Category: Live reviews

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 →

ODESZA, Brixton Academy – Evening Standard, 25 Jan 2019

It’s often a thrill when a band that’s bigger in another country comes to play here. Watching a show designed for arenas in a theatre space has a unique intensity, lasers whizzing past your ears as the spectacle strains against the foundations.   This was a scaled-down experience for Seattle dance duo Odesza, who in the US can boast Grammy… Read more →

ENTER SHIKARI, Brixton Academy – Evening Standard, 14 Jan 2019

“This is the kind of song that would make your dad tell you that music was better in his day,” Enter Shikari’s spiky-haired frontman Rou Reynolds said before one of the St Albans quartet’s newer compositions, The Revolt of the Atoms. He could have been talking about their entire oeuvre.    Maybe there is a Dylan influence hidden in their schizophrenic… Read more →

ELLIE GOULDING, Wembley Arena – Evening Standard, 21 Dec 2018

There are plenty of ways to be charitable that feel like more of a sacrifice than Ellie Goulding’s concert for Streets of London. To help the organisation that helps the homeless, the singer milked her starry contacts book to produce a fast moving show featuring more hit singles than a Now! compilation.   This was her fifth year organising this… Read more →

MAREN MORRIS, Omeara – Evening Standard, 27 Nov 2018

It’s inevitable that a musician who has made their pop breakthrough since their last London gig will come back through town for another show, but it isn’t usually much smaller. Texas-born singer-songwriter Maren Morris is a big noise in the country world, winning a Grammy for her song My Church, though we know her as the voice of Zedd’s dance-pop… Read more →