Tag: Live Reviews

Live: Jeff Lynne’s ELO @ Wembley Stadium

The first album I bought was Out Of The Blue. The Electric Light Orchestra, that album, and those which followed and preceded it were the soundtrack to my childhood. The ELO obsession has followed me into middle age. I’m the sort of guy who can sing: “Yes, I’m turning to stone ‘cos you ‘ain’t coming home. Why aren’t you coming home if I’m turning to stone? You’ve been gone for so long and I can’t carry on. Yes, I’m turning, I’m turning, I’m turning to stone” at full speed without pausing for breath or breaking into a sweat. Kind...

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Live: Jon Stevens @ Borderline

Jon Stevens rose to fame in the 1980s, the decade when more was most definitely more. Over 30 years later, he’s still got the same mindset. Instead of just one London gig, the Australian rock legend is playing five across the city. And, although the venues are far more intimate than those he’s used to, don’t for one second think he’s scaled back. He’s brought the full band who supported him at the Isle of Wight Festival, even though they struggle to fit on the Borderline stage. He’s brought a team of audio and lighting engineers so, although the...

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Live: Sam Palladio @ The Water Rats

Sam Palladio might not yet be a household name, but his character on hit U.S. television show Nashville just might be – Gunnar Scott anyone? Since making waves when it hit U.S. TV network ABC in 2012, the Country music-driven drama set and filmed in Tennessee’s Music City has gone from strength to strength despite relocating to its more natural home on the Country Music Television (CMT) cable network for its fifth season. Strange to think that it was British actor and musician Palladio, hailing from Cornwall, that was the first regular cast member to be cast for the...

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Live: Vieux Farka Touré @ Howard Assembly Room

Every year, Opera North in Leeds hosts a very well curated selection of artists and this week was no different, with an enchanting and magical performance by Vieux Farka Touré. Having been a massive fan of Ali Farka Touré, Vieux’s late father, and seeing Vieux perform at the 2010 Fifa World Cup Opening Ceremony in South Africa, he has been on top of my list of musicians that I have wanted to see for a while. Naturally, I was not going to pass up the opportunity to see him live. Arriving at the Howard Assembly Room, I was surprised...

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Live: Chris Shiflett @ The Water Rats

Chris Shiflett grew up in Santa Barbara, California. His childhood idols were Kiss. He first gained attention as a member of punk band No Use For A Name. And for almost two decades he’s been the Foo Fighters’ lead guitarist. Yet, over the past five years, the musician with such bonafide rock credentials has been beating a path down to Nashville (the city not the TV show) on three solo albums. The latest, West Coast Town, is his most authentic yet. Recorded in the city’s legendary RCA Studio A with Chris Stapleton’s producer Dave Cobb, its classic country sound is...

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Live: Evanescence @ Apollo Hammersmith

One of the best things about doing this is that you get to experience live music that doesn’t necessarily twitch the antennae. To be honest, it’s unlikely I’d have been mixing it with a sold-out crowd tonight at the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith for an evening with Arkansas rockers Evanescence were it not for the chance to snap them – but I’m very glad I did, on a number of levels. First of all, we got lucky with access right at the front. The band were known in journalistic circles for being a little camera shy on this tour, having...

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Live: Nashville In Concert @ Royal Albert Hall

The popularity of Country music, the perceived mainstay of the Southern United States, is on the rise both throughout the rest of the U.S. and in the UK, with London’s O2 Arena now in its fifth year hosting C2C: Country to Country – the UK’s Country music festival – alongside a number of home-grown Country acts hitting in big on the charts. Duos The Shires and Ward Thomas have each produced two massive British Country music records, proving just how universal such Southern-sounding, story-telling songs truly are. One of the factors in that rise in the popularity of Country...

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Live: Simple Plan @ Kentish Town Forum

Simple Plan know what a noisy, sweaty old-school rock show needs. The psyched audience scream on command. The showman singer likes to leap off the monitors, continually whips the crowd up into a frenzy, and suddenly appears at the mixing desk. The wild drummer stage dives and crowd surfs. Fog blasters and streamer cannons go off with wild abandon. Bras are thrown up onto the stage. T-shirts and giant beach balls get lobbed into the crowd (complete with a “playing with my balls” joke from the frontman). And the band unleash one riotous punk anthem after another. Tonight the...

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Live: Imagine Dragons @ Roundhouse

The Imagine Dragons sound is big on beats, both on record and on stage. So it’s almost expected that their encore of Radioactive climaxes with all four band members pounding on some type of drum. Less expected is the might of lead guitarist Wayne Sermon. Relatively low-key on their albums, in concert he’s as integral to the Las Vegas quartet’s sound as Dan Reynolds’ voice and, yes, even those pounding rhythms. Not convinced? How about the long, fluid instrumental that echoes the vocal line on seismic set opener Thunder? Or the fiery noodling to ride out the victory march...

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Live: Eddie Vedder @ Hammersmith Apollo

London’s Hammersmith Apollo isn’t what you’d call intimate. And yet Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder makes the 3,600-seater venue feel like a living room, or a cosy campfire singalong. And it’s not just because he’s surrounded by a vintage radio, reel-to-reel tape player, battered suitcases (complete with The Who sticker), various old-timey speakers, assorted instruments, and, later, an actual campfire complete with starry sky backdrop. Most of it’s down to Vedder himself. Seated on stage alone for much of the two and a half hour set, he’s frank, honest, spontaneous, and vulnerable in his words and musical performances. He makes...

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Live: !!! (Chk Chk Chk) @ Oval Space

Fronted by Nic Offer and assisted by vocalist Lea Lea, !!! (pronounced Chk Chk Chk) brought their dance-punk flavours to a sold out Oval Space, London’s multi-purpose arts venue set amongst a redundant industrial estate in Hackney. Being fairly new to this band and after seeing their latest video Dancing Is The Best Revenge, I was intrigued to witness their live show. Laetitia Sadier opened the evening with a view of the sun setting through the frame of the old gas storage depot towering next to the venue. An intimate solo performance of songs in both French and English,...

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Live: Matt Andersen @ The Borderline

Canadian multi award-winning, R&B and blues singer-songwriter Matt Andersen was ruler of the evening at London’s Borderline, where he brought the UK part of his European tour to a close. With over 10 million views on YouTube, two European Blues Awards, and winning Best Solo Performer at the Memphis Blues Challenge,  Matt Andersen is taking the world by storm. He has shared the stage and toured with Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy, Greg Allman, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Randy Bachman, Little Feat, Jonny Lang, Serena Ryder, and more. Andersen has won the 2013 and 2016 European Blues Award for Best Solo/Acoustic Act, three...

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Live: Overcoats @ St Pancras Old Church

“We believe in the strength and power of female friendship,” declares JJ Mitchell, one half of Overcoats, “and the things you can achieve when you stand by a woman.” But actions speak louder than words. So Mitchell and her best friend Hana Elion begin and end the show with a long embrace. They spontaneously drape their arms around each other. During moments of emotional intensity, they lock eyes across the stage. And, after the final song, Mitchell piggybacks the injured Elion (torn ligaments) out of the venue. Their singing is equally unified, two voices intertwining delicately as the New...

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Live: Sheryl Crow @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Be Myself, the title of Sheryl Crow’s latest album, says it all. After flirting with soul and classic country on her last two outings, 100 Miles From Memphis and Feels Like Home, she’s gone back to her roots, embracing the sound that first made her a household name. The decision to be herself once more was clearly personal, as lyrics like “Hanging with the hipsters is a lot of hard work” make abundantly clear. But there’s the added benefit of the new material slipping seamlessly into a live show that, from the get go, leans on her first three...

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Live: Kishi Bashi @ Oslo

On a rainy Sunday evening in Hackney as one approaches Oslo you’d be forgiven for wishing you were at home curled up in a warm blanket, but what small handful of us (and when I say small handful I mean all 353 people in the at capacity room) got was a heart warming display of raw musical talent. For those of you haven’t come across our patron of strings before, Kaoru Ishibashi aka Kishi Bashi has spent his years playing violin for Of Montreal and Regina Spektor before wowing us with his solo prowess. Drawing from a range of genres (from folk to...

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Live: Hey Violet @ The Garage

Hey Violet’s hyperactive performance at North London’s The Garage begins, and ends, with deafening screams from an equally hyperactive audience. To be fair, though, there’s a lot of screaming the whole way through. Like when singer/dynamo Rena Lovelis asks: “How’re we doing London?” Or when she tries to tell the excitable crowd about falling for this city (on her second visit), her love of British accents, and how she could just “listen to you talk and talk and talk”. Or even when, for the purposes of a video shoot, the band perform the big-grooving Hoodie twice, both times prompting en-masse...

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Live: Saint Leonard’s Horses @ The Borderline

With a backstory featuring Stanley Kubrick’s estate, a Los Angeles cult, William Blake’s grave, a near-death experience in the Mojave desert, Jim Morrison’s meditation chamber, and a bust-up at Father John Misty’s wedding, you’d expect Saint Leonard’s Horses’ debut album to be special. You’d be right. The twelve tracks of Good Luck Everybody rock up ‘70s Laurel Canyon folk with big Eagles-style hooks as British (now resident in LA) frontman Kieran Leonard’s slightly-rough-around-the-edges voice as he negotiates such nimble turns of phrase as “swimming through the ashes of the bridges I burned”. Performed live, and in sequence, to an...

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Live: Live At Leeds Festival Turns 10

With the rise of city festivals, such as Sheffield’s Tramlines and Brighton’s The Great Escape, Live At Leeds has seen a steady growth in size over the years from a handful of bands in 2007 to 189 acts performing at 21 venues across the city on its 10-year anniversary. This year’s festivals attracted a host of well-known big acts as well as a plethora of equally fantastic lesser known ones. Headlining acts this year included Slaves, Rag’n’Bone Man, White Lies, Wild Beasts and Nothing But Thieves and it was one festival that I wasn’t going to miss. Besides being...

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Live: Geraint Watkins and the Mosquitoes @ The Sound Lounge

It’s 3pm on a warm spring Bank Holiday Sunday afternoon and Tooting’s newest café-come-music venue The Sound Lounge is packed to all four corners with middle-aged hipsters eager to see Geraint Watkins and the Mosquitoes play their first show in 18 months. The show’s organiser, host and support act Niall Kelly kicks off the afternoon with an uplifting fusion of blues-folk-country packed with foot-stomping tracks from his second studio album Not Sleeping as well as new material that he hopes to release in the next year.  The latest studio offering features legendary pedal steel player BJ Cole on three tracks, and was aptly titled during the period following the birth of Kelly’s first child, a period to which I can...

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Live: Dan Patlansky @ Islington Academy 2

Guitarists are not unlike magicians – a lot of practice and work goes into making it look easy. But Dan Patlansky is clearly not one for cheap magic tricks. He pours so much passion and intensity into his performances that how he plays is as powerful as what he plays. Not just his face, but his posture changes whenever he teases, cajoles, or downright strangle’s the at-times incomprehensible notes out of his trusty 1962 Fender Stratocaster. That guitar – and Patlansky’s entire body – gets a full workout during his visceral, sold-out London show that begins quietly with a...

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