IMAGINE DRAGONS interview – Evening Standard, 9 Nov 2018

  Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons is in a good place. Physically, that means he’s at home in LA, world tour done with, walking his six-year-old daughter to school every day, coaching her soccer team and also kept busy by her younger sisters – 18-month-old twins.   Emotionally, things are looking up for the 31-year-old singer too. After announcing in… Read more →

SAM FENDER interview – Evening Standard, 2 Nov 2018

It’s almost over before it’s begun for me and Sam Fender, when I mistakenly refer to his North Shields home town as South Shields. The singer-guitarist does not care to be associated with the other side of the river, the birthplace of 2009 X Factor winner Joe McElderry and half of Little Mix, thanks very much.   North Shields, the… Read more →

STORMZY – ‘RISE UP’ book review – Evening Standard, 1 Nov 2018

Stormzy Rise Up: The #Merky Story So Far (Edited and co-written by Jude Yawson) (#Merky Books, £16.99) South London rapper Stormzy is attacking the world of publishing in a similar way to his music: remaining as independent as possible, starting his own label and bringing numerous people from similar backgrounds to his along for the ride. Launching #Merky Books, a… Read more →

ALT-J, Albert Hall – Evening Standard, 30 Oct 2018

Alt-J tried out some innovative speaker technology as their latest tour drew to a close, but the ears took second place after the eyes during an extraordinary light show. The art rock trio’s two Albert Hall gigs were the UK’s first chance to experience “L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound” – speakers placed right around this circular venue, which literally caused heads… Read more →

CRYSTAL FIGHTERS interview – Evening Standard, 26 Oct 2018

It takes a long time for me to achieve a successful sit-down with Crystal Fighters, the British-American trio who have so far made three albums of sunny, world music-infused indie pop. “What do you expect? They’re hippies,” say their people, though I’ll admit that some parts of the chase have been more exciting than others. They get around.   In… Read more →

EDITORS, Brixton Academy – Evening Standard, 25 Oct 2018

Slow and steady seems to be doing the trick for Editors, who this year sent their sixth consecutive album into the UK top 10. In contrast to the boom and bust trajectory of so many indie rock bands, the Birmingham quintet have benefitted from having no single song that everyone knows, and no specific album on the list of things… Read more →

BUGZY MALONE interview – Evening Standard, 19 Oct 2018

Bugzy Malone’s house, on the outskirts of Manchester, is full of predators. There’s a large silver lion statue guarding the baby grand piano in the living room. In the kitchen, four sculptures of heads loom from the windowsills: another lion, a tiger, an eagle and a gorilla. And in the glass-fronted garage outside rests the biggest beast of all: a… Read more →

JORJA SMITH, Brixton Academy – Evening Standard, 18 Oct 2018

Here’s one good reason why it’s generally better to watch gigs in London: more musical mates. Jorja Smith’s UK tour, which has passed through the regions without incident, last night featured spirited cameos from female rapper Little Simz, Irish singer Maverick Sabre and, earning the biggest cheers of the night, Dizzee Rascal. It was, surprisingly, an inaugural onstage team-up for… Read more →

PARCELS interview – Evening Standard, 12 Oct 2018

When most young Australians move to Europe after finishing school, they tend to end up working in bars. I can only think of five whose spell of post-academic travelling resulted in appearances on stage at Glastonbury and a Roman ampitheatre, and having a single produced by Daft Punk. With a fantastic debut album out today and a long world tour… Read more →

BTS, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 10 Oct 2018

With just three letters and seven young members, BTS must be the biggest thing in music globally today. Already huge successes for several years in Japan, China and their native South Korea, this year they have achieved the impossible and converted Western audiences to hyperactive manufactured pop sung largely in Korean. BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan, which means Bulletproof Boy Scouts) were… Read more →