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Yeasayer get the blood moving in seafront sell-out

Digital, Brighton: Yeasayer

There was something distinctly underground about Yeasayer's gig at Digital. It was more than the atmospherics provided by the King's Arches venue, formerly the Zap Club – maybe it was that shared sense of being in on a kind of music that defied categorisation, swooping across boundaries like a gleeful swallow.

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Mark Wheatley at Bookstack

It's nice to sit and have a refillable coffee and lemon cake at most times, but to be treated with the sight of good quality art at the same time makes the Bookstack Cafe a favourite place of mine in Worthing. As I write there is a particularly strong selection of works by Mark Wheatley which I would recommend you go and see before it's taken down.
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Tony Visconti: Bolan, Bowie and the Brooklyn Boy

I know it's not exactly hot off the press, but this is an excellent guide to what happened in the early 70s and why music is disappearing down the toilet at present. Visconti traces his life from growing up in the poor Italian part of Brooklyn, through to his life as a jobbing musician and his eventual fame as one of the most sought after producers of the 70s.
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Laura Veirs: Hambury Club, Brighton 26/1/10

I first discovered Laura Veirs on a sampler CD I bought in a charity shop. The song I heard was 'Icebound Stream' and it was a song that pierced me like a beautiful knife. It has a haunting sound that makes me wonder if it were inspired by native american music. From then on I bought every album she had released. The opportunity of seeing her live a few miles from where I lived seemed like a miracle come true.

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Superb Van Gogh show at Royal Academy

Royal Academy, London: The Real Van Gogh: The Artist and His Letters

This extraordinary exhibition of the work and letters of Vincent van Gogh is an absolute must for not just lovers of art, but for anyone wanting to see a life mapped out in creativity and correspondence.

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'The Road' to nowhere?

'The Road' was both one of the most depressing and life-affirming movies I have ever seen. The TV ads make it look like a star studded action flick. It isn't.

Robert Duvall and Guy Pearce are hardly in it and most of the story is about the relationship between a father, played brilliantly by Viggo Mortenson, and his son.
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'Avatar' and Original Sin

'Avatar' was predicted to be as big a sci-fi sensation as 'Star Wars' in 1977. With a cost of $350 million dollars it was supposed to have changed the way we see cinema all over again as well as present a much needed lesson on environmentalism. I wonder if that $350 million could have been spent elsewhere.
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Carter still Unstoppable at Brixton gig

It's not always a good idea to revisit your youth, but I did just that by going to see early '90s indie band Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine at the Brixton Academy this weekend. In 1990 - half a lifetime ago - I caught them playing a tiny gig at Steyning Grammar School, and amazingly all these years on they still throw out their uniquely blended noisy, guitar-and-drum machine, sample-heavy punk pop with the same energy. It's like Britpop never happened.

They haven't been touring all of that time; they play an average of a gig a year, and this year have devoted two evenings to playing their early material. Tonight's gig is dedicated to their material from 1990-91, billed as the 'Drum Machine Years'.
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Genius of Spike Milligan lives again in sparky stage show

Chichester Festival Theatre: Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall by Spike Milligan

An interestingly mixed crowd of older and younger Goons fans filled much of the Festival Theatre on Thursday night for Bristol Old Vic’s sparky production of Spike Milligan’s classic war memoir.

Adapted for the stage by Ben Power and Tim Carroll, it was a strong mix of knockabout bawdy barrack room humour, Milligan’s surreal yet poignant story-telling and some classy jazz numbers from the Forties.

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Open Road looks clear for new blues guitar hero

Oli Brown Band – Worthing Assembly Hall

It's an irony that in a genre where artists get better the older they are, blues newcomer Oli Brown is turning heads while still in his teens.

Oli's power-packed three piece – the Oli Brown Band – delivered a powerful set at Worthing Assembly Hall last night, although it was really the wrong kind of venue for this stage in his career.