Review: King Charles at 02 Empire Shepherds Bush

What a transformation for the flamboyant musician King Charles. Last year I saw him perform in a church in Hackney, where a polite crowd clustered round the stage, supping wine and swaying gently. A year on, and he’s headlining at Shepherd’s Bush. The place seems rammed to the rafters with the most excited crowd I’ve…

Read More

Mixing it up at Bush Hall: Phildel and Ali Warren Band

As you make your way from Shepherd’s Bush tube station to Bush Hall, endless temptation assails you: fruit smoothie stalls and Arab coffee shops with trays of pistachio-sprinkled pastries. Nestled among the food emporia is miniature Bush Hall, with its rich red velvet drapes, majestic chandeliers and VIP-size upstairs bar with viewing gallery. Such swagger…

Read More

Review: Lady Cora of Downton at The Troubadour

The Troubadour at Earls Court. Upstairs is the quirky coffee house and restaurant which I don’t think has changed in appearance since I first visited it in the 70s. Downstairs is a venue at the heart of London’s music scene, a cramped cellar which has seen the likes of Bob Dylan grace its stage. Last night…

Read More

Richard Hawley at 02 Academy Brixton

Some artists bob around on the fringes of your radar for ages, and so it has been the case with Richard Hawley. Those lovely ballads, the chocolatey voice, the Pulp connection – yet he’s remained a bit niche somehow. But things have gathered apace, and September 8 this year saw the Radio BBC 6Music collaboration…

Read More

Alabama 3 acoustic at the Jazz Cafe

Like most height-challenged people (5ft), I’ve always found standing-only gigs a bit hit and miss. So the news that one of my favourite bands, the mighty Alabama 3 are to do an Alabama 3 acoustic, complete with rather elegant sounding three-course dinner, is music to my ears. And so to the Jazz Cafe in Camden. Downstairs…

Read More

Paloma Faith, love and cellulite

Paloma Faith at Somerset House 2012 Tuesday night was almost rain free. That’s saying something for this washout English summer which has so far plunged festivals and outdoor events into a maelstrom of mud and near bankruptcy. So it was a pleasant experience to sit on dry paving stones in the courtyard of Somerset House,…

Read More

Folk fusion at the Boogaloo with Breton Girl

Took advantage of a rare balmy evening this summer in London to mosey down to the Boogaloo near Highgate for an evening of musical fusion in a rather different style. Tonight’s listing reads: ‘Breton Girl, whose romantic style is drawn from Celtic, Medieval and Indian music’. The Breton Girl in question is singer-songwriter Wendy Lewis, elfin, barefoot,…

Read More