Category: Live reviews

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

OCTAVIAN, Electric Ballroom – Evening Standard, 28 Sept 2018

The last time I saw a queue snaking this far down Camden High Street, Prince was playing at the Electric Ballroom. Octavian, who is not one of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s children but a France-born, south London-raised rapper also known as Oliver Godji, first had to upgrade this show from the smaller Village Underground venue, then come on half an hour late… Read more →

BIFFY CLYRO, Royal Albert Hall – Evening Standard, 25 Sept 2018

After seven albums and 23 years together, Biffy Clyro have earned a nice sit down. Last year the Scottish rock trio filmed an acoustic concert for the revived MTV Unplugged series, inspired by the 1993 Nirvana appearance that was a childhood obsession. Now they have taken their chairs on the road to give more fans the chance to see them… Read more →

KASABIAN, Brixton Academy – Evening Standard, 24 Aug 2018

In the middle of another summer of moving the masses at gigantic festival appearances, Leicester’s Kasabian dropped in on Brixton Academy for a little taste of the old days. Guitarist and songwriter Serge Pizzorno spoke of watching DJ Shadow here as a young man and dreaming of standing on the famed stage. Of the many times he has stood on… Read more →

JAKE SHEARS, Scala – Evening Standard, 16 Aug 2018

One of the best songs on Jake Shears’ debut solo album is Sad Song Backwards, on which the singer imagines that all the losses of your typical country ballad happen in reverse and you get everything back. The 39-year-old seemed to be living his career in reverse, too, returning to the unpleasantly packed club venue where his band Scissor Sisters… Read more →

KALEIDOSCOPE FESTIVAL/FLAMING LIPS, Alexandra Park – Evening Standard, 23 July 2018

The best thing about going to gigs at Alexandra Palace has always been leaving: stepping out onto a broad dark promenade where the whole of London is laid out beneath you like a glittering circuit board. So how about a festival where the great hall is used as overelablorate toilet facilities and the real action takes place on an outdoor… Read more →

YEARS & YEARS, Roundhouse – Evening Standard, 11 July 2018

Years & Years, the trio with the doubled-up band name, have increasingly become all about one man as they release their second album. Singer Olly Alexander is the only one on the cover of Palo Santo, the only one giving the interviews, and was the only one wearing PVC shorts with a stairway to himself at this one-off release party.… Read more →