live music

Money to Byrne: David Byrne deserves every penny he makes from this tour

Why David Byrne deserves every penny he makes from his tour

10 November 2018 9:00 am

Let’s get the ‘was-it-good?’ stuff out of the way first. Yes, it was good. It was better than good. It…

No one would want this gig to be the final memory of them: Soft Cell at the O2 reviewed

6 October 2018 9:00 am

When Soft Cell first appeared on Top of the Pops in summer 1981, miming along to their version of Gloria…

Paul Simon says farewell with a daring and inventive show

21 July 2018 9:00 am

Early in 1987, a middle-aged woman approached me on the record counter of the Slough branch of Boots. ‘What do…

Taylor Swift, and her adoring fans, at Wembley Stadium

An extraordinary, brilliant spectacle: Taylor Swift at Wembley Stadium reviewed

30 June 2018 9:00 am

Imagine living Taylor Swift’s life. She has been staggeringly, life-dominatingly famous since she was 17. Not for a single moment…

Embarrassing – but electrifying: Bernstein 100 reviewed

18 November 2017 9:00 am

‘There is something enviable about the utter lack of inhibition with which Leonard Bernstein carries on,’ wrote the critic of…

I’d rather miss a season of Proms than the London Piano Festival

14 October 2017 9:00 am

If two concert pianists are performing a work written for two grand pianos, there are two ways you can position…

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

How would Nick Cave’s desolate songs fare in a concrete bowl of 20,000 iPhone-wavers?

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.…

Time to ditch authenticity for early music Proms

12 August 2017 9:00 am

They say the first step towards recovery is admitting that you have a problem. So I’m staging an intervention and…

The very embodiment of a heritage rock act: Kraftwerk in concert at Brighton Centre, 2017

What used to be not far short of performance art is now more like panto: Kraftwerk reviewed

1 July 2017 9:00 am

As Kraftwerk took their 3D show around Britain last week, a document from 2013 surfaced online, purporting to be their…

Meet the composer who licked Beethoven’s carpet

24 June 2017 9:00 am

Gerald Barry once licked Beethoven’s carpet. At least, that’s what he told me, and I’m as sure as any interviewer…

I had to watch through my fingers: Aurora Orchestra play Brahms One from memory

10 June 2017 9:00 am

Playing in an orchestra that disintegrates mid-concert is not an experience you forget. One moment everything’s motoring along nicely. Suddenly…

Glam is back

10 June 2017 9:00 am

Late on the Friday afternoon of The Great Escape — the annual three-day event for which the London music industry…

Telemann was much more than a prolific purveyor of musical muesli

27 May 2017 9:00 am

The concert began with a flourish and a honk. Well, of course it did. Telemann wrote his last Ouverture-Suite in…

Meet the founder of the Boring Music Society (and possible neglected genius)

1 April 2017 9:00 am

It’s always promising when the orchestra won’t fit on the stage. For the UK première, some 97 years after it…

It’s a rap: Drake at the O2 Arena

A good moment for Drake to fall down a hole: his O2 gig reviewed

11 February 2017 9:00 am

Those poor Canadian rappers. Hailing from a country with a functioning benefits system, sensible firearms restrictions and relatively harmonious race…

Performance as therapy on a grand scale: Björk pours her broken heart out at the Albert Hall

Performance as therapy on a grand scale: Björk at the Royal Albert Hall reviewed

1 October 2016 9:00 am

’Will you be dancing?’ the man in front asks his friend before the lights go down. ‘Most likely,’ she says.…

No, the crowds at Glastonbury were not bumming out about the EU Referendum

2 July 2016 9:00 am

‘How do we feel about leaving the EU today? Who doesn’t give a fook?’ yelled Oli Sykes of Sheffield’s Bring…

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…

On song: Bob Dylan performs at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in 2011; photographers are banned on his current tour

Never again, I told myself last time Bob Dylan was in town

29 October 2015 9:00 am

We were like four hapless contestants on University Challenge. None of us knew the answer. But just like they do…

How can Stevie Nicks be 67? Is this possible or has Wikipedia made a mistake?

Unutterably thrilling: Fleetwood Mac at the O2 reviewed

6 June 2015 9:00 am

‘I can’t tell you what a thrill it is to get this chance in life,’ said Christine McVie, as the…