The Hate U Give is a very timely, important film from director George Tillman Jr. and the late Audrey Wells brought to life by a cast who all bring stellar performances.
Starr Carter, played by Amandla Stenberg, is a high-school student who becomes the only witness to the fatal shooting of her best friend Khalil by a white police officer.
The Hate U Give shows how Starr has to balance what are effectively two different lives. Her home and school are in completely different neighbourhoods, and she struggles to hide parts of her she only wants certain people to see.
This only gets more difficult once she has to go before a Grand Jury, in what is quickly becoming a very high profile, public case – with protests aiming for justice for Khalil pretty much surrounding her, both at home and school.
Amandla is consistently brilliant as Starr, emotional and powerful while not overstated or overacting the role. The whole cast are almost perfect in their roles. From Anthony Mackie as the imitable ‘King’ to Common as Uncle Carlos there are so many smaller stories woven throughout the movie, giving a real human depth to the setting, with each character being fully realised, and they are all portrayed with excellence.
If you can, go and see this.
The Hate U Give is out now.
KCTMO is the debut single from new London band Pozi, written during the aftermath of the Grenfell tower fire.
The track itself is a brutally honest, open-hearted encounter of what it was like to be near Grenfell at the time, and the anger Vocalist & Drummer Toby Burroughs felt; with lyrics like ‘Deadly damages are due’ Pozi aren’t holding back. Good.
Sonically, the track comes in somewhere halfway between the Maccabees and The Streets. ‘KCTMO’ has an irresistible bassline and a pounding drumbeat that really grab your attention, and the haunting violin that creeps in throughout keeps you hooked.
Very promising stuff for a debut single.
Pozi have 2 upcoming London shows:
31 Oct – London, The Curtain Hotel (PRAH Halloween Party)
27 Nov – London, Moth Club
The Nottingham three piece’s second effort sees them grow in confidence and scale, with ‘Strange Entertainment’ being a confident, varied album. Every track on the album is different in pace and tone, but it still flows really well and feels like one coherent piece.
Opener and album highlight ‘Egg Hunt’ starts off with just vocals and bass before developing into a really groovy track with a great, catchy jangly riff that hasnt left my head in a few days.
‘It’s Not My Day’ is another fave off the album it being one of the heavier moments on Strange Entertainment, with very strong vocals from Lucy over a slow but punky backing, with brilliant creative drum patterns on this track.
Monsieur Automaton is another great track, and another change of pace with this being perhaps the fastest track on the album, and I love the harmonised vocals on the verses a lot here. Closer ‘Strange Was the Time’ is another growing, progressive track that shows off just how good the trio are musically.
With great production, variety and just banging songs throughout this is exactly the album Kagoule needed to make, and they pulled it off.
Kagoule have some upcoming UK tour dates:
Oct 31st – Leeds – Wharf Chambers
Nov 01st – Manchester – The Eagle Inn
Nov 02nd – Liverpool – EBGB’s
Nov 03rd – Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
Nov 07th – Margate – Tom Thumb Theatre
Nov 08th – Brighton – Prince Albert
Nov 09th – Portsmouth – The Loft
Nov 10th – Southampton – Heartbreakers
Nov 11th – Bristol – Rough Trade
Nov 19th – London – Moth Club
Self Esteem- Rollout: The strongest track from Rebecca LT so far in my opinion. A great hypnotic melody with great harmonies over a great, funky percussion track. Very promising for a debut full length. 90%
Ian Brown – First World Problems: It’s good to have the monkey man back, with a new solo album coming next year. This new track is a groovy number, and Ian’s voice sounds on top form. Very exciting. 84%
Razorlight – Carry Yourself: A fairly pleasant, non threatening indie tune from Razorlight here, its not bad at all but it would fit in perfectly in a sofa sale advert or the opening of a cookery show. 70%
Lauren Jauregui – Expectations: A smooth, soulful slow jam from Lauren J here that really showcases her strong vocals; showing real emotion and passion while maintaining good control. Gooood. 80%
Bring Me The Horizon ft. Dani Filth – Wonderful Life: The second single from BMTH’s upcoming ‘amo’ album is another top tune. A bit heavier than Mantra, but just as catchy and not too over the top. Dani puts in a good feature too. 81%
Mumford & Sons – If I Say: This would be an alright, subtle growing track but Marcus’ voice is so grating, especially when its the focus of the track. Nah. 30%
Gerard Way – Baby You’re a Haunted House: This new track from emo king Gerard Way is a glam rock esque rock banger. It’s My Chemical Romance meets The Sweet, and its not bad at all. 80%
Cardi B – Money: Not a fan of this one at all. Usually Cardi has some funny bars that show she is still down to earth but this just seems like a big brag-fest. 20%
Peter Raeburn – Note To Self: A lovely, thoughtful collection of songs from Peter here. Sounding somewhere inbetween Fleet Foxes and I am Kloot, ‘Note To Self’ has great, stripped back production. ‘Never Gone’ is an album highlight for me, with haunting harmonies throughout. 80%
Time ‘n’ Place is the second studio album from experimental British 3 piece Kero Kero Bonito, who on their debut EP ‘Intro Bonito’ and subsequent first album proved themselves to be one of the most exciting, inventive new groups around. Drawing from a wide range of influences, ‘Bonito Generation’ was a bright, colourful record.
Based on the opening track ‘Outside’, it is clear that KKB have not just made a ‘Bonito Generation 2’, with it being more guitar based and instantly heavier than most things on their debut. Don’t worry, the band’s charm is still here in abundance on Time ‘n’ Place, with KKB developing their sound while not losing any of what made them great the first time around.
‘Time Today’ is an early album highlight, with Sarah happily singing about how she has a day to herself. The album continues very strongly into ‘Only Acting’ which details how Sarah feels while performing live over a nice pop-punky backing, that brilliantly self destructs towards the end.
The whole album is just as strong, most songs telling specific, on the nose stories over innovative beats and utilising Sarah’s unique vocal style perfectly, with ‘Dump’ being a nice little story about a rubbish dump, and ‘Dear Future Self’ being a letter to future self.
Closing track ‘Rest Stop’ begins sounding like the end credit music to an old Sega game like Nights or Alex Kidd before exploding into what is essentially a few minutes of noise music with Sarah faintly singing in the background before fading out to just Sarah. Odd, but it works. Good.
You can buy Time ‘n’ Place here, or stream it below.
Bohemian Rhapsody chronicles Queen’s journey from their early pub days as Smile up until their iconic Live Aid performance. Despite press coverage leading up to the film’s release, it does not shy away from any aspect of Freddie’s life. While there was a slightly heavy focus on his relationship with Mary Austin, she was an important person in his life, and Freddie’s sexuality and illness are explored in full, and handled with respect, with a great performance from Rami Malek.
Rami absolutely shines as Freddie throughout, being almost the spitting image of him whether he is at his highest performing on stage, or at his lowest during his struggles with substance abuse and AIDS. The rest of the main cast were pretty spot on too, with Ben Hardy and Gwilym Lee perfect choices for Roger Taylor and Brian May respectively.
There were a few issues with pacing in the film, with the beginnings of Queen being very relatively quickly skimmed over, and I felt there wasn’t a need for a full recreation of their Live Aid set, but other than that I found Bohemian Rhapsody to be very enjoyable. Lighthearted and serious when it needed to be, and with great attention to detail when recreating iconic set-pieces.
Another project from the man who never stops making music, Damon Albarn, is on the Horizon, with the second The Good, The Bad & The Queen releasing in November. ‘Merrie Land’ is the title track, and the first new music from the group since 2007.
Sounding halfway between early Blur and The Magic Whip, this first glimpse of the album is a very promising one. Melancholy lyrics about the state of post-brexit UK set to a carnival-esque instrumental. No idea how he had the time to make something this good whilst being on tour non-stop for the past few years.
The Good, The Bad & The Queen have been gone a long while, but they came back at the right time.
You can pre-order Merrie Land here.
They have some upcoming UK dates in December, on sale Friday:
Dec 1st – The North Pier, Blackpool
Dec 2nd – SWG3, Glasgow
Dec 4th – Hackney Arts Centre, London
Dec 5th – Hackney Arts Centre, London
Dec 6th – Hackney Arts Centre, London