live music

Fascinating and compelling: Bruce Hornsby at Shepherd’s Bush Empire reviewed

16 November 2019 9:00 am

In the unlikely event that Bruce Hornsby and Morten Harket, A-ha’s singer, ended up featuring in the Daily Mail for,…

At their best the Psychedelic Furs are fantastic

19 October 2019 9:00 am

It’s amazing what the movies can do. In 1986, the John Hughes teen flick Pretty in Pink — the one…

Why I’m done with Fleetwood Mac

29 June 2019 9:00 am

There is something inexplicably exciting about pop’s notion of a ‘scene’: young musicians of similar outlooks drawn together by a…

Enveloping and gorgeous: Cate Le Bon reviewed

22 June 2019 9:00 am

The last time Bikini Kill played in London was in a room that now serves as the restaurant of a…

‘We’re not a group, we’re a movement’: the Spice Girls on stage in Coventry

Way more fun than the media would have us believe: The Spice Girls tour reviewed

15 June 2019 9:00 am

If you’ve paid even passing attention to early reports of the Spice Girls comeback tour, you will be aware of…

Addled, horrible, uproarious brilliance: Sebastian Murphy of Viagra Boys

Deeply unpleasant and thrilling: Viagra Boys make Primal Scream look antiseptic

1 June 2019 9:00 am

May was a cruel month for those middle-aged liberals who treasure their old alternative rock heroes. There was Morrissey, appearing…

The odd couple: Sting and Shaggy on tour in 2018. Photo: Zoltan Balogh / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

A very odd two hours: Sting and Shaggy reviewed

25 May 2019 9:00 am

Many is the pop star who has craved gravitas. Only Sting, however, has pursued it by covering John Dowland on…

A delightful time machine to a distant past: Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets

A Saturday-night variety show: Take That at the O2 reviewed

18 May 2019 9:00 am

Being old is big business in live music nowadays, in a way it wasn’t even 25 years ago. When Take…

Aspiring to profundity: Robyn at Ally Pally

At her best Robyn is magical – but her contribution to pop is hardly unique

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Last autumn, anyone who a) has an interest in pop music, and b) reads the weightier end of the press,…

Decency comes into its own: Bryan Adams

An undervalued songwriter and decent man: Bryan Adams at Wembley reviewed

9 March 2019 9:00 am

On 29 June 1991, a record called ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It For You’ by Bryan Adams entered the…

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…