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Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson has written extensively for The Guardian, as well as for Melody Maker, i-D, Uncut and many other publications.

391 articles

By Artist | By Date

List of articles in the library by date

Fields Of The Nephilim: Leeds Polytechnic

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Record Mirror, 4 June 1988

AND IT CAME to pass that a fog did descend upon the earth, and out of the mist there did come... a RIFF! ...

New Model Army: Henry Moore Gallery Forecourt, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 6 May 1989

THE PERFECT setting fora New Model Army open air bash: a drab, dull, grey, freezing cold afternoon in a rain-pelted northern town. The drizzle washes ...

The Sundays: The Warehouse, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 27 May 1989

THE SUNDAYS' SECOND COMING is so utterly majestic, so unquestionably celestial, so distinctly holy, that it is too good. They are too good to be ...

The Go-Betweens: Warehouse, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Record Mirror, 17 June 1989

THIS IS getting a bit ridiculous y'know! For years now virtually every pop scribe in the country has been telling you, the public, how wonderful ...

Jayne County: The Duchess Of York, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 2 September 1989

FLASHBACK TO 1977. Punk rock sets England ablaze and in a sweaty club somewhere near you a transvestite called Wayne County shrieks "If you don't ...

Lush, Pale Saints: Pale Saints, Lush: Warehouse, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 9 December 1989

Saint Errant ...

Wire: Manscape (Mute)

Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 12 May 1990

THE FLIES in the ointment return. Formed at the onset of punk, Wire's art school background was far removed from the council estate mentalities of ...

James: The Corn Exchange, Cambridge

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 26 May 1990

THE INORDINATELY beautiful riverside buildings, rather middle England airs and homicidal cyclists of Cambridge are 150 miles and several worlds south of Manchester. The only ...

Shack: The Duchess Of York, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 8 September 1990

SHACK APPROACH the popular song like a long-lost prodigal, giving it a big hug and a "great to have you back". Formed from the ashes ...

Swervedriver: the Duchess Of York, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 8 September 1990

THE MAJOR cool nature of this gig (the much-touted Chapterhouse in support) can be judged by the amount of serious hip-talk going on. A bloke ...

The Lemonheads: Evan Dando: Whole In One

Profile and Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 22 September 1990

"Came to the end once again/Start over now, just can't win/Do it all again
Gotta learn to fight ... /Slide right to the bottom 
Climb back ...

The Orb: The Warehouse, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 18 May 1991

OUT OF ORBIT ...

The Field Mice

Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 12 October 1991

DETERMINEDLY INDIE and doggedly downbeat, The Field Mice explain to Dave Simpson how they're getting bigger by staying small. ...

The Divine Comedy

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 8 February 1992

SETANTA HAS PROVED to be a prolific nurturing ground for new talent lately, with acts like Power of Dreams, Into Paradise and the Frank and ...

Derrick May: Godfather of Techno: Derrick May

Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 20 June 1992

These are weird times for techno. It dominates the chart and provides the soundtrack to thousands of blissed-out lives, but there are battles building up ...

Pulp: Lower Refectory, Sheffield University, Yorkshire

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 19 December 1992

IT HASN'T BEEN a great year for the pop iconoclast. For most of '92, prime movers from Ashcroft to Robinson have defined themselves by the ...

Brand New Heavies: Town & Country Club, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 9 January 1993

MY MOTHER warned me about getting into cars with strangers. Perhaps she should have also told me about the dangers of accepting voyages into strange ...

System 7: 777 (Weird & Unconventional/Big Life)

Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 20 March 1993

THOSE OF you with reasonably tolerable faculties or recall may remember my late '91 review of System 7's first album, (Are you taking the piss, ...

The Orb: The Academy, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 1 May 1993

BALL OF CONFUSION ...

Mark Burgess: The Witchwood, Ashton-under-Lyne

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 30 May 1993

SO HERE IS is, then, Mark Burgess, former singer with the Chameleons, the great lost '80s band who prompt more letters to the Maker's Info ...

µ-ziq: Tango N'Vectif (Rephlex)

Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 22 January 1994

THE WAGES OF SYNTH ...

Cypress Hill: The Royal Court, Liverpool

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 26 February 1994

'POOL 'N' THE HILL ...

Jeff Buckley

Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 9 April 1994

DESPITE WHAT WE read in the live pages, many gigs these days are sterile, perfunctory affairs. Bands arrive, playing the roles they're comfortable with and ...

Snoop Doggy Dogg: Afro American: Snoop Doggy Dogg: Brixton Academy, London

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 14 May 1994

THEORY HAS IT that an artist gets the audience he deserves. So what the f*** the theory would make of Snoop Doggy Dogg at Brixton ...

McAlmont: Splash Club, London

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 25 June 1994

THREE YEARS AGO this month, an unboxed demo tape marked only "Thieves" arrives at The Maker offices. ...

American Music Club, Jeff Buckley, Candlebox, Dig, Echobelly, Morphine, Scrawl, They Might Be Giants, Tindersticks: Reading Festival, Melody Maker Stage

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 3 September 1994

SO HERE I am, it's 12.15pm, the f***ing cab driver's turfed me out onto the street. I've got miles to walk to the flamin' festival ...

Massive Attack: Haçienda, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 7 December 1994

MASSIVE ATTACK promised us a "multi-media experience" and, boy, they gave us one. The traditionally grey, post-modern confines of the Haçienda were swamped in camouflage ...

PJ Harvey, Tricky: Red-blooded Chameleon — PJ Harvey, Tricky: Town & Country Club, London

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 8 March 1995

Enigmatic as ever, PJ Harvey returns in red satin and fine form, with Tricky in support ...

Garbage: Life is Modern Rubbish

Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 18 March 1995

You may not have heard of GARBAGE, but you WILL have heard of Butch Vig, the God who produced Nirvana's Nevermind. And now you're going ...

Elastica: Under the Influence — Elastica: Sheffield University

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 27 March 1995

Elastica, the vanguard of the new new wave bands, smash and grab their way through classic punk pop in Sheffield ...

The Boo Radleys: Irish Centre, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 7 April 1995

AS MUSIC biz jokes go, The Boo Radleys are a very, very good one. Formed in Liverpool in 1989, their topsy-turvy career (taking in baldness, ...

East 17: Sheffield Arena

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 22 May 1995

Hormonesapoppin' as E17 storm the Sheffield Arena. No prisoners taken ...

The Verve: Northern Soul Asylum

Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 15 July 1995

The Verve have split the voters ever since they appeared in '92 as The Band Most Likely To after Suede. Some loved their experimental prog-rock ...

Black Grape: Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 22 July 1995

BLACK GRAPE are currently the hottest new property in British rock. Even prior to their first single, acres of music press coverage had signalled the ...

Foo Fighters: Academy, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 7 September 1995

Spooky survivor ...

Stereolab: Cockpit, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 28 September 1995

STEREOLAB have been on the verge of a major breakthrough for longer than Damon Hill. They've been steadfastly supported by music press darlings for the ...

Madonna: Um, Forgettable: Madonna: Something To Remember (Maverick/Warners)

Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 11 November 1995

She's trying to get all sophisticated in her old age, isn't she? Record company supremo, new cultured, metropolitan image, and a collection of her slower, ...

"Mad" Frankie Fraser: Criminal records

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 24 November 1995

Dave Simpson talks to former gangland killer turned recording artist 'Mad' Frankie Fraser about his foray into pop music ...

Take That, Robbie Williams: Robbie Williams: Take One New Man

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 15 December 1995

There is life after Take That. Robbie Williams, the lad who broke ranks (and rules), is growing up. Dave Simpson finds him talking politics, paparazzi ...

Lush: Singled Out

Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 20 January 1996

In 1990/91, LUSH were the original Female Fronted Rock Band, godmothers of Sleeper, Elastica and Echobelly, all spiky guitars and Oxfam glamour. Then Suede and ...

Eternal: Apollo, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 6 March 1996

RECENT WARNINGS linking club-going to ear damage have got it all wrong. Never mind amplified Jungle or cranium-pounding dub, the real threat to the nation's ...

Lush: Brighton Beach, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 11 March 1996

Two trumps for a busted Lush ...

Pulp: Fame Fatale

Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 30 March 1996

So Jarvis Cocker is innocent. But that doesn't mean he's got off the hook — we still want a word or two with Michael Jackson's ...

Orbital: De Montfort University, Leicester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 11 May 1996

DANCE MUSIC is the most innovative genre around, but Orbital are leaving that behind. Six years on from their rave smash 'Chime', the Hartnolls' recent ...

808 State: Castlefield Amphitheatre, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 24 June 1996

THINK OF A free open-air gig on the first day of summer and you'd probably imagine hippies, loud rock music and lots of mud. All ...

Shampoo: Hard Candy

Interview by Dave Simpson, i-D, July 1996

It's been two years since Shampoo ram-raided the pop charts with their spunky cartoon-style naughtiness. Now the wash and go-go girls are back, but they're ...

808 State: Castlefield Amphitheatre, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 6 July 1996

IS THIS THE way the future's really meant to feel? Or just 20,000 mutants standing in a cobbled amphitheatre? Either there's an extremely mad scientist ...

Electronic: Why two's company

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 13 July 1996

Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr, two of the great icons of eighties pop, tell DAVE SIMPSON what keeps them going ...

The Eagles: McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 15 July 1996

IF YOU were wondering what happened to the British summer, then spare a thought for the residents of Hell, California, whose habitat has frozen over. ...

3 Colours Red, Heavy Stereo, Super Furry Animals: Furry Tale of New York

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 28 September 1996

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Take Melody Maker out to New York with three of CREATION RECORDS' brightest new bands — 3 COLOURS ...

Andrea Parker: 'The Rocking Chair' (Mo' Wax EP)

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 25 October 1996

The chill factor: Dave Simpson enjoys a spooky orchestral set ...

The Chemical Brothers: The Chemistry Set — The Chemical Brothers: Academy, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 26 October 1996

Dave Simpson takes some Anadin with The Chemical Brothers ...

Erasure: Town & Country, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 6 November 1996

SIZE IS everything in Erasure pop world. For their last tour, they put on one of the biggest shows on earth, a theatrical triumph of ...

The Stone Roses: The Long Goodbye

Memoir by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 9 November 1996

After their disastrous performance at this year's Reading Festival, the general consensus was that THE STONE ROSES should do the decent thing and split up. ...

Def Leppard: Sheffield Arena

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 15 November 1996

Rusty metal with extra irony ...

Sting: Sheffield Arena

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 30 November 1996

Great rocker, poor jazzer. Dave Simpson catches Sting in Sheffield ...

Sleeper: Town & Country, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 11 December 1996

LOUISE Wener is a curious phenomenon. Hers is the face that has launched a thousand front covers; her sharp tongue has spawned a million "quotable ...

East 17: Sheffield Arena

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 21 December 1996

Rumours of East going west fuel night of confusion and great pop ...

Placebo: LA2, London

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 4 January 1997

BRIAN GIGS ...

Placebo: Octagon, Sheffield

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 15 February 1997

High on the Placebo effect ...

James: Wrinklie riot — James: Town & Country, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 15 March 1997

The fans are older, their knees are shot and they can't dance any more (if they ever could) Dave Simpson joins James's sell-out tour ...

Supergrass: Town & Country Club, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 9 May 1997

Just Alright on the night ...

The Verve: Academy, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 16 August 1997

Dave Simpson witnesses the miracle works of Richard Ashcroft, reunited with the apostles of The Verve ...

Oasis, the Verve: Earls Court, London

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 4 October 1997

THURSDAY ...

Alabama 3: Olympia, Dublin

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 1 November 1997

THESE ARE the sort of men my mother warned me about as a small child, and — metaphorically, at least — they want me to ...

Foo Fighters: Foo Man Chew

Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 20 November 1997

In our occasional Tour Diary series, we find out why Dave Grohl of FOO FIGHTERS always chews gum onstage, loves punk rock and why he ...

Black Grape: Leicester Arena

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 24 November 1997

WHEN SHAUN Ryder recently sang Black Grape's comeback hit 'Get Higher', he no doubt afforded himself a mischievous grin. For years, Ryder was the dark ...

Joy Division: Torn Apart: Joy Division and the death of Ian Curtis

Retrospective and Interview by Dave Simpson, Uncut, December 1997

Joy Division were the most crucial of all the post-punk bands. But, on the eve of their first US tour, lead singer Ian Curtis committed ...

Manic Street Preachers: Richey Edwards: Vanishing Point

Report by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 31 January 1998

It's now three years since Richey James disappeared — and he's still "The Most Sadly Missed" in The Maker Polls. We trace his early, confused ...

Ian Brown, The Stone Roses: The Rise And Fall Of The Stone Roses

Retrospective and Interview by Dave Simpson, Uncut, February 1998

In his first major interview since The Stone Roses split, Ian Brown looks back on the career of a band who could have had it ...

Shed Seven: The Italian Mob!

Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 28 February 1998

All we wanted was to have a few laughs, japes and capers in Venice. But oh no, SHED SEVEN say they're now serious musicians. Aha, ...

James: Manchester Apollo

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, April 1998

IT'S LIKE Last Night Of The Proms without the flags, pomp, and dubious patriotism and with infinitely better music. To my left, the first of ...

James: Manchester Apollo

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, April 1998

ONCE UPON a time, when James performed their most famous song 'Sit Down', whole audiences would do just that. Nowadays it's tempting to suggest the ...

Beck, The Verve: The Verve, Beck: Haigh Hall, Wigan

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, May 1998

HAIGH DUDE! ...

Jeff Buckley: Grace under fire

Retrospective by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 1 May 1998

Singer Jeff Buckley lived in the shadow of his father Tim's death. Dave Simpson remembers meeting the visionary of pain and loss, and hears the ...

Saint Etienne: Garage, Glasgow

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 14 May 1998

IN THEIR perfect world, Saint Etienne's new album, Good Humor, would be battling it out with the Beatles and the Prodigy. The Prodigy? Yes, because ...

Robbie Williams: Apollo, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 28 May 1998

HE LIVES under the gaze of photographers; he's had public battles with fluctuating weight and unfeasible hairstyles; he's slaughtered by the press if he nips ...

Lo Fidelity Allstars: Lo-Fidelity Allstars: The Cockpit, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 20 June 1998

THAT'S BLOWN IT! ...

Garbage: Go On, Manson

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 11 July 1998

SHE MAY LOOK like an angel, but behind the exterior lies and acidic tongue, waiting to be unleashed. We meet Shirley from GARBAGE on the ...

Morrissey: Heaven knows he's miserable now...

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 17 July 1998

He lives with his mum, he's been dumped by his label and he's going to court. Finally, Morrissey really has something to be fed up ...

Morrissey, The Smiths: Manchester's Answer to the H-Bomb: How It All Blew Up For Morrissey and The Smiths

Report by Dave Simpson, Uncut, August 1998

THE PHONE RINGS at the Sunset Marquis Hotel, Los Angeles. ...

Republica: Ace of Pace

Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 26 September 1998

REPUBLICA are now so successful that Cher asks permission to copy Saffron's hairstyle. We talk to them about their lengthy climb to the top, fame, ...

Kenickie: The Rocket, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 10 October 1998

Kenickie's in a twist ...

A&R Men: Where's the Bar?

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 6 November 1998

They're narcissistic coke fiends with no interest in music, or so the legend goes — yet A&R men shape the future of pop. Surely, asks ...

Natalie Imbruglia: Natalie lmbruglia: Apollo, Manchester ***

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 10 November 1998

IF ANYONE doubts the thespian talents of Neighbours, they should look at Natalie lmbruglia. While her displays as Beth were hampered by scripts and career-threatening ...

The La's: Lee Mavers: The Lost Boy

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 5 December 1998

Lee Mavers of the La's was a star in the early nineties and idolised by Oasis. Then he fell foul of drugs and disappeared. Amid ...

Black Star Liner: Bengali Bantam Youth Experience! (WEA)

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 29 January 1999

Dave Simpson adores Black Star Liner's mix of Bollywood soundtracks and skyscraping dance beats ...

Terrorvision: Parr Hall, Warrington ****

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 10 February 1999

THE ROCK scene is currently as serious as a pub that's running low on booze. Oasis, The Verve and Pulp are the loudly-voiced Men At ...

Orbital: Town & Country Club, Leeds ***

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 22 March 1999

IS IT REALLY 11 years since acid house? Yup, the members of the Class Of '88 haven't reached for their pipe and slippers yet, but ...

Moby: Grow out the roots — Moby: Play (Mute) ****

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 14 May 1999

Dave Simpson on Moby's return to what he does best ...

Gay Dad: Leisurenoise (London)

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 28 May 1999

Hyped to the hilt, Gay Dad's album isn't worth the wait, says Dave Simpson ...

The Chemical Brothers: Chemical Brothers: Surrender

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 18 June 1999

THIS ALBUM SOUNDS like the Chemical Brothers threw one hell of a party. Banging on the door with 'Let Forever Be', in his first dalliance ...

Celine Dion: Up Too Close And Personal: Celine Dion: Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 8 July 1999

THREE SONGS IN, a smiling Celine Dion decides she wants to talk to us, "personally". ...

Secret Knowledge: Kris Needs: I Snogged Debbie Harry

Profile and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 3 August 1999

If you can't be a rock star, you can always get your kicks by hanging out with them. Kris Needs tells Dave Simpson how it's ...

Roots Manuva: The Venue, London ****

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 13 August 1999

YOU COULD probably write the history of British hip-hop in this space. The problem is less a dearth of homegrown talent than a lack of ...

Pulp — A Quiet Revolution: Queen's Hall, Edinburgh ****

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 2 September 1999

Blinds have more fun ...

Hawkwind: Epoch Eclipse 30th Anniversary Box Set

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 3 September 1999

HOW DID HAWKWIND GET A REPUTATION as peace-loving hippies? They were a barking mad, space-age fusion of druggy menace and joyous sonic mayhem, and they ...

Whitney Houston: Sheffield Arena **

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 11 September 1999

Diva takes a nosedive ...

Fine Young Cannibals, Roland Gift: Roland Gift: Not the man he used to be

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 7 October 1999

Roland Gift tells Dave Simpson why he has no reason to mourn the demise of the Fine Young Cannibals ...

Beth Orton: Academy, Manchester ****

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 19 October 1999

Real angry woman ...

Basement Jaxx: Academy, Manchester ****

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 16 November 1999

Big cheese party ...

Spice Girls: Robotic Neurotics: Spice Girls: Evening News Arena, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 6 December 1999

YOUR BAND may take a year off, but if you are a Spice Girl you just can't keep out of the headlines. ...

Birth: Who The Hell Are They?: Birth

Profile by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 10 December 1999

So, who the hell are they? He, actually. The rather oddly-named Bournemouth export Dawm Lanten, who understandably prefers to be called DL. ...

Royal Trux: Bang, Crash Brilliance: Royal Trux: Scala, London

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 18 December 1999

ROYAL TRUX don't give a damn and don't care who knows it. ...

Death in Vegas: The Cockpit, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 18 February 2000

Better listen at home ...

Inner City Jam: A musical about rundown north London. In Leeds

Comment by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 11 April 2000

Inner City Jam is a colourful portrait of King's Cross. So why couldn't it find a theatre in the capital, asks Dave Simpson ...

L7: Manchester University

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 13 April 2000

Bad grrls live forever ...

David Pajo, Papa M: Papa M: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 29 April 2000

How to avoid an audience ...

The Dandy Warhols: A Toast To The Wasted: The Dandy Warhols: The Cockpit, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 8 June 2000

AS IGGY POP would testify, you can always rely on the British public to take a drug-frazzled American wacko to their hearts. ...

Coldplay: Cockpit, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 13 June 2000

FOR THEIR ardent supporters, Coldplay are the great white hopes of British angst rock. For their equally vociferous detractors, they are miserable musos who have ...

Sleater-Kinney: Cockpit, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 26 July 2000

IT’S HARD ENOUGH being a 21st-century, radical feminist post-punk band, but Sleater-Kinney have a further enemy in the sound system. "This is our fourth member," ...

Crescent, Movietone: Movietone: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 31 July 2000

HOW DO YOU know when a "pop" band is part of the underground? There are probably several definitions, but one of them must surely be ...

Andrew Weatherall: My brilliant career

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 6 September 2000

Andrew Weatherall helped to invent both dance music and the superstar DJ. Then, burnt out and disillusioned, he went underground. As he emerges with a ...

Melanie C: St George's Hall, Bradford

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 19 September 2000

OF THE MANY routes to solo stardom open to a Spice Girl, being a rock chick is not one of them. Just ask Mel C. ...

Cosmic Rough Riders: Enjoy the Melodic Sunshine

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 3 November 2000

IT'S SEVEN YEARS since Alan McGee "discovered" Oasis blowing 18 Wheeler off the stage in King Tut's, Glasgow. Since then, his Creation label has gone ...

Eliza Carthy: Manchester University

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Guardian Unlimited, 11 November 2000

Eliza Carthy goes pop ...

Marti Pellow: Apollo, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 13 November 2000

ANYBODY WHO EVER WONDERED how Marti Pellow managed to live with himself after producing the excruciating 'Love Is All Around' — 14 weeks at number ...

Bent: Rocket, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 18 November 2000

WE’RE HEADING for the silly season. For the next month or so, the TV companies will dig out those old episodes of Top of The ...

Craig David: City Hall, Sheffield

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 27 November 2000

PEOPLE ARE DIVIDED on Craig David. For some, he is the spearhead of UK garage, whose pioneering "two-step" music has swept him to two number ...

And You Will Know Us By The...: And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead: Cockpit, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 29 November 2000

WITH A NAME like And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, you could say these Texan noise-punks are looking for trouble – ...

Jean-Jacques Burnel: Manchester University

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 11 December 2000

JEAN-JACQUES BURNEL is one of rock's most notorious characters. In the Stranglers' authorised biography, No Mercy, 20 pages tackle the subject of "Burnel, violence". ...

Brit Awards 2001: Prize fools

Report by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 17 January 2001

The Brits shortlist will spark a hunt for the next Coldplay or Craig David. Dave Simpson despairs  ...

Dido: What went right?

Profile and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 29 January 2001

LAST NOVEMBER, 29-year-old Dido Armstrong and her boyfriend Bob were discussing their day at work. Bob had gone to the office and relaxed with a ...

Natalie Cole: King and I

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 8 February 2001

Natalie Cole has been a prostitutes' tout, a junkie and the winner of no fewer than eight Grammys. She tells Dave Simpson about scandal, success ...

Eminem: Manchester Arena

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 9 February 2001

EMINEM'S REPUTATION as world's number one bad boy rapper precedes him. Amid scenes reminiscent of the Sex Pistols, his records have been banned by student ...

Lina: Manchester University

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 13 February 2001

Lina's delicious smoky big band sound ...

Rough Trade: Top of the shops

Retrospective and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 26 February 2001

One little store inspired a new breed of musician and turned the record industry on its head. Dave Simpson celebrates 25 years of Rough Trade ...

Westlife: Manchester Arena

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 26 February 2001

AS THE BAND remind us from the stage, they are the only group to have their first five British singles enter the chart at number ...

Kylie Minogue: Camping with Kylie: Kylie Minogue: Manchester Apollo, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 9 March 2001

HAVING RECOVERED FROM the pretensions of duets with Nick Cave and songwriting with the Manic Street Preachers, Kylie has returned to the fluffy pop we ...

Linton Kwesi Johnson: Wardrobe, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 23 March 2001

IT'S 26 years since Linton Kwesi Johnson became the world's first and foremost dub poet with the single 'Dread Beat An' Blood'. For this rare ...

The Deftones, Linkin Park: Linkin Park/Deftones: Manchester Apollo

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 26 March 2001

The boy band, nu metal style ...

Muse: Manchester Academy

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 9 April 2001

Cheek-sucking Muse camp it up ...

Starsailor: Plain Sailing: Starsailor

Profile and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 17 April 2001

Starsailor have been tipped as the most exciting band since Coldplay. Has that been a curse or a blessing, asks Dave Simpson. ...

Cosmic Rough Riders: Fibbers, York

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 25 April 2001

RECENT MONTHS have seen Cosmic Rough Riders bask in an enviable reputation as rock critics have fallen over themselves to hail the band as the ...

Goldfrapp: "The Mercury prize? Oh God, that would be great. I deserve something"

Profile and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 4 May 2001

Singing sensation Alison Goldfrapp tells Dave Simpson why her time has come. ...

S Club 7: Pop's Magnificent Seven: S Club 7: Arena, Sheffield ****

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 21 May 2001

FOR THEIR FIRST TOUR, S Club 7 are taking risks. Dark-haired Hannah is lowered in on a parachute, while clean-cut Jon clambers out of the ...

Erykah Badu: Apollo, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 18 July 2001

I HAVE SEEN Bowie atop a giant glass spider and U2 stuck inside a lemon, but I cannot recall an entrance like Erykah Badu's. ...

The Chameleons: Irish Centre, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 3 August 2001

THERE'S A WONDERFUL – if apocryphal – story about the major-label A&R team that was dispatched to Manchester in the 1980s with instructions to sign ...

Blade, Roots Manuva: The home boys: Roots Manuva and the UK posse

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 13 September 2001

Who needs Eminem and P Diddy when we've got perfectly good British rappers? Dave Simpson talks to Roots Manuva and the UK posse ...

Preston School of Industry: Barfly, Sheffield

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 26 September 2001

IN THE EARLY 1990S dark ages before Britpop, homegrown guitar music was going through a painful obsession with America. At one point almost any Statesider ...

Richie Hawtin: Manchester Sankey's Soap

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 29 September 2001

ON THOSE RARE NON-DJ-ING NIGHTS, when Richie Hawtin sleeps, perhaps he dreams that he was part of the Detroit stable of artist-DJs who invented techno, ...

Groove Armada: Leadmill, Sheffield

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 23 October 2001

ACKNOWLEDGED KINGS of chill-out, Groove Armada's music works best in certain environments, ideally a Mediterranean beach, hours after closing time. However, presenting chilled-out sounds within ...

Freeheat: Who the hell are... Freeheat

Overview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 9 November 2001

A regular guide to new bands heading your way ...

The White Stripes: L2, Liverpool

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 15 November 2001

THE CURIOUS success of the White Stripes is proof that rock'n'roll fairy tales can still happen.  ...

Steps: Sheffield Arena

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 27 November 2001

WATCHING STEPS brings to mind George Orwell's image of the future as "a boot stamping on a human face for ever". The band inhabit their ...

Hood: Cold House

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 14 December 2001

THE COVER OF Cold House depicts the Yorkshire moors, blurred, as if something is happening just beyond the lens. This desolate region is best known ...

Alien Ant Farm: Manchester Academy

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 4 February 2002

EVERY POP movement worth its salt needs a bunch of pranksters. The hippies had Neil Innes's satirists the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, punk boasted the ...

Shaggy: Manchester Arena

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 20 February 2002

IF SHAGGY wasn't called Shaggy, his whole career might not have happened. Bonky would have been too rude, Rumpy not suggestive enough. ...

The Faint: Who the hell are ... The Faint

Profile by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 22 February 2002

So, who the hell are they? Newer Romantics Todd Baechie (synths, vocals), Clark Baechie, Jacob Thiele (synths), Joel Petersen (bass) and the not inappropriately ...

The Electric Soft Parade: Manchester University

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 28 February 2002

DESPITE THE FERVOUR for hot American bands the Strokes and the White Stripes, Britain has not forgotten how to make effortlessly classic, exciting guitar-based pop. ...

The BellRays: Rocket, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 4 April 2002

TWO YEARS AGO in this newspaper, Alan McGee decried the "bedwetters" of modern pop. Where, he asked, were "the characters" and "the great rock'n'roll music ...

Fischerspooner: #1

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 3 May 2002

LEADING LIGHTS of the electroclash movement, New York art-fashion strategists Fischerspooner come armed with a manifesto ("Style is substance", superficiality is something to be lauded), ...

Dave Gahan: New life

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 26 May 2002

IN THE EARLY DAYS of Depeche Mode, cider was Dave Gahan's worst vice. Then came speed, smack and a trip to hospital. Now, he tells ...

God save the toddlers

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 3 June 2002

Why would anyone want to turn punk classics like 'Pretty Vacant' and 'White Riot' into kids' lullabies? Dave Simpson reports ...

Baxter Dury: Len Parrott's Memorial Lift

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 19 July 2002

WARY OF THE FATE that befalls pop offspring who impersonate their parents (hello, Julian Lennon), Baxter Dury has journeyed as far beyond his dad Ian's ...

Mudhoney: Boat Club, Nottingham

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 12 September 2002

BEING AN AMERICAN grunge rocker must be one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Past incumbents, from Nirvana to Alice in Chains to ...

Aqualung: Who the hell are ... Aqualung

Profile by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 20 September 2002

Aqualung... dreaming of badass rap and bruising beats ...

Nickel Creek: Memorial Hall, Sheffield

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 23 October 2002

AS ADVERTISING EXECUTIVES and careers advisers often tell us, presentation is everything. But nobody appears to have told San Diego four-piece Nickel Creek. Formed around ...

The Vines: Academy, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 30 October 2002

NO ONE UNDERSTANDS HYPE better than the Vines. Launched in a blaze of hyperbole earlier this year, they have been called everything from the "Australian ...

Joni Mitchell: "I'm quitting this corrupt cesspool"

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 21 November 2002

Why Joni Mitchell has had it with the music business ...

Jesse Malin: Apollo, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 26 November 2002

JESSE MALIN IS TELLING US A STORY. At 11, he says, he was obsessed with having sex with his babysitters. When he got $40 for ...

The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster: Rocket, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 29 November 2002

OF THE MANY odd pop movements born in the 1980s, few were quite so peculiar as psychobilly. A mutant blend of punk, rockabilly and Vincent ...

Fine Young Cannibals: Leadmill, Sheffield

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 13 December 2002

IN 1999, ROLAND Gift told The Guardian: "I'd rather shovel shit than live off my past." Three years on, as the lost soul singer reactivates ...

Kinky: Kinky

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 10 January 2003

THREE YEARS AGO Virgin records had the novel idea of importing a Mexican pop band. Titan were a wacky bunch. Their posters proclaimed a cross ...

Low: Parish Church, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 10 February 2003

A FEW YEARS AGO, someone suggested that one way to fill churches would be to throw the doors open to pop concerts. The idea was ...

Dirty Vegas: Cockpit, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 11 March 2003

AMERICA HAS LONG BESTOWED huge success on unlikely British groups who barely make it in their homeland: A Flock of Seagulls, the completely unmemorable Fixx ...

Mis-Teeq: Eye Candy

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 28 March 2003

WITH THEIR SECOND ALBUM, Mis-Teeq shift further from their garage roots towards the more internationally lucrative R&B. ...

Panjabi MC: The Album (Dharma/Showbiz)

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 2 May 2003

PANJABI MC has already provided one of the most refreshing hits of the year with January's 'Mundian To Bach Ke', which fused bhangra, breakbeats and ...

Jason Mraz: Waiting for My Rocket to Come

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 6 June 2003

THE COVER DEPICTS the 25-year-old Virginia singer-songwriter sat in the gutter with a cockerel, haplessly waiting for the rocket of fame to hit him. ...

OK Go: Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 11 June 2003

WITH THE STROKES at one end of the spectrum and Busted at the other, powerpop is gradually replacing dance music as the chief currency in ...

Kelly Osbourne: Rock City, Nottingham

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 26 June 2003

KELLY OSBOURNE URGES THE AUDIENCE to put their hands in the air. The boys are instructed to make fists and the girls to hold up ...

Kosheen: Kokopelli

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 1 August 2003

WITH BRITAIN'S OBSESSION with dance music finally dwindling, Bristol's Kosheen have ditched the million-selling formula of 2001's Resist for something altogether darker and rockier. ...

Matchbox 20: Matchbox Twenty: Apollo, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 11 September 2003

AS WITH AMERICAN GAS-GUZZLING CARS, the big blustery rock band is a species under threat. Stereophonics' new album is a mere platinum (its predecessor was ...

Rancid: Apollo, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 16 September 2003

ALTHOUGH PUNK ROCK is still reeling from the death of Clash icon Joe Strummer, the movement is probably in its healthiest commercial state for 25 ...

Fannypack: So Stylistic

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 10 October 2003

EVER SINCE the Beastie Boys went serious and Salt 'n' Pepa pushed it as far as they could, the world has lacked an act who ...

Damien Rice: Metropolitan University, Leeds ***

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 14 October 2003

DAVID GRAY achieved his first major success in Ireland, something else he has in common with Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice. They share the same management ...

Amy Winehouse: Dietrich with a nose-stud

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 28 October 2003

Her voice belongs in a 1940s jazz bar. But Amy Winehouse may be the future of hip-hop. Dave Simpson meets her ...

Explosions in the Sky: The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 5 December 2003

IF THE IDEA of an album of instrumentals filled with titles such as 'First Breath After Coma' sounds like heavy going, this Texan four-piece are ...

Electric Six: Leeds Metropolitan University

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 6 December 2003

IN JUNE THIS YEAR, Detroit pranksters Electric Six crammed the traditional pop rise, fall and rise again into one bizarre moment when they split up ...

Razorlight: Cockpit, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 23 January 2004

NEWCOMERS RAZORLIGHT are proof that pop careers are being built ever faster. The London band were signed to the Vertigo label last year in the ...

John Martyn: The Lowry, Salford

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 8 May 2004

IF JOHN MARTYN hadn't become a folk/blues/rock legend, he could have knocked out a career as a mimic. At one point, he perfectly impersonates Alf ...

Kasabian: Field Of Dreams

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 10 June 2004

The true spirit of Glastonbury is alive and well — but you'll find it at a farm in Leicester not Somerset. Dave Simpson meets Kasabian ...

Jamelia: Civic Hall, Wolverhampton

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 11 June 2004

THERE'S OFTEN A GULF on the live circuit now between current acts with records to promote and returning veterans with back catalogues, which is unfortunately ...

Pete Doherty: Peter Doherty: Fez Club, Sheffield

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 31 July 2004

IN recent weeks, Peter Doherty has been reported as having racked up a heroin/crack addiction costing £250 a day, skipped out on three attempts at ...

Har Mar Superstar: Welly Club, Hull

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 5 August 2004

THE WELLY isn't a place you'd expect to find a "superstar". Its name implies somewhere you'd only really want to step into when it's raining; ...

The Dears: Who the hell are The Dears?

Profile by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 27 August 2004

So, who the hell are they? Canadians Murray Lightburn (vocals/guitar), Natalia Yanchak (keyboards/vocals), Valerie Jodoin-Keaton (keyboards/flute), Martin Pelland (bass), George Donoso III (drums) and Patrick ...

LeAnn Rimes: Birmingham NIA

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 16 September 2004

GENERATIONS OF HAPLESS YOUNG MEN have been attracted by the archetypal "girl next door" on the grounds that beneath that innocent exterior lurks some undiscovered ...

Interpol: Antics

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 24 September 2004

ON PAPER, Interpol's second album should offer more grist to the mill of those who think they're too indebted to Joy Division. ...

McFly: Wolverhampton Civic Hall

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 24 September 2004

SIGNS IN WOLVERHAMPTON CIVIC HALL READ: "Tonight's concert will be very loud. Ear defenders are available on request." The danger comes not from McFly but ...

Estelle: "The only way I'm going on the cover of FHM is in a body bag"

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 27 September 2004

Estelle, the loudest new voice in hip-hop, talks to Dave Simpson ...

Two Lone Swordsmen: Basics, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 12 October 2004

FOR MOST OF THE LAST DECADE Andrew Weatherall was one of dance culture's prime movers. He produced Primal Scream's hallowed Screamadelica and lived it large ...

The Detroit Cobras: Detroit Cobras: Baby

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 29 October 2004

DETROIT COBRAS' biggest fans include the White Stripes and Coca-Cola, who are currently using their take on Hank Ballard's 'Cha Cha Twist' in an advert. ...

The Thrills: Apollo, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 15 November 2004

WHEN THE THRILLS first blazed out of Dublin in 2002, there was something sweetly charming about a bunch of naive Irish lads writing eulogies to ...

The Bravery: Roadhouse, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 1 December 2004

In the annual December search for next year's "next big thing", New York five-piece the Bravery are possibly in pole position. Signed to Island Def ...

Hawkwind: Manchester University

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 22 December 2004

THESE PSYCHEDELIC VETERANS' 35-year career is not for the fainthearted. However, the original psych-rockers are showing few signs of slowing down. Surprisingly sprightly founder member ...

Adam Green: Joseph's Well, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 1 February 2005

"LET'S GET LOOSE," says Adam Green. "You guys are all going to get laid anyway. I'm just the lubrication." This is typical of the mischievous ...

The House of Love: You Only Live Twice

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 8 February 2005

Ten years ago, the House of Love fell apart, fists flying. They tell Dave Simpson what brought them back together. ...

Death from Above 1979: Cockpit, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 9 February 2005

WITH SO MANY FOUR-PIECE guitar bands clogging up the live circuit, Canada's Death from Above 1979 are certainly a bit different. A two-piece featuring the ...

Arcade Fire: Funeral

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 25 February 2005

WHILE EVERY THIRD BRITISH BAND mines 1979-80 post-punk, Arcade Fire, from Canada, have stolen a march by investigating the US "no wave" of the same ...

Doves: Moss Side story

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 25 February 2005

The Manchester that Doves grew up in has disappeared. They take Dave Simpson on a guided tour of the city — and show him the ...

Phantom Planet

Profile by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 9 March 2005

So, who the hell are they? Alexander Greenwald (vocals), Jacques Brautbar (guitar), Darren Robinson (guitar), Sam Farrar (bass) and Jeff Conrad (drums. Their absurdly catchy single, ...

Bright Eyes: Metropolitan University, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 15 March 2005

THERE ARE PROBABLY TEAMS of record-company scientists striving to create the perfect amalgam of Bob Dylan, Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen, but Bright Eyes singer ...

Sophie B. Hawkins: Sophie B Hawkins: Roscoe, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 6 April 2005

AN INTERNATIONAL pop star with 1992's smash 'Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover', Sophie Ballantine Hawkins has since fallen out with her record company ...

Billy Corgan: TheFutureEmbrace

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 17 June 2005

THE FORMER SMASHING PUMPKIN has long endured a deserved reputation as the most egotistical, whining man in rock. However, maturity and the clipping of Corgan's ...

Snoop (Doggy) Dogg: Snoop Dogg: Manchester Arena

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 13 July 2005

SEARCHING AUDIENCE MEMBERS with metal detectors as they file in suggests the authorities are expecting trouble. But the rapper who was once up on a ...

Hayseed Dixie: Southern-Fried Metal

Profile and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 27 July 2005

Hayseed Dixie aren't your average AC/DC covers band: they come from Nashville, play banjos and read The Guardian. ...

Cut Copy: 'It's Certainly Not Knob Twiddling'

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 14 October 2005

When they are not letting off fireworks in people's houses, or rugby tackling Mylo off the stage, Australia's Cut Copy are the future of synth-pop. ...

Maximo Park: Tales of Woe and Vodka

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 21 October 2005

To get over the girls, he turned to drink. To get over the drink, he turned to music. At last, with Maximo Park, Paul Smith ...

The Fall: Irish Centre, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 29 October 2005

POP MARK E SMITH IS MISSING, and whispers in the crowd ponder whether the notoriously unpredictable frontman has finally gone the way of the 40-odd ...

Corinne Bailey Rae : Corinne Bailey Rae: 'I Was Speechless, Just Squeaking!'

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 11 November 2005

Burt Bacharach thinks she's fabulous, and Jools Holland said her voice made him melt. Dave Simpson meets Corinne Bailey Rae, the singer they are calling ...

Gogol Bordello: Night and Day, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 2 December 2005

NEW YORK-BASED "Gypsy punks" Gogol Bordello are providing an interesting spin on Beatlemania. A girl dancer clad in multicoloured Romany-type rags is hauled onstage specifically ...

The Fall: "Excuse me, weren't you in the Fall?"

Retrospective and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 5 January 2006

Mark E. Smith's band is legendary for its ever-changing line-up. Dave Simpson made it his quest to track down everyone who has ever been a ...

The Kooks: Rocket, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 1 February 2006

WHEN PEOPLE SUGGEST that Pete Doherty would have been so much better without the drugs, they should listen to the Kooks. The Brighton-based foursome have ...

The Concretes: In Colour

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 3 March 2006

THE CONCRETES' second album is as changeable as the seasons. Songs such as 'On the Radio' and 'Change in the Weather' are full of the ...

The Beta Band, King Biscuit Time: Steve Mason: 'I've Had Enough'

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 8 May 2006

Steve Mason, the former Beta Band frontman, should have been on tour this week. Instead, he's quit music — and disappeared. By Dave Simpson ...

Orson: Metropolitan University, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 5 June 2006

THE HOME OFFICE has more to worry about than escaped prisoners trying to attack us in our beds. Our communities are being invaded by floppy-haired, ...

Hype and glory: How to Create a Buzz

Report by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 20 June 2006

As Alan McGee books a made-up band, Dave Simpson looks at the science of creating a buzz. ...

Guillemots: Through the Window Pane

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 6 July 2006

IS THAT PRONOUNCED "gillmots" or "gee-mo"? Arguments rage, but after three attempts to finish their debut, Birmingham's most oddly named band make the classic mistake ...

Golden Smog: Another Fine Day

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 14 July 2006

IT'S BEEN EIGHT YEARS since the last Golden Smog album, which may be down to the logistical problems of assembling a band including Wilco's Jeff ...

Paolo Nutini: Night & Day, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 19 July 2006

NINETEEN-YEAR-OLD Italian-Glaswegian Paolo Nutini used to work in his parents' chip shop. Then his debut single 'Last Request' crashed into the top five. His working ...

CSS: Cansai de Ser Sexy (Sub Pop)

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 21 July 2006

IF A pile of 1979-80 disco and post-punk records washed up on a Brazilian beach, the lucky beneficiaries would party like CSS. ...

Devendra Banhart: Metropolitan University, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 9 September 2006

HALFWAY THROUGH Devendra Banhart's gig, something unusual happens. The singer, who has been slurping something strong from a bottle on his amp, gets into conversation ...

The Killers: Empress Ballroom, Blackpool ****

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 10 September 2006

YOU CAN ALMOST imagine the delight when some bright spark suggested the Killers launch their big comeback in the "Vegas of the North", and the ...

Jay-Z: Manchester Arena

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 23 September 2006

FEW POP "retirements" have caused as many eyebrows to raise as that of Shawn Carter, aka Jay-Z. ...

The Horrors, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Sisters of Mercy: Back in Black: The Goth Revival

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 29 September 2006

THE FAVERSHAM, a pub close to Leeds University, is a brightly decorated bar, popular with lawyers and office workers. But a couple of decades ago ...

The Dears: The Cockpit, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 27 October 2006

IN THE DAYS WHEN Bryan Adams bestrode the charts, Canadian music was a credibility free zone. So much so that the Dears' frontman Murray Lightburn ...

Kasabian: "We're for all the people stuck in crap jobs"

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 1 December 2006

Kasabian have crossed swords with Keane, the Stones and even Showaddywaddy. But really they're just a bunch of ordinary lads who want to be loved. ...

Deicide: Music Box, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 11 January 2007

FLORIDA MAY be the Sunshine State but it is forever shrouded in darkness as home to the world's leading proponents of satanic death metal. Deicide ...

The Hours: Back From The Brink

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 12 January 2007

The Hours have been through drugs, death and abandonment. But adversity has turned them into Britain's most powerful new band. Dave Simpson caught up with ...

Ghosts: Fibbers, York

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 23 February 2007

GHOSTS ARE LIVING PROOF of the old adage about the tortoise and the hare. The bandmates' long and bewilderingly dubious past includes soft rock, Britpop ...

Razorlight: Arena, Newcastle

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 6 April 2007

RAZORLIGHT'S MOTORMOUTH FRONTMAN Johnny Borrell grabs the headlines, but the band's unsung hero is drummer and co-songwriter Andy Burrows. It's no coincidence that since he ...

Faithless: Sheffield Arena

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 10 April 2007

RECENT YEARS have not been kind to the 1990s megaclub generation. However, despite frequently threatening retirement, London-based collective Faithless have proved as difficult to shift ...

Laura Veirs: Manchester University

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 11 April 2007

"WE HOPE YOU LIKE our embroidered outfits," begins Laura Veirs. "We went that extra mile." She is referring to her floral dress and the suits ...

Justin Timberlake: Arena, Sheffield

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 30 April 2007

LATELY, pop has been dominated by guerrilla gigs and scruffily clad bands — but no one told Justin Timberlake. ...

Editors: Violently happy

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 22 June 2007

JOINING EDITORS backstage at a gig in Amsterdam, Dave Simpson tries to solve the riddle of the band's songs: how can misery sound this good? ...

Rilo Kiley: Academy 3, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 23 August 2007

TO WALK INTO A RILO KILEY GIG is to aurally enter a world of dangerous or illicit sex. Their song 'Smoke Detector' contains lines about ...

The Kissaway Trail: Roadhouse, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 17 November 2007

IF DANISH QUINTET the Kissaway Trail's live act were more like their tremendous eponymous debut album, there would be choirs and orchestras on stage. Swans ...

Amy Winehouse: Carling Academy, Newcastle

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 20 November 2007

FORTY-FIVE MINUTES after Amy Winehouse is due on stage, there is still no sign of the singer, which offers an opportunity to ponder the latest ...

MGMT: "We want to scare the squares"

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 20 February 2008

MGMT make "future '70s" music, want to be produced by Barack Obama and have played gigs as giant snowmen. Confused? You should be, says Dave ...

Autechre: Digital, Newcastle

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 4 March 2008

ROCHDALE'S SEAN BOOTH AND ROB BROWN have become leading practitioners of what has been tagged "intelligent dance music", a term synonymous with former ravers who ...

Panic! At the Disco: University, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 19 March 2008

THE RED-HAIRED GIRL AT THE BAR is having a crisis: she has been declared too young to buy alcohol and furiously hurls an apparently bogus ...

Wire: Academy 2, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 9 May 2008

BANDS GENERALLY BREAK UP then reform some years later to trot out the hits to fill up their pension funds, but Wire have never played ...

Dizzee Rascal: Academy, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 21 November 2008

DIZZEE RASCAL, who in 2003 carried off the Mercury music prize, recently told Newsnight's Jeremy Paxman he was thinking of running for prime minister. He seems ...

The Hours: See The Light

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 16 April 2009

GIVEN THAT THE HOURS' SINGER Antony Genn lost much of his life (and dental work) to drug addiction, he's hardly going to let a setback ...

Girls Aloud: Sheffield Arena ***

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 27 April 2009

THE RECESSION does not appear to be affecting Girls Aloud, whose entrance involves pyrotechnics, hydraulic platforms and the whipping-off of glittering white ballgowns to reveal ...

Lady Gaga: Academy, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 1 July 2009

THE 23-year-old formerly known as Stefani Germanotta must be pop's most ruthlessly effective self-promoter since Madonna. ...

Cocteau Twins: Elizabeth Fraser: the Cocteau Twins and me

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 26 November 2009

FOR 18 YEARS, she was the "voice of God" in the Cocteau Twins. Now Elizabeth Fraser finds it too difficult even to think about her ...

The Bravery, Girl Thing, Andrew WK: Yesterday's promising music stars: where are they now?

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 10 December 2009

THEY HAD THE RIGHT BACKERS and the buzz, but suddenly ... nothing happened. What went wrong with these three much-touted noughties acts, Girl Thing, the ...

Laura Veirs: Academy, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 20 January 2010

LADY GAGA HAS A BRA FIRING SPARKS; La Roux has that gravity-defying quiff. Pacific north-western chanteuse Laura Veirs's only visual prop is the large bulge ...

Hot Chip: Academy, Newcastle ****

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 19 February 2010

HOT CHIP walk on to deafening applause… on tape. Then the real audience start clapping, not just at their arrival, but at the audacity of ...

Whitney Houston: Why someone in Whitney Houston's condition shouldn't be on stage

Report by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 24 February 2010

WHITNEY HOUSTON has a problem. In fact, she seems to have a lot of problems. According to reports from Monday night's concert in Brisbane, Australia ...

Kate Nash: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 8 March 2010

ONE OF POP'S most curious phenomenons sees formerly squeaky pop stars rebelling against what made them famous. Just as the manufactured Monkees ended up singing psychedelic songs ...

N-Dubz: Academy, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 8 April 2010

N-DUBZ SHOW that pop's generation gap is alive and well. For anyone over 21, the north London trio's trademark hats look like the sort of ...

Malcolm McLaren 1946-2010

Obituary by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 9 April 2010

THE IMPRESARIO and iconoclast Malcolm McLaren, who has died aged 64 from the cancer mesothelioma, was one of the pivotal, yet most divisive influences on ...

John Grant: Queen of Denmark (Bella Union)

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 22 April 2010

JOHN GRANT used to front the Czars, whose failure to translate acclaim into sales no doubt further fuelled his supersized self-loathing. ...

Fool's Gold: The Cockpit, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 4 May 2010

FROM VAMPIRE WEEKEND TO FOALS, afrobeat has become a part of pop lately, but there's nothing quite like this. Fool's Gold aren't — as one ...

Foals: "I built a fortress around myself"

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 6 May 2010

IN AN AMSTERDAM square, tourists all around, Yannis Philippakis is pouring his heart out. The singer of Foals is describing how he has kept a ...

Scouting for Girls: Academy, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 9 May 2010

AFTER MEETING AT SCHOOL and in the cub scouts, Harrow three-piece Scouting for Girls have become absurdly successful. Their 2007 debut went double platinum and ...

The Gaslight Anthem: Manchester Academy

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 27 June 2010

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN'S GUEST APPEARANCE with the Gaslight Anthem at last year's Glastonbury cemented the UK's continuing relationship with sweat-soaked Americana and further propelled New Jersey's ...

Little Axe: From blues to hip-hop and back

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 15 July 2010

SKIP MCDONALD was playing a gig in Portugal, billed as just him and guitar. A fair portion of the audience had seen the billing and ...

Black Lace, Jive Bunny, Stock Aitken Waterman: Novelty Records: When pop goes bad

Retrospective by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 22 September 2010

The excruciatingly catchy novelty song was a hallmark of the 1980s. Is it back? And how do you write one? Dave Simpson talks to the ...

The Duke & The King: The Duke and the King: Long Live the Duke and the King

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 23 September 2010

ONLY A YEAR after their acclaimed debut, Simone Felice's post-Felice Brothers band's follow-up is undeniably lovely. ...

of Montreal: Academy 2, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 7 October 2010

THE STAGE IS DOMINATED by a large, caped figure, wearing a three-foot goldfish on his head, and firing fake guns at the crowd. This bizarre creature ...

Brandon Flowers: Academy, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 14 October 2010

FROM THE STROKES' Julian Casablancas to Mick Jagger, rock frontmen have often stumbled over the transition to solo singer — but Brandon Flowers has never ...

Robyn: Academy, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 20 October 2010

ROBYN CARLSSON is one of a rare breed who bridge the divide between pop fluff and cool electro. Her throbbing electronic music nods to mainstream ...

Egyptian Hip Hop: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 4 November 2010

SINGER LA ROUX recently pronounced the electro genre "over" — perhaps because of an upsurge of balding 1980s originals whose careers have been revived by ...

Jedward: Grand Opera House, York

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 17 November 2010

"BY DAY WE HAVE FLAT HAIR, at night we stick our hair up and become superstars," shrieks the John Grimes half of Jedward, explaining the ...

Shakira: Manchester Arena ****

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 15 December 2010

"I'M HERE to please you," begins the Colombian superstar Shakira. Then, wearing what may be a coat of paint rather than trousers, she hauls girls ...

Jason Derulo at Academy, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 23 February 2011

"You're the one for me," sings Jason Derulo, into the eyes of a girl hauled from the audience on to the stage. They embrace so ...

The Unthanks: Howard Assembly Room, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 29 March 2011

THE UNTHANKS' startling folk has all the eerie power of their native Northumbria's coast. Backed by trumpet, drums and a female string section reminiscent of ...

Adele: Academy, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 15 April 2011

EVEN IF Adele Adkins's record-breaking 11 weeks at the top of the album chart ends on Sunday – and it looks like the Foo Fighters ...

The Horrors: Academy 3, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 18 June 2011

THE HORRORS are true pop chameleons. ...

Beirut: Academy, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 7 September 2011

"THIS IS ANOTHER ONE of those, er, singalongs," says Beirut's Zach Condon, sounding slightly embarrassed by what's going on around him. Once again, the cavernous ...

Lianne La Havas: Nation of Shopkeepers, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 16 November 2011

THE LATEST ARTIST to appear on Later With Jools Holland before releasing a note, Lianne La Havas is a Paloma Faith backing singer turned major ...

The Black Keys "We've put in more hours than anyone

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 1 December 2011

THE BLACK KEYS' singer/guitarist, Dan Auerbach, surveys his surroundings — a five-star hotel in one of the more salubrious parts of London — and seems ...

Steps: Arena, Liverpool

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 5 April 2012

A DECADE AFTER the acrimonious split documented in last year's Steps Reunion TV series — which painted the group as living a budget version of Fleetwood ...

Gaz Coombes: I should Camus

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 6 May 2012

Gaz Coombes, once the cheeky, cheery Supergrass frontman, now reads French authors and writes brooding songs about bombs. ...

Grimes: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 9 May 2012

"I'VE GOT NO VOCALS," begins Grimes, aka 24-year-old Montreal-based artist Claire Boucher. It turns out she isn't plugged in, but the gig's beginning is only ...

Lee Ranaldo: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 10 June 2012

THE APPARENT END of Sonic Youth has produced the unlikely emergence of the band's co-founder as a sweetly tuneful rocker. After 30 years crafting walls ...

Roxette: Manchester Arena

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 5 July 2012

FORMED IN 1986, the Swedish duo Roxette were one of the biggest pop phenomena of the 1980s and 1990s. In 2012, the vast arena isn't ...

Damian Marley: 30 minutes with … Damian Marley

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 19 July 2012

THE REGGAE STAR on the bittersweet pleasure of watching footage of his father, why people have started calling him "Gong Zilla", and how Jamaica has ...

Razorlight: Myrtle Park, Bingley

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 2 September 2012

IN THE DAYS when Razorlight's Johnny Borrell happily compared himself to Bob Dylan and Charles Dickens, he would not have expected to rock up at ...

Nickelback: Manchester Arena

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 7 October 2012

CANADIAN ROCKERS Nickelback aren't universally popular. Some 55,000 American football fans once signed a petition to attempt to stop them playing at half time. A ...

Dirty Projectors: Gorilla, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 15 October 2012

WHEN ALICE COOPER recently accused today's rock stars of lacking testosterone and "playing from the brain", he could have had David Longstreth in mind. ...

Grizzly Bear: Academy, Manchester

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 19 October 2012

GRIZZLY BEAR DON'T HAVE LAVISH VIDEOS featuring big cars and girls, expensively produced songs about bling or even an easily recognisable frontman. However, none of ...

Amanda Palmer & the Grand Theft Orchestra: Manchester Cathedral

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 25 October 2012

AMANDA PALMER IS NO STRANGER TO CONTROVERSY. The former Dresden Dolls singer writes songs about her experiences of date-rape and abortion. She somehow coaxed her growing ...

Civil Wars, the: The Civil Wars at Apollo, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 31 October 2012

On paper, the Civil Wars shouldn't work at all. Joy Williams is 29, brought up in California and grew up on blues and country. John ...

Beth Orton: Memorial Hall, Sheffield

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 28 November 2012

"GOOD EVENING Shef-f-f-f-f-iel-d-d-d," begins Beth Orton, as an incorrectly set microphone makes her voice sound as if it has been remixed by King Tubby. Then ...

Seal: Apollo, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 10 December 2012

"C'MON," says Seal, holding back the first verse of his signature tune 'Killer' until the audience is clapping from front row to back. Then he leaps ...

Johnny Marr, The Smiths: Johnny Marr on the Smiths, Morrissey and putting politics back in pop

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 11 January 2013

With the release of his first solo album The Messenger, the former Smiths guitarist talks about finally embracing his old sound, David Cameron and why ...

Girls Aloud: Arena, Newcastle

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 22 February 2013

A DECADE AGO, when reality TV show Popstars: The Rivals pitted Girls Aloud against favourites One True Voice, you wouldn't have put money on the ...

Adamski, Seal: Seal and Adamski: How we made 'Killer'

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 11 March 2013

The singer and producer recall the acid house anthem that took them from illegal raves to stardom and a No 1 hit. ...

Bring Me the Horizon: Cockpit, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 3 April 2013

"'OW THE FUCK ARE WE FEELING, LEEDS?" asks Oli Sykes, frontman of Bring Me the Horizon, to roars of approval. His Sheffield quintet are leading ...

Jason Derulo: "I couldn't even tie my own shoelaces"

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 2 July 2013

JASON DERULO is back in the charts — despite breaking his neck after a back flip went wrong. So is the R&B sensation still doing acrobatics? ...

Pond (Australia): Pond: Hobo Rocket

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 1 August 2013

INCLUDING TWO CURRENT MEMBERS of Tame Impala and one ex-member in Nick Allbrook, Aussie band Pond are a slightly jokier but no less productive relation ...

Chase and Status: Arena, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 10 November 2013

CELEBRATING THEIR 10TH YEAR as a dance act by progressing to arenas, Saul "Chase" Milton and Will "Status" Kennard stand knob-twiddling behind lasers, giant jets ...

Maroon 5, Robin Thicke: Maroon 5/Robin Thicke: LG Arena, Birmingham

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 9 January 2014

IT MUST BE STRANGE being Robin Thicke. There he was, bouncing along with a solid if unremarkable 10-year career in R&B and suddenly 'Blurred Lines' ...

Lamb of God: Academy, Newcastle

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 15 January 2014

"LAMB OF GOD! LAMB OF GOD!" cry north-east England's metal hordes in a room where ritual is king. Pints are hurled and tattoos are compared ...

Dream Theater: Apollo Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 17 February 2014

CAPE-WEARING former Yes keyboard player Rick Wakeman recently told The Guardian where prog rock went wrong in the 1970s. "We had this thing where bands ...

Angel Haze: Gorilla, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 9 March 2014

"I KNOW I haven't done a bunch of shows, so thanks y'all for coming out to see me eventually," says Angel Haze, reflecting on her ...

Dillinger, Yellowman: Yellowman/Dillinger: Band on the Wall, Manchester — Two reggae legends on the same bill

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 10 March 2014

Incorrigible showmen unite with a superb band in a smallish venue to give an enthusiastic young audience a treat ...

Drake, The Weeknd: Drake/The Weeknd: Manchester Arena

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 12 March 2014

ABEL TESFAYE, aka the Weeknd, is receiving the kind of cheers you rarely hear for what is technically a support act. The fast-rising 22-year-old Toronto ...

The Stranglers on 40 years of fights, drugs, UFOs and "doing all the wrong things"

Retrospective and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 12 March 2014

Legend has it the Stranglers started a fight with the Clash, took heroin for a year, exploited strippers on stage, and incited a riot in ...

Justin Timberlake: Sheffield Arena

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 31 March 2014

THE FIRST THING Sheffield sees of Justin Timberlake is his giant silhouette on an enormous backdrop. ...

Slint's Spiderland: the album that reinvented rock

Retrospective and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 1 May 2014

IN 1991, TEENAGE BAND Slint recorded Spiderland, a brooding, sinister record that invented post-rock and influenced a generation of musicians. What inspired a group of ...

Janelle Monáe: The Institute, Birmingham

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 9 May 2014

"JANELLE! MON-ÁE!" yells the Birmingham crowd as the singer is pushed on in a wheelchair, wearing a straitjacket. She leaps up, throwing off the garment ...

One Direction: Stadium Of Light, Sunderland ***

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 29 May 2014

There may be yet more trouble ahead but it will clearly take more than a whiff of controversy to blunt 1D's appeal ...

The Eagles, Bernie Leadon: Eagles: Leeds Arena

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 25 June 2014

"WE'LL PLAY TOGETHER AGAIN when hell freezes over," insisted the Eagles' Don Henley when the 70s' biggest-selling American band fell apart in 1980, amid drug ...

Tame Impala: Albert Hall, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 13 July 2014

IT MUST BE STRANGE for Tame Impala's Kevin Parker to have written an album about isolation and loneliness and then be required to share his ...

Katy B: Pride, Liverpool waterfront

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 3 August 2014

Out of her natural club environment, and thrust on to a pigeon-strewn, rainy promenade, Katy B compensated by having something for everybody. ...

Adam Lambert, Queen: Queen and Adam Lambert: Arena, Newcastle

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 14 January 2015

AS FANCIFUL AS IT SOUNDS, in Lambert the legendary rock band have found a flamboyant showman with the Freddie factor ...

Slipknot: Sheffield Arena, Sheffield

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 19 January 2015

"IS THAT FUCKIN' Sheffield I hear?" asks Corey Taylor, Slipknot's horror-masked frontman. ...

Django Django: The Wardrobe, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 17 February 2015

DJANGO DJANGO have always favoured doing things with a twist. Their eponymous debut was hailed for its innovative, modern take on psychedelia, offering a beaty ...

The Strokes: How we made Is This It

Retrospective and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 24 March 2015

ALBERT HAMMOND Jr, lead guitar: ...

Django Django: "After our first album, everything went nuts"

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 26 March 2015

Django Django's first record propelled them from back-room gigs to the top of festival bills. How did they escape second-album syndrome? ...

Gaz Coombes: The Cluny, Newcastle

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 1 May 2015

WITH PSYCHEDELIC SYMPHONIES and darkly ecstatic drug meltdowns, the ex-Supergrass frontman takes the crowd on a ride from melancholia to euphoria. ...

Pharrell Williams: First Direct Arena, Leeds ****


Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Observer, 14 June 2015

The effortless party-starting superstar may be a jack of all trades, but he's masterly at most ...

Sarah Cracknell: Gorilla, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 21 June 2015

"YOU MAY NOTICE that I've got a bad throat," begins Sarah Cracknell, ominously. For the next couple of songs, she struggles to hit the higher ...

Michael Head & The Strands: The Olde World

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 25 June 2015

AFTER FRONTING the revered-but-unsuccessful Pale Fountains, Shack and the Strands alongside his guitarist brother John, Michael Head was once dubbed "Britain's greatest songwriter (recognise him?)" ...

Wilco: Star Wars ****

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 17 July 2015

The Chicago band's ninth album successfully blends Bowie space-glam, Beatles psychedelic singsong and Captain Beefheart weirdness ...

Magnum, Suzi Quatro, Saxon, Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash: "We'll retire at 106. What else can we do?" The rockers who won't call it a day

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 18 August 2015

From Suzi Quatro to Saxon's Biff Byford, rock's pioneers have been making music for more than 40 years. Here they talk about leather jumpsuits, performing ...

Wolf Alice: Newcastle University

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 22 September 2015

IN AN AGE OF INSTANT EVERYTHING, Wolf Alice prove that the tortoise can still beat the hare. After they formed (initially as an acoustic duo) ...

The Lemonheads: Ritz, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 8 October 2015

Without the drugs, and supported by the youthful enthusiasm of bassist Jen Turner, Evan Dando gives his hit parade the care it deserves – and ...

Beach House: Ritz, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 28 October 2015

"THIS ONE'S GOING to be in near darkness," mutters the man on the door, and Beach House emerge in so much gloom that if one ...

Alien Ant Farm: Northumbria University, Newcastle

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 11 January 2016

THE LIKES OF KORN and Limp Bizkit may have been the stars of nu-metal, but Californians Alien Ant Farm were the movement's successful pranksters. While ...

Shearwater: Jet Plane and Oxbow

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 21 January 2016

SHEARWATER'S SOMETIME naturalist frontman, Jonathan Meiburg, describes the band's ninth and finest album as a "protest record", and it finds him surveying a world embattled ...

Barry Adamson: "I've been called the outsider's outsider"

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 15 February 2016

The Bad Seeds and Magazine bassist on writing music for David Lynch, being ignored by Morrissey and moving to Moss Side to recuperate after the ...

White Denim: The Deaf Institute, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 16 February 2016

THEY DON'T HAVE the sheen of contemporaries the Black Keys, but fired-up guitar solos and soulful falsettos get the crowd whooping ...

Bill Ryder-Jones: The Deaf Institute, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 6 March 2016

A MAGICAL TALENT spills melody and emotion. Co-founder of the Coral takes the solo route to fuse grunge and gentleness in compelling tales of everyday ...

Explosions in the Sky: The Wilderness

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 31 March 2016

TEXAN FOUR-PIECE Explosions in the Sky have developed an international cult following as their post-rock instrumentals have appeared everywhere from film soundtracks to TV trailers. ...

Belly: Leeds Univeristy

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 17 July 2016

Beguiling fairytales, big choruses — as the crowd declare love, it beggars belief that Belly have spent so long in cold storage. ...

The Moles: Tonight's Music

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 11 August 2016

LIKE THEIR PEERS the Chills, the Moles' gently psychedelic, impassioned indie-rock strayed into the elemental. Now reactivated around Australian founder Richard Davies after interest was ...

Lisa Hannigan: At Swim

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 26 August 2016

IT'S 14 YEARS since Lisa Hannigan first came to attention as the second voice on Damien Rice's debut, O, and five since her last album, ...

Ed Harcourt: "I'm coming out with fists flying"

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 14 September 2016

It's taken seven albums, visions of the child catcher and Billy Bunter's reflection in the mirror, but the English songwriter has finally refound his voice ...

Arab Strap: The Cluny, Newcastle upon Tyne

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 13 October 2016

Aidan Moffatt and Malcolm Middleton revive tales of chaotic lifestyles for Brexit Britain, with music that ricochets between folk, pop and intense dance. ...

Chance the Rapper: Academy, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 21 November 2016

The hip hop boundary-breaker had a triumphant night in Manchester, keeping his audience on their toes with a mix of humility, eclecticism and spirituality. ...

The Lemon Twigs: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 2 December 2016

Michael and Brian D'Addario dress like they're in a 70s panto, but any suggestions of pastiche are demolished by the humbling beauty of their songs. ...

The Blue Aeroplanes: Academy 2, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 16 January 2017

With their constantly changing lineup, poetic lyrics and unstoppable dancer Wojtek, the Bristol band show no signs of landing. ...

Jesca Hoop: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 29 March 2017

THE TRADITIONAL music business strategy of finding a distinctive style and sticking to it doesn't apply to Jesca Hoop. ...

Chesney Hawkes, Nik Kershaw: Chesney Hawkes and Nik Kershaw: How we made 'The One and Only'

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 22 May 2017

Chesney Hawkes, singer My dad was in the Tremeloes. As a kid, I watched him — Len "Chip" Hawkes — in his leather trousers with his ...

Broken Social Scene: Albert Hall, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 24 May 2017

THE DAY AFTER THE ARENA BOMBING, Manchester city centre is almost deserted and police patrol the streets. Evening sunshine pours through stained glass windows into ...

Declan McKenna: What Do You Think About the Car?

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 20 July 2017

WITH A MAJOR LABEL DEAL and a super televised Glastonbury appearance under his belt at the age of 18, Declan McKenna has the youthful self-confidence ...

Wolf Alice: The Venue, Derby

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 17 August 2017

LAST YEAR, Wolf Alice singer Ellie Rowsell told the Observer that she was reading Michael Azerrad's book Our Band Could Be Your Life, which had ...

The Mountain Goats: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 6 October 2017

John Darnielle was on gloriously shambolic form as music's goth capital was treated to a chaotic evening that merged flute solos with satanic worship. The Mountain ...

Destroyer: Ken

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 19 October 2017

Indie polymath moves from hurtling shoegaze to blissed-out electronica. ...

Insane Clown Posse: Riverside, Newcastle

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 15 November 2017

CONTROVERSY SEEMS to follow Insane Clown Posse around. The Detroit "horrorcore" duo have seen albums pulled from shelves and their army of fans, the Juggalos, ...

Liam Gallagher: First Direct Arena, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 4 December 2017

Raw power and energy radiate from the former Oasis frontman as he draws on songs from his solo debut and era-defining classics in a dynamo ...

Fall Out Boy: Mania

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 19 January 2018

MANY A BAND has stumbled trying to take a cult following with them into the uber-mainstream. However, since re-forming in 2013, Fall Out Boy have ...

Toto: how we made 'Africa'

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 30 January 2018

"IF THIS IS A HIT," I said, "I'll run naked down Hollywood Boulevard." ...

Macklemore: Victoria Warehouse, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 2 April 2018

WHEN HE WAS A STRUGGLING UNKNOWN, Seattle's Ben Haggerty, AKA Macklemore, pondered being a white rapper: "I give everything I have when I write a ...

Shame: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 11 April 2018

The young Londoners make no bones about thieving ideas from other bands, but their blend of intense rhythms and sarcastic banter is unique. ...

Eleanor Friedberger: Rebound

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 4 May 2018

IN 2016, ELEANOR Friedberger spent a month in Athens, Greece, ending up in what the half-Greek American describes as an "'80s goth disco" – called ...

Hollywood Vampires: Genting Arena, Birmingham

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 18 June 2018

THE ORIGINAL HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES drinking club included the likes of John Lennon and Harry Nilsson. Today, the band of the same name are a curious ...

Ty Segall and White Fence: Joy

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 20 July 2018

CALIFORNIAN CULT GARAGE ROCKER Ty Segall is a textbook example of how to succeed in the modern music industry on one's own terms. Over the ...

Gabrielle: Under My Skin

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 17 August 2018

IT'S 25 YEARS SINCE Gabrielle scored a No 1 with her first single, 'Dreams' ("can come true …"), virtually the story of her mercurial rise ...

The Lemon Twigs: Go to School

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 24 August 2018

OH HOW WE LAUGHED when these two teenage former child actors emerged from Long Island in 2016. Their garish soft-rock 70s jackets and mullets made ...

Idles: Joy As an Act of Resistance

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 31 August 2018

POP MUSIC TAKES US to some wonderful places in 2018 but, Sleaford Mods aside, doesn't often reflect the sharp end of austerity, post-referendum Britain. But, ...

Prince: Piano & a Microphone 1983 — revelatory listen from a colossal talent

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 21 September 2018

THE RECORDINGS on this posthumous Prince album weren't originally intended for release. But they capture Prince Rogers Nelson at the peak of his powers, alone ...

What crisis? Why music journalism is actually healthier than ever

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 24 October 2018

A steady decline in circulation of the music press, epitomised by the closure of NME this year, has created new opportunities for stalwarts and niche ...

Architects: Holy Hell - Addressing Tragedy With Gravity And Defiance

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 9 November 2018

IN 2016, Brighton metalcore giants Architects were sent reeling when founder guitarist and songwriter, Tom Searle — brother of drummer Dan — died of skin ...

Judge Jules: How we made: Ministry of Sound

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 13 November 2018

"I found a car park in Elephant and Castle, south London, with a roof covered in pigeon poo. I walked in and thought, 'This is ...

Bring Me the Horizon: Arena Birmingham

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 26 November 2018

AHEAD OF THEIR FORTHCOMING sixth album, the Sheffield pop-metal band provide catharsis but stop short of being true spokesmen for a troubled generation. 'We'll never sell ...

The Good Bad & The Queen: The Good, the Bad & the Queen: North Pier theatre, Blackpool

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 2 December 2018

DAMON ALBARN JABS A FINGER at Brexit Britain's divisions but the show turns bawdily riotous and, with the help of a male voice choir, inspirational Away ...

Wooden Shjips: V

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 3 December 2018

THIS TIME LAST YEAR, Wooden Shjips were working on a "summer record", but external events impinged on the creative process. There was America's climate of ...

The Cardigans: Manchester Apollo

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 4 December 2018

The guitar-pop band reconvene to play their biggest-selling album, Gran Turismo — but shine brightest when they leave its darkness behind. ...

Bring Me the Horizon: Amo

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 25 January 2019

"It ain't heavy metal, but that's alright"  ...

The Struts: Stylus, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 18 February 2019

If Rami Malek hadn't landed the part of Freddie Mercury in the Bohemian Rhapsody film, it should surely have gone to Luke Spiller. The Struts' ...

Billie Eilish: Academy, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 28 February 2019

A teenage talent not quite eclipsed by screaming fans: the LA singer had her young audience shouting her empowering lyrics as she worked the room ...

Foals: Gorilla, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 5 March 2019

Ahead of their fifth album, Yannis Philippakis and co. blend the avant garde with football-terrace energy. ...

Foals: Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part I

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 8 March 2019

Foals have found a new zip to their grooves: this is a fitting soundtrack for a world mired in uncertainty ...

Baroness: Gold & Grey – ambitious rockers go beyond metal

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 14 June 2019

BARONESS HAVE CERTAINLY paid their dues. A bad 2012 bus crash, resulting in traumatic injuries and the departure of three members, played havoc with the ...

Ty Segall: First Taste

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 2 August 2019

OVER THE LAST 11 YEARS, Californian cult garage rocker Segall has released 13 solo albums, collaborated with Tim Presley on last year's excellent Joy, played ...

Mel B: Grand Theatre, Leeds - A Brutally Honest Evening

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 26 August 2019

THIS SHOW IS BILLED AS "brutally honest" so let's be brutally honest. Mel B's audience isn't full – although neither is it the sales disaster ...

Lil Peep: Everybody's Everything

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 15 November 2019

LIL PEEP'S DEATH from a drugs overdose in 2017 hasn't stopped a thriving industry continuing in the emo rapper's wake. Last year's Come Over When ...

Snow Patrol: How they made 'Run'

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 26 November 2019

"I WENT ON a three-day bender in Glasgow and woke up blind in one eye with teeth missing. After I recovered, songs started pouring out ...

Roxette: 'It Must Have Been Love': Roxette's power ballad is a masterpiece of pain

Essay by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 10 December 2019

By following the Motown blueprint of blending ecstatic music with agonised lyrics, Roxette created the ultimate breakup song — and the late Marie Fredriksson delivered ...

James Blunt: How we made 'You're Beautiful'

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 14 January 2020

'It's portrayed as a romantic song but it's actually a bit creepy. It's about a guy — me — stalking someone else's girlfriend while high' ...

Tame Impala: The Slow Rush

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 14 February 2020

Perth's disco dork returns after a four-year hiatus with an album that finds existential meaning in genre-surfing dance music ...

Michael Kiwanuka: O2 Academy, Birmingham

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 2 March 2020

The two-time Brit nominee rejects a brash victory lap in favour of a deep dive into his socially conscious hit album ...

Jamie Cullum: Barbican, York

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 12 March 2020

Although some routines are getting well-worn, Cullum hops between hip-hop, crooning and one-liners with aplomb ...

Rick Astley, Stock Aitken Waterman: Rick Astley: How we made 'Never Gonna Give You Up'

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 23 March 2020

"One day I was making the tea for Bananarama. The next I was at No 1." ...

Clannad: How Clannad made 'Theme from Harry's Game'

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 13 April 2020

"The chorus comes from ancient Irish music. Some people thought I was singing, 'On the dole, all day'" ...

Discharge, GBH: 'They made Sex Pistols sound like Take That': the fury of Midlands punk

Profile and Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 21 April 2020

Discharge, GBH and other scrappy bands rose up out of a scene where gigs were like wars. Clay Records' leading lights recall how technique came ...

XTC: How we made 'Making Plans for Nigel'

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 27 April 2020

"British Steel responded by rounding up a lot of workers called Nigel and getting them to say their jobs were actually great." ...

Working Men's Club: Working Men's Club (Heavenly)

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 2 October 2020

The West Yorkshire band take the stark electronics of the post-punk scene and warm them with Detroit techno and Italian house – while addressing Andrew ...

Faithless: how we made 'Insomnia'

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 19 October 2020

"MTV FORCED US to change the first line. It was originally: I only smoke weed when I need to" ...

Roland Gift: "I went back to where being pretty didn't matter"

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 3 December 2020

HE WAS "THE FIRST BLACK PUNK IN HULL" and was named one of the world's 50 most beautiful people. But the singer turned his back ...

Sean Paul's teenage obsessions: "My Coventry grandmother cooked me bubble and squeak"

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 11 March 2021

Ahead of two new albums this spring, the dancehall superstar recalls the poignancy of his first love, and how water polo took his mind off ...

Rose Royce — How we made 'Car Wash'

Interview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 12 July 2021

"This will never be a hit, we told each other — we are literally singing about a car wash!" ...

Fontaines DC: University of Liverpool

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 3 October 2021

The Dubliners burst brilliantly back on stage with literary-hearted rock that's up there with the Smiths or the Pogues ...

Sam Fender: Utilita Arena, Newcastle

Live Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 19 November 2021

A RAPTUROUS CROWD offer a hero's welcome to the singer whose epic anthems deliver eeriness, intimacy and utter exhilaration ...

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