Category: Live reviews

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 →

CIGARETTES AFTER SEX, Brixton Academy – Evening Standard, 25 May 2018

I received a few startled replies when I asked if anyone fancied Cigarettes After Sex in Brixton with me this week. The Texas-formed, Brooklyn-based band have a saucy name that sticks out on those all-important Spotify playlists, and a smouldering, post-coital indie rock sound that suits it precisely. A self-titled debut album from last year has been a word of… Read more →

THE ROLLING STONES, London Stadium – Evening Standard, 23 May 2018

  At a time when a farewell tour would be easy to announce and simply putting their collective feet up would be even easier, there’s satisfaction in seeing The Rolling Stones speeding onwards with no sign of a brake pedal. A strutting, peacocking advert for the joys of working beyond retirement age, the heavily furrowed septuagenarians were as entertaining as… Read more →

SINGING WITH NIGHTINGALES, Barcombe, East Sussex – Evening Standard, 14 May 2018

I am walking in deep darkness through Sussex woodland, part of a shoulder-holding chain of about 25 other audience members, to attempt to hear a singer who’s going to come on very late and may not show up at all. No, not Pete Doherty – Luscinia megarhynchos, the nightingale, who’s just back from Africa and noisily looking for a girlfriend… Read more →

AURORA interview – Evening Standard, 4 May 2018

Aurora Aksnes has just returned to Norway after a trip to perform at Coachella, the huge music festival in the Californian desert. I’ve rarely met someone so happy to be home. The singer-songwriter, who performs under her first name, didn’t like all the dust, which hurt her eyes, and worried for the plants, which looked so dry. Here in Bergen,… Read more →

ISAAC GRACIE, Hackney Empire – Evening Standard, 27 April 2018

Isaac Gracie’s claims of nerves – a pre-show beer to quell a panic attack, early delivery of a song called Terrified – would have rung a lot truer if he wasn’t dressed in a mostly unbuttoned tropical shirt, bright red flares and stack heels. Here was a man who intended to be looked at. The 23-year-old from Ealing must be… Read more →

NASHVILLE IN CONCERT, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 23 April 2018

While The Greatest Showman’s soundtrack is spending longer topping the charts than the film spent in the cinema, the stars of the TV series Nashville put on a show that suggested that they too could live on as singers more than actors. “We film 10 months out of the year and then they let us out of our cages,” said… Read more →