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A Guide to Streaming for Music Lovers

Emma Bouloudis

Although the stage lights might not glitter quite as bright as the real McCoy – you’ll be pleased to hear nobody will spill their beer on you either. 

Rolling Thunder Revue [Netflix]

When Scorsese slaps his name on something it goes without saying a cult-like following will gather to it like moths to a certificate 18 flame. But although the excess of 2-hour runtime may recall those same questions you asked during The Irishman, “surely some of this could have been edited out?” [and it could] his music documentaries are a very different animal. He takes a step back from the omnipotence of the director’s seat, and the result is something as mesmerising and sensational as any of his films. What Rolling Thunder Revue does best is captures that bohemian, exquisitely talented Dylan-ness. With those robin-egg blue eyes glowing against white face-paint, and his lithe sinewy frame fitted in a little black waistcoat, he steals the stage. 
 
 
Amazing Grace [Amazon prime]

Lifted from obscurity after 48 years, the last thing you’d imagine is that watching this would feel like an interactive experience. But drenched in the heat of 1972 California, as soon as you see Aretha floating onto screen in a floor-length alabaster gown flashing that beaming smile, there is an extraordinary sense of intimacy and communion. Amazing Grace, put plainly, is no frills. Minimally edited, it is the live footage of the superstar recording her platinum gospel album in a Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Accordingly, Aretha does not pinball across the chancel or gesticulate into the air, and the choir is more often found seated than standing, but you – much like a twenty-something Mick Jagger tucked in the audience – may find yourself off your seat. 
 
Neil Young Fireside Sessions [Neil Young Archives]

Everyone’s favourite rockstar recluse Neil Young is gifting us with an intimate series of live at-home gigs, named the Fireside Sessions. Perfect viewing for a night in sippin’ on a rye, the vocals are rough-and-ready and imbued with as much country romance as you’d expect from a flannel clad Young crooning out sugar mountain from a dusty campfire in Colarado. in the first edition he introduces us to his trusty harmonica mounted on a horseshoe, followed by a rendition of Little Wing by light of flickering candle, string of jewel-toned fairy lights, and peace sign hanging from the ceiling. As we sit penned in our houses watching him through the screen, Young offers us a soothing refrain during a silky rendition of Vampire Blues, the ‘good times coming baby, but they’re sure coming slow’.
 
 
Homecoming Beyoncé [Netflix] 

Beyoncé’s 2018 Coachella performance is the most live-streamed performance of all time, yep you heard that right but it’s a lot more than that too. It was an epochal moment in America, where art, history, literature and an entire cultural lexicon converged on stage for an hour and 45 minutes, and the crowd, the beyhive, and the world alike went wild. it’s deeply feminist, it’s a breath-taking celebration of African American culture, and it is as epic visually as it is to listen to. Focalising between the dancing, the outfits, the lyrics, and the heart, Homecoming proudly bears its crown in our books as the best history lesson ever recorded on film. 
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