live music

Nickelback may not be cool but they are very good at what they do

1 June 2024 9:00 am

In May 2013, Rolling Stone polled its readers in an attempt to discover which band might be crowned the worst…

The unstoppable rise of country music

25 May 2024 9:00 am

When a major artist releases a new album, the first thing to follow is the onslaught of think pieces. And…

Lovely slice of Cosmic Scouse: Michael Head & the Red Elastic, at EartH, reviewed

18 May 2024 9:00 am

One of the more bizarre but recurring tales about how the music of Liverpool has been shaped over these past…

Adrianne Lenker is a treasure for the ages

4 May 2024 9:00 am

You could very well sum up their differing approaches to American roots music from how they were dressed. Both wore…

Why garage punk is plainly the apogee of human achievement

20 April 2024 9:00 am

How is it that a group that sounds like the Hives are selling out the Apollo? In a world configured…

Never admit that your band is prog – it’s the kiss of death

6 April 2024 9:00 am

Sensible prog-rock bands try to ensure no one ever realises they play prog. What happens when you are deemed a…

New Order’s oldies still sound like the future

14 October 2023 9:00 am

The intimate acoustic show can denote many things for an established artist. One is that, in the infamous euphemism coined…

Uneasy listening: Kathryn Joseph, at Summerhall, reviewed

19 August 2023 9:00 am

I have always been fascinated by artists who bounce between tonal extremes when performing, particularly the ones who serve their…

A giddy delight: Regina Spektor, at the Royal Festival Hall reviewed

29 July 2023 9:00 am

We’ll get on to the brilliance of Regina Spektor in a moment. But first a question: why are pop music…

Intoxicating: Bruce Springsteen, at BST Hyde Park, reviewed

15 July 2023 9:00 am

Seven years ago, I asked Bruce Springsteen what he meant when he talked of the covenant between himself and his…

Why aren’t Spoon filling stadiums?

1 July 2023 9:00 am

Here’s a mystery for you. Why were Spoon, one of the most dynamic, sharpest rock bands in the world, playing…

Dazzling – if you ignore the music: Beyoncé, at Murrayfield Stadium, reviewed

27 May 2023 9:00 am

Scheduling open-air concerts in mid-May in northern Europe is a triumph of hope over experience. I last spent time with…

In praise of goths – the most enduring of pop subcultures

27 May 2023 9:00 am

Michael Hann on the most enduring of pop subcultures

Only traces of their eerie early spirit remain: Kings of Leon, at OVO Hydro, reviewed

9 July 2022 9:00 am

A few years ago, I spoke to Mick Jagger and asked him which of the (relatively) new crop of rock…

The subtleties of her songbook were lost in this enormodome: Diana Ross at the O2 reviewed

2 July 2022 9:00 am

When Motown first packaged up a roster of artists and songs that could be embraced by a non-black audience, no…

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…