Category: Live reviews

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 →

VINCE STAPLES, Kentish Town Forum – Evening Standard, 31 Aug 2017

The future’s bright for Vince Staples, who used a giant orange video screen as a backdrop to present alien rap music that was light years ahead of most artists in his orbit. The 23-year-old Is from Long Beach, California, like Snoop Dogg. While his early single, Blue Suede, slightly recalled Snoop’s old G-funk squeal, his approximation was queasy, not sunny.… Read more →

MIRANDA LAMBERT, Apollo – Evening Standard, 24 Aug 2017

It has taken a long time for country star Miranda Lambert to leave her own country. This was only the 33-year-old Texan’s first solo show in London and her second appearance here, having made her debut at last year’s Country to Country music festival. Back home, meanwhile, she’s been named Female Vocalist of the Year for the last eight years… Read more →

KATE NASH, Shepherd’s Bush Empire – Evening Standard, 11 Aug 2017

Kate Nash’s debut album, Made of Bricks, went to number one, but her subsequent pop career didn’t turn out to be so solid. Dropped by her record label by text while making a third album, she might have vanished. Here, at a 10th anniversary performance of that first release, she seemed unbowed by her experiences and surprisingly, was looking forwards,… Read more →

BLINK-182, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 20 July 2017

Known for their jolly pop-punk and fart gags, behind the scenes Blink-182 have been having less fun. Putting aside drummer Travis Barker’s near-death experience in a 2008 plane crash, co-frontmen Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge’s entertaining onstage bickering took a turn for the worse when DeLonge quit the band for a second time in 2015, wishing to spend more time… Read more →

EZRA FURMAN, Barbican – Evening Standard, 14 July 2017

  “I feel like the kid who took over the opera house,” said Ezra Furman, struggling to believe that anyone would allow a depressive indie guy in a dress to occupy the spotlight at a prestigious arts centre. The Barbican is hosting a celebration of the 20th birthday of the Chicago musician’s record label, Bella Union – not his natural… Read more →

WARPAINT, Somerset House – Evening Standard, 11 July 2017

Warpaint might have painted themselves into a corner with their second album. Blurred songs, atmospheric but difficult to cling to, were often beautiful but sometimes hard to love. Tired from touring, the LA quartet nearly split up. With a third release, last year’s Heads Up, they brightened the décor. At Somerset House coloured lights glimmered during New Song, unimaginatively titled… Read more →

GREENWICH MUSIC TIME: LITTLE MIX, Old Royal Naval College – Evening Standard, 10 July 2017

Having refused to follow the usual X Factor winners’ career path of a swift cliff jump into obscurity, after four albums Little Mix are more popular than ever, and the only thing little is the height of their fans. Pity the security guards at this Greenwich Music Time series, used to policing the elderly admirers of Cliff Richard, Michael Ball… Read more →

ARCADE FIRE, York Hall – Evening Standard, 5 July 2017

As they strode through the crowd in an east London sports hall to the space where a boxing ring normally is, nine returning musicians were introduced as “The undefeated Arcade Fire!” This was a heavyweight fixture, an intimate first opportunity for London to hear songs from a fifth album by a Montreal band who are more commonly found headlining arenas… Read more →

PHIL COLLINS, Hyde Park – Evening Standard, 3 July 2017

Walking with a cane, staying in his special chair, taken to hospital after a fall – perhaps Phil Collins’ family spends less time talking about his comeback tour and more about which is the right care home. The 66-year-old has un-retired, 15 years after his last original album, because, as he said here, “The truth is that I missed you.”… Read more →