BBC SOUND OF 2018 LIVE, Maida Vale Studios – Evening Standard, 31 Jan 2018

The BBC’s annual Sound of… poll is a valuable indicator of which musicians are on their way to ubiquity. Some of the 2018 batch were brought together last night for Radio 1, in a studio adorned with a plaque dedicated to a hot young thing of yesteryear, Bing Crosby. The winner this year, Norwegian singer Sigrid, is already rewarding the… Read more →

NADINE SHAH interview – Evening Standard, 26 Jan 2018

After we’ve wrapped up our interview, Nadine Shah invites me to watch her participating in a panel discussion down the road at the 100 Club. She can’t remember what it’s about.   It might be a consideration of the plight of the UK’s small gig venues – Shah has curated a UK tour for next week’s Independent Venue Week –… Read more →

STEEL PANTHER, Shepherd’s Bush Empire – Evening Standard, 23 Jan 2018

In this time of Time’s Up and #MeToo, the day after the latest Women’s March, there surely couldn’t be a worse moment to be a sexist hair metal band with songs including 17 Girls in a Row, Asian Hooker and Stripper Girl. Yet Steel Panther, a former covers band on LA’s Sunset Strip, are doing great, playing one show here… Read more →

FALL OUT BOY interview – Evening Standard, 19 Jan 2018

The world’s politicians could learn a thing or two from Fall Out Boy. Things not going to plan? Don’t style it out, and don’t lie about it. Just own up, then work harder.   I was originally supposed to sit down with the Chicago rock quartet’s dual figureheads: singer and chief songwriter Patrick Stump, and lyricist and extensively tattooed bass… Read more →

POP AWARDS 2017 – Evening Standard, 15 Dec 2017

Long denied the outrageous budgets of the Evening Standard’s Fim and Theatre Awards, here in the pop section we carry on making up categories and dishing out imaginary trophies regardless. The year gone by looked dull and predictable on the surface, dominated yet again by pop juggernauts Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift, but there were higher highs and lower lows… Read more →

TAIO CRUZ interview – Evening Standard, 5 Jan 2018

How was your New Year’s Eve? Did anyone put on Taio Cruz’s Dynamite at the party? “We gon’ rock this club/We gon’ go all night/We gon’ light it up/Like it’s dynamite!” the London singer-songwriter proposed on his none-too-subtle 2010 single, an electropop banger that shot to number one here and number two in the US. Less than a year before… Read more →

THE BEST MUSIC BOOKS OF 2017 – Evening Standard, 14 Dec 2017

  As Mike Love reportedly said to Brian Wilson when The Beach Boys began putting art before commerce: “Don’t fuck with the formula.” He wouldn’t be happy perusing the music books of 2017. The recipe of the rock biography – impoverished childhood, impoverished early life in a band, commercial triumph and finally becoming poverished, ruination by drink, drugs, women or… Read more →

MARIAH CAREY, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 12 Dec 2017

It must be Christmas. Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You, an irresistable hit that has made the singer synonymous with the season since 1994, leapt 17 places to number five in the UK charts at the weekend. A fine excuse for the superstar to pop over and sing a festive concert gaudier than the year you let the kids… Read more →

THE BEST ALBUMS OF 2017 – Evening Standard, 8 Dec 2017

  With only Eminem and N.E.R.D left to sneak under the wire of 2017’s major album releases, it’s time to line them all up against the wall and pick a team. Sure, I could offer you an numbered countdown of personal favourites (*loud cough* LCD Soundystem!) the better to receive maximum comment box abuse, but felt it would be more… Read more →

LIAM GALLAGHER, Alexandra Palace – Evening Standard, 8 Dec 2017

Grieving Oasis fans have rarely had it better, with gigs to attend by both Noel and Liam Gallagher which together add up to a fairly comprehensive greatest hits set by their favourite defunct band. It’s the belated emergence of Liam as a solo act, however, that looks and sounds the most like the good old days. At 45, he hasn’t… Read more →