MAREN MORRIS interview – Evening Standard, 24 May 2019

Backstage in Hamburg’s Gruenspan venue, Maren Morris only needs a change of clothes, a shot of tequila and a “really inappropriate chant” with her five-piece band before she’s ready to go out and sing. It’s a relatively low-key club show this evening, aside from a bubble shower at the end – she says on stage that she hadn’t even realised… Read more →

LIZZO interview – Evening Standard, 17 May 2019

Lizzo sounds terrible. Not on her new album, Cuz I Love You, on which the one-time rapper takes up singing with all the lung-busting power of a classic soul star. On the phone, it’s all coughs and croaks and significantly less of the boundless energy that has made the Detroit 31-year-old a beacon of positivity in 2019 and pop’s hottest… Read more →

THE SPECIALS, Brixton Academy – Evening Standard, 17 May 2019

Forty years for your first number one album is some wait. Having reunited a decade ago for nostalgia gigs, Coventry ska favourites The Specials finally came up with new music this year, and found that there was still enough of a public appetite for it to edge them ahead of Hugh Jackman in the chart for a week – “Which… Read more →

SOAK interview – Evening Standard, 10 May 2019

Because she grew up in Londonderry, when Bridie Monds-Watson started out making music as SOAK in her teens, every interviewer would ask for her thoughts on the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Born two years before the Good Friday Agreement was signed, educated at an integrated school and raised by parents without a religion, she would say: “Honestly, I’ve grown up… Read more →

FAYE WEBSTER interview – Evening Standard, 3 May 2019

As the number one single in both the UK and US this week has been Old Town Road by Lil Nas X, a rap song about horses, it seems that hip hop and country music are finally ready to saddle up together. If the idea sounds like a hideous novelty hybrid, maybe Faye Webster, a 21-year-old singer-songwriter from Atlanta, can… Read more →

CIRCA WAVES, Roundhouse – Evening Standard, 29 April 2019

It’s an oddly impressive record: Liverpool band Circa Waves’ three albums have all grazed the edge of the top 10 for a week before plummeting out of the chart again, like a tennis ball failing to reach a tower block window. While it doesn’t look like the quartet are growing in popularity, it has left them with a fanbase fervent… Read more →

TAKE THAT interview – Evening Standard, 26 April 2019

At the back door of the Manchester Arena, past two dozen hopeful women clutching cameraphones, past security scanners, past trucks, platforms and crates, past a door that says “Rick Astley” and another that says “Lulu”, three red, white and blue superhero costumes hang on a rail. Part Captain America, part Evel Knieval, they’re the first of a bold flurry of… 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 →

BÜLOW, Courtyard Theatre – Evening Standard, 12 April 2019

While 17-year-old Billie Eilish sits in the number one spot with her songs about being a miserable teenager, Megan Bülow, at 19, is a little older and not far behind. The Germany-born electropop singer was still finishing high school in the Netherlands when her anti-romance anthem Not a Love Song became a hit in Canada and started on its way… Read more →

MAHALIA interview – Evening Standard, 5 April 2019

Mahalia asks to meet me in the bar of the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair and I think, well of course, if you were 20 years old and had been signed to a major label record deal since you were 13, you’d hang out in places like this all the time. It must be a home from home, this grand lodging… Read more →