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Blackberry Smoke - O2 Forum, London - November 8 2015 (Live Review)
Atlanta rockers Blackberry Smoke were quick to light up the O2 Forum on a dreary November night in Camden last Sunday. With over 10 years of relentless touring behind them, the straight-shooting quintet lived up to the foot-stompin’ and hand-clappin’ reputation they carry as one of the most popular southern rock bands to emerge in recent times.
Written by: Jon Stickler | Date: Friday, 13 November 2015
Faith No More - Roundhouse, London - June 18 2015 (Live Review)
“Drive safe. We love you.”
Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Friday, 19 June 2015
Liturgy - Electrowerkz, London - June 11 2015 (Live Review)
When you set yourself up as a “transcendental black metal” band, you have to be pretty confident in your live show. Black metal, despite the visceral thrill that comes with listening to many of its greatest practitioners on record, can often be ponderous and dull on stage. Corpse paint does not necessarily equate to stage presence.
Written by: Ben Bland | Date: Friday, 19 June 2015
L7 - Electric Ballroom, London - June 16 2015 (Live Review)
Photo: Rob Sheridan
The streets of Camden are littered with people of every size, style and hair colour, but they all seem to be heading in the same direction. The destination is the Electric Ballroom, where grunge legends L7 are about to continue their reunion.
Written by: Laura Johnson | Date: Thursday, 18 June 2015
The Darkness - Dingwalls, London - June 3 2015 (Live Review)
Alongside 'American Idiot', 'By The Way' and a Keane album nobody really remembers buying, The Darkness' debut, 'Permission To Land', was a household necessity a decade ago. Dirty casuals have since dropped from the bandwagon, crushed under its mighty wheels, as the band stalled and started rolling all over again. The Darkness have just unleashed their fourth album, 'Last Of Our Kind', and it's fucking great.
Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Friday, 05 June 2015
Arcturus - Boston Arms, London - May 7 2015 (Live Review)
Yet to be crushed by the depressing election results of Friday morning, the masses at the Boston Arms are chugging lukewarm beer and participating in general merriment. And with good reason – Vulture Industries are on stage and they are killing it.
Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Monday, 11 May 2015
The Gentle Storm - The Garage, London - April 23 2015 (Live Review)
The word 'epic' is overused to the point of saturation. I'm sure you think that your new Heelys are epic, mate, but live renditions of songs from The Gentle Storm's debut, 'The Diary', really do live up to the billing.
Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Monday, 27 April 2015
System Of A Down - SSE Arena Wembley, London - April 10 2015 (Live Review)
Nigh on 10 years ago, the ‘Mezmerize’/’Hypnotize’ double album tour found System of a Down delivering a blistering salvo of ferocity, professionalism and energy. When they pitched up in London in April 2015, despite the band having largely been out of the limelight since then, nothing had changed.
Written by: James Ball | Date: Monday, 13 April 2015
The Devin Townsend Project - O2 Academy, Bristol - March 29 2015 (Live Review)
We need to talk about Devin. The guy's got the flu and looks like he's been dragged from one of those incubators in The Matrix. Still, he's putting on a show that rivals, well, just about anyone you might care to mention.
Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Tuesday, 31 March 2015
Courtney Barnett - The Fleece, Bristol - March 28 2015 (Live Review)
Courtney Barnett’s name is one you won’t have been able to escape for the last month. But why would you want to? With her debut LP, ‘Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit’, having reaped rave reviews, the accompanying tour is awash with sold out signs.
Written by: Laura Johnson | Date: Monday, 30 March 2015
Wednesday 13 - Bowery District, Reading - March 6 2015 (Live Review)
Crispy late-winter sunshine is dragged to its death as a horde of goths rush the streets of Reading. It's a few hours until the second of Wednesday 13's UK shows with material from his ridiculously titled 'Monsters Of The Universe: Come Out & Plague' record and the leather-clad masses are eager to get their ears strapped around it in a live setting.
Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Friday, 13 March 2015
Royal Blood - Newport Centre - March 3 2015 (Live Review)
Royal Blood, if you weren’t already aware, are currently on a completely sold out UK tour. Like, sold-out-to-the-rafters sold out. So, it’s no surprise that the queue outside the Newport Centre snakes around the full circumference of the building. And, it’s a queue that contains a motley crew of fans, who show just how diverse the duo’s pull is.
Written by: Laura Johnson | Date: Wednesday, 04 March 2015
Kodaline – Camden Roundhouse, London – February 17 2015 (Live Review)
By now, you know the name Kodaline. Back in 2013, the Irish band released their debut album, 'In a Perfect World', a hit both at home and in the UK. And let’s be honest, we all know the title track thanks to Gogglebox.
Written by: Katie Territt | Date: Wednesday, 04 March 2015
Black Label Society - O2 Academy Bristol - February 14 2015 (Live Review)
With three bands on the bill at Bristol's O2 Academy tonight, it's no surprise to find a queue snaking down Frogmore Street before the doors have even opened. Black Label Society's loyal Bristol chapter are here to heed the call.
Written by: Jon Stickler | Date: Friday, 20 February 2015
Slaves - Tunbridge Wells Forum - February 12 2015 (Live Review)
Dotted around the walls of Tunbridge Wells’ fabled public toilet turned music venue are pictures of bands that have graced the stage. It is testament to local boys Laurie Vincent and Isaac Holman that the shot that takes pride of place next to the bar is from one from Slaves’ early shows here.
Written by: Ryan Crittenden | Date: Tuesday, 17 February 2015
La Roux - KOKO, London - February 3 2015 (Live Review)
Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Wednesday, 04 February 2015
Kreator - The Forum, London - December 18 2014 (Live Review)
Do not adjust your dial. There is a saxophonist on stage at a Kreator gig. It’s not a bad dream. It’s Shining from Norway, and they're here to rock. A fair few 'what the fuck?' faces are pulled by sceptics in the audience, but the band's industrial-tinged black metal-cum-jazz nightmare soon sways naysayers.
Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Wednesday, 07 January 2015
Maybeshewill - Stereo, Glasgow - December 6 2014 (Live Review)
Since coming to the fore in the ‘90s, post-rock has evolved. Previously regarded as a niche concern for the more “pretentious” music followers, instrumental bands are now very much in vogue. This show, put on by Glasgow-based company Cut Loose, attracts a younger audience, one that eventually packs Stereo out for a six band bill.
Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Monday, 05 January 2015
Black Spiders - Garage, London - December 4 2014 (Live Review)
Fans, on the whole, respond well to By Request shows. Sheffield’s rifflord stoner rockers Black Spiders opted to use their winter tour as a platform for their fans to sculpt their setlists and, perhaps unsurprisingly, an online poll was swiftly embraced. Every vote was acknowledged with the words: “Thanks for casting your vote and see you down the front! Oh, and FUCK YOU!”
Written by: Anna Ghislena | Date: Monday, 05 January 2015
Joey Bada$$ - Garage, Glasgow - November 18 2014 (Live Review)
After three years of waiting, 'B4.DA.$$', the debut record from Brooklyn teenager Joey Bada$$, is finally on its way in January. He acknowledges the fact halfway through his set at the Garage in Glasgow, stressing that he wanted to “give his real fans a taste of what's to come”.
Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Monday, 15 December 2014
Behemoth - The Forum, London - December 9 2014 (Live Review)
Witnessing the heaving, leather-clad mass of bodies in the Forum tonight, it's hard not to shed a tear of satanic joy for Behemoth. They packed this venue out in February on a co-headline run with Cradle Of Filth, so it's downright beautiful to see them do it again on their own.
Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Thursday, 11 December 2014
Machine Head - Roundhouse, London - December 06 2014 (Live Review)
With this, the first of two packed out shows at London's prestigious Roundhouse, Machine Head have a lot to live up to. Their intimate, tiny-as-a-Tic-Tac tour back in July laid the foundations for last month's blistering new album, 'Bloodstone & Diamonds', and now there's a horde assembled, baying for a first live taste of those tunes.
Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Tuesday, 09 December 2014
Electric Six - O2 Academy Islington, London - December 5 2014 (Live Review)
Photo (Inset): Frank Nash
It's that time of year again: some supermarket is exploiting our emotions through a Christmas advert and Electric Six are touring. Year in, year out they drag their sordid arses to our tiny isle, flogging a new (often excellent) album and reminding us that there is, in fact, a fire in the disco. And the Taco Bell.
Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Monday, 08 December 2014
At The Gates – The Forum, London – December 04 2014 (Live Review)
A pesky winter chill tickled London as At The Gates brought some Swedish weather, an immaculate support bill and their first new material in 19 years to the capital. There was, from the word go, more than a passing chance that things might get a little rowdy.
Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Friday, 05 December 2014
Mastodon - O2 Academy Brixton, London - November 28 2014 (Live Review)
Once more 'round the sun they may have travelled, but Mastodon’s return to the O2 Academy Brixton had a familiar ring to it. Again, they succeeded in selling it out and, once more, they determined that they would celebrate the fact by ripping jaws from skulls and smashing them into the ground.
Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Monday, 01 December 2014
Kasabian - Brighton Centre - November 26 2014 (Live Review)
Photos: Kasabian at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena (Craig Thomas/Tallboy Images)
Having put out ‘48:13’ and topped the bill at Glastonbury already this year, this winter run gave Kasabian a chance to further underline their credentials as one of the biggest bands in the UK, something they did with consummate ease at the Brighton Centre.
Written by: Adam Holden | Date: Monday, 01 December 2014
James Bay - Scala, London - November 25 2014 (Live Review)
It’s been a crazy few months for James Bay. For starters, there have been huge support slots, lashings of radio support and a brief stay atop the iTunes chart with his ‘Hold Back The River’ EP.
Written by: Katie Territt | Date: Wednesday, 26 November 2014
James - O2 Academy Brixton, London - November 21 2014 (Live Review)
Manchester’s favourite septet, James, returned earlier this year with their 13th studio album, ‘La Petite Mort’, and, as the title suggests, it was a collection inspired by death following a couple of traumatic years for singer Tim Booth. But at the O2 Academy Brixton, for their second London show in a week, the band were undeniably vital and alive.
Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Tuesday, 25 November 2014
Goldfrapp - Royal Albert Hall, London - November 18 2014 (Live Review)
As Alison Goldfrapp glides on stage, thigh cut high, shoulder-pads angular, hair curled, husky voice primed, it’s easy to forget how long she, a lovechild of Dusty Springfield, Debbie Harry and David Bowie, has been in this game.
Written by: Tom Seymour | Date: Monday, 24 November 2014
Crossfaith - KOKO, London - November 20 2014 (Live Review)
This is it: Crossfaith's debut UK headline tour. Filmed for a subsequent DVD release, this London show was tipped by many to push the band into the upper echelons of metal's league table. And, boy, did they deliver.
Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Friday, 21 November 2014
Hatebreed – Underworld, London – November 18 2014 (Live Review)
Take one legendary hardcore band, a perilously tiny (and very stuffy, may we add) venue and a few hundred red-blooded, die-hard fans and what do you get? You get one of the best Hatebreed gigs in living memory, sunshine.
Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Wednesday, 19 November 2014
Chvrches - Barrowland, Glasgow - November 4 2014 (Live Review)
We do love a good moan in Scotland and our music often reflects that. Hell, we embrace it. Critics here described the new album from gloom-rockers the Twilight Sad, for example, as a “miserable success”. So, with that acknowledged, here is a toast to the fact that Scotland has also produced a band as popular, positive and life-affirming as Chvrches.
Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Monday, 17 November 2014
Motorhead - NIA, Birmingham - November 6 2014 (Live Review)
Despite frontman Lemmy Kilmister's recent health struggles, it was business as usual for Motörhead when their juggernaut rolled up at Birmingham’s NIA.
Written by: Jon Stickler | Date: Tuesday, 11 November 2014
Gerard Way - O2 ABC, Glasgow - November 7 2014 (Live Review)
Shows at the ABC have something of a ritual to them. Around 20 minutes after doors, a cluster of people will form at the barrier, with the stragglers safe at the bar, before the crowd gradually grows as stage time approaches. But when Gerard Way comes to Glasgow, apparently, all of that stuff goes out the window. The doors open and, seemingly from nowhere, the place is rammed.
Written by: Heather McDaid | Date: Tuesday, 11 November 2014
Klaxons - Concorde 2, Brighton - October 30 2014 (Live Review)
Having announced that this headline run will be their last, Klaxons took to the stage in Brighton and sketched out a few possible reasons for their decision, along with a couple of clues as to why that crucial next step has eluded them since the release of ‘Myths Of The Near Future’.
Written by: Adam Holden | Date: Tuesday, 04 November 2014
Black Stone Cherry - Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff - October 28 2014 (Live Review)
Photos: Craig Thomas/Tallboy Images
Needless to say, the buzz around this Black Stone Cherry tour has gripped the UK’s rock fans since dates surfaced back in March, hot-on-the-heels of their sold-out Southern Hospitality run, which found them rocking venues half the size of those they’ve been packing out of late.
Written by: Jon Stickler | Date: Thursday, 30 October 2014
The Struts - Dingwalls, Camden - October 21 2014 (Live Review)
Capturing the style and essence of some of rock ‘n’ roll’s finest, the Struts possess enough swagger and energy, not to mention a fine debut album, to storm their way to stardom.
Written by: Anna Ghislena | Date: Thursday, 30 October 2014
Lady Gaga - SSE Hydro, Glasgow - October 19 2014 (Live Review)
When it comes to taking the weird and wonderful to natural extremes, Lady Gaga has never been one to shy away. Even in terms of the technology used to deliver it, she pushed her latest album, ‘ARTPOP’, that little bit further, promising a multimedia extravaganza that didn't quite materialise.
Written by: Heather McDaid | Date: Thursday, 23 October 2014
DimSwn - Cardiff - October 18 2014 (Live Review)
With its older sibling granted the year off, DimSŵn had some pretty big shoes to fill. Twelve months on from Sŵn scooping an NME award, for Best Small Festival, this one day event stepped into the breach as organisers set about reimagining things for 2015.
Written by: Dave Ball & Huw Baines | Date: Thursday, 23 October 2014
The Charlatans - The Garage, London - October 20 2014 (Live Review)
Just over a year ago, indie stalwarts the Charlatans led an emotional tribute gig at the Royal Albert Hall for their late drummer, Jon Brookes.
Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Tuesday, 21 October 2014
The Sirens – The Garage, London – October 16 2014 (Live Review)
Not content with having fronted three hugely influential bands – the Gathering, Leaves' Eyes and The 3rd And The Mortal – its seems that Anneke van Giersbergen, Liv Kristeen and Kari Rueslåtten are in the midst of a self-celebratory ceremony that's not, well, shit. Too many bands revisit goldmines from their past only to dig up skeletons of former glories, but the Sirens are a breath of fresh air, rolling out songs from each of its members' careers in fine style.
Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Monday, 20 October 2014
The Lounge Kittens - Madame Jojo's, London - October 9 2014 (Live Review)
Photo: Marianne Harris
Underground and heavy with crimson drapes, Madame Jojo’s burlesque cabaret bar, in the heart of sleazy Soho, is the perfect venue for British vocal trio the Lounge Kittens.
Written by: Anna Ghislena | Date: Friday, 17 October 2014
Daughtry - Roundhouse, London - October 12 2014 (Live Review)
It’s been over eight years since Chris Daughtry’s early exit from American Idol. But, fortunately, it doesn’t take victory in a singing competition to have a successful career in music. Daughtry, formed and fronted by their namesake, are proof.
Written by: Katie Territt | Date: Wednesday, 15 October 2014
Wheatus - The Horn, St Albans - October 1 2014 (Live Review)
Management and label free, Wheatus are still touring and producing albums as a smack in the face to their past music industry traumas.
Written by: Anna Ghislena | Date: Monday, 13 October 2014
Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld - Howard Assembly Room, Leeds – September 26 2014 (Live Review)
Photos (Main/Inset): Danny Payne/Opera North
Some artists deserve their reputations, while others are labelled incorrectly their whole careers. Blixa Bargeld, former Bad Seed and frontman of German avant-garde industrial legends Einstürzende Neubauten, is generally seen as a serious character, no doubt thanks to the abrasive character of much of his musical output over the years.
Written by: Ben Bland | Date: Thursday, 02 October 2014
King 810 - O2 Academy Islington, London - September 26, 2014 (Live Review)
Every once in a blue moon, the music world stumbles across a band that appears unique and brimming with potential. The undying cult of Slipknot is a prime example, but since the masked maniacs' rise to power a staggering 15 years ago, the metal hype machine has been unusually subdued. Until King 810 landed, that is.
Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Tuesday, 30 September 2014
The Virginmarys - XOYO, London - September 24 2014 (Live Review)
Photo: Alex Wright
Hands up who likes hearing lots of new material splattered across a set lasting well over an hour? Well, I do, as it turns out.
Written by: Anna Ghislena | Date: Tuesday, 30 September 2014
Wrongstock - The Underworld, London - September 20 2014 (Live Review)
Metal's bloody rotten, isn't it? Sure, you've got your Slipknots and your Iron Maidens bothering the charts, but many even consider them too much of a terror to contemplate. So, we can but picture the look on their faces were they to stumble across Wrongstock: a festival of wrong 'uns curated in honour of Russ Russell and capable of flaying skin and using it as a banana hammock. They'd lose it, eh?
Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Monday, 22 September 2014
Bestival - Robin Hill Country Park, Isle Of Wight - September 4-7 2014 (Live Review)
Photo (Main/Inset): Outkast/Beck/Victor Frankowski
Bestival once again made good on its promises, delivering a Desert Island Disco-themed, record-breaking disco ball-wielding spectacular to the Isle of Wight’s Robin Hill Country Park and transforming it into a playground for overgrown kids looking for one last hurrah of the summer.
Written by: Ryan Crittenden | Date: Monday, 15 September 2014
Phil Campbell's All Starr Band - Globe, Cardiff - August 23 2014 (Live Review)
Phil Campbell has been lead axesmith, or rather Lord Axesmith, in Motörhead for 28 years. He's toured the globe, sold millions of records and headlined some of the biggest festivals the world has to offer. So, what was he doing treading the boards at Cardiff's Globe on a Saturday night?
Written by: Jon Stickler | Date: Friday, 05 September 2014