Brilliantly unhinged: Grace Jones, at Hampton Court Palace, reviewed

Some artists need flash bombs to make an impression on stage. Some need giant screens. Some need to run around like hyperactive toddlers. All Grace Jones needed was a hula hoop – not the delicious potato snack, but the plastic ring. For the ten minutes or so of ‘Slave to the Rhythm’ that ended her set on a balmy evening in the courtyard of Hampton Court Palace, she languidly rotated the ring around her hips, all while she strode across the stage, then climbed a set of stairs. Not a single revolution was missed. I realise that you don’t come to these pages for reviews of hula hooping, but by

Tenderness and menace: Bob Dylan, at the London Palladium, reviewed

Bob Dylan has always toyed with audiences. He plays what he wants, how he wants, letting his mood dictate tempo and often key (sometimes switching songs to the minor). On Dylan’s return to London for the first time in five years, he summed it up early. ‘I ain’t no false prophet/ I just know what I know,’ he gruffly sang. Dylan spent the night at the Palladium doing what he knows best, singing songs of love, loss and immortality. Covid temporarily ended his ‘Never-Ending Tour’, which had seen Dylan play more than 3,000 shows since 1988. Now it’s billed as ‘The Rough and Rowdy Ways Tour’, with the strapline: ‘Things

The little slice of Route 66 that you can tackle in 24 hours

Blake Shelton’s ‘God’s Country’ plays on the radio as bolts of lightning tear through dark clouds, illuminating the corn fields of the Midwest. ‘Slow down,’ demands Mum, clutching her seat. It’s clear she’s grateful the rental company did not give me the muscle car that I was hoping for. We’re on America’s ‘Mother Road’, otherwise known as Route 66. Or what’s left of it that is. The original highway ran 2,448 miles cross-country from the city of Chicago, Illinois, to the beaches of Santa Monica in California, but was replaced in the 1950s by the Interstate. Although 66 is no longer still officially a highway, and you can’t drive along