AC/DC – ‘Power Up’ album review – Evening Standard, 13 Nov 2020

It’s all here, ready to be ticked off: the AC/DC checklist, including Brian Johnson’s mighty screech, the hurricane notes flying from the lead guitar of 65-year-old school uniform-wearer Angus Young, and lyrics that cover the vocabulary of heavy rock in its entirety, from fire and explosions to wild women and booze. It what must qualify as a major innovation, this… Read more →

BREE RUNWAY interview – Evening Standard, 10 Nov 2020

“This morning, I had a little cry,” Bree Runway tells me. “I’m someone that is very spiritual. I pray a lot. And I cried because I feel like this new phase that’s coming is so different from everything that I’ve asked for up to now. It’s a different level of success. I was looking around thinking, ‘Oh my God, I’m… Read more →

KYLIE – ‘Disco’ album review – Evening Standard, 6 Nov 2020

It must have been one of the shortest meetings in record company history: “What should Kylie do next?” “How about a disco album?” “Brilliant! What shall we call it?”   You might imagine Ms Minogue could be on the back foot these days, trying to hold her own in pop at 52, up against the likes of Little Mix, who… Read more →

ARIANA GRANDE – ‘Positions’ album review – Evening Standard, 30 Oct 2020

On her 2018 single, Thank U, Next, Ariana Grande’s past boyfriends were given a line each. The new one, high end LA estate agent Dalton Gomez, gets this entire album to himself. Positions is a loved-up wallow in every aspect of a newish serious relationship, from relaxed domesticity to worries about whether this one can really last, to extraordinary quantities… Read more →

FRASER T SMITH interview – Evening Standard, 23 Oct 2020

It’s no trouble getting ready to interview Fraser T Smith. He’s already sorted the questions, and given that they’re all about the meaning of life, it shouldn’t be hard to fill an hour. At 49 the Bucks songwriter and producer, following years of working behind the scenes with everyone from Stormzy and Dave to Adele and Craig David, is belatedly… Read more →

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – ‘Letter to You’ album review – Evening Standard, 23 Oct 2020

The American TV drama series This is Us has a neat concept: the story of a Pittsburgh family is told with constant jumps between time frames, the parents suddenly younger and the children parents themselves. It’s confusing at first, but soon the parellels become obvious – non-linear lives in which the big themes of love, death, family and friendship are… Read more →

KALI UCHIS interview – Evening Standard, 16 Oct 2020

This year, fans of Kali Uchis began suggesting that the Colombian-American singer had the gift of predicting the future, because in 2018 she titled her debut album Isolation. “It was a little joke among themselves. It was cute,” she says. “I just like my titles to be whatever mindstate I was in while I was making the music. I’m a… Read more →

HELEN MORT running poet interview – Runner’s World Oct 2020 issue

William Wordsworth liked to get out and about as we know, but how much more fun would wandering lonely as a cloud have been if he was into running? Helen Mort, a former poet in residence at the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, employs a similar technique of writing on the hoof, but at a faster pace. Her time in the… Read more →

TRAVIS interview – Evening Standard, 9 Oct 2020

“I’m more of a visual person than a music person.” It’s a bit late for that, Fran Healy of Travis! The songwriter joined his band in 1991, at the same time as he began a degree at Glasgow School of Art. But he dropped out of art school in his second year, and 14 platinum discs later, he’s wondering if… Read more →

FONTAINES D.C. interview – Evening Standard, 2 Oct 2020

While the music scene lies dormant around him, Fontaines D.C.’s Carlos O’Connell has actually found a way to play some gigs. When we speak via webcam, the Irish guitarist is on an extended holiday with two musician friends – James McGovern from The Murder Capital and Lewis Lazar of Oracle Sisters – on Hydra, the Greek island that Leonard Cohen… Read more →