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Graeme Thomson

Graeme Thomson

Graeme Thomson has written for every major music publication in Britain. His work regularly appears in The Guardian, The Word, Uncut, The Herald and several other newspapers, magazines and websites. He is the author of Complicated Shadows: The Life & Music of Elvis Costello; Willie Nelson: The Outlaw; I Shot a Man in Reno, a study of twentieth century death music; The Resurrection of Johnny Cash and Under The Ivy: The Life & Music of Kate Bush, published by Omnibus in May 2010 and recently updated in paperback, was described by the Irish Times as ‘the best music biography in perhaps the past decade.'

56 articles

By Artist | By Date

List of articles in the library by artist

ABBA, The Beatles, John Cale, Elvis Costello, Fleetwood Mac, George Harrison, The Libertines, Megadeth, Oasis, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Simon & Garfunkel, Bruce Springsteen: Writing To Reach You

Overview by Graeme Thomson, Word, The, March 2012

Because sometimes the only way musicians can actually talk to each other is by writing songs ...

Ryan Adams: Demolition Man: Ryan Adams

Interview by Graeme Thomson, Herald, The, September 2002

RYAN ADAMS IS not feeling well. "Summertime cold," he snuffles, and for a while, early on in our conversation, he seems intent on spreading the ...

Badly Drawn Boy, Goldfrapp, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Rock Stars Storm the Movie Soundtrack World

Overview by Graeme Thomson, Guardian, The, 19 November 2009

From Goldfrapp to Badly Drawn Boy, from Karen O to Nick Cave, more and more big names are lining up to write music for films. ...

The Black Keys: How The Black Keys Rose Without Trace

Interview by Graeme Thomson, Word, The, March 2012

"There's a lot that goes into being a band aside from the music," say the quiet pair from Ohio. "We pay attention to that stuff." ...

Blondie: Pollinator

Review by Graeme Thomson, Mail On Sunday, 30 April 2017

WHAT DO YOU do when you can no longer write the kind of songs that made you beloved in the first place? If you're Blondie, almost ...

The Blue Nile: Paul Buchanan

Profile and Interview by Graeme Thomson, Herald, The, 2006

THE FEW THINGS you may conceivably already know about Paul Buchanan are by far the least interesting: that he had a two-year relationship with the ...

Bon Iver, Kathleen Edwards: Kathleen Edwards and Bon Iver: Love Triangle

Report and Interview by Graeme Thomson, Word, The, February 2012

There's three in this relationship — Kathleen Edwards, Bon Iver and the big, sad, shimmering record they've made together. ...

Jacques Brel: Jacques The Lad: Jacques Brel

Retrospective by Graeme Thomson, Guardian, The, 6 February 2009

FIRST THINGS FIRST. Try to forget that Jacques Brel, the Belgian singer-songwriter, is indirectly responsible for Terry Jacks's 'Seasons in the Sun'. Forget also for ...

Jeff Buckley, Elliott Smith: Elliott Smith et al: It's All Too Beautiful

Report by Graeme Thomson, Word, The, June 2007

Pale eulogies on fan sites are giving even obscure dead musicians a career in the afterlife. But does the net build an idealised version of ...

Vashti Bunyan: Heartleap (Fat Cat)

Review by Graeme Thomson, Uncut, November 2014

One more diamond day: an elusive singer-songwriter's beautiful, last (probably) album. ...

Kate Bush: Double Exposure: Kate Bush: Director's Cut (EMI/Fish People)

Review by Graeme Thomson, Word, The, June 2011

Kate Bush re-examines a handful of her own songs. The result? Restoration, radical reinvention and unfettered weirdness… ...

Camila Cabello: Camila

Review by Graeme Thomson, Mail On Sunday, 13 January 2018

A 20-YEAR-OLD Cuban-American with Mexican roots, Camila Cabello's lineage may not be to the taste of Donald Trump, but she at least grabbed the ear ...

Johnny Cash: When Johnny Came Marching Home

Retrospective by Graeme Thomson, Word, The, August 2011

In 1993 Johnny Cash sat on Rick Rubin's sofa and began playing songs — just as a "getting to know you" exercise. It turned out ...

Christine and the Queens: O2 Academy, Glasgow

Live Review by Graeme Thomson, Daily Mail, 12 November 2016

HÉLOÏSE LETISSIER, the French artist who performs as Christine and the Queens, is demob-happy. "This is a free zone," she tells us in charming accented ...

Shirley & Dolly Collins: Down In Albion — Shirley and Dolly Collins: The Harvest Years (Harvest)

Review by Graeme Thomson, Word, The, September 2008

The collected classics of Shirley and Dolly Collins constitute a phantasmagoria of English folk. Warning: contains crumhorns. ...

Elvis Costello

Interview by Graeme Thomson, Herald, The, 23 August 2002

YOU DON'T REALLY interview Elvis Costello. It's more a matter of tossing a few loaded questions at him then taking cover as each enquiry explodes ...

Dion: The Bard Of Bronx County

Profile and Interview by Graeme Thomson, Word, The, April 2012

HOW DID THEY miss Dion DiMucci when they were casting for The Sopranos? Even at 72 and now resident in Florida, doo-wop's Bronx apostle still ...

Duffy: Endlessly (A&M Records) ****

Review and Interview by Graeme Thomson, Uncut, January 2011

Welsh songstress excels — with the help of Albert Hammond and The Roots, says Graeme Thomson ...

Ramblin' Jack Elliott

Interview by Graeme Thomson, Word, The, April 2009

Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan rewrote their pasts. The same goes for Ramblin' Jack Elliott. ...

Fever Ray: Fever Ray

Review by Graeme Thomson, Observer, The, 15 March 2009

IT'S 2009, AND everything has been stripped bare: assets, confidence, reputations, lives. ...

Florence and the Machine: Q&A: Florence Welch

Interview by Graeme Thomson, Word, The, January 2012

Pop sorceress, Oscars attendee ...

Roddy Frame: Candid Camera: Roddy Frame opens up on new album Seven Dials

Report and Interview by Graeme Thomson, Herald, The, 9 May 2014

THERE IS A LINE in 'White Pony', the opening track on Roddy Frame's fine new album, which says a mouthful. It goes like this: "Sometimes ...

Jess Glynne: Eden Project, Cornwall

Live Review by Graeme Thomson, Daily Mail, 23 July 2016

IF THERE IS a more magical place to see music performed on a summer evening than the Eden Project, with its natural amphitheatre and unearthly ...

PJ Harvey: Playhouse, Edinburgh

Live Review by Graeme Thomson, Mail On Sunday, 13 August 2017

THERE'S NO NEED to ask how PJ Harvey takes her coffee. From the all-black dress code and shadowy stage lighting to the dense, dusky music, ...

Mick Jagger: Mick Rolls Alone

Interview by Graeme Thomson, Sunday Herald, 27 October 2007

The Rolling Stones frontman reveals why his solo career is the foundation of his artistic life ...

Bert Jansch: The Black Swan

Review by Graeme Thomson, Word, The, October 2006

THE PROBLEM with so many virtuoso musicians is that their technical skill impedes the act of communication: it becomes the focus of all the attention, ...

Norah Jones: 10 Questions for Norah Jones

Interview by Graeme Thomson, Arts Desk, The, 26 April 2012

NORAH JONES is back. New haircut, new sound, new producer. The first of these, while very nice, needn't concern us too much. The second, meanwhile, ...

Ronan Keating: SECC Clyde Auditorium

Live Review by Graeme Thomson, Mail On Sunday, 24 September 2016

IT'S LADIES' NIGHT down by the River Clyde. There's a run on prosecco at the bar; tumbleweed is blowing through the deserted Gents. ...

Kris Kristofferson: A Nashville Rebel Reminisces

Retrospective and Interview by Graeme Thomson, Guardian, The, 6 May 2010

THERE'S SOME wonderful YouTube footage of Kris Kristofferson receiving a gong at the 1970 Country Music Association awards. He lopes on stage with his hair ...

Ray LaMontagne: Ray Lamontagne & the Pariah Dogs: God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise

Review and Interview by Graeme Thomson, Uncut, October 2010

Impassioned, old-fashioned soul-blues, and all the better for it, says Graeme Thomson. ...

The Last Poets: Waiting For The Revolution

Retrospective and Interview by Graeme Thomson, Uncut, December 2011

From the volatile streets of Harlem in the late '60s, THE LAST POETS were among the earliest voices of radical black youth in America. With ...

Lightnin' Rod's Hustlers Convention: Rap's Great Lost Album

Retrospective and Interview by Graeme Thomson, Guardian, The, 30 January 2014

A FULL DECADE before Public Enemy revolutionised the world of rap, Chuck D first encountered the album he describes today as "a verbal roadmap for people trying to ...

Dua Lipa: SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Live Review by Graeme Thomson, Mail On Sunday, 22 April 2018

Dua's great Lipa forward: the charismatic pop star du jour proves herself to the hangar born on the opening night of her first arena tour. ...

John Martyn: I've Had a Wonderful Time

Report and Interview by Graeme Thomson, Herald, The, November 2005

IT IS FAR from unusual to discover whole fathoms of deep blue sea between the artist and their art. Nothing, however, quite prepares you for ...

Paul McCartney

Interview by Graeme Thomson, Word, The, October 2005

JUST WHAT do you do if you are Paul McCartney? You could bathe in liquid gold and shine your shoes with royalty cheques, of course, ...

Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields: Strange Powers

Film/DVD/TV Review by Graeme Thomson, Uncut, March 2011

The quixotic songwriter, profiled in relentless close-up. ...

Mumford & Sons: SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Live Review by Graeme Thomson, Mail On Sunday, 24 November 2018

Mumford & Sons are 21st-century boys these days, with new album Delta continuing their self-conscious plunge into progress... but are they playing against their strengths? ...

Graham Nash

Interview by Graeme Thomson, Word, The, March 2009

IT HAS NEVER occurred to me before Graham Nash points it out, but 'Marrakesh Express' isn't just a breezily literal account of the illicit delights ...

Paolo Nutini: Sunny Side Up (Atlantic)

Review by Graeme Thomson, Observer, The, 17 May 2009

PAOLO NUTINI tends to get lumped in with the James Morrisons and Blunts of this world, dismissed as a dispenser of tuneful semi-acoustic fare and ...

Marti Pellow: Just call me mellow Pellow

Profile and Interview by Graeme Thomson, Event Magazine, 25 February 2017

He can smile about it now, but the singer with the megawatt grin knows how close drink, drugs and 'Love Is All Around' came to ...

Prefab Sprout: Erase And Rewind: Paddy McAloon

Report and Interview by Graeme Thomson, Word, The, September 2009

Paddy McAloon’s lost folly has just been released after 17 years. Many and complex were the obstacles in its path, as he tells GRAEME THOMSON. ...

Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL: SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Live Review by Graeme Thomson, Uncut, August 2014

"Animals strike curious poses!" The inexhaustible beautiful one celebrates 30 years of Purple Rain. ...

Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon: Mark Kozelek: Album By Album

Guide by Graeme Thomson, Uncut, September 2010

NEARLY 20 YEARS into a career spanning Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon and several solo records, singer; songwriter, producer and label boss Mark Kozelek ...

Emeli Sandé: Long Live The Angels

Review by Graeme Thomson, Mail On Sunday, 12 November 2016

"I FELL IN LOVE with fear, Oh God forgive me," sings Emeli Sandé halfway through her second album. She doesn't sound fearful, though. Terrifically glum, ...

Mike Scott, The Waterboys: Mike Scott

Profile and Interview by Graeme Thomson, Word, The, 2006

OF ALL THE PLACES to establish a spiritual community, one mile from a RAF base seems a trifle ill-conceived: transcendence must require every ounce of ...

Paul Simon: "He is a foreign man. He is surrounded by the sound"

Retrospective by Graeme Thomson, Uncut, October 2010

25 years ago, PAUL SIMON was going nowhere, until a bootleg cassette from Soweto inspired him to set off on a fantastic South African adventure. ...

Simple Minds: "Maybe we shouldn't have cashed in…"

Retrospective and Interview by Graeme Thomson, Guardian, The, 23 February 2012

A COUPLE OF YEARS ago a young, anonymous musician approached Jim Kerr in a Glasgow rehearsal studio and began humorously haranguing him. "He was like, ...

Talking Heads: And The Heat Goes On

Retrospective and Interview by Graeme Thomson, Uncut, November 2010

A long hot summer in New York 30 years ago, and Talking Heads are heading into dangerous new territory. It will involve intense relationships with ...

Thin White Rope: Cult heroes: Thin White Rope were scorched, alien, hostile

Retrospective by Graeme Thomson, Guardian, The, 24 March 2015

THIN WHITE ROPE were named after William Burroughs's description of ejaculating semen in Naked Lunch – and that's not even the best thing about them. ...

Johnny Thunders: The Heartbreak Kid

Retrospective by Graeme Thomson, Uncut, May 2011

"Everything JOHNNY THUNDERS touched broke," says one of his old bandmates. On the 20th anniversary of Thunders' death, Uncut pieces together the story of a ...

KT Tunstall: KIN

Review by Graeme Thomson, Mail On Sunday, 4 September 2016

THE LAST TIME we heard from KT Tunstall, she was struggling with the double whammy of a broken marriage and the death of her father. ...

Lucinda Williams: Little Honey (Lost Highway)

Review by Graeme Thomson, Word, The, November 2008

WHENEVER A MUSICIAN announces that their new offering is the "most eclectic album they've ever made", it's sure to be a rough ride. ...

World Party: Karl Wallinger: The Song that Saved My Bacon

Report and Interview by Graeme Thomson, Daily Telegraph, 15 August 2012

IN 1997 WORLD PARTY released a song called 'She's the One'. A simple, affecting piano ballad written by Karl Wallinger "in ten minutes and recorded ...

World Party: Karl Wallinger: The song that saved my bacon

Report and Interview by Graeme Thomson, Daily Telegraph, 15 August 2012

IN 1997, WORLD PARTY released a song called 'She's the One'. A simple, affecting piano ballad written by Karl Wallinger "in 10 minutes and recorded ...

List of genre pieces

Mowest, Mo' Problems: The Glorious Failure Of Motown's Californian Outpost

Profile by Graeme Thomson, Guardian, The, 30 June 2011

In 1971 Motown set up a Californian arm, Mowest. As a new compilation shows, it put out some terrific music, but it was a commercial ...

Musica Della Mafia: Omerta Onuri E Sangu

Report and Interview by Graeme Thomson, Herald, The, October 2002

IT SAYS MUCH for the myth-making powers of Hollywood and beyond that the mere mention of the mafia tends to conjure up images of sharp-suited, ...

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