Live Reviews

Worldwide concert reviews

Robert Plant and the Space Shifters at 02 Academy (Newcastle, UK - Nov. 18, 2014)

Although I’d really liked the latest Robert Plant album, tonight was initially something of a box ticking exercise, as I’d never seen the one time rock god play live. There was a mix-up over our seats (we had to stand right at the back of the hall) and confusion over who was going to look after my camera bag, which I was only allowed access to when photographing the band from the upstairs balcony. So, I totally missed the support band. Sorry. But, when the lights went down for the main act, there was a palpable intake of breath from the sold-out crowd. When Plant finally took to the stage...

Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express at The Hamilton (Washington, DC - Nov. 16, 2014)

Sizing up the room, Chuck Prophet described how he uses smell and broken glass to find most of the bars he plays in. Surveying the Hamilton, he described it as something between "The White House and a PTA meeting." Could he get the crowd involved and energized at this seated show? You bet he could. The man is a professional showman and his band, a well oiled machine. The rhythm section of bassist Kevin T. White and drummer Vicente Rodriguez are rock solid, as is the blend of guitars, keyboards and harmonies. The songlist featured many songs from his new Night Surfer album, with a mix...

Counting Crows at Newcastle 02 Academy (Newcastle, UK - Nov. 4, 2014)

Finding a parking space within walking distance of the venue meant that I not only missed the support act but was perilously close to missing Counting Crows too. So, I didn’t manage to get into the photo pit for the allotted first three songs. And, by the time I finally found a vantage point to see the stage -- before I could start taking notes -- it was already the fifth song. Then I found I’d lost my notepad, so apologies for the lack of definitive song titles. The last time I saw the band must have been four or more years ago. I'd bought tickets to see them at the 10,000...

Sam Baker at Dingwalls (London, UK - Nov. 10, 2014)

"Dear Sam, dear Sam, I thought of you today / you were riding a train and it was safe," sang Carrie Elkin as she conveyed, so elegantly, her feelings for Sam Baker. Baker is, and yet isn’t, defined by the horrific effects he suffered when he was a victim of a bomb blast in 1986. He was aboard a train travelling to Machu Picchu and, in a split second, his life changed forever. Baker found a way to let go of all the bitterness he felt and, in doing so, freed himself to enjoy a different life -- a life in which the poetry in his writing has touched many people in such profound ways. Listening...