Category: Live reviews

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 →

SLAVES, Alexandra Palace – Evening Standard, 26 Nov 2018

Slaves are one of modern music’s less likely successes. The Kent duo have sent three albums into the top 10, all full of brutal rock music that, if it was any more rudimentary, would be performed in the Alexandra Palace car park on dustbin lids rather than in the great hall itself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rBK2mCIZmY   They overreached a little here, with… Read more →

CHRISTINE & THE QUEENS, Hammersmith Apollo – Evening Standard, 21 Nov 2018

The introductory music swelled, the stage lights rose and revealed… six people having an argument. Heloise Letissier, or Christine, now known by the mononym Chris, soon arrived to sort them out through the power of dance, West Side Story style. So began a thrilling evening powered by restless movement, Gallic electrofunk and a visual surprise at every turn. The 30-year-old… Read more →

ALT-J, Albert Hall – Evening Standard, 30 Oct 2018

Alt-J tried out some innovative speaker technology as their latest tour drew to a close, but the ears took second place after the eyes during an extraordinary light show. The art rock trio’s two Albert Hall gigs were the UK’s first chance to experience “L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound” – speakers placed right around this circular venue, which literally caused heads… Read more →

EDITORS, Brixton Academy – Evening Standard, 25 Oct 2018

Slow and steady seems to be doing the trick for Editors, who this year sent their sixth consecutive album into the UK top 10. In contrast to the boom and bust trajectory of so many indie rock bands, the Birmingham quintet have benefitted from having no single song that everyone knows, and no specific album on the list of things… Read more →

JORJA SMITH, Brixton Academy – Evening Standard, 18 Oct 2018

Here’s one good reason why it’s generally better to watch gigs in London: more musical mates. Jorja Smith’s UK tour, which has passed through the regions without incident, last night featured spirited cameos from female rapper Little Simz, Irish singer Maverick Sabre and, earning the biggest cheers of the night, Dizzee Rascal. It was, surprisingly, an inaugural onstage team-up for… Read more →

BTS, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 10 Oct 2018

With just three letters and seven young members, BTS must be the biggest thing in music globally today. Already huge successes for several years in Japan, China and their native South Korea, this year they have achieved the impossible and converted Western audiences to hyperactive manufactured pop sung largely in Korean. BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan, which means Bulletproof Boy Scouts) were… Read more →