Category: Opinion

GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL: 10 OF THE BEST PERFORMANCES – Evening Standard, 26 June 2020

Of all the missed gatherings of 2020, the 50th anniversary of the Glastonbury Festival might be the one that stings the most. That would have been some party, with Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, Kendrick Lamar and Diana Ross all set to perform at what looks like it would have been a gloriously dry one. As it turned out, it was… Read more →

THE BEST MUSIC FEATURE FILMS – Evening Standard, 1 May 2020

With no gigs for the forseeable, music on screen is the best we can do. Aside from documentaries, concert films and musicals, music feature films are having a moment, with A Star is Born, Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody all proving box office hits and sending their soundtrack albums into the top 10 in the past couple of years. Looking back… Read more →

BILLIE EILISH – No Time to Die Bond Theme review – Evening Standard, 14 Feb 2020

The new James Bond theme was unveiled last night: No Time to Die by Billie Eilish, destined for the opening sequence of the film of the same name in April. The Californian follows Sam Smith, Adele, Jack White with Alicia Keys, and Chris Cornell in providing the music for Daniel Craig’s spell playing the philandering martini enthusiast.   Securing the… Read more →

20 ALBUMS OF THE DECADE – Evening Standard, 13 Dec 2019

As the decade closes, it’s obvious who the biggest acts were. Since the ready availability of YouTube and Spotify stream counts, this period has been awash with gargantuan statistics, principally generated by Ed Sheeran and Adele but with Taylor Swift, Drake and Ariana Grande also making up the big numbers. But what music was so good it will genuinely last?… Read more →

STORMZY ‘Heavy is the Head’ album review – Evening Standard, 13 Dec 2019

You can tell how big a deal Stormzy’s second album is not just by its timing – intent on using those size 12s to boot Robbie Williams, Harry Styles or Coldplay out of the Christmas number one spot – but by the power of the gathered horns that form the backing for the opening song, Big Michael. It’s a mighty… Read more →

BEST MUSIC BOOKS OF 2019 – Evening Standard, 28 Nov 2019

Writing a memoir has become as predictable a part of a pop career as playing your best album track-by-track on tour and consuming more drugs than the South Wing of St Thomas’ Hospital. This year a few musicians indicated that, as album sales figures fade, this typing lark isn’t just a one-off. Dance producer Moby and Suede’s frontman Brett Anderson… Read more →

ELTON JOHN: ME book review – Evening Standard, 17 Oct 2019

Elton John – Me (Pan Macmillan, £25) Elton Hercules John’s autobiography arrives just five months after the film of his life, Rocketman, with the 72-year-old over a year into a worldwide farewell tour that won’t wrap up until December 2020. Characteristic excess, you might think, especially after reading an eye-popping life story that is rarely more than a page away… Read more →

LONDON FESTIVAL GUIDE 2019 – Evening Standard, 12 April 2019

Almost everybody loves a barbeque in their garden, but that doesn’t mean that by extension they’d also enjoy heading into the wilderness with Bear Grylls to eat spiders and drink their own wee. Same thing with festivals: live music outside is great, without necessarily having to sleep for three nights next to a man in a jester hat playing the… Read more →

UK FESTIVAL GUIDE 2019 – Evening Standard, 8 March 2019

Thankfully the UK has yet to experience a music festival disaster to rival Fyre’s damp squib in the Bahamas, but our outdoor calendar is still very much in flux. One of the stalwarts, Bestival, is rumoured not to be happening this summer, though its little sister Camp Bestival is still on. V Festival doesn’t seem to have survived its sponsor-free… Read more →

FOUR TIPS FOR 2019 – Evening Standard, 4 Jan 2019

OCTAVIAN Born in France, raised in London, Oliver Godji had such reach with his first song, Party Here, that Drake filmed himself singing along to it on Instagram. As with everything the Canadian giant touches, it created such buzz that Octavian’s last London show, in September, had to be upgraded from Village Underground to the Electric Ballroom. Even then he… Read more →