Go back to the ’80s at Rewind Festival

Great Scott, Marty! It’s time to jump back in the DeLorean and return to the ‘80s as Rewind Festival returns for its seventh consecutive year.

This edition of the world’s biggest ‘80s festival, headlined by OMD on Saturday and Human League on Sunday, takes place from 21 August to 23 August 2015 at Temple Island Meadows, Henley-on-Thames.

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Beck: Where it’s at

| Beck | Roundhouse | 3 September 2014 |

Beck’s not one for standing still, his eclectic back catalogue leaping from hip-hop folk to psychedelic country via disco funk and indie rock. Tonight, in person, he’s equally mercurial, a livewire performer who, in the space of 75 minutes, embodies an aggressive punk kid (‘Novocane’), teen slacker (‘Loser’), tie-dyed fireside balladeer (‘Blue Moon’), sexed-up Prince circa 1982 (‘Debra’), foot-stomping busker-with-harmonica (‘One Foot In The Grave’), and roof-raising MC (the climactic finale ‘Where It’s At’). Without missing a beat. Or, seemingly, taking a breath.

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Aerosmith: Eat the rich

Aerosmith | Calling Festival | 28 June 2014

On the list of rock show clichés, playing guitar on top of a grand piano comes just below drum solos. But when Joe Perry does just that during the original power ballad, ‘Dream On’, there’s no collective eye-roll from the punters. Instead, it’s all cheers and raised lighters.

Aerosmith clearly know what their audiences want – and subtlety is not it. Tonight’s all about classic hits, confetti cannons, a blinding light show, and the rockstar grandstanding the band helped originate in the ‘70s. In his black top hat and leopard-print coat, Steven Tyler struts up and down the runway like a man half his age, twirls his scarf-adorned mic stand above his head, declares his love for London, and plasters that famous mouth all over the big screens. Perry, rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford, and bassist Tom Hamilton strike various poses perfected over 40 years on the road. And the big songs just keep on coming.

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Depeche Mode: reach out and touch faith

| Depeche Mode | The O2 Arena | 19 November 2013 |

Dave Gahan is Depeche Mode’s natural born showman. Prowling the stage, stripped down to his suit trousers, he’s prone to traditional frontman routines: twirling around, mic stand raised above his head; conducting the audience in mass sing-alongs, milking their cheers by cupping his hands to his ears.

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Editors: It kicks like a sleep twitch

Editors | Brixton Academy | 14 November 2013

Bands, they say, are greater than the sum of their parts. But Chris Urbanowicz’s departure has changed Editors. Most obviously, their latest album is more REM than Joy Division. And tonight, the angular guitar riffs of their biggest hits sound blunted.

It doesn’t matter. The more fluid playing style of his replacements – guitarist Justin Lockey and multi-instumentalist Elliott Williams – brings a cohesion to the set, the back catalogue’s oppressive gloom complemented by the expansive, Americana-tinged new songs.

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The National: You must be somewhere in London

The National | Alexandra Palace | 13 November 2013

Matt Berninger needs time to warm up. Dressed in suit and tie, the bearded-and-bespectacled National frontman looks like a socially awkward university lecturer as he nervously paces to-and-fro. The gulps of red wine from a plastic cup only reinforce the impression.

But by the encore he’s been swallowed up by the crowd, raging “Mr November, I won’t fuck us over” somewhere amongst the first few rows, without a thought for the roadie desperately wrangling the microphone cord.

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Arcade Fire: Here comes the night time

Arcade Fire | The Roundhouse | 11 November 2013

The rumours start in the queue outside. David Bowie will be joining the band on backing vocals. LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy is DJ for the night. And Jesse from ‘Breaking Bad’ will probably be in the crowd – he’s been begging his Twitter followers for tickets.

Of course, none of this turns out to be true. But nobody cares. They’re just here to see Arcade Fire play songs from their brand new (Murphy-produced, Bowie-featuring) album, in the relative intimacy of The Roundhouse.

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