Live Music Reviews
Black Midi (photo Dan Kendall)

Black Midi @ Concorde 2, Brighton

by Matt Cotsell

Life is filled with a monotonous stream of inevitabilities and constants. A cavalcade of unalterable situations and circumstances that play out ad infinitum through history, yet somehow these events ground us firmly in the present….



Dan Deacon @ Scala, London

by Steven Johnson

Baltimore musician Dan Deacon has gained a reputation for playing gigs that don’t really follow standard live music norms. Tonight’s show at the Scala in support of his excellent latest album Mystic Familiar saw him...

Devendra Banhart @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London

by Steven Johnson

Ma, the latest album by Devendra Banhart arrived last year with little in the way of fanfare or noise, appropriate given the hushed, gentle direction his music has been slowly moving in over recent years....

Anaïs Mitchell + Bonny Light Horseman @ Roundhouse, London

by Daniel Paton

This superb double performance will remain memorable for many more reasons than its coinciding with the UK leaving the European Union. Now a much more high profile artist following the success of her musical theatre...

Algiers @ Chalk, Brighton

by Matt Cotsell

Tonight Algiers are in a combative and performative mood. Front man Franklin James Fisher, normally the focal point due to that voice, risks being overshadowed by his band mates, one of whom is dressed like Danny...

Wire @ Chalk, Brighton

by Matt Cotsell

Wire have always been semi-unwilling participants in the circuitous narrative of rock history. Dispensing with the extraneous flourishes of the then prevalent progressive and jazz rock scenes, they initially offered an abrasive and succinct alternative,...

John Grant @ Attenborough Centre For Contemporary Arts, Brighton

by Matt Cotsell

Brighton has always had a soft spot for John Grant. Not only has local label Bella Union put out his five albums but last time he played here, he was at the Dome, a large...

Xylouris White @ Komedia, Brighton

by Matt Cotsell

The first month of this new decade is nearly over, and with it comes an ominous period of weighty national change and emotional loss. That so many of us native little islanders are currently sat...

Robert Henke: CBM 8032 AV @ Barbican, London

by Steven Johnson

A small neon green rectangle pulses in the top left corner of a large black screen at the rear of the Barbican stage, eagerly awaiting instruction. Below on tables, are five 1980 Commodore computers, other...

Ride @ Barbican, London

by Steven Johnson

Recent years have seen a range of bands from the ’90s reform and return to the live arena. Many have been nostalgia-driven, focused on reprising former glories, but that’s not an accusation that can be...

L’Épée @ Concorde 2, Brighton

by Matt Cotsell

Front and middle is a sword, dull, silvery and old. No explanation is given to its significance (although devotees may well recognise it from the album artwork), but its long slender profile sparks associations with...

Klaus Johann Grobe @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton

by Matt Cotsell

As they take their places onstage, front man Sevi Landolt sardonically proclaims “Yeah, it’s Klausy baby” to the delight of fans. Perhaps we should add a caveat here; there is no Klaus Johann Grobe, albeit...

Hayden Thorpe @ Cecil Sharp House, London

by Steven Johnson

The songs of Hayden Thorpe’s former band Wild Beasts were famed for their sensuous chronicling of desire and lust and Diviner, Thorpe’s first solo album since the band split back in 2018, shows that he...

Band Of Skulls @ Thekla, Bristol

by Andy Baber

Time can be a cruel mistress, especially when it comes to music. While anniversary tours often sound like a good idea on the surface, the concept provides two very distinct purposes – such is the...

!!! (Chk Chk Chk) @ Concorde 2, Brighton

by Matt Cotsell

Who wears tartan shorts in England in December? Nic Offer, he of New York punk funk inspired disco iconoclasts !!! (Chk Chk Chk), does and damn, if he doesn’t it with a sense of style....

The Chemical Brothers @ O2 Arena, London

by Ben Hogwood

It has been another stellar year for The Chemical Brothers. On the 20th anniversary of one of their best and most enduring albums Surrender, they have reached peak form once again with their No Geography...

A Celebration Of Talk Talk & Mark Hollis @ Royal Festival Hall, London

by Steven Johnson

When former Talk Talk frontman Mark Hollis died in February earlier this year there was a public outpouring of love for his music despite it being over 20 years since he released an album. It...

Omni @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton

by Matt Cotsell

Omni are, as always, present and potent. They don’t say much between numbers to the Brighton crowd, certainly nothing of note, instead preferring to hurtle their way through their catalogue at almost breakneck speed. The...

Little Boots @ Garage, London

by Michael Hubbard

A decade ago, Victoria Hesketh had all stars aligned and was set to join them. Little Boots’ monster single Stuck On Repeat announced her arrival, and she promptly topped the BBC Sound Of 2009 poll...

EFG London Jazz Festival 2019 @ Various Venues, London

by Daniel Paton

As always, the EFG London Jazz Festival offers up such a range of exciting and challenging music that negotiating its contours can be quite demanding. A trend of the festival is its ongoing diversification, often...

The Twilight Sad @ Forum, London

by Mark Newington

2019 has been significant for Scottish post-punkers The Twilight Sad. Having released their fifth album It Won/t Be Like This All The Time, their first with new label Rock Action, they’ve headline toured North America...