Pop

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,…

Thick 12-year-olds listen to Ariana Granda, smart ones to Billie Eilish

13 April 2019 9:00 am

Grade: A– If your 12-year-old daughter’s a bit thick, she probably likes Ariana Grande. Come on, dads — you’ve got…

The Beatles perform in Liverpool prior to signing their first recording contract: George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and original drummer Pete Best. Photo: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

The greatest Beatle? Pete Best

30 March 2019 9:00 am

Which of the Beatles would you most like to have been? Not either of the dead ones, presumably. Nor the…

It’s shocking how many Michael Jackson fans are still determined to take his side

16 March 2019 9:00 am

Halfway through the first part of Channel 4’s extraordinary documentary Leaving Neverland (Thursdays), I flicked through the comments on social…

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…

The soul of Lou Reed and the looks of Harry Styles: Matt Healy and the 1975

As so often, teenage girls called this one right: The 1975 reviewed

26 January 2019 9:00 am

The teenage girls are often right. They were right about Sinatra and they were right about Elvis. They were right…

True stories: Gary Kemp in 1971

Gary Kemp on pop, Pre-Raphaelites, politics and playing Pinter

15 December 2018 9:00 am

The first thing Gary Kemp bought when Spandau Ballet started making money was a chair. He’s very proud of that…

1975 was a great year for pop – worthy of a better band than The 1975

1 December 2018 9:00 am

Grade: C A derided year in pop music, 1975 — and yet a great one. The mainstream was horrible, but…