Pop

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…

The last great purveyors of a vanishing art form: Green Day’s Fathers of All... reviewed

7 March 2020 9:00 am

Grade: B+ It is an eternal mystery to me why Britain has never had much time for power pop, seeing…

Grimes has talent – but not for writing songs: Miss Anthropocene reviewed

29 February 2020 9:00 am

Grade: B The old axiom no longer applies. In modern popular music, it is possible not only to gild a…

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…

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,…

Mick Hucknall on women, rejection and cultural appropriation

9 November 2019 9:00 am

What makes someone become a pop star? Sometimes, it’s true, pop stardom arrives by accident, and its recipient responds not…

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…

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…

Great title – shame about the songs: Lana Del Rey’s Norman Fucking Rockwell reviewed

7 September 2019 9:00 am

Grade: B+ Get the razor blades out, Ms Misery is back. Only the truly affluent can immerse themselves in such…

Reliably odd but the deranged proggery grates: King’s Mouth by The Flaming Lips reviewed

10 August 2019 9:00 am

Grade: B- So a queen dies as her giant baby is being born. The baby grows very big indeed and…

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…

Much as I admire Morrissey’s refusal to conform, I don’t much like his music

8 June 2019 9:00 am

Grade: B Rock stars who utter something a little gamey, something a tad right-wingish, are usually coerced by the lefties…

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…

Sublime: Taron Egerton as Elton John in Rocketman

Rocketman is cheesy and clichéd – and all the better for it

25 May 2019 9:00 am

There have been claims that Rocketman, the biopic of Elton John, is ‘cheesy’ and ‘clichéd’, but, in truth, you do…

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…

Maybe the best thing this skag head’s ever done: Peter Doherty & the Puta Madres reviewed

4 May 2019 9:00 am

Grade: A Old skag head’s back, then — older (40 now!), probably none the wiser, still a very good songwriter.…

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,…