ARCADE FIRE, York Hall – Evening Standard, 5 July 2017

As they strode through the crowd in an east London sports hall to the space where a boxing ring normally is, nine returning musicians were introduced as “The undefeated Arcade Fire!” This was a heavyweight fixture, an intimate first opportunity for London to hear songs from a fifth album by a Montreal band who are more commonly found headlining arenas… Read more →

PHIL COLLINS, Hyde Park – Evening Standard, 3 July 2017

Walking with a cane, staying in his special chair, taken to hospital after a fall – perhaps Phil Collins’ family spends less time talking about his comeback tour and more about which is the right care home. The 66-year-old has un-retired, 15 years after his last original album, because, as he said here, “The truth is that I missed you.”… Read more →

RUDIMENTAL interview – Evening Standard, 30 June 2017

Rudimental have a new single out today. Good news for fans of their optimistic dance-pop; bad news for their Sunday League football club. Since the band took a break from heavy touring in September of last year, producer/keyboardist/centre back Piers Agget, hype man/midfield general Leon Rolle (aka Locksmith) and keyboardist/striker Kesi Dryden have been free to play on Hackney Marshes… Read more →

THE MACCABEES, Alexandra Palace – Evening Standard, 30 June 2017

  Just after Adele suggested to her Wembley Stadium audience that she may never tour again, her old friends The Maccabees have joined her in quitting while they’re ahead. In these days of bands building bridges and burying hatchets for lucrative reunions, it takes courage to split your group not long after your first number one album. The south London… Read more →

MARTIN GARRIX interview – Evening Standard, 23 June 2017

  With most DJs, as with newsreaders, you can’t see their legs. At Martin Garrix’s latest shows, his are as much a part of the spectacle as the fire, steam and hyperactive video screens that are obligatory in the frenzied world of EDM. Visible through a space beneath his equipment, splayed and bouncing, it may be unclear what he’s actually… Read more →

KRAFTWERK, Albert Hall – Evening Standard, 22 June 2017

  While many heritage acts can get away with carting out the old favourites without really trying, there are few more carefully curated legacies than Kraftwerk’s. Theirs is a precious catalogue, responsible for the subsequent arrival of everything from the most minimal techno to today’s EDM eruptions and the digitally altered vocals on almost every current pop single. On their… Read more →

GUNS N’ ROSES, London Stadium – Evening Standard, 18 June 2017

  The first sign that Axl Rose is not the indulgent rock diva he was came when Guns N’ Roses appeared bang on time at 7.45pm, when many fans patiently enduring long security queues could have done with his traditional lack of interest in clocks. The brat has mellowed, as we already deduced when he spoke to estranged guitarist Slash… Read more →

KINGS OF LEON interview – Evening Standard, 16 June 2017

  The Followills come in two by two. That’s the way the three brothers and one cousin who make up Kings of Leon prefer to do interviews. First I get slow-talking middle sibling Caleb and his quieter cousin Matthew, the singer and the lead guitarist forming the more serious, less at ease faction of the Tennessee rock band. Then it’s… Read more →

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 →

JULIA MICHAELS interview – Evening Standard, 9 June 2017

  I feel bad for reminding Julia Michaels that she’s making another stadium appearance tomorrow. The LA pop songwriter turned singer will be playing Issues, the biggest-selling song by a new artist in 2017, at Capital FM’s annual Wembley pop parade, the Summertime Ball. Last summer, in what was only her second ever live performance, she sang with dance producer… Read more →