manson The black curtain is raised in the O2 Apollo in readiness for the unveiling of Marilyn Manson. The crowd is chanting in anticipation as 'This is the End' by the Doors echoes out into the arena.


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Grace and Danger: The Songs of John Martyn Part of the English Originals Weekend tonight saw a veritable cornucopia (yep, I’ve been reading the dictionary again) of artists pay their own tribute to a man who, in my humble opinion, is hugely underappreciated. Of course John did himself no real favours during his 40 odd year career... what with all the drink and drugs... and more drink... and... oh go on... just a few more drugs. Having his leg lopped off in 2006 probably didn’t help matters either, but the overwhelming feeling that you got after he passed away last year was that John well and truly lived life to the full. Inevitably if you’re going to do that you can expect massive highs and crashing lows and listening to John’s songs it’s clear that’s just what he got. Anger, love, hate, bitterness, regret, joy... he covered pretty much every emotion under the sun and tonight’s gig gave us a chance to see how others manage to interpret what are, often, intensely personal songs.


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The Invisible Village Crossing genres, cultures and generations The Imagined Village really shouldn’t work (the basic idea is to take a bunch of traditional folk tunes and reinterpret them for 21st century Britain). In fact it should come across as some awful mish mash of sounds, like two competing car radios (one playing Radio 4, the other 1 Extra) at a set of traffic lights. The fact that it does work says a great deal about the musical talents at the core of this project and the openness of everyone involved to really mess around with what ‘folk’ music means these days. In truth, although the first Imagined Village album (released in 2007) won ‘folk’ awards, this stuff is closer to ‘world’ music than anything else, given the strong Asian and Middle Eastern flavours running through some of the arrangements. Anyway, that’s the musical analysis over with (there’ll be questions at the end).


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