The Byrds without the drugs: Teenage Fanclub’s Endless Arcade reviewed

Grade: B– Advancing age has smoothed the edges of Bellshill’s finest lads, once — back in the early 1990s — arguably Britain’s best band. This is like being embalmed for ever in suffocating pleasantness. You doze off during ‘Warm Embrace’ and wake, perhaps hours later, to the same gentle, winsome, minor-key harmonies chugging by at a medium pace, the guitars strummed with deadening accuracy. Is it the same song? Have I died? The Fannies have been heading this way for a while and the departure of one of their better songwriters, Gerard Love (who jacked it in two years ago), has hastened their hitherto gentle descent towards the earnestly soporific,

I could have directed it better: Steve McQueen’s Small Axe reviewed

Unlike with every other BBC period drama series these days, I didn’t have to sit through Small Axe: Mangrove grumbling about the implausible and anachronistic diversity casting. Mangrove was the West Indian-owned restaurant in Notting Hill which, in 1970, became the subject for a landmark Old Bailey trial involving nine of its habitués on trumped-up charges of riot and affray. Though it gets much better once we’re actually in court, the first hour’s build-up is awfully slow. I fear writer/director Steve McQueen is to blame. He has an artist’s eye for the visual side of things: the look and feel of late-1960s west London — just as the Westway overpass

The artist who left no physical record of her work

While locked-down galleries compete to keep their artists in the public eye — or ear — by uploading interview podcasts, a treasure trove of earlier recordings is being overlooked. Artists’ Lives, part of the British Library’s oral history archive, is a collection of interviews with 370 artists, 200 of which are available on the British Library Sounds website. As an account of British art of the past century they are more comprehensive than Vasari’s Lives and more reliable, coming as they do from the horse’s mouth. They are also exhaustive. But for those who haven’t got all day to follow the fascinating career of Guyanese-born Frank Bowling RA through 17