Pop

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…

‘I came, I saw, I scribbled’: Shane MacGowan on Bob Dylan, angels and his lifelong love of art

30 April 2022 9:00 am

Graeme Thomson talks to former Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan about his first art folio

He is now a family entertainer: Stormzy at the O2 Arena reviewed

9 April 2022 9:00 am

Stormzy occupies a curious place in British pop culture right now. He’s the darling of liberals for all his good…

No one should be doing indie rock at 43: Band of Horses's Things Are Great reviewed

2 April 2022 9:00 am

Grade: B That thing, ‘indie rock’, is so well played and produced these days, so pristine and flawless, that it…

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…

Fabulously boring: Weather Station's How Is It That I Should Look at the Stars reviewed

12 March 2022 9:00 am

Grade: C– Anyone remember that TV advert for Canada from the 1980s – a succession of colourful images, including a…

Too neat but it has hooks aplenty: Avril Lavigne's Love Sux reviewed

5 March 2022 9:00 am

Grade: B Yay, life just gets better and better. World War Three and now this. More petulant popcorn pre-school punk…

The buzz band of 2022 sound like they're from 1982: Yard Act, at Village Underground reviewed

26 February 2022 9:00 am

One of the curiosities of modern pop’s landscape is that no one knows any longer how to measure success. An…

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…

Pretty astonishing: Black Country, New Road's Ants From Up There reviewed

19 February 2022 9:00 am

Grade: A+ It is not true, fellow boomers, that there is nothing new under the sun nor no good new…

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…

A story of reflection and self-discovery: Anaïs Mitchell's new album reviewed

22 January 2022 9:00 am

Any artist who has habitually written or performed in character — from David Bowie to Lady Gaga — eventually arrives…

Lovely and wistful: Neil Young and Crazy Horse's Barn reviewed

15 January 2022 9:00 am

 Grade: A I have persisted in buying everything Neil Young releases since I first heard On the Beach as a…

In praise of seasonal chart fodder

18 December 2021 9:00 am

Christmas: the most vulnerable time of the year. I heard ‘A Winter’s Tale’ by David Essex on the radio the…

Truly godawful: Ed Sheeran's = (Christmas edition)

18 December 2021 9:00 am

 Grade: C= My wife’s ill with Covid and demanding inexhaustible libations and difficult meals, which she will leave uneaten. The…

More mesmerising than it should be – Disney+'s The Beatles: Get Back reviewed

4 December 2021 9:00 am

My late friend Alexander Nekrassov loathed the Beatles, which I used to think was a wantonly contrary position akin to…

A soulful man with a blistering voice: Sipho, at Studio 9294, reviewed

4 December 2021 9:00 am

When I were a lad — back when you could buy the entire back catalogue of the Fall for thruppence…

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…

Decent dream pop: Beach House’s Once Twice Melody reviewed

20 November 2021 9:00 am

Grade: B+ Everything these days devolves to prog — and not always very good prog. Where once synths were vastly…

The sound of a hunch coming good

13 November 2021 9:00 am

Graeme Thomson talks to the cult singer Joan Wasser about the robotic nature of pop, finding salvation in songwriting and Tony Allen