AWARDS SHORTLIST: MONSTAS: Best Album of 2022

It’s been quite the year, it’s almost Christmas and what would the festive season be without some recognition of the best of 2022? Over the next month we’ll shortlist five nominees in each of 16 categories for our 8th annual Oscars, or monstas if you will, of 2022.

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GIG REVIEW: Victorious Festival at Southsea Common starring Suede, Little Boots, Metronomy, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Sam Ryder & Example (day 3)

By Neil Durham

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

WHEN?: Sunday 28 August 2022

Lean, mean and urging the audience to join in, Suede frontman Brett Anderson seems absolutely on fire during this main Common Stage slot as the sun sinks on a gorgeous day on Southsea seafront.

  • Read on for reasons including how Little Boots apologised for her bangers on the Acoustic Stage
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9 reasons why we can’t wait for August 2022 starring Divine Comedy

  1. The Divine Comedy at the Barbican

Frontman Neil Hannon celebrates 30 years of his band by performing 10 of his albums in full across this 5-night residency in the Barbican in central London. The run begins on 31 August and continues on successive nights until Sunday 4 September. We last saw the band at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith in 2019 at a show which won our Best Gig monsta that year. Barbican residency review Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including Victorious Festival, a new play by Andrew Pollard and Bananarama gigs
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GIG REVIEW: Macy Gray, Kim Wilde, Tia Kofi X Little Boots, Five Star and Sugababes at Mighty Hoopla

By Neil Durham

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHEN?: Saturday 4 June 2022

We’ll be at Glastonbury Festival in 3 weeks’ time and we wouldn’t be surprised if Macy Gray pitches up on the strength of this 4pm main stage slot during which she absolutely achieves the goal of getting this 25,000-strong capacity party started.

  • Read on for reasons including Kim Wilde, Tia Kofi X Little Boots and Five Star
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SONG OF THE WEEK: I Specialise In Love by Tia Kofi X Little Boots (week beginning 2 June 2022)

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

Little Boots has released what is probably already our favourite album of the year so far and here teams up once again with a drag queen who is making a name for herself thanks to some brilliant pop collaborations.

  • Read on for reasons including how to see Tia Kofi X Little Boots in London on Saturday
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GIG REVIEW: ABBA Voyage at ABBA Arena

By Aline Mahrud

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHEN?: Saturday 28 May 2022, booking until 28 May 2023

SETLIST: The Visitors; Hole In Your Soul; SOS; Knowing Me, Knowing You; Chiquitita; Fernando; Mamma Mia; Does Your Mother Know?; Eagle; Lay All Your Love On Me; Summer Night City; Gimme Gimme Gimme; Voulez Vouz; When All’s Said And Done; Don’t Shut Me Down; I Still Have Faith In You; Waterloo; Dancing Queen; Thank You For The Music; The Winner Takes It All

Can 2 seemingly opposed theories co-exist? Could this celebration of live music be its biggest threat?

  • Read on for reasons including how brilliantly rendered this re-imagination of 1 of the world’s most joyous and beloved bands is
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ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Tomorrow’s Yesterdays by Little Boots (March 2022)

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

TRACKLIST: Love The Beginning; Silver Balloons; Landline; Back To Mine; Crying On The Inside; Heavenly; Deborah; Out (Out); Want You Back; Nothing Ever Changes; Tomorrow’s Yesterdays

Basking in these 11 tracks, Little Boots’ – real name Victoria Hesketh – love for all kinds of pop music becomes clear and even she has admitted in recent interviews that working with ABBA influenced this album leaving her thinking: ‘What would Benny do?’

  • Read on for reasons including where to see Boots perform this year
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AWARDS SHORTLIST: MONSTAS: Best Gig of 2021

It’s been quite the year, it’s almost Christmas and what would the festive season be without some recognition of the best of 2021? Over the next month we’ll shortlist five nominees in each of 15 categories for our Oscars, or monstas if you will, of 2021.

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ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Voyage by ABBA (November 2021)

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

TRACKLIST: I Still Have Faith In You; When You Danced With Me; Little Things; Don’t Shut Me Down; Just A Notion; I Can Be That Woman; Keep An Eye On Dan; Bumble Bee; No Doubt About It; Ode To Freedom

November has seen big album releases by Adele, Little Mix and Diana Ross but it is this 1st studio album in 40 years by the Swedish super group that has grown and grown on us since its early November release.

  • Read on for reasons including how ABBA Voyage is ABBA silver rather than ABBA Gold
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