Live Music + Gig Reviews

Protomartyr @ Hare & Hounds, Birmingham

by Ross Horton

Cerebral, muscular post-punk played with suffocating intensity, embellished by enigmatic vocals and lyricism. Like The Fall, just better

Wet Leg @ Institute2, Birmingham

by Ross Horton

One of the most hyped, and most hype-worthy, bands of the last few years bring unbridled glee to Birmingham

Vashti Bunyan @ Barbican, London

by Steven Johnson

A career spanning set that shows these are not just impossibly pretty songs of fragility and tenderness but also poetic, moving ruminations on life itself

Cate Le Bon @ Mill, Birmingham

by Ross Horton

Confidence in recent album Pompeii is evident in a set of ever-developing, ever-shifting art-pop that also finds space for tracks from Reward and a cover paying tribute to her truest artistic ancestor

Imarhan @ Green Door Store, Brighton

by Matt Cotsell

Algerian five-piece communicate universally emancipating, sentimental truths in support of new album Aboogi

Yīn Yīn @ Hope & Ruin, Brighton

by Matt Cotsell

Dutch retronauts bring NuYorican frisson and vernacular disco of sensual and euphoric second album The Age Of Aquarius to a hyped up crowd

Los Bitchos @ Patterns, Brighton

by Matt Cotsell

This London-based, pan-continental female instrumental four-piece’s surreal and creative bricolage approach fits perfectly in our everything all at once age

Patrick Watson, Jules Buckley & BBC Symphony Orchestra @ Barbican, London

by Steven Johnson

The Canadian singer-songwriter reinterprets his catalogue with orchestral backing, securing a triumph for the sensitivity and sensuality found in his songs

Dry Cleaning @ Mill, Birmingham

by Ross Horton

The dry, ice-cold, black art-rock sound of debut album New Long Leg is given a perfect airing, confirming the London outfit as true genre heavyweights

audiobooks @ Komedia Studio, Brighton

by Matt Cotsell

Showcasing recent album Astro Tough, Evangeline Ling and David Wrench perceptively read aloud the foibles of this new world in a beautiful cadence all of their own

Suzanne Vega @ Barbican, London

by Steven Johnson

Her An Evening Of New York Songs And Stories album is brought to life with unassuming warmth and homeliness

Jane Weaver @ Chalk, Brighton

by Matt Cotsell

The Manchester songwriter showcases recent album Flock’s dazzling technical brilliance and melodic exoticism

Fontaines DC @ Dome, London

by Tim Lee

Dublin’s troubadours with a tendency towards the really loud downsize for War Child while showcasing songs from new album Skinty Fia

The KVB @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton

by Matt Cotsell

There’s nothing cold about the waves romantic synth pop duo Nicholas Wood and Kat Day create

Klein @ Barbican, London

by Steven Johnson

A fascinating show from a shapeshifting, innovative performer operating at the intersection of music, art and youth culture

James + Happy Mondays @ Wembley Arena, London

by Ben Hogwood

Two very different bands bring the musical spirit of Manchester to the capital

OMD @ Brighton Centre, Brighton

by Matt Cotsell

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Souvenir with a loving crowd, the band belie their name by shining a decadent light on the know-it-all glories of youth

Shame @ Chalk, Brighton

by Matt Cotsell

The south Londoners bring Drunk Tank Pink to the coast in bacchanalian, destructive style

Katy B @ Village Underground, London

by Michael Hubbard

The sometime dubstep pop queen’s first London headline gig in five years debuts a laid-back vibe

Tony Allen: A Retrospective @ Royal Festival Hall, London

by Michael Hubbard

Intended as an 80th birthday celebration, this retrospective brought together music and musicians from across 50 years of an artistic giant’s career

Festival Review: Mutations Brighton 2021

by Matt Cotsell

The Brighton festival was better than measly fireworks: with Yard Act, Scalping and Pillow Queens on the bill, this was dynamite, and the directions for where to stick it