GIG REVIEW: Pet Shop Boys at Hyde Park for BBC Radio 2 Live

By Neil Pugmire

WHERE? Hyde Park (press ticket)

WHEN? 15/9/19

If you had to choose the perfect headliners for a Radio 2 festival, it might be the Pet Shop Boys. Famous for matching intelligent lyrics with irresistible synth-pop hooks, and with a 30-year back catalogue to plunder, they could easily entertain thousands of 30 to 50-somethings gathered in Hyde Park on a balmy Sunday evening.

  • Read on for reasons including Bananarama, Clean Bandit, Westlife and Status Quo

Read More

INTERVIEW: Ms Humdrum meets her favourite local businesses at Victorious Festival

By Carron Stacey

WHERE?: Southsea Common (press ticket)

WHEN?: 23 – 25/8/19

During a festival, one of the things Mr Humdrum and I like to do, in that quiet slot between bands, is to wander around looking at the stalls.

  • Read on for reasons including Ms Humdrum meeting some of her favourite vendors at Victorious 

Read More

GIG REVIEW: Victorious Festival: New Order, The Zutons, The Hives, Dub Pistols and Republica

By Carron Stacey

WHERE?: Southsea Common (press ticket)

WHEN?: 23 – 25/8/19

Southsea seafront’s festival is in its seventh year and, if the weather is right, it’s unbeatable. Watching bands on the three stages, sweltering in the heat, ships sailing by… But if it rains, like last year, it’s still perfect, but different, and you get to boast for the next year, “I stayed through the rain, I made it”.

  • Read on for my Humdrum review of the sometimes quieter, less mainstream, side of this Victorious weekend 

Read More

GIG REVIEW: Eurythmics Songbook starring Dave Stewart, Nile Rodgers, Beverley Knight & Emeli Sande

WORTH A LOOK?: ****1/2

WHERE? Royal Festival Hall

WHEN? 9/8/19

SETLIST: Intro: Take Me To Your Heart/Never Gonna Cry Again/The Walk/The City Never Sleeps; Love Is A Stranger; I Love You Like A Ball And Chain; I Need A Man; You Have Placed A Chill; I Saved The World Today; Who’s That Girl?; There Must Be An Angel; Miracle Of Love; When Tomorrow Comes; Baby’s Gonna Cry; Thorn In My Side; Here Comes The Rain Again; When The Day Goes Down; I’ve Got A Life; It’s Alright; Missionary Man; Would I Lie To You?; Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves; Sweet Dreams

We’re sitting in the front row next to a fan wearing a Eurythmics tour T-shirt from 1989 and we think the only time we ever saw the band live was probably around then at the old Wembley Arena.

  • Read on for reasons including why the Eurythmics never recorded later than 7.30pm

Read More

GIG REVIEW: Janelle Monae & Grace Carter at SSE Wembley Arena

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHERE? SSE Wembley Arena

WHEN? 2/7/19

SETLIST: Dirty Computer; Crazy, Classic Life; Take A Byte; Screwed; Django Jane; QUEEN; Electric Lady; Prime Time; Pynk; Yoga; I Like That; Don’t Judge Me; Make Me Feel; I Got The Juice; Cold War; Tightrope; Come Alive

We are standing towards the back of this 12,500-capacity venue by the mixing desk when we see Lupita Nyong’o wearing sunglasses flanked by security guards rush by.

  • Read on for reasons including what part Star Wars actress Nyong’o played at this gig

Read More

GIG REVIEW: P!nk at Wembley Stadium

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE? Wembley Stadium

WHEN? 30/6, tour runs to 2/11/19

SETLIST: Get The Party Started; Beautiful Trauma; Just Like A Pill; Who Knew; Funhouse; Hustle; Secrets; Forest; Try; Just Give Me A Reason; River; Just Like A Fire; What About Us; For Now; 90 Days; Time After Time; Walk Me Home: I Am Here; F**kin’ Perfect; Raise Your Glass; Blow Me (One Last Kiss); Can We Pretend; So What; Glitter In The Air

We marvelled at the acrobatics of the cast in the Bridge Theatre’s production of `A Midsummer Night’s Dream recently but US pop star P!nk takes those skills to the next level here (see picture above).

  • Read on for reasons including which Cyndi Lauper song she covers to great effect here

Read More

THEATRE REVIEW: Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat starring Sheridan Smith & Jason Donovan at the Palladium

65755422_10157401425065600_8792737424389177344_o.jpgWORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE? London Palladium RUNTIME: 120 minutes (including 20-minute interval)

WHEN? 29/6, opens 11/7, booking to 8/9/19

We know we’re in safe hands when the always reliable Sheridan Smith channels Eric Morecambe from behind a fake moustache, confiding to the audience: ‘It’s still me.’

  • Read on for reasons including why Yarrow gets the biggest applause here

Read More

GIG REVIEW: Alphabeat at Oslo, Hackney

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE? Oslo, Hackney

WHEN? 28/6/19

SETLIST: 10,000 Nights; Fantastic Six; Vacation; Love Sea; Always Up; Boyfriend; What’s Happening; Goldmine; Shadows; Go Go; The Spell; DJ; TMTU; Sing A Song; Heat Wave; Fascination

The afternoon on the day before this gig we discover that its venue has changed from the Borderline in Soho to this upstairs venue at a Scandinavian-named site miles across town in east London.

  • Read on for reasons including what the future holds for Alphabeat

Read More