Category: Live reviews

IDIOT PRAYER: NICK CAVE ALONE AT ALEXANDRA PALACE review – Evening Standard, 23 July 2020

While musicians continue to explore the possibilities of performing live without a present audience, someone of Nick Cave’s gravitas was never going to appear in virtual reality, on Instagram Live or in the computer game Fortnite.   Instead, as Laura Marling did last month, the Bad Seeds frontman has been filmed beautifully in an empty venue, for a solo piano… Read more →

JOHN LEGEND, Instagram Live – Evening Standard, 18 March 2020

With concerts across the world cancelled for the forseeable, a temporary entertainment replacement is taking shape on Instagram. Planned in collaboration with the World Health Organization and activist group Global Citizen, the #TogetherAtHome series saw Coldplay’s Chris Martin messing around in his music room on Tuesday. Last night it was John Legend, with his model wife Chrissy Teigen (wearing a… Read more →

AN EVENING WITH WHITNEY, Eventim Apollo – Evening Standard, 11 March 2020

We suspend our disbelief all the time, of course. We happily believe that Robert De Niro is young in The Irishman, that New Zealand is Middle-earth, and that our cats love us. But how much artifice is too much? When Whitney Houston, who died in 2012, materialises centre-stage at the Apollo in hologram form, I’m partly glad she’s here again… Read more →

BLOSSOMS, Lafayette – Evening Standard, 6 March 2020

London’s newest music venue, Lafayette, is box-fresh but designed to transport gig-goers to old-time New Orleans with its wooden ceilings, exposed brickwork and low-lit cocktail bar next door.   With a capacity of 600, it’s the kind of wide space where even if you’re at the back, you’re at the front. It just found room for Stockport indie band Blossoms,… Read more →

MABEL, Eventim Apollo – Evening Standard, 13 Feb 2020

Mabel McVey has had a long run-up for this, having released her first song in 2015 and been tipped by music industry tastemakers for stardom in 2016. Although it was her older sister Tyson who appeared on Top of the Pops in 1988, inside their heavily pregnant mother Neneh Cherry, you could well say that Mabel was born for it… Read more →

YUNGBLUD, Camden Assembly – Evening Standard, 11 Feb 2020

There are plenty of opportunities to see Dominic “Yungblud” Harrison in the coming months – the newcomer from Doncaster has got Brixton Academy and five nights at the Forum in his packed diary – but this tiny charity show was the only chance to be soaked by his water bottle and feel like he might single you out personally for… Read more →

MADONNA, Palladium – Evening Standard, 30 Jan 2020

Such drama before Madonna could even take to the stage for her first theatre tour since 1985! Would she arrive drastically late? Would she cancel at the last minute? Tenterhooks all round. Monday was supposed to be the first of a planned 15 nights at the Palladium, cancelled on doctor’s orders. It was the 10th dropped concert of the Madame… Read more →

HATSUNE MIKU, Brixton Academy – Evening Standard, 13 Jan 2020

So far in the UK we’ve mostly made do with Roy Orbison for our holographic musical entertainment, though Whitney Houston will be rematerialising on stage here soon. Meanwhile in Japan, Hatsune Miku has been pioneering this kind of thing.   Miku is a cartoon character in the manga style, perpetually 16 years old, with turquoise hair to the floor and… Read more →

MICHAEL BUBLE, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 10 Dec 2019

‘Tis the season for Michael Bublé. The Canadian balladeer’s 2011 Christmas album sold 12 million copies and is as vital a part of the season as knowing what time the Queen’s speech is on. So it was the perfect time for him to drop down the O2’s chimney and throw a few snowy songs into his usual array of swinging… Read more →

A CELEBRATION OF TALK TALK AND MARK HOLLIS, Royal Festival Hall – Evening Standard, 27 Nov 2019

Talk Talk’s frontman Mark Hollis died in February but he left the music world long before that, making this tribute evening an incredibly rare opportunity to hear his idiosyncratic music played live. Past collaborators, younger admirers and founding keyboard player Simon Brenner journeyed through one of rock’s stranger career paths, which ended after Hollis released his only solo album and… Read more →