NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS, York Hall – Evening Standard, 2 Nov 2017

Long derided for his lack of adventure when it comes to new music, Noel Gallagher blew some minds with a new band member at London’s introduction to his third solo album: a backing singer who played the scissors. At an intimate show filmed by Apple Music to be released on the same day as the album, she snipped her way… Read more →

LILLIE MAE, Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen – Evening Standard, 27 Oct 2017

Releasing your debut album after 17 years in the music business might suggest you’re not much good, but Lillie Mae Rische is still only 26. Before going solo she has been in two different family bands, touring America led by her father, Von Trapp style, as a young girl, then nearly making it in the Nashville scene as Jypsi with… Read more →

BILLIE EILISH interview – Evening Standard, 27 Oct 2017

The O’Connells look like any other family on a trip as they bustle into their New York hotel. Mum and dad Maggie and Patrick, flustered but relieved to arrive; older brother Finneas, looking cool in a motorbike jacket and distracted with his girlfriend in tow; 15-year-old Billie, tired and moody after a late night; and her manager.   They look… Read more →

HMLTD, Electric Ballroom – Evening Standard, 25 Oct 2017

When the UK’s biggest music stars, Ed Sheeran and Adele, have made such a virtue of their normality, it was inevitable that a band like HMLTD would come along. Six fabulous freaks boasting more make-up than a flagship branch of Boots, operating out of (where else?) east London, they’ve earned a reputation as a must-see live spectacle after just three… Read more →

FUTURE, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 24 Oct 2017

Rappers commonly live a life of excess, but it’s usually signified by cars and jewels rather than music. Atlanta’s Future – real name Nayvadius Wilburn – has been profligate with his albums, sending five of them to number one in the US in under two years. That’s a hit rate to rival early Sixties Beatles and Beach Boys, and he… Read more →

FICKLE FRIENDS interview – Evening Standard, 20 Oct 2017

Should Fickle Friends ever rise to the point where they’re standing at a podium clutching an award, expect Jamie Oliver to be among the first to be thanked. The celebrity chef has been a surprising early champion of the Brighton pop quintet, to the extent that if it wasn’t for him, they might not be playing the 2,300-capacity Forum next… Read more →

BECK interview – Evening Standard, 13 Oct 2017

The wide-roaming music career of Beck Hansen can get a little confusing to the casual observer. People seem to respond with most enthusiasm when he splits himself clearly in two. Perhaps you prefer Sad Beck, perfectly articulating the heartache of a breakup with acoustic guitar and mournful strings on Sea Change in 2002, and revisiting the territory in 2014 on… Read more →

JESSIE J, Shepherd’s Bush Empire – Evening Standard, 13 Oct 2017

“Why is everybody so serious?” wondered Jessie J on her early hit, Price Tag. For a while, at one of two London comeback shows this week, she looked as if she was joining them. After a long piano introduction she strode slowly onto the stage, all in black, face like thunder, and sang her hymn to self-worth, Who You Are.… Read more →

MATTHEW E WHITE interview – Evening Standard, 6 Oct 2017

Matthew E White is explaining to me the power of musical arrangement: “You can sing, ‘I love you’ and strum a major chord and it means one thing, but if you sing, ‘I love you’ and strum a minor chord, it means something completely different. That’s the beauty of it.”   It’s what he does best with his production house,… Read more →

NOT3S interview – Evening Standard, 29 Sept 2017

Uber’s troubles over the past week have been more fortuitous for one Hackney rapper. Addison Lee is both a rival taxi firm and the title of an increasingly popular single by Not3s (pronounced “Notes”). It’s a relaxed, melodic, slightly silly tune about a girl called Maddison, who our hero is so desperate to see that he’s willing to order a… Read more →