HAYLEY KIYOKO interview – Evening Standard, 1 Feb 2019

Before Hayley Kiyoko hits the stage for the second night of her European tour in Dublin, it’s time for the meet and greet. The premium package for fans of the 27-year Californian includes a tote bag, a photo taken by her younger brother Thatcher, the opportunity to ask the singer something in an Q&A session before the main doors open,… Read more →

ODESZA, Brixton Academy – Evening Standard, 25 Jan 2019

It’s often a thrill when a band that’s bigger in another country comes to play here. Watching a show designed for arenas in a theatre space has a unique intensity, lasers whizzing past your ears as the spectacle strains against the foundations.   This was a scaled-down experience for Seattle dance duo Odesza, who in the US can boast Grammy… Read more →

AJ TRACEY interview – Evening Standard, 25 Jan 2019

It may be mid-January but it’s still Christmas in AJ Tracey’s Chelsea flat. There’s one tree in his hall and another drawing attention away from the enormous TV in the living room. The bigger one’s ongoing presence tells us a few things about the west London rapper: how busy he is, his ballooning status and his disinclination towards too much… Read more →

SNOW PATROL interview – Evening Standard, 18 Jan 2019

Standing centre stage at Amsterdam’s vast Ziggo Dome arena, Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody attempts to apologise for the fact that his band have not been on tour for six years, or released an album for seven: “What can I say? We’re just really fucking lazy.” The line gets a laugh but it isn’t the truth. Wildness, the Northern Irish… Read more →

ENTER SHIKARI, Brixton Academy – Evening Standard, 14 Jan 2019

“This is the kind of song that would make your dad tell you that music was better in his day,” Enter Shikari’s spiky-haired frontman Rou Reynolds said before one of the St Albans quartet’s newer compositions, The Revolt of the Atoms. He could have been talking about their entire oeuvre.    Maybe there is a Dylan influence hidden in their schizophrenic… Read more →

OCTAVIAN interview – Evening Standard, 11 Jan 2019

And lo, it was decreed across the nation that in the year 2019, the musician of greatest import is named Octavian. Ask the internet and it’ll think you’re looking for a Roman Emperor, or perhaps a St Leger Stakes-winning horse from the early 1800s. This one is a rasping London rapper, 22 years old, who was revealed as the winner… Read more →

FOUR TIPS FOR 2019 – Evening Standard, 4 Jan 2019

OCTAVIAN Born in France, raised in London, Oliver Godji had such reach with his first song, Party Here, that Drake filmed himself singing along to it on Instagram. As with everything the Canadian giant touches, it created such buzz that Octavian’s last London show, in September, had to be upgraded from Village Underground to the Electric Ballroom. Even then he… Read more →

ELLIE GOULDING, Wembley Arena – Evening Standard, 21 Dec 2018

There are plenty of ways to be charitable that feel like more of a sacrifice than Ellie Goulding’s concert for Streets of London. To help the organisation that helps the homeless, the singer milked her starry contacts book to produce a fast moving show featuring more hit singles than a Now! compilation.   This was her fifth year organising this… Read more →

POP AWARDS 2018 – Evening Standard, 19 Dec 2018

As the Evening Standard still refuses to give my annual pop awards the kind of glitzy ceremony, star presenters and shiny trophies that the theatre and film bashes enjoy, I’m forced once again to ask you to use your imaginations to visualise this page being read aloud by Rihanna in the Dorchester ballroom. Look! There’s Marshmello, applauding gallantly. It’s been… Read more →

ELLIE GOULDING interview – Evening Standard, 14 Dec 2018

It’s Christmas, a time for giving, and if you’re a musician, that means a charity concert. Liam Gallagher performed for Shelter at the Union Chapel last night.George Ezra will be in the same venue for Mind on Tuesday, and Laura Marling will be singing for CALM at Omeara this weekend. But the biggest by far is Ellie Goulding’s annual show… Read more →