Category: Live reviews

KENDRICK LAMAR, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 13 Feb 2018

Whether people are talking about what he’s done (just now, curating the soundtrack for Marvel’s groundbreaking Black Panther movie) or what he hasn’t done (won all the Grammys he deserved last month), Kendrick Lamar is at the centre of the cultural conversation. It’s easy to see why the 30-year-old fascinates. He  has risen from Compton gangland to be widely acknowledged… Read more →

MGMT, Electric Brixton – Evening Standard, 7 Feb 2018

It feels strange to be enthusing about US duo MGMT in 2018. Long ago Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser burned their bridges, or more accurately, turned them into surreal impassable corkcrews, by forgoing the euphoric synth pop of their debut album for dense psychedelia. Oracular Spectacular, their first release, went platinum in 2008. Then these chronic pranksters set about shedding… Read more →

BBC SOUND OF 2018 LIVE, Maida Vale Studios – Evening Standard, 31 Jan 2018

The BBC’s annual Sound of… poll is a valuable indicator of which musicians are on their way to ubiquity. Some of the 2018 batch were brought together last night for Radio 1, in a studio adorned with a plaque dedicated to a hot young thing of yesteryear, Bing Crosby. The winner this year, Norwegian singer Sigrid, is already rewarding the… Read more →

STEEL PANTHER, Shepherd’s Bush Empire – Evening Standard, 23 Jan 2018

In this time of Time’s Up and #MeToo, the day after the latest Women’s March, there surely couldn’t be a worse moment to be a sexist hair metal band with songs including 17 Girls in a Row, Asian Hooker and Stripper Girl. Yet Steel Panther, a former covers band on LA’s Sunset Strip, are doing great, playing one show here… Read more →

MARIAH CAREY, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 12 Dec 2017

It must be Christmas. Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You, an irresistable hit that has made the singer synonymous with the season since 1994, leapt 17 places to number five in the UK charts at the weekend. A fine excuse for the superstar to pop over and sing a festive concert gaudier than the year you let the kids… Read more →

LIAM GALLAGHER, Alexandra Palace – Evening Standard, 8 Dec 2017

Grieving Oasis fans have rarely had it better, with gigs to attend by both Noel and Liam Gallagher which together add up to a fairly comprehensive greatest hits set by their favourite defunct band. It’s the belated emergence of Liam as a solo act, however, that looks and sounds the most like the good old days. At 45, he hasn’t… Read more →

CHILDHOOD, Scala – Evening Standard, 29 Nov 2017

Usually when a musician introduces their dad during a show, he’s waving proudly somewhere in the audience. Childhood frontman Ben Romans-Hopcraft’s father Robin could be found to his left, on the trumpet. He only just had elbow room in this enhanced version of what was once an unremarkable indie band. Tonight there were nine people on the stage, stewing up… Read more →

ROYAL BLOOD, Alexandra Palace – Evening Standard, 21 Nov 2017

Like the other royals celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary on the night of this gig, Royal Blood are a loyal couple admired for their constancy. Old friends who play their stark bass-and-drums rock with minimal outside interference, the Worthing pair seem to have soared over the hurdle of the difficult second this year, making a gold seller of How Did… Read more →

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, Wembley Arena – Evening Standard, 20 Nov 2017

The surprising involvement of Mark Ronson in their latest album might have suggested that Queens of the Stone Age were going pop, but as the first of two London arena shows proved, the Californian band still have rock’n’roll running through them like, well, a stick of rock.   Louche frontman Josh Homme smoked on stage, repeatedly reeled off a list… Read more →

U2, Trafalgar Square – Evening Standard, 13 Nov 2017

It’s a measure of MTV’s continued influence that they can persuade the biggest band in the world to play a support slot, coming on at 7.15 to give French DJ David Guetta a warm-up. U2 received the Global Icon award at the following evening’s MTV EMAs at Wembley. They performed just nine songs, including their new single, Get Out of… Read more →