King King | King King Live | 8/10
Photo credit: Laurence Harvey
“Look at that,” laughs Alan Nimmo, addressing the audience just seconds into ‘King King Live’. “You came.”
They certainly did – all 1362 of them at Glasgow’s O2 ABC to welcome the band home. Oh, and cheer their lungs out. And wolf whistle and whoop and clap. And sing along – loudly – to blues rock anthems like the majestic ‘Rush Hour’ and hot-as-hell ‘Crazy’.
Continue reading King King: Time holds the answers
Mothers | The Lexington | 17 August
Photo credit: nestingbehavior.com/nashrood.com
“It’s not that sad,” smiles Kristine Leschper after opening Mothers’ set with what sounds very much like a sad song. “It’s really a love song.”
During the next hour, such unexpected revelations keep coming. Musically unpredictable, the band’s frequent and surprising time changes transform mood and intensity from one moment to the next, as Leschper’s unique voice, equally capable of defiance and fragility, keeps pace. Her lyrics too are at once intimate and empowered, their directness cutting through the complex arrangements.
Continue reading Mothers: Bullied by love
Tindersticks | Barbican Centre | 29 April 2016
Photo credit: Tindersticks
“We’re trying something different.”
Stuart Staples’ whispered introduction is as on point as the show itself. It’s a “cine-concert” featuring Tindersticks performing their cinematic new album from start to finish, with each track accompanied by a specially commissioned short film. So even as the band members are dwarfed by visuals of raindrops on windows, driving, a late-night swim, taxidermy, and a 1950s wedding, the songs are not. Instead, each clip complements – and sometimes even enhances -.‘The Waiting Room’ experience. By avoiding fixed narratives and literal recreations of the lyrics, these are mood pieces as open to interpretation as the music.
Continue reading Tindersticks: Medicine you need
Choir Of Young Believers | Oslo | 8 April 2016
Choir Of Young Believers is a fluid entity. Self-described as “Jannis Noya Makrigiannis and friends”, live lineups can feature the singer-songwriter-guitarist accompanied by just a piano or cello.
Tonight it’s a full band – keyboard player, drummer, bassist, and a guy hunched over a flightcase – who help the frontman recreate, and sometimes even surpass, the mournful beauty of his studio recordings.
Continue reading Choir Of Young Believers: Shadow rises and you are here
Broken Witt Rebels | Water Rats | 2 April 2016
Photo credit: John Bull
Danny Core barely stands still. He prowls the stage, sizing up the audience. He shakes a raised hand, like a preacher from the Deep South, for emphasis. He falls to his knees. He drops into the crowd to kiss someone on the head. He plants his lips on bass player Luke Davis. And all the while, the dynamic Broken Witt Rebels frontman throws just as much energy at his gargled-with-gravel vocals, tearing through one dirty blues-rock anthem after another.
Continue reading Broken Witt Rebels: You’ve got me on my knees
Cage The Elephant | O2 Forum Kentish Town | 11 February 2016
There must be moments when Matt Shultz’s roadie wishes he worked for someone less energetic. Someone who’s not always moving, his microphone cable entangling the monitors. Someone who’s not always dropping into the photo pit, his microphone cable reaching snapping point. Someone who’s not always leaping into the crowd, his microphone cable entwining with a writhing mass of body parts.
Continue reading Cage The Elephant: Time flies by, they all sang along
Def Leppard | Wembley Arena | 18 December 2015
Def Leppard make it look so easy. Even songs from ‘Hysteria’ — an album so detailed, mixing alone took over three months — are recreated effortlessly by a band clearly having as much fun as the audience from the off.
As the curtain drops, they vault straight into a spirited rendition of new song ‘Let’s Go’ which, with its classic Leppard sound and “Welcome to the carnival, Welcome to the party, Welcome to the edge of your seat” refrain is the perfect opener for a celebratory hit-stuffed set. A ferocious ‘Animal’, showing off the twin-guitar attack of Phil “no shirt” Collen and Vivian “constantly smiling” Campbell, gives way to triumphant 2011 single (and unofficial band mission statement) ‘Undefeated’.
Continue reading Def Leppard: Welcome to the edge of your seat