Pop

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…

The most exciting band I have seen for years and years: the Murder Capital reviewed

14 September 2019 9:00 am

It’s entirely possible for a band to be quite the most brilliant thing in existence for the briefest of times,…

Why I’m done with Fleetwood Mac

29 June 2019 9:00 am

There is something inexplicably exciting about pop’s notion of a ‘scene’: young musicians of similar outlooks drawn together by a…