Music

News, Reviews & Features
  • Review: Rocketman is a Bo Rhap glow-up... but then again, no

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 22nd May 2019

    Put Bohemian Rhapsody out of your head: this jukebox musical about a flamboyant rock singer directed by Dexter Fletcher is nothing like that jukebox musical about a flamboyant rock singer directed by Dexter Fletcher. In principle at least, Bo Rhap made sense as a tribute to the mercurial nature of the Queen frontman, a celebration of his musical genius and his tragic legacy. Rocketman, however, is quite different. For starters, Elton John (Tantrums & Tiaras, Kingsman 2, every other fucking episode of the The Graham Norton Show, apparently) is alive and well and executively producing his own vanity biopic. As a celebration of Elton's music, Rocketman delivers a satisfying and foot-stomping soundtrack of wall-to-wall bangers, but as an exploration of the man himself, it lacks any notable dramatic impetus outside of the generic rise, fall and rise template. It's less a movie, more a West End stage musical in search of a worthy hero.

  • The 10 most unbelievable, most exhausting, jazz-handiest moments from The Greatest Showman

    Movie Feature | Ali Gray | 16th January 2018

    Hugh Jackman has spent his adult life trying to make musicals happen. Remember when he hosted the Oscars in 2009 and proudly proclaimed “Musicals are back!” even though they weren't, in fact, back? Remember when his musical Las Vegas crime thriller Viva Laughlin got shelved after two episodes, and then when you subsequently realised *that* was the rage that was really driving Wolverine? Well, musicals are properly back thanks to La La Land, which had nothing to do with Hugh Jackman, so now Hugh Jackman is doing a musical to prove to everyone that Hugh Jackman and musicals belong together. The Greatest Showman isn't as good as La La Land, obviously, even if it does share the same, uh [checks notes] lyricists, but it is good for one thing: a big, fat injection of industrial grade cheese into the bloodstream. Here are the best bits.

  • Review: Jurassic Park live at the Royal Albert Hall

    Movie Feature | Ali Gray | 7th November 2016

    It may not surprise you to learn that I have seen Jurassic Park before. In fact, I've seen it a multitude of ways. I've seen it at the cinema. I've seen it in 3D. I've seen it in IMAX. I've seen it on VHS, DVD and Blu-Ray. I've seen it in a big field. I've seen it projected in a pub basement in London Bridge on a stag night (okay, on my stag night). I've seen three-quarters of it in Italian on a hotel room TV set. I've now seen it at the Royal Albert Hall with a live score from the Royal Philarmonic Concert Orchestra. I can confirm that the last way I saw it is definitely the best. Way better than the Italian hotel room version (although, to be fair, I never saw the ending).

  • Great news if you love orchestras and/or dinosaurs

    Movie News | Ali Gray | 10th February 2016

    In news that is sure to sexually stimulate fans of both prehistoric land-mammals and honking great oboes, the Royal Albert Hall will play host to an exclusive live screening of Jurassic Park on 4-5 November, with J-Wills' superlative score provided by the not-too-shabby London Philharmonic Orchestra. Tickets are available from royalalberthall.com. The only way a screening of Jurassic Park could possibly get any better would be if they added actual live dinosaurs. I'm sure there's a downside I don't see.

  • Whiplash

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 11th January 2015

    Sometimes a joke hits too close to the mark, and so it is I cannot ever listen to jazz music without thinking of The Fast Show sketch, Jazz Club, with its bowl-cutted host Louis Balfour introducing chin-stroker acts in straight trousers with names like Charlie ''The Bulb'' Robeson and Soylent Green. That's an entire musical genre desolated, for all time - an entire section of HMV I'll never trouble. But perhaps there is a saviour for jazz; not a musician, but a director, Damien Chazelle - a man who's probably too young to even remember The Fast Show, let alone the old duffers who made jazz insufferable in the first place. Trumpets please!

  • Cuban Fury

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 16th February 2014

    I am an impressionable idiot. Take me to a martial arts movie, I'll come out Kung Fu fighting. Take me to a spy thriller, I'll be eyeing everyone with suspicion in the car park. You don't want to know what I'll do after I see Nymphomaniac. Naturally then, Nick Frost's comedy Cuban Fury - a movie set in and around the world of salsa dancing and rumba rhythms - had me swaying my hips and sashaying down the Jubilee Line all the way home, where I suggested to my wife we take dancing lessons. Me! Someone whose one and only dance move was nicknamed 'The Ali Shuffle'! Cuban Fury may not have the long shelf life of Frost's Cornetto movies, but during that all-too-brief post-movie glow, it serves as a wonderful example of feelgood comedy done right.

  • Christmas Playlist: The Best Of 2013

    Movie Feature | Neil Alcock | 21st December 2013

    It's Christmas, apparently, not that you'd notice. So here's The Shiznit's present to you: a shiny Spotify playlist of the best bits of movie music from 2013. It was that or a PS4, but we knew you'd rather have the chance to listen to the Iron Man Three theme again than receive the world's most advanced games console for free.

  • Saturday Playlist: Henry Jackman

    Movie Feature | Neil Alcock | 2nd November 2013

    With the first trailer for X-Men: Days Of Future Past curling out onto the internets this week, it seemed like as good a time as any to celebrate the music of that film's prequel's score's composer, right? I mean when else are we gonna celebrate Henry Jackman? Apart from, say, the other week when Captain Phillips came out and he did the score for that. Sure, that would have been more appropriate, but also too obvious, and that's definitely why I didn't put this playlist together two weeks ago when we were desperate for something to put on the site. And not because I was having a marathon Doctor Who catch-up.

  • Spider-Man sequel's "soundtrack supergroup" sounds... erm... shit?

    Movie News | Ali Gray | 1st November 2013

    And I'm not just saying that because 'shit' begins with 's': Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams, Dave Stewart, Johnny Marr and Incubus’s Michael Einziger will all be squabbling over the triangle when they team up to record the soundtrack for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

  • Saturday Playlist: Nice score, shame about the film

    Movie Feature | Neil Alcock | 28th September 2013

    If, like me, you fondly remember The Incredible Suit's astoundingly popular series of film music playlists with misty eyes and bulging trousers, then I've got good news: they're back! In an attempt to port over some of my previous blog's class and sophistication to The Shiznit, we recently made the decision to reboot the Saturday Playlist feature for a wider, sexier audience. That's you lot. Well, most of you. Some of you. Not that guy there though, eurgh.