Category: Live reviews

REAL ESTATE, Roundhouse – Evening Standard, 14 June 2017

As festival season progresses, hopefully lots of people will have an opportunity to doze in a sunny field while the songs of Real Estate drift by overhead. There’s a time and a place for the New Jersey band’s gentle jangle, and I’m not convinced it’s in a dark sweaty Roundhouse at their biggest London show yet. With that deliberately bland… Read more →

ANGEL OLSEN, Roundhouse – Evening Standard, 25 May 2017

  Manchester’s concert terror did not reduce attendance at Angel Olsen’s largest London show. A thorough bag search and extra body scan were mild inconveniences and there was no obvious dampening of the mood. It wasn’t quite business as usual, however. “Unfucktheworld” read the suddenly vital T-shirts on the merchandise stand, after one of her songs. The line: “I want… Read more →

JOHN MAYER, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 12 May 2017

  John Mayer brought all of his musical personalities to the O2 on the first of two shows here, the Connecticut guitarist’s only UK appearances on his current tour. Dividing his show into “chapters”, he played hits and new material with a seven-strong band, was solo and acoustic with just a wheeled-on Japanese bridge for company, and tackled the blues… Read more →

PVRIS, Shepherd’s Bush Empire – Evening Standard, 8 May 2017

  Like Chvrches, PVRIS have found that a strategically placed V can give your band an instantly familiar name that is still all your own when Googling time comes. The Boston digital rock trio are rising fast, with a debut album, White Noise, from 2014 that proved popular enough for them to add more songs to it and put it… Read more →

BLONDIE, Roundhouse – Evening Standard, 4 May 2017

  You know you’re successful when your band has lasted long enough for the lyrics to be out of date. Debbie Harry, still the blonde one in Blondie at 71, had to explain the line about a phone booth in her band’s 1978 song Hanging on the Telephone. Thankfully she didn’t change the title of Call Me to “Tweet Me”,… Read more →

VALERIE JUNE, Scala – Evening Standard, 26 April 2017

“I know y’all didn’t pay to hear me talk crazy,” said Valerie June. That didn’t stop her. The onetime busker from Tennessee made herself at home, rambling and giggling, spilling secrets and, here and there, playing some songs.   The 35-year-old has found some success occupying the sweet spot where country brushes past soul, and won over collaborators including Dan… Read more →

JAMIROQUAI, Roundhouse – Evening Standard, 3 April 2017

    Jay Kay may have been worried that he was losing out to the similarly named James Bay in the “musician mostly famous for wearing a hat” stakes, so has returned after seven years away from pop with his most extraordinary headgear yet. A motorised, illuminated set of prongs inspired by scaly mammal the pangolin, it gave him his… Read more →

THE SHINS, Eventim Apollo – Evening Standard, 30 March 2017

  It’s questionable whether The Shins can still be called a cult band after selling out Hammersmith’s Apollo. “This is like where Iron Maiden would play,” said frontman James Mercer. With a fifth album newly released, they are hardly household names, but are ever more widely known as an excellent source of sweet, skewed, indie pop songs. It’s also debatable… Read more →

FATHER JOHN MISTY, Rio Cinema – Evening Standard, 27 March 2017

  There’s not much point in reviewing one of the shows Josh Tillman performs as his darkly comic alter-ego, Father John Misty. The Maryland singer-songwriter, a former member of Fleet Foxes who has lately been an unlikely writer for Beyonce and Lady Gaga, reviewed himself as he went along during this low-key cinema performance to build interest in his next… Read more →

LAURA MARLING, Roundhouse – Evening Standard, 20 March 2017

During a spell in which every member of her band was encouraged to share a story or make an announcement, Laura Marling’s drummer revealed that earlier in the day, a passing pigeon had relieved itself into his coffee. As ever in the world of the preturnaturally composed singer-songwriter, any troubles happens far from the stage. In the build-up to the… Read more →