Category: Live reviews

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 →

PALOMA FAITH, BBC Radio Theatre – Evening Standard, 10 Nov 2017

Though she made her live return wearing the colours of the EU flag and compared her imminent fourth album to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, Paloma Faith insisted that her new music is only political with a small p. The Architect, out next week, even features a cameo from political journalist Owen Jones (not to mention John Legend and Samuel… Read more →

DUA LIPA, Brixton Academy – Evening Standard, 7 Nov 2017

“I’ve got new rules, I count ‘em,” Dua Lipa sang on this evening’s encore – her first number one single, New Rules. It’s a song about how to behave around your ex, but could also be about the London performer’s approach to being the biggest homegrown pop star of the year. No costume changes or confetti explosions for this 22-year-old… Read more →

NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS, York Hall – Evening Standard, 2 Nov 2017

Long derided for his lack of adventure when it comes to new music, Noel Gallagher blew some minds with a new band member at London’s introduction to his third solo album: a backing singer who played the scissors. At an intimate show filmed by Apple Music to be released on the same day as the album, she snipped her way… Read more →

LILLIE MAE, Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen – Evening Standard, 27 Oct 2017

Releasing your debut album after 17 years in the music business might suggest you’re not much good, but Lillie Mae Rische is still only 26. Before going solo she has been in two different family bands, touring America led by her father, Von Trapp style, as a young girl, then nearly making it in the Nashville scene as Jypsi with… Read more →

HMLTD, Electric Ballroom – Evening Standard, 25 Oct 2017

When the UK’s biggest music stars, Ed Sheeran and Adele, have made such a virtue of their normality, it was inevitable that a band like HMLTD would come along. Six fabulous freaks boasting more make-up than a flagship branch of Boots, operating out of (where else?) east London, they’ve earned a reputation as a must-see live spectacle after just three… Read more →

FUTURE, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 24 Oct 2017

Rappers commonly live a life of excess, but it’s usually signified by cars and jewels rather than music. Atlanta’s Future – real name Nayvadius Wilburn – has been profligate with his albums, sending five of them to number one in the US in under two years. That’s a hit rate to rival early Sixties Beatles and Beach Boys, and he… Read more →

JESSIE J, Shepherd’s Bush Empire – Evening Standard, 13 Oct 2017

“Why is everybody so serious?” wondered Jessie J on her early hit, Price Tag. For a while, at one of two London comeback shows this week, she looked as if she was joining them. After a long piano introduction she strode slowly onto the stage, all in black, face like thunder, and sang her hymn to self-worth, Who You Are.… Read more →

FOO FIGHTERS, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 20 Sept 2017

What Dave Grohl called “our London record release party” did feel less momentous than his band’s delayed, long awaited Glastonbury headline set this summer, or the Wembley Stadium shows that never were in 2015 – cancelled when the frontman broke his leg. But as parties go, this was a belter. Like all the finest gatherings, it was loud, long and… Read more →

JOHN LEGEND, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 13 Sept 2017

In a crowded field, John Legend has been one of Donald Trump’s most outspoken celebrity critics. The smooth pianist’s date music was an unlikely place to look for political fire, yet it was occasionally present, most obviously on the closing song Glory. The Oscar-winning theme from the 2014 film Selma, it was played to a backdrop of civil rights marches… Read more →