Seeking normality: one other-planet popster

By Paul Lester, October 3, 2008

Admired by his peers, feted by his fans, all experimental dance musician Max Tundra wants now is for builders to whistle his songs.

Max Tundra is about to become a big star. Or, at least, he is in the minds of his fans, who believe his fast-cut, intricately assembled electronic pop has commercial potential.


Debbie Wiseman: She scores emotion

By Paul Lester, September 19, 2008

We meet one of the UK's most prolific and celebrated film and TV composers


It’s the Motorhead of klezmer (with jokes)

By Paul Lester, September 12, 2008

The Jewish music scene is not known for its sense of humour. Max Pashm and his group aim to inject a little laughter when they play at Simcha on the Square



Airing the closet-kosher music loved by the Tudors

By Rodney Greenberg, September 12, 2008

Although they were officially banned, Jewish musicians were top of the charts in Elizabethan England. Now a modern group is replaying their hits.


The Tudors are in the news these days. BBC2 is unfurling its lavish, 10-part drama about Henry VIII and his coterie of minions and lovers, while the Royal Mint is striking a £5 coin commemorating the 450th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth I.


Limmudniks raise the roof

By David Lasserson, August 28, 2008

Over 600 people went wild under the stars in the Peak District last weekend.

All over Britain this summer, a range of festivals - from Glastonbury to V - has been serving up serious musical entertainment. Limmudfest 08, which took place last weekend in the Peak District, was no exception.


What naches! The artists making Yiddish cool

By Alexandra Mankowitz and Lemez Lovas, August 15, 2008

Musicians in the UK and Germany explain why they are taking the language of the shtetl on to the hippest stages

I learnt Yiddish not just from my parents and grandparents, but from the whole town. We had plays, drama, reading and songs, all in Yiddish, all around us. I realise now how privileged I was."


The James Bond hitman whose lyrics fire hearts

By Paul Lester, August 8, 2008

Don Black is responsible for several classic 007 film themes, as well as a host of hot soundtracks in his 44-year career as one of the world's finest lyricists.

Did you know that James Bond was born in Mill Hill? Well, not the secret agent, but certainly some of his most famous songs. Because Thunderball, Diamonds Are Forever and The Man With The Golden Gun were all written by Don Black, one of the most prolific and successful lyricists in the history of British popular music, when he was living in that quiet north London suburb.


The trumpeter who blew up klezmer

By Miranda Hinkley, August 1, 2008

Frank London's fresh approach to klezmer sparked a global explosion in traditional Jewish music, rejuvenating an entire culture in the process



Review: Leonard Cohen

By Jean Hannah Edelstein, July 25, 2008

O2 Arena, SE10

Age has not affected the ability of the legendary Canadian to hit the same four notes

Age can be a scourge on the best singers, with years of strain and heavy use the cause of notable deterioration in range and tone.


Two talents to listen for

By Paul Lester, July 25, 2008

Rachael Sage and Natasha Panas are singer-songwriters ready to hit the big time. They are also proud of their very different roots.