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Alan Ashton-Smith

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.


Wednesday, March 9 2011

The Age We're At: An Interview with Elbow

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!.

Wednesday, August 4 2010

'One Route for the Whole World to Go On': An Interview With Balkan Beat Box

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.


Thursday, December 23 2010

Clash City

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.

Sunday, March 7 2010

The German Issue: Still Straddling the Berlin Wall

The German Issue provides us with a time capsule from a very different era, but so much of its content remains pertinent.


Tuesday, November 5 2013

'Levels of Life' Is, on One Level, a Meditation on Julian Barnes’ Grief

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.

Monday, October 28 2013

'Around the World in 80 Raves' Is a Serviceable Gazetteer of the Festival Landscape

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)?

Monday, September 9 2013

On Tradition and Transition: 'Performing the New Europe'

It's remarkable how little Eurovision has changed since it began 57 years ago, especially when the substantial changes to Europe are considered.

Tuesday, August 20 2013

'Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself' Delves into the Mythology of the Debut Album

This is the sort of accessible academic volume that might be of interest to music fans and scholars alike, covering both well-known artists and those who have more cult followings.

Sunday, March 3 2013

'The Rise of the Vampire' Reads Almost Like a Narrative of Immigration

Essentially, the vampire is considered as an ‘other’ in a similar manner to the way in which immigrants are othered, and in this way the narrative of immigration that runs through the book is given a greater relevance

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