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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.

249 articles

By Artist | By Date

List of articles in the library by artist

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 – ...

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 ...

Aqualung: Who the hell are ... Aqualung

Profile by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 20 September 2002

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

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. ...

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 ...

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." ...

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. ...

Basement Jaxx: Academy, Manchester ****

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

Big cheese party ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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' ...

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, ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Bring Me the Horizon: Amo

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 25 January 2019

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

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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". ...

Eliza Carthy: Manchester University

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

Eliza Carthy goes pop ...

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 ...

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 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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

Cosmic Rough Riders at 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 ...

Crescent - Bristol band, 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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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. ...

Cypress Hill: The Royal Court, Liverpool

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

'POOL 'N' THE HILL ...

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. ...

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 ...

Death in Vegas: The Cockpit, Leeds

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

Better listen at home ...

Def Leppard: Sheffield Arena

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

Rusty metal with extra irony ...

Deicide at 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 ...

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 ...

Destroyer: Ken

Review by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 19 October 2017

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

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 ...

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". ...

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. ...

Discharge, GBH: Punk: Discharge and GBH

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 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 ...

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 ...

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 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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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! ...

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 ...

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 ...

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), ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

Freeheat: Who the hell are... Freeheat

Overview by Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 9 November 2001

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

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

The Guillemots: 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 ...

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 ...

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; ...

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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

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. ...

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?)" ...

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 ...

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. ...

The Horrors: Academy 3, Manchester

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

THE HORRORS are true pop chameleons. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

Whitney Houston: Sheffield Arena **

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

Diva takes a nosedive ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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. ...

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 ...

Kenickie: The Rocket, Leeds

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

Kenickie's in a twist ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

L7: Manchester University

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

Bad grrls live forever ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 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 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 ...

Lina: Manchester University

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

Lina's delicious smoky big band sound ...

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

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

THAT'S BLOWN IT! ...

Lush: Brighton Beach, Leeds

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

Two trumps for a busted Lush ...

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 ...

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

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

Saint Errant ...

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, ...

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 ...

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 ...

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' ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

Muse: Manchester Academy

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

Cheek-sucking Muse camp it up ...

µ-ziq: Tango N'Vectif (Rephlex)

Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 22 January 1994

THE WAGES OF SYNTH ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

The Orb: The Academy, Manchester

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

BALL OF CONFUSION ...

The Orb: The Warehouse, Leeds

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

OUT OF ORBIT ...

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, ...

Beth Orton: Academy, Manchester ****

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

Real angry woman ...

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 ...

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 ...

Panjabi MC: The Album (Dharma/Showbiz)

Review by Dave Simpson, The Times, 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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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

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

Blinds have more fun ...

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 ...

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, ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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, ...

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," ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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. ...

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. ...

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 ...

Sting: Sheffield Arena

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

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

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. ...

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 ...

The Strokes: How we made Is This It

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

ALBERT HAMMOND Jr, lead guitar: ...

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, ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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.  ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

List of genre pieces

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 ...

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 ...

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  ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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