MonthMay 2018

‘I’m nothing but compost’: Bill Murray on good friends, bad bosses and Harvey Weinstein

The actor talks about loneliness, big families, his temperamental reputation – and why he loves to live in the moment The last time I met Bill Murray things got rather physical rather quickly. It was the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscars party and I was about to leave, bloated with celebrity sightings and starting to suffer from indigestion. But as I walked out I saw a man arrive who made me turn around and go right back in. By now, Bill Murray has long bypassed mere celebrity status to become something close to a spiritual symbol, a guru of zen, and his frequent appearances among the masses (in a karaoke bar! In a couple’s engagement photo!) are reported on the internet with the excitement of sightings of the messiah. Ever since his pitch perfect performances in 90s classics Groundhog Day and Rushmore, he has enjoyed a career renaissance, shucking off his well-hewn 80s comedy persona to become one of the most delightful dramatic actors around in films such as Lost in Translation and The Royal Tenenbaums. But to me, he will always be the wisecracking rumpled cynic he played in the early comedies I grew up with: Scrooged, Stripes, Tootsie, Meatballs and, of course, Ghostbusters. Watching him stride past was like watching my childhood walk by. I failed to play it cool. Related: The 10 best Bill Murray moments Related: ‘I’m interested in his Murrayness’: Bill Murray exhibition opens in Gateshead Related: The gospel according to Bill Murray: impending apocalypse, seatbelt safety and his favourite saint – interview Related: My favourite film: Ghostbusters Continue reading… [hmp_player]

‘You can’t escape its inspiration’: inside the true history of grime

Grime historians Dan Hancox and DJ Target have both written books about the genre. They discuss its development, glory and legacy – from Wiley and Dizzee to Stormzy and Skepta Grime, Afro bashment, drill … how black British music became more fertile than ever Since emerging from London as a harsh, lyrically dextrous, hybrid rap music in the early 00s, grime has had the three-act narrative of a Hollywood movie: the plucky underdog who gets to the top, blows it, and is then redeemed. But from its garage- and jungle-inspired gestation to the breakthroughs of rapper-producers Wiley and Skepta, and on to the Brit-award winning majesty of Stormzy, it is easy to forget how it all actually happened. Two people who have been reimmersing themselves in grime’s story are Dan Hancox, a journalist and die-hard fan with hundreds of hours of interviews with those in the scene, and BBC 1Xtra’s DJ Target, AKA Darren Joseph, whose Pay As U Go crew pointed the way from garage to grime, and whose Roll Deep crew later went to the top of the charts. Both are publishing grime history books this summer, and in conversation, they explore the genre’s real story. Related: Form 696 is gone – so why is clubland still hostile to black Londoners? Continue reading… [hmp_player]

Grime, Afro bashment, drill … how​ black British music became more fertile than ever​

Black musicians were once boxed in by the mainstream. But the success of grime has helped diverse, diasporic tracks to hit the charts ‘You can’t escape its inspiration’: inside the true history of grime Grime’s overdue entrance into the UK mainstream, via Stormzy, Skepta and others in the past few years, has now opened doors for a host of other genres of black British music. On the one side, there is the tabloid-worrying, tonally dark road rap and UK drill scenes, with artists including Giggs and Section Boyz. On the other, there is the sunnier sound of Afro bashment, with the likes of J Hus and Not3s. And as these sounds evolve, they blur the already narrow line between them. With influences from across the diaspora, this music captures the hybrid essence of black British identity with more clarity than ever – and is even harder to define because of it. Take Afro bashment. Despite being an increasing presence in the UK – J Hus’s debut album, Common Sense, peaked in the charts at No 6 last month – it has a shifting brand identity, and is also known as Afro trap, Afro swing and Afro hop. Its origins lie at the point where grime was replaced in late 00s raves with the more upbeat, warm-weather sounds of funky house. With catchphrase choruses and choreographed dance routines, UK funky dominated the black club scene; even grime artists jumped onboard, such as Boy Better Know, with their riotous 2009 track Too Many Man. Continue reading… [hmp_player]

Lost in Vagueness review – high times in a fond memoir of Glasto legends

Sofia Olins’ doc tells the story of the festival’s mythical party area where drag, drugs and debauchery were unrivalled Here is a documentary that should provide a balm of sorts to anyone pining for Glastonbury in a fallow year for the festival – though one whose charms might be somewhat lost on non-attendees. It tells the story of new-age traveller Roy Gurvitz, who in the early 2000s founded the bacchanalian late-night area Lost Vagueness, a move that invigorated the festival just as it was lurching into irrelevance. Featuring everything from ballroom dancing to drag shows and gruesome displays of body horror performance art (and a lot of drugs, a detail strangely unremarked-on in the film), the area soon became the stuff of legend among festivalgoers – not to mention tabloid editors, who thrilled to the (false) rumours that Kate Moss and Pete Doherty had got hitched in the area’s Chapel of Love. Soon Lost Vagueness was an all-purpose alternative party behemoth in its own right, putting on its own events and club nights – though rising costs, as well as Gurvitz’s erratic towards his staff were taking their toll. Continue reading… [hmp_player]