Andrew Petrie

Ginger Baker plays the drums at Cream’s first live performance at the Windsor Festival, 31 July 1966

The poor drummer is music’s goalkeeper — you only notice him if he screws up

16 May 2015 9:00 am

Tony Barrell can’t play the drums, but he’s in awe of those who can. ‘A band without a drummer is…

The aurora: you really have to see it for yourself

The Northern Lights

13 December 2014 9:00 am

Getting here took a long time. First a flight to Seattle, then a connection to Fairbanks, followed by a coach…

Rome, Open City still shocks

15 March 2014 9:00 am

Roberto Rossellini shot his neorealist landmark Rome, Open City while the war still raged and rubble littered the freshly liberated…

Graham Nash in London, 1970

Wild Tales: The book to make any Spectator reader weep

19 October 2013 9:00 am

We all know that if you can remember the Sixties you weren’t really there. But Graham Nash, of the Hollies,…

At home with President Nixon

7 September 2013 9:00 am

The most paranoid of presidents, Richard Nixon must have been feeling unwell when he allowed three of his closest aides…

Herzog at the BFI: Mad men in the rainforest

15 June 2013 9:00 am

‘I am the wrath of God. The earth I pass will see me and tremble.’ Not my words, Mr Speaker,…

The stamp of quality – Terence Stamp at the BFI

18 May 2013 9:00 am

If ever a director’s decision to cast an actor based solely on looks could be excused, it would be Pier…

The shock of the old

26 January 2013 9:00 am

New Yorker music critic Alex Ross published The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century five years ago, earning…

London pride

10 November 2012 9:00 am

The trend for documentary portraits of individual cities assembled from archive footage continues with Julien Temple’s London: The Modern Babylon,…


24 hours in Tulsa

29 September 2012 9:00 am

The legacy of black gold has made Tulsa beautiful

Critical meltdown

28 July 2012 6:00 am

If the River of Music put you in the mood for stimulating sounds on the banks of the Thames, next…

From our own correspondent

7 July 2012 6:00 am

‘Interviewing Afghan warlords is always something of a delicate dance,’ writes roving BBC reporter Nick Bryant in Confessions from Correspondentland…

The first lady of song

12 May 2012 11:00 am

Folk legend Sandy Denny’s eminently coverable songs, direct of melody and opaque of lyric, have scarcely declined in popularity since…

Bad habits

31 March 2012 11:00 am

When the late Ken Russell published his autobiography in 1989, he called it A British Picture. That title could just…

A bite of the Apple

11 February 2012 11:00 am

For the first time in its 170-year history, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra has a native New Yorker at the…

Disappearing lords

17 December 2011 9:00 pm

‘I don’t like him looking daft,’ growls Alastair Campbell to the camera as Bafta-winning documentary film-maker Molly Dineen shadows Tony…

Home away from home

17 December 2011 1:00 pm

John Amis talks about his long career as a music critic and his love of Australia

On a slow night

30 July 2011 1:00 pm

American trio Low are what you get when a band evolves far from the established music scenes of laidback California and buzzing NYC. Fronted by husband and wife Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker, their sound evokes the relative isolation and five-month winters of their native Duluth, Minnesota, with glacial tempos and minimal arrangements, laced with almost folky two-part harmony. Now, nine albums into their career, they can sell out the Barbican’s main hall.

Religious doubt

23 April 2011 6:00 am

No description of Eric Gill is ever without the words ‘devout Catholic’, and Eric Gill: Lust for Letter & Line…

Well trained

26 March 2011 12:00 am

Andrew Petrie journeys from NYC to DC the old-fashioned way

A chorus of disapproval

19 March 2011 6:00 am

At more than 700 pages including appendices, Guardian writer Dorian Lynskey’s 33 Revolutions Per Minute: A History of Protest Songs…

Bipolar exploration

12 February 2011 6:00 am

‘I’m not writing songs anymore; they’re writing me.’ Plagued by music in her head that arrived unbidden, drowning out conversation,…

Those who are about to rock salute you

19 December 2010 6:00 pm

Too often written off as walking stereotypes, AC/DC have in reality sold Australian masculinity to the world

The road to ruins

11 December 2010 12:00 pm

Director Patrick Keiller made his name with London (1994) and Robinson in Space (1997), semi-documentaries recounting the peripatetic investigations into…

Friends indeed

30 October 2010 12:00 pm

Jarrow playwright Peter Flannery’s superb television serial Our Friends in the North started life as an RSC production in Stratford…