Alan Ashton-Smith has a PhD in Humanities and Cultural Studies from the University of London, where the subject of his thesis was Gypsy Punk. He lives in London, and is Live Reviews Editor for the music website Shout4Music.
The Age We're At: An Interview with Elbow | 9 Mar 2011 // 3:00 PM
Elbow had been labouring at their craft for years, before making the breakthrough of a lifetime with 2008's The Seldom Seen Kid. Now, Elbow's Pete Turner talks about the success of their last album and how they set about following it with their new release, Build a Rocket Boys!.
'One Route for the Whole World to Go On': An Interview With Balkan Beat Box | 4 Aug 2010 // 4:00 PM
As Balkan Beat Box releases their third album, their master of melodies Ori Kaplan talks about writing, recording and where he stands on the 'Balkan Beats' scene.
Clash City | 23 Dec 2010 // 3:00 PM
Marcus Gray's book about London Calling inspires a journey around the London of the Clash. There's a huge sense of disaffection in this city, a feeling that the government protects only the rich and will leave the poor to suffer the recession – it’s like 1979 all over again, and London is still calling, calling out into an atmosphere of impending catastrophe.
The German Issue: Still Straddling the Berlin Wall | 7 Mar 2010 // 3:00 PM
The German Issue provides us with a time capsule from a very different era, but so much of its content remains pertinent.
'Levels of Life' Is, on One Level, a Meditation on Julian Barnes’ Grief | 5 Nov 2013 // 8:05 PM
Levels of Life is also an exercise in form, an exemplar of the inadequacy of any one literary form for expressing certain sentiments and theses.
'Around the World in 80 Raves' Is a Serviceable Gazetteer of the Festival Landscape | 28 Oct 2013 // 8:15 PM
Did you know that Mexico City hosts its own major rock festival (Corona Capital), there is an annual electronic music fest in Beijing (INTRO), and South Africa has its own Burning Man inspired event (Afrikaburn)?