Bernard Zuel

Bernard Zuel

Since joining Fairfax in 1992, Bernard has been an editor and written on education, roads and local politics. These days, he specialises in music and is the senior music writer and reviewer.

Five festivals in one

Laneway Festival review: move over Violent Soho, Grimes is taking over

Bernard Zuel Everyone has their own version of St Jerome's Laneway Festival. This is just one, or five, of them.

Prince coming to Australia in February with solo 'Piano & Microphone' tour


Martin Boulton and Bernard Zuel Mercurial and unpredictable, the usually flamboyant Prince now will be up close and personal.

Voices smooth and menacing

Spectrum reviews: Massive Attack, Kurt Elling and Elton John

Bernard Zuel The return of major figures from the '70s and '90s and one of the finest voices in modern jazz offer a stylish spread.

Ten best Australian albums

Courtney Barnett and Tame Impala head Australian Music Prize shortlist

Courtney Barnett

Bernard Zuel The most prestigious award, with one of the biggest prizes, in Australian music is down to a final 10.

Comments 3

Snake in Warne's trousers

Shane Warne's I'm A Celebrity conquests begin with a face full of maggots

So...what's that about a no insect clause Warnie?

Bernard Zuel The mystery guest everyone expected brought the ego, the tan and a box full of creepy crawlies to the jungle.

Songwriting 101

Sia finds the hits in the songs others reject

Vanessa Carlton

Bernard Zuel Songwriters may not be the stars but they are the powerhouse of pop music. Here's what you do with the songs others discard.

American music's roots

From the Hunger Games to opera and bluegrass, Rhiannon Giddens unlocks the secrets of the American voice

Rhiannon Giddens.

Bernard Zuel An interpreter of all kinds of roots music finds the heart of America black and white.

The Rubens top an unsurprising and safe Hottest 100

The Rubens

Bernard Zuel Still no woman winning the 100 song countdown of the Triple J audience's favourite tracks of 2015.

Triple J Hottest 100: The Presets searching for a new way to mark Australia Day

The Presets.

Bernard Zuel An alternative 100 great songs and a new national day were on the agenda for a radio station and one of Australia's biggest groups.

Finding folk lines

Sydney Festival review: Michael Hurley and Meg Baird are two sides of folk

Michael Hurley digs into traditional American folk forms.

Bernard Zuel One a veteran of more than 50 years, the other barely a decade into her career, two Americans tap into very different folk traditions.

Making this room home

Hot Chip review: Making perfect fun out of an imperfect situation

Bernard Zuel The room may not seem appropriate but that didn't seem to matter when the dancing started.

Magic of harp and voice

Sydney Festival 2016 review: Joanna Newsom weaves another web

Joanna Newsom

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Bernard Zuel Long songs, elaborate tales and the happiness of a confident and not really so odd musical performer.

Four fresh new albums

Spectrum reviews: Humans soundtrack, Savages, Nu Yorica and Villagers

Bernard Zuel An electronic look at humans and replicants,a Latin music flowering, tense new rock and reworked folk rock.

Electronic music for the ages

Hot Chip – it's on for young and old

Bernard Zuel The electronic five-piece are ageing with their audience but still want to make them dance.

Performance art meets pop

Sydney Festival review 2016: Jenny Hval on the edge of unreality

During her Sydney Festival show Jenny Hval would occasionally sing with a loose manner that only comes from having good technique.

Bernard Zuel Free associating, happily bizarre and occasionally very musical, this was a weird collision of art house, cabaret and pop.

Courtney Barnett review: Loud and proud, it's time to believe the hype

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 20:  Singer-songwriter and guitarist Courtney Barnett poses for a photo  in front of the Aqua Profunda sign  at the Fitzroy Pool on April 20, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Pat Scala/Fairfax Media) *** Local Caption *** Courtney Barnett

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Bernard Zuel If you've resisted til now. If you think it's all a bit of a loose indie rock thing that doesn't even have the energy to be slack. Forgedaboutit. Courtney Barnett still has it.

Finding god in details

Bloc Party now sing Hymns to nature

Getting in touch with nature - Bloc Party: Kele Okereke, Louise Bartle, Justin Harris, Russell Lissack.

Bernard Zuel Finding god in sun, sand and sex has transformed the frontman of this once-tense London quartet. Now there's almost peace.

Searching for middle ground

The dirty word Josh Pyke is happy to use at home and with his music

Josh Pyke is searching for consistency in life and music

Bernard Zuel Forget the highs and lows, Josh Pyke would prefer steady steps on the "path of heart" even if it's anything but sexy.

Pop star still learning

Troye Sivan review: Internet star a work in progress, but an impressive start

Troye Sivan

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Bernard Zuel An impressive first album and a strong connection with fans gives an inexperienced Perth's Troye Sivan a great base on which to build.

How little we knew

David Bowie dead: Inner circle kept killer cancer a secret

FILE - In this June 7, 2010 file photo, David Bowie attends the 2010 CFDA Fashion Awards in New York. Bowie, the innovative and iconic singer whose illustrious career lasted five decades, died Monday, Jan. 11, 2015, after battling cancer for 18 months. He was 69. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer, File)

Bernard Zuel and Lucy Cormack Only those closest to him knew the truth about his health though maybe the secret was in the songs after all.