Category: Live reviews

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 →

ROGER WATERS, Hyde Park – Evening Standard, 9 July 2018

In a Hyde Park weekend that also included sets from the rarely understated Cure and Eric Clapton, there was the surprising sight of a man for whom this vast space seemed too small for his vision. Beneath video screens twice as wide as the stage, Roger Waters performed multiple highlights from classic Pink Floyd albums as well as last year’s… Read more →

DEMI LOVATO, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 26 June 2018

Demi Lovato postponed this concert on June 10 with injured vocal cords, at such late notice that many fans had already set off to the venue. The LA singer and former child actress had better timing as she returned. This week she hit the UK number one spot as the voice of the latest Clean Bandit single, Solo. The lightweight… Read more →

TAYLOR SWIFT, Wembley Stadium – Evening Standard, 25 June 2018

Thirty-six hours and 90 miles distant, my wristband from Taylor Swift’s extraordinary Wembley show is still flashing. The white rubber device, given to every member of the audience, is a tireless reminder that when it comes to the maximum dazzle of stadium pop, nobody does it better.   The wristband stunt was borrowed from Coldplay, but I don’t recall theirs… Read more →

DAVID BYRNE, Eventim Apollo – Evening Standard, 20 June 2018

On a bare stage, David Byrne sat at a table, holding a brain. A silver beaded curtain, floor to ceiling, hung across three sides of an empty space traditionally filled with amplifiers, microphone stands, instuments, the general rowdy clutter of a concert. Byrne, who at 66 could easily be coasting on a rich back catalogue of solo and Talking Heads… Read more →

KATY PERRY, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 15 June 2018

An international pop superstar could struggle to stand out in the crowd in London this month. June is positively awash with divas round here, with Shakira, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato and Camila Cabello all dropping in, plus Ed Sheeran bringing even more crowds and slightly less glamour. All of which meant that Katy Perry, on a mere pair of… Read more →

SHAKIRA, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 12 June 2018

The night after Demi Lovato cancelled her O2 Arena show at the last minute due to injured vocal cords, Shakira arrived on the same stage to show her what’s hopefully in store. The Colombian star, 41, faced a bleak musical future after a vocal haemorrhage caused her to postpone this tour. Seven months later she was back and in fine… Read more →

ARCTIC MONKEYS, Albert Hall – Evening Standard, 8 June 2018

Arctic Monkeys chose a suitably chintzy venue for the UK debut of their new lounge lizard personas. The bearded flamboyance of the Sheffield band’s latest album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, has divided fans, a piano-led concoction containing nothing for the lager-chuckers to bellow along to, but also featuring frontman Alex Turner’s most fascinating lyrical excursions. While too many working… Read more →

LIONEL RICHIE, Hampton Court Palace – Evening Standard, 6 June 2018

Ever since his ecstatically received set in the Sunday Afternooon Legends Slot at Glastonbury in 2015, Lionel Richie has been on an apparent lap of honour. With more than enough hits for an enjoyable if predictable 90 minutes, the 68-year-old hasn’t needed to release any new music since 2009, and it’s not just gig bookings that keep rolling in –… Read more →