Pick of the Proms 2014

Published by ConservativeHome

Proms 2014 launchThe wide-eyed wait is over, anticipation satisfied and rumours confirmed or quashed. (Actually, they’re invariably confirmed, simply because any orchestra, conductor or classical artist that publicises a scheduled appearance at a “major British/London summer festival” has invariably been booked for the Proms but simply isn’t allowed to say so, which, in this day and age, is a bit silly really). But it all kicks off on 18th July, and there are proms for families, proms for poets, proms for singers and proms for children; there are midnight proms, chamber proms, proms in the park and proms for stage and screen. If none of this creeps into your ears, you have no soul. Continue reading


A rock star is for life – not just for Christmas

Published by Daily Mail

Cliff ChristmasExactly 30 years ago, in December 1982, Cliff Richard’s ‘Little Town’ was ringing out of all the radio stations like a peal of church bells calling the faithful to worship, and the Peter Pan of pop was strutting his glittery stuff all over Top of the Pops. There were bright stars twinkling above and tinsel strewn over some horrendous jumper knitted by Aunt Doris. ‘Little Town’ was the sixth track on the album ‘Now you see me… now you don’t’ (and yes, I still have it on vinyl).

Astonishingly, ‘Little Town’ never made it to No.1: rather like The Pogues’ ‘Fairytale of New York’, it probably should have, and feels like it might have. But thereafter Cliff became synonymous with log fires, mince pies, mulled wine and the warm glow of Christmassy feelings. The Devil no longer had all the good music: Cliff brought us devotional pop straight from the adoring shepherds and Wise Men, and the race to the Christmas No.1 had truly become the highlight of the pop calendar. Continue reading