Pop

Epic prog rock without the widdly-woo solos: Mogwai at the Tramway reviewed

20 February 2021 9:00 am

You very possibly know the music of the Glaswegian band Mogwai, even if you don’t think you do. You might…

Makes me nostalgic for an era when music was more than a click away: Teenage Superstars reviewed

13 February 2021 9:00 am

In Teenage Superstars, a long and slightly exhausting documentary about the Scottish indie scene of the 1980s and ’90s, there…

One of the few genuine British visionaries at work today: Richard Dawson at the Barbican reviewed

31 October 2020 9:00 am

How hard must it be to make music that sounds like no one else? And how unrewarding, often, as well?…

There’s a magic to hearing music in such small audiences: Divine Comedy reviewed

24 October 2020 9:00 am

Three shows in a week! Why, it was just like the first week of March. There was, however, little of…

Spiky, sticky, silly: interviewing Van Morrison

29 August 2020 9:00 am

Q: ‘How would you define transcendence?’ A: ‘Well, how would you define it?’ I interviewed Van Morrison last year. (I’m…

The people who were idiots at gigs in early March are still idiots

1 August 2020 9:00 am

Is the world ready for the return of live rock music? On the evidence of the first gig in London…

The problem with livestreaming heavy metal? No moshpits

25 July 2020 9:00 am

There was only so long anyone could put up with the live musical performances of the early days of lockdown:…

Dysfunctional music for dysfunctional people: The Public Image is Rotten reviewed

4 July 2020 9:00 am

A star is born, but instead of emerging into the world beaming for the cameras, he spits and snarls and…

In defence of Prince’s late style

20 June 2020 9:00 am

In 1992 Prince released a single called ‘My Name Is Prince’. On first hearing it seemed appropriately regal. Cocky, even.…

Joyous and very, very funny: Beastie Boys Story reviewed

16 May 2020 9:00 am

The music of the Beastie Boys was entirely an expression of their personalities, a chance to delightedly splurge out on…

Livestream-hopping is just as irritating as being at a real festival

2 May 2020 9:00 am

The ghost of Samuel Beckett oversaw the Hip Hop Loves NY livestream last Thursday night. Time and time again its…

Felt longer than the lockdown itself: BBC1's One World – Together At Home reviewed

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

You have to admire the spirit of the organisers of last weekend’s One World: Together at Home concert. To put…

Taylor Swift is fascinating – but you really wouldn't want to be her

4 April 2020 9:00 am

There had been some question about whether Taylor Swift’s Netflix special would actually appear. Last year it seemed that the…

The magic of Bryan Ferry

21 March 2020 9:00 am

The accepted line about Bryan Ferry is that his is one of the greatest reinventions in English pop culture: Peter…

Grimly compelling: The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour reviewed

14 March 2020 9:00 am

‘No matter what they take from me,’ sang Whitney Houston towards the end of a peculiar evening in Hammersmith, ‘they…

Dazzling and nonsensical in equal measure: Madonna at the London Palladium reviewed

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

You might have thought Madonna was not a singer but a professional footballer judging by the talk before she took…

You have to be a terrific snob not to see the appeal of Slipknot

1 February 2020 9:00 am

Every development in heavy music is derided by mainstream critics. When Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin emerged in the late…

A son-et-lumière spectacular: The Chemical Brothers at the O2 Arena reviewed

14 December 2019 9:00 am

How does one account for the phenomenon that is the Chemical Brothers, a quarter of a century on from their…

Rap that feels like a sociology lecture: Loyle Carner at Alexandra Palace reviewed

30 November 2019 9:00 am

A few years ago, I asked the young American soul singer Leon Bridges — a latter-day Sam Cooke, with the…

Range and power – and amazingly she sang all her songs: Christina Aguilera at Wembley reviewed

23 November 2019 9:00 am

In every respect bar its austere pews, the Union Chapel is one of the best venues in London: beautiful and…

Fascinating and compelling: Bruce Hornsby at Shepherd’s Bush Empire reviewed

16 November 2019 9:00 am

In the unlikely event that Bruce Hornsby and Morten Harket, A-ha’s singer, ended up featuring in the Daily Mail for,…

The open-hearted loveliness of Hot Chip

9 November 2019 9:00 am

Squeeze and Hot Chip are both great British pop groups. But they never defined a scene. Their ambitions extended further…

Slowthai at the Brixton Academy. [Photo: Visionhaus]

Something great

26 October 2019 9:00 am

Those who cherish the notion that the current prime minister really is ‘electoral Viagra’ should have paid a visit to…

At their best the Psychedelic Furs are fantastic

19 October 2019 9:00 am

It’s amazing what the movies can do. In 1986, the John Hughes teen flick Pretty in Pink — the one…

An eight-year-old’s dream: Muse at the O2 reviewed

21 September 2019 9:00 am

‘Butterflies and Hurricanes’ by Muse was on heavy rotation on MTV at a time, 15 years ago, when my infant…