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Festival Review: Desertfest 2017

by Sam Shepherd

The concept of Desertfest is somewhat misleading. On the surface it appears to be nothing more than a list of insanely heavy bands brutalising the…



Kasabian @ O2 Forum Kentish Town, London


Kasabian kick off their show just minutes after the final whistle of their beloved hometown team Leicester City’s battling defeat in the European Champions League...

The Pretenders @ Royal Albert Hall, London


As we wander into the stalls, through one of the mighty Albert’s many doors, we spot a lofty teen whose military jacket is carefully hand-stitched...

Goldfrapp @ Roundhouse, London


Oscillating between electropop and folktronica, with each new album seeming like something of a reinvention, each Goldfrapp tour stands out as different to the last....

Fortuna POP! Twenty Years Of Trouble @ Various Venues, London


At the risk of this reading more like a eulogy than a review, it’s impossible to reflect on these gigs without being slightly downbeat and...

Gorillaz @ Printworks, London


Thursday: alongside the track list for upcoming new album Humanz, a secret, for-the-fans Gorillaz live show is announced, to take place in London the following...

Blossoms @ Academy, Bristol


After enjoying a stellar 2016 – which included the release of their chart-topping debut album – Blossoms were a natural choice to headline this year’s...

Jarvis Cocker & Chilly Gonzales @ Barbican Theatre, London


“It will be our pleasure to serve up a night of in-room entertainment like no other.” This bold promise leaps out of the programme for...

Marc Almond @ Roundhouse, London


Anticipation builds as a giant glitterball hangs ominously in the rafters, in the Roundhouse, tonight about to be transformed into a nostalgic disco cabaret. Then...

Austra @ Village Underground, London


The London date of Austra‘s latest tour, part of the fourth Convergence Festival, happens on the day several die in a deranged terror attack on...

Sunn O))) @ Barbican, London


Now in its fourth year, London’s Convergence Festival has built a solid reputation as a purveyor of music, arts and technology with a consistently excellent...

Tove Lo @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London


Sexy synth bass fills the air and anticipation tickles the senses when a smattering of drums sends an adrenaline rush through the blacked out room....

Underworld @ Alexandra Palace, London


When Karl Hyde celebrates ‘going back to Romford’ in Underworld’s era-defining song Born Slippy, this is about as close as he can get. Perched on...

Mitski @ Village Underground, London


Somewhere between the titular, nuclear unit, where Homer and Lisa jostle for first, and the myriad tertiary walk-ons and sidekicks – the sadly missed Hutz...

The Dears @ Village Underground, London


The Dears’ 90-minute set flew by, probably because most of it was spent in excited anticipation, waiting for Murray Lightburn’s inevitable burst of massive, gut-wrenching...

The Divine Comedy @ Palladium, London


He strides manfully onstage with epauletted jacket, breeches, boots and Bicorne Hat. The current visual schtick for Neil Hannon is 18th century admiral and, having...

Field Music & Warm Digits: Asunder @ Barbican, London


Sunderland, 1914. Fumy, industrial Sunderland. A world of “shipyards and coalmines; glassworks and papermills; breweries and engineering works … where football reigned,” Kate Adie intones...

Julian Cope @ Roundhouse, London


For a long time now, Julian Cope has been pretty much critic-proof, ploughing his Arch-Droodian furrow that isn’t just an approach to making music, but...

Karen Elson @ Servant Jazz Quarters


Karen Elson seems nervous. She doesn’t immediately strike you as a person who, in her professional life, is often nervous. Which makes the nervousness seem a...

Avenged Sevenfold + Disturbed + In Flames @ O2 Arena, London


Heavy riffs, awesome vocal ability and spectacular theatrics; on the day that millions of women marched in protest against the king of farce, another kind...

Kylie Minogue @ Royal Albert Hall, London


Christmas and Kylie Minogue might as well have been made for each other. Returning to the scene of her 2015 Royal Albert Hall debut with...