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Definitely not in the music section here. A piece on the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest (LINKED) which may serve to offend people from 25 different countries. Hopefully with a laugh or two.

Review added of the new musical version of Graham Greene’s OUR MAN IN HAVANA (linked) at the wonderful Watermill Theatre in Berkshire. You won’t seea production with higher energy this year- the small cast play multiple roles, sing, dance and back themselves instrumentally. Catch it if you can. I suspect a tour is on the cards.

Review added to the 60s Retrospective series of OUR MAN IN HAVANA (linked). Graham Greene wrote the novel and the screenplay, and it was a major success in 1960, with Alec Guinness, Noël Coward, Ralph Richardson, Maureen O’Hara, Ernie Kovacs and Burl Ives. We re-watched it because we were about to see the new musical version.

One Man Dog

A new one at AROUND AND AROUND. One Man Dog by James Taylor from late 1972 added to Reviled! The Albums Critics Loved To Hate. It only spawned one hit, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight, and was considered an underwhelming album at the time, though astute commentators like Jon Landau and Peter Doggett rated it very highly. So how does it stand up? The Rolling Stone Record Guide rated it as a two star album , but decades later Record Collector rated it at 5 stars. Where does my rating lie? Read and see.

At AROUND AND AROUND The Art of the LP sub-pages tidied up, and  Le déjeuner sur l’herbe  added with three LP sleeves all inspired by the same Manet painting.

After two years off stage, at last The Unthanks are back LINK TO MY REVIEW OF POOLE. The eighth time I’ve seen them, and probably the best too. This is a long tour, stretching till August. It will probably come near enough to most people. I will be amazed if this is not the best concert with the best sound I’ll see this year.

Review of The Taxidermist’s Daughter by Kate Mosse at Chichester Festival Theatre. It’s based on her best-selling Gothic novel, and adapted for the stage by the author. I found several faults, unusually for Chichester, but there are enough staging ideas for it to worth seeing.

Directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh. DEATH ON THE NILE (link to review) is streaming on Disney Plus and on DVD / Blu Ray from next week. The cast includes Tom Bateman, Sex Education’s Emma Mackay, Wonder Woman Gal Gadot, Arnie Hammer, French and Saunders. It’s the second big budget Poirot film from Branagh, with more on the pipeline. It’s enjoyable and entertaining … and you don’t find out who done it in the review.

Cartoonists

Cartoonists is a new sub-page under the Art of LP at AROUND AND AROUND. It’s focussed around the Private Eye / Punch cartoonists, working for BBC Records on the Goon Show series initially. Some great sleeve illustration by Honeysett (below), Bill Tidy,. Ed McLachlan, David Langdon, Hunt Emerson, David Machell.

Wednesday Morning 3 a.m. – Simon and Garfunkel. 1964. The Reviled series at AROUND AND AROUND. Their first album wasn’t so much reviled as ignored. It wasn’t even released as an LP in the UK until four years later, though there had been an EP with just the four best tracks. The critics then and later were fond of calling their harmonies ‘syrupy’ and ‘sugary.’ I think the critics got it wrong. Much better than the critics said.