live music

I’m not sure they ever reached a fourth chord: Spiritualized, at the Roundhouse, reviewed

21 May 2022 9:00 am

Every so often, Jason Pierce drifts into focus. It happened at the end of the 1980s, when his then group…

A joy – mostly: Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets, at Usher Hall, reviewed

14 May 2022 9:00 am

Drummers are patient chaps, in the main. Think of Ringo in Peter Jackson’s recent Beatles docuseries, Get Back. Lolling around…

The perfect pop star: Dua Lipa at the O2 Arena reviewed

7 May 2022 9:00 am

Dua Lipa’s second album, Future Nostalgia, was released at the least promising moment possible: 27 March 2020, the day after…

I would be surprised if his next tour included arenas: Louis Tomlinson at Wembley reviewed

30 April 2022 9:00 am

You don’t need to be a historian of pop to realise that having been part of a huge manufactured group…

Felt like being caught on the moors in a storm: Keeley Forsyth, at the Barbican, reviewed

19 March 2022 9:00 am

It took a moment to realise Keeley Forsyth was there. There were already three musicians, faint figures on a dark…

Expectations were met and then exceeded: Arooj Aftab, at Celtic Connections, reviewed

19 February 2022 9:00 am

We gathered on a freezing Sunday night, inside a barrel-vaulted church designed in the 1890s by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, to…

One of the most exciting hours I’ve spent in ages: Turnstile at O2 Forum Kentish Town

12 February 2022 9:00 am

Even leaving aside its origins as prison slang, punk has always meant different things on either side of the Atlantic.…

Triumphant: Idles at the O2 Brixton Academy reviewed

29 January 2022 9:00 am

The single thing you don’t want when you are beginning a run of four shows in a prestige venue, with…

The quiet radicalism of the Chieftains

27 November 2021 9:00 am

Pop quiz time: which act was named Melody MakerGroup of the Year in 1975? The answer is not, as you…

One of many soul acts looking back 50 years and doing very good business: Black Pumas, at the Roundhouse, reviewed

20 November 2021 9:00 am

No musician ever went bust overestimating the public desire to hear classic soul. Slapping on a Motown backbeat has revived…

Joyous perfection from a band that's sure to go far: Gabriels at The Social reviewed

30 October 2021 9:00 am

The bigger the next big thing, the smaller the room you want them playing in. You want the people who…

Banal and profound, bent and beautiful: Nick Cave & Warren Ellis at Edinburgh Playhouse reviewed

2 October 2021 9:00 am

Nick Cave has always been drawn to parable and fable, but more than ever these days he is engaged in…

Teenage Fanclub are not a dramatic group, but they are lovely

18 September 2021 9:00 am

They may no longer get many teenagers at their shows spending all their money on merchandise, then throwing up on…

Cast a spell, clear and sharp as frost: The Unthanks, at Edinburgh International Festival, reviewed

4 September 2021 9:00 am

As August unwound, the EIF settled into the cavernous gazebo that is Edinburgh Park, and things began to loosen up.…

A perfect welcome back to live music: Sarathy Korwar at Kings Place reviewed

29 May 2021 9:00 am

There is a reason music writers tend to stick with music writing rather than transferring their manifold talents to the…

'You can't have opinions any more': Rick Wakeman interviewed

19 December 2020 9:00 am

Rod Liddle talks to Rick Wakeman about lockdown, the Sex Pistols, and how you can’t have opinions any more

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?…

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…

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…

Best gig of the week: the fuzzy, slacker melodies of teenage quintet Disq

25 January 2020 9:00 am

Come January, when the proper pop stars are all in the gym working off the pounds before they emerge, blinking……

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,…

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…