AWARDS: MONSTAS: Our best song of 2021 so far

We awarded 14 monstas for the best pop, theatre, TV and film of 2020 in December – and here we look at the cream of 2021 so far and what’s to come. Previous winners in this category are 2020 Redemption by Hurts, 2019: C U Next Tuesday by Shakespears Sister, 2018: Make Me Feel by Janelle Monae , 2017: New Rules by Dua Lipa, 2016: Can’t Stop The Feeling by Justin Timberlake, 2015: Goodbye To Yesterday by Elina Born and Stig Rästa

  • Read on for our top 8 best songs of 2021 so far and how to see each act live
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SONG OF THE MONTH: Solar Power by Lorde (July 2021)

WORTH A LOOK?: ****1/2

RELEASED: Friday 11 June 2021

This is 24-year-old New Zealander Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor’s 1st new song in 4 years and we’re quite enjoying the similarities to Primal Scream’s 1990 classic Loaded.

  • Read on for reasons including everything we know about the August release of Lorde’s next album and her upcoming UK tour
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PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for July 2021 starring Anything Goes

  1. Anything Goes at the Barbican

Sutton Foster replaces Megan Mullally (Will and Grace) in this revival of the classic Cole Porter musical set on a cruise ship starring also Robert Lindsay, Felicity Kendal (Lettice and Lovage, Menier) and Gary Wilmot (Pantoland at the Palladium) at the Barbican. Runs 23 July through 17 October. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including Carousel, Romeo and Juliet and Sir Ian McKellen’s Hamlet
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THEATRE REVIEW: Bach & Sons starring Simon Russell Beale at the Bridge Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHEN?: Friday 25 June, opens 29 June and booking to 11 September 2021

RUNTIME: 150 minutes with 20-minute interval

It’s easy to forget the power of theatre to move its audience and that thought is foremost in our mind as we leave this venue fellow theatregoers clearly wiping tears from their eyes.

  • Read on for reasons including why a gay audience will find a resonance in the story of Frederick The Great here
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SONG OF THE WEEK: Dust At Her Feet by The Blow Monkeys (week beginning Friday 25 June 2021)

WORTH A LOOK?: ****1/2

RELEASED: 25 June 2021

We’ve had a listen of The Blow Monkeys’ new album Journey To You released in September and this 3rd single from it is the 10-track collection’s opener as well as a brilliant introduction.

  • Read on for reasons including our thoughts on the band’s most recent singles More Than A Miracle and Time Storm
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SONG OF THE WEEK: Neon Lights by Annie featuring Jake Shears (week beginning 19 June 2021)

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

RELEASED: Friday 18 June 2021

There can be few things more joyous than a spoken word middle eight of a pop song and the interplay here between 2 of our favourite pop stars immediately ushers this to the front of the queue to be our favourite song of the week.

  • Read on for reasons including everything we know about Shears’ new single just out Do The Television
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AWARDS: MONSTAS: Our best TV of 2021 so far

We awarded 14 monstas for the best pop, theatre, TV and film of 2020 in December – and here we look at the cream of 2021 so far and what’s to come. The BridgeStranger ThingsQueersKilling Eve, Fleabag and I May Destroy You are previous winners in this category.

  • Read on for our top 7 best TV shows of 2021 so far and our hopes for the next 6 months
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ALBUM OF THE MONTH/GIG REVIEW: Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land by MARINA (June 2021)

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

RELEASED: 11 June 2021

TRACKLIST: Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land; Venus Fly Trap; Man’s World; Purge The Poison; Highly Emotional People; New America; Pandora’s Box; I Love You But I Love Me More; Flowers; Goodbye

GIG SETLIST (13 June 2021) Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land; Venus Fly Trap; Purge The Poison; Froot; Man’s World; Highly Emotional People; Blue; New America; I Am Not A Robot; Pandora’s Box; To Be Human; How To Be A Heartbreaker; Bubblegum Bitch; I Love You But I Love Me More; Goodbye

If Kate Bush had given birth to a daughter rather than a son in 1998 and she had gone on to make records, one suspects they would have sounded like this 5th collection from Welsh singer/songwriter/musician/producer Marina Lambrini Diamandis.

  • Read on for reasons including what went down at the album launch show available online on Sunday 13 June
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FILM REVIEW: In The Heights starring Anthony Ramos, Melissa Barrera & Leslie Grace

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

RELEASED: Preview 11 June 2021, across UK 18 June 2021

RUNTIME: 143 minutes

The sultry height of summer is the perfect time to see this much-delayed film version of the Tony Award-winning musical with a big heart celebrating community and the feeling of no place like home.

  • Read on for reasons including the many TV stars kicking up a storm in the supporting cast
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