rock music

The old monster Elton John appears charmingly self-deprecating

30 November 2019 9:00 am

I don’t care for Elton John. A cross between Violet Elizabeth Bott and Princess Margaret, his temper tantrums are legendary,…

If you’re a white middle-aged male, Ramblin’ Man Fair is the festival for you

27 July 2019 9:00 am

Last weekend, in a pleasant park outside Maidstone, a most unusual rock festival took place. For one thing, it was…

Steel Pulse perform at a concert organised by Rock Against Racism and the Anti-Nazi League at Victoria Park, Hackney in 1978.

How Eric Clapton’s racism sparked a musical revolution

19 January 2019 9:00 am

On 13 August 1977, a demonstration by the National Front was routed in the streets of Lewisham by thousands of…

Doors drummer John Densmore and Police percussionist Stewart Copeland. Photo: BBC / Somethin’ Else Sound Directions Ltd / Nico Wasserman

According to BBC4, what was one of the ‘most important inventions in modern music’?

12 January 2019 9:00 am

Here’s a tricky quiz question for you. What word completes this sentence from a BBC4 documentary on Friday: ‘The world…

Read The Spectator article that gave birth to musical minimalism 50 years ago

8 December 2018 9:00 am

The Spectator is responsible for many coinages. One of the most significant came in 1968, when an article by our…

[Credit: Julie Edwards]

Mark Kermode: I longed to be a pop star

27 October 2018 9:00 am

In the 1970s, when Mark Kermode first picked up an instrument, the UK record business was a very different place.…

From desolation to euphoria and back again: Nick Cave at the O2

Mourning glory

7 October 2017 9:00 am

On the face of it, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds aren’t exactly a natural fit with the O2. Cave’s…

Northern rock

16 September 2017 9:00 am

A fortnight ago, the debut album by a young British guitar band entered the chart at No. 6. You might…

The National: Sleep Well Beast

9 September 2017 9:00 am

Grade: A– There are plenty of websites where fans try to discern, without any success, what in the name of…

Arcade Fire: Everything Now

26 August 2017 9:00 am

Grade: D+ Well, this is truly awful. Perhaps the worst album by a major band since Mardi Gras by Creedence…

Album cover

England Lost/Gotta Get A Grip

12 August 2017 9:00 am

Two songs in which Sir Michael informs us that he is distressed by both Brexit and Donald Trump. Released with,…

Scabrous and sarcastic: singer-songwriter Randy Newman

His dark materials

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Randy Newman is already struggling to keep up with himself. His dazzling new album, Dark Matter, was written before the…

Scabrous and sarcastic: singer-songwriter Randy Newman

His dark materials

3 August 2017 1:00 pm

Randy Newman is already struggling to keep up with himself. His dazzling new album, Dark Matter, was written before the…

A genuine oddity

22 July 2017 9:00 am

The most compelling pop singers in music right now — at least in the branch where pop singers still play…

Beth Ditto: Fake Sugar

8 July 2017 9:00 am

Boy is she fat, and getting fatter. I realise this is something we’re not meant to mention when talking about…

We want them not to give us what we want: Radiohead at the Roundhouse reviewed

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Radiohead have been at the top of the musical tree for so long now that it’s easy to forget what…

Prince bored me rigid

30 April 2016 9:00 am

I saw Prince play once. I was bored rigid but couldn’t mention this to the girls I’d gone with: as…

Back in Time for the Weekend gives the 1950s its usual kicking

6 February 2016 9:00 am

When the time comes to make programmes looking back on the 2010s, I wonder which aspects of life today will…

Chrissie Hynde writes like an angel on angel dust

12 December 2015 9:00 am

‘The day I found out that Suzi Quatro wasn’t a dyke was the worst day of my life!’ a teenage…

You won't believe this story about my friend, Jeremy Corbyn and the owl

26 September 2015 8:00 am

A friend of mine once watched Jeremy Corbyn try to rape an owl. This was the early to mid-1980s. The…

Compiling my greatest hits (and my Twitter trolls')

25 July 2015 9:00 am

Compilation schompilation. Having been in music for as long as I have you would think I had a good idea…