Lady Antebellum – Live Review

Lady Antebellum, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London – August 11th

Cowboy hats and whooping were de rigeuer at last night’s Lady Antebellum gig – and that was just for the support act. When the Nashville trio eventually appeared, the audience clapped and hollered like we were in a sticky, beer-covered Tennessee bar and not in West London with the supposedly reserved English. If Lady Antebellum weren’t sure what to expect from a British crowd, they seemed overwhelmed by this sold-out reception and lapped it up, singer Charles Kelly leaping about the stage and guitarist Dave Haywood strumming till his fingers bled…


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Keane – Live Review

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Keane, The Fridge, Brixton – May 12th

With Keane’s latest release Night Train they’ve hopped aboard the left-field express, proving again they’re no one-trick pony. If last album Perfect Symmetry had them straying into Bowie territory with the odd ‘wooo!’ thrown in for good measure, this time around they’ve recruited rapper K’Naan for a couple of tracks, including the stand-out Stop For A Minute. The result is still tres Keane, but refreshingly different too…


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Julie Andrews – Live Review

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Julie Andrews, The O2, London – Saturday, May 8th

You know the story – Julie Andrews, star of Broadway and the silver screen, angelic voice, finest Dame around. Then 14 years ago, a botched operation on her vocal chords struck down her range to almost zero. But hang on a minute, she’s doing a concert at the O2 so she must be able to sing again, right? Well, that’s the fair assumption we made too, but one that was sorely mistaken. The evening with Julie Andrews turned out to be heart-breaking in the extreme as she introduced songs and then sat forlornly through them, gazing into her past and what might have been…


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Camden Crawl – Live Review

Camden Crawl, Camden, London – May 1st & 2nd

This year’s Camden Crawl was a tale of two weather fronts: Saturday was drenched & steaming while Sunday was fractious, chilly and wind-battered. To those crawlers walking round all weekend in shorts and T-shirt – admit, you were freezing, right? However, the plus side of the Crawl is that it’s mainly indoors. So yes, the roof terraces were empty, but the music was still loud and ever-present and the floors were still stuck solid with beer and euphoria by the end of each day. Over 40 venues and a slew of acts – where to start?


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Liam Frost Live Review

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The Tabernacle, Notting Hill, London – April 13th

Liam Frost has an impressive head of hair – that’s the first thing that struck me on meeting him prior to his gig at London’s Tabernacle. He’s also someone that you’d be happy to go for a pint with, which came across in his hour-long set in the noted Notting Hill venue where he showcased songs from his latest album We Ain’t Got No Money, Honey, But We Got Rain. Frost admitted nerves to the crowd, but if he had them they didn’t show, his granite voice buffed to a shine and his guitar-playing faultless…


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Mumford & Sons Live Review

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Mumford & Sons, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London – March 14th 2010

“Sunday’s the best day for a hoedown!” lead singer Marcus Mumford yelped as his band cranked into action and judging on the evidence before us, he was right. Crackling with talent and energy, Mumford & Sons put on some show in West London, overflowing with emotion, fantastic harmonies and a set so ripped it must have been working out for days…


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Kassidy/Noah And The Whale Live Review

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Kassidy/Noah And The Whale, Roundhouse, London – March 12th 2010

The Roundhouse is probably my favourite place to see a gig right now: smart space, ample loos, zippy bar staff and most importantly, a pie stand at the back where you can buy hot pie, gloopy mash and mushy peas. So I was in a good mood already when Kassidy took to the stage on Friday, four beardy fellas straight outta the 70s, all skinny denim, chequered shirts and acoustic guitars. Standing in a line, they strummed and harmonised with avengeance, rewarding the packed house with a meaty support act as tasty as my £3.50 minced beef and onion pastry parcel. Kassidy hail from Scotland, although on this country-blues evidence, you’d swear they’d just stepped off a plane from the land of the free…


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Gladys Knight Live Review

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Gladys Knight, Wembley Arena, London – October 8th 2009

When an artist steps on stage glittering from head to toe and says: “Hey y’all! Work day’s over it’s time to party!” you know you’re in safe hands. Gladys Knight has been performing for nearly 50 years with Pips and without, so what she doesn’t know about stage-craft and singing ain’t worth knowing. Her show was a masterclass in performing, her voice majestic and her crowd patter radiated warmth – Gladys made her gig into a two-hour party and brought Wembley Arena to its knees. From her opening number of Every Beat Of My Heart, you knew we were in the presence of pop royalty…


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Natalie Imbruglia Live Review

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Natalie Imbruglia, Heaven, London – October 1st 2009

Natalie Imbruglia’s first album for four years – Come To Life – was due to hit the shops in October, but for reasons known only to her record company it’s now been pushed back to next year. Her new material wasn’t hiding anywhere last week at Heaven though, taking front and centre stage at her gig along with a beaming Natalie and a sparkling dress that shimmered all night…


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Alberta Cross Live Review

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Alberta Cross,  South Of The Border, London – September 23rd 2009

Although they hail from London and Sweden, Alberta Cross have a heavily US-influenced blues-rock sound – think Kings Of Leon spliced with Pearl Jam + lead singer Petter Stakee trying to emulate Kurt Cobain and you’re pretty much there. Debut album Broken Side Of Time came out this week and their album launch party saw the band perform a full set to a rapt crowd before they head out on a heavy touring schedule that sees them take in America before coming back to the Europe in November…


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