live music

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

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

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…

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…

Enveloping and gorgeous: Cate Le Bon reviewed

22 June 2019 9:00 am

The last time Bikini Kill played in London was in a room that now serves as the restaurant of a…

‘We’re not a group, we’re a movement’: the Spice Girls on stage in Coventry

Way more fun than the media would have us believe: The Spice Girls tour reviewed

15 June 2019 9:00 am

If you’ve paid even passing attention to early reports of the Spice Girls comeback tour, you will be aware of…

Addled, horrible, uproarious brilliance: Sebastian Murphy of Viagra Boys

Deeply unpleasant and thrilling: Viagra Boys make Primal Scream look antiseptic

1 June 2019 9:00 am

May was a cruel month for those middle-aged liberals who treasure their old alternative rock heroes. There was Morrissey, appearing…

The odd couple: Sting and Shaggy on tour in 2018. Photo: Zoltan Balogh / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

A very odd two hours: Sting and Shaggy reviewed

25 May 2019 9:00 am

Many is the pop star who has craved gravitas. Only Sting, however, has pursued it by covering John Dowland on…

A delightful time machine to a distant past: Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets

A Saturday-night variety show: Take That at the O2 reviewed

18 May 2019 9:00 am

Being old is big business in live music nowadays, in a way it wasn’t even 25 years ago. When Take…

Aspiring to profundity: Robyn at Ally Pally

At her best Robyn is magical – but her contribution to pop is hardly unique

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Last autumn, anyone who a) has an interest in pop music, and b) reads the weightier end of the press,…

Decency comes into its own: Bryan Adams

An undervalued songwriter and decent man: Bryan Adams at Wembley reviewed

9 March 2019 9:00 am

On 29 June 1991, a record called ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It For You’ by Bryan Adams entered the…

Money to Byrne: David Byrne deserves every penny he makes from this tour

Why David Byrne deserves every penny he makes from his tour

10 November 2018 9:00 am

Let’s get the ‘was-it-good?’ stuff out of the way first. Yes, it was good. It was better than good. It…

No one would want this gig to be the final memory of them: Soft Cell at the O2 reviewed

6 October 2018 9:00 am

When Soft Cell first appeared on Top of the Pops in summer 1981, miming along to their version of Gloria…