Category: Live reviews

OCTAVIAN, Electric Ballroom – Evening Standard, 28 Sept 2018

The last time I saw a queue snaking this far down Camden High Street, Prince was playing at the Electric Ballroom. Octavian, who is not one of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s children but a France-born, south London-raised rapper also known as Oliver Godji, first had to upgrade this show from the smaller Village Underground venue, then come on half an hour late… Read more →

BIFFY CLYRO, Royal Albert Hall – Evening Standard, 25 Sept 2018

After seven albums and 23 years together, Biffy Clyro have earned a nice sit down. Last year the Scottish rock trio filmed an acoustic concert for the revived MTV Unplugged series, inspired by the 1993 Nirvana appearance that was a childhood obsession. Now they have taken their chairs on the road to give more fans the chance to see them… Read more →

KASABIAN, Brixton Academy – Evening Standard, 24 Aug 2018

In the middle of another summer of moving the masses at gigantic festival appearances, Leicester’s Kasabian dropped in on Brixton Academy for a little taste of the old days. Guitarist and songwriter Serge Pizzorno spoke of watching DJ Shadow here as a young man and dreaming of standing on the famed stage. Of the many times he has stood on… Read more →

JAKE SHEARS, Scala – Evening Standard, 16 Aug 2018

One of the best songs on Jake Shears’ debut solo album is Sad Song Backwards, on which the singer imagines that all the losses of your typical country ballad happen in reverse and you get everything back. The 39-year-old seemed to be living his career in reverse, too, returning to the unpleasantly packed club venue where his band Scissor Sisters… Read more →

KALEIDOSCOPE FESTIVAL/FLAMING LIPS, Alexandra Park – Evening Standard, 23 July 2018

The best thing about going to gigs at Alexandra Palace has always been leaving: stepping out onto a broad dark promenade where the whole of London is laid out beneath you like a glittering circuit board. So how about a festival where the great hall is used as overelablorate toilet facilities and the real action takes place on an outdoor… Read more →

YEARS & YEARS, Roundhouse – Evening Standard, 11 July 2018

Years & Years, the trio with the doubled-up band name, have increasingly become all about one man as they release their second album. Singer Olly Alexander is the only one on the cover of Palo Santo, the only one giving the interviews, and was the only one wearing PVC shorts with a stairway to himself at this one-off release party.… Read more →

ROGER WATERS, Hyde Park – Evening Standard, 9 July 2018

In a Hyde Park weekend that also included sets from the rarely understated Cure and Eric Clapton, there was the surprising sight of a man for whom this vast space seemed too small for his vision. Beneath video screens twice as wide as the stage, Roger Waters performed multiple highlights from classic Pink Floyd albums as well as last year’s… Read more →

DEMI LOVATO, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 26 June 2018

Demi Lovato postponed this concert on June 10 with injured vocal cords, at such late notice that many fans had already set off to the venue. The LA singer and former child actress had better timing as she returned. This week she hit the UK number one spot as the voice of the latest Clean Bandit single, Solo. The lightweight… Read more →

TAYLOR SWIFT, Wembley Stadium – Evening Standard, 25 June 2018

Thirty-six hours and 90 miles distant, my wristband from Taylor Swift’s extraordinary Wembley show is still flashing. The white rubber device, given to every member of the audience, is a tireless reminder that when it comes to the maximum dazzle of stadium pop, nobody does it better.   The wristband stunt was borrowed from Coldplay, but I don’t recall theirs… Read more →

DAVID BYRNE, Eventim Apollo – Evening Standard, 20 June 2018

On a bare stage, David Byrne sat at a table, holding a brain. A silver beaded curtain, floor to ceiling, hung across three sides of an empty space traditionally filled with amplifiers, microphone stands, instuments, the general rowdy clutter of a concert. Byrne, who at 66 could easily be coasting on a rich back catalogue of solo and Talking Heads… Read more →