Category: Live reviews

STEVIE WONDER, Hyde Park – Evening Standard, 8 July 2019

Recent rumours about Stevie Wonder’s health were cleared up by the soul legend himself this weekend. He has a kidney donor lined up and will undergo a transplant in September. That meant this show, his third appearance in Hyde Park in this decade, will be one of his last for some time. Understandably he went with a bang.   The… Read more →

KING PRINCESS, Kentish Town Forum – Evening Standard, 27 June 2019

King Princess began her Glastonbury weekend early, stopping by Kentish Town for an extra show before she heads to Somerset. The New York singer-songwriter with the gender-melding stage name, born Mikaela Straus, is shaping up to be one of the festival’s, and the year’s, most arresting new voices, putting her queerness out front in her sophisticated pop compositions.   If… Read more →

DIDO, Roundhouse – Evening Standard, 31 May 2019

While Dido albums haven’t exactly come along like buses over the years, it’s in concert that the singer has really become a rare sighting. Currently on her first world tour in 15 years, it seems a very long time since her tasteful balladry was as ubiquitous as Adele’s and Ed Sheeran’s have been since.   Sales for her recent fifth… Read more →

MARK KNOPFLER, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 29 May 2019

Now 69, Mark Knopfler raised the possibility of his retirement at this show. The former Dire Straits frontman won’t have time for golf or gardening soon, however. This tour runs til September and has already involved two Albert Hall concerts. Next summer Local Hero, a musical based on the 1983 film for which he has written numerous new songs, arrives… Read more →

THE SPECIALS, Brixton Academy – Evening Standard, 17 May 2019

Forty years for your first number one album is some wait. Having reunited a decade ago for nostalgia gigs, Coventry ska favourites The Specials finally came up with new music this year, and found that there was still enough of a public appetite for it to edge them ahead of Hugh Jackman in the chart for a week – “Which… Read more →

CIRCA WAVES, Roundhouse – Evening Standard, 29 April 2019

It’s an oddly impressive record: Liverpool band Circa Waves’ three albums have all grazed the edge of the top 10 for a week before plummeting out of the chart again, like a tennis ball failing to reach a tower block window. While it doesn’t look like the quartet are growing in popularity, it has left them with a fanbase fervent… Read more →

BÜLOW, Courtyard Theatre – Evening Standard, 12 April 2019

While 17-year-old Billie Eilish sits in the number one spot with her songs about being a miserable teenager, Megan Bülow, at 19, is a little older and not far behind. The Germany-born electropop singer was still finishing high school in the Netherlands when her anti-romance anthem Not a Love Song became a hit in Canada and started on its way… Read more →

DRAKE, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 2 April 2019

“I’m so happy I finally made it home,” Toronto superstar Drake said from the stage at the first of seven arena shows in London. You might suspect that he says something along these charming lines in every city he visits, but there’s plenty of evidence for a special relationship between Aubrey Graham and the UK.   Midway through this packed… Read more →

THE BLAZE, Roundhouse – Evening Standard, 13 March 2019

As with food, film and romance, so with dance music: the French do it in a way that makes you feel you’re not taking it seriously enough. While the hyperactive live spectacles of so many of the biggest electronic acts have become overstuffed monsters, The Blaze have come up with a concept that values visuals in a different way.  … Read more →

IDLES, 100 Club – Evening Standard, 12 Feb 2019

People complain that the Brit Awards are too mainstream, a boring glorifying of the major labels’ biggest cash cows, but there’s usually at least one surprise tucked among the predictable nominees. Idles are the wildest of wild cards, a Bristol punk band louder than everyone else at next week’s ceremony put together. Their tweeted reaction to finding themselves up against… Read more →