Monday, 15 June 2009


I had a whole fistful of stuff running in yesterday’s Observer Music Monthly. Firstly, I reviewed the new album by Tinariwen. Called Imidiwan (it translates as Companions), it’s a stunning record, all blood, bone and sinew, not an ounce of fat. Fans of their last, Aman Iman, will not be disappointed.

I also wrote a feature about that much maligned species, the session musician. I talked to six players who between them have performed at the Grammys, Glastonbury, Central Park, the Colosseum and the queen’s jubilee, and who have played on records that, combined, have sold hundreds of millions of copies. And yet I doubt you’ll have heard of any of them. From their bunks in the sweaty engine room of the recording industry they offer some fascinating insights and up-end a few preconceptions.

Finally, there’s a definitive Ten of the most striking (and scary) pop star transformations. Yes, the words 'Michael' and 'Jackson' do appear. Oh, and I also spoke to George Harrison’s widow Olivia, but more on that soon.

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