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John Clarkson - Live Music Reviews

Moon Under Water

Moon Under Water - Cavern, London, 25/4/2019

John Clarkson watches Moon under Water play their official debut show in London at a tribute gig to Sound frontman Adrian Borland to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of his death, and sees them reunite his and drummer Adrian Janes' old band The Outsiders for the first time in forty years

Echo And The Bunnymen

Echo And The Bunnymen - Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 23/5/2018

John Clarkson at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh watches Echo and The Bunnymen play a gripping set which finds them reinterpreting for a new album their back catalogue with a strings section.


Damned - Hydro, Glasgow, 19/6/2018

John Clarkson at the Hydro in Glasgow watches punk legends the Damned in a set in support of the Hollywood Vampires play a set of their classic singles and songs.

New International

New International - Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 5/2/2018

John Clarkson watches semi-orchestral Glasgow/Edinburgh band A New International at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh preview a set of songs that they are collaborating on for a pop opera and theatre production which will tour nationally next year.

Guns N Roses

Guns N Roses - Stade de France, Paris, 7/7/2017

Richard Lewis reviews the reunited classic line up of Guns N’ Roses on excellent form at the Stade De France, Paris as part of their Not In This Lifetime Tour

Cathode Ray

Cathode Ray - Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, 13/11/2016

John Clarkson at The Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh watches alternative rock act the Cathode Ray play a forceful show in support of the Monochrome Set to finish the promotion of their second album 'Infinite Variety'

Sonic Boom

Sonic Boom - Trades Club, Hebden Bridge, 8/7/2016

Dastardly heads north to see Sonic Boom heading out to space from the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge

Cathode Ray

Cathode Ray - Basic Mountain, Edinburgh, 26/3/2016

John Clarkson watches alternative rock outfit the Cathode Ray play an impressive but unusual gig at Basic Mountain in their native Edinburgh

Stereogram Revue

Stereogram Revue - Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, 2/12.2015

John Clarkson at the Voodoo Rooms is impressed by the Stereogram Revue, a showcase gig for several of the acts on rising local label Stereogram Recordings


Rezillos - Liquid Room, Edinburgh, 11/12/2015

John Clarkson at an over-packed Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh watches 70's punks the Rezillos, back with 'Zero', their first album in thirty-seven years, play an excellent set

Tom Robinson

Tom Robinson - Queens Hall, Edinburgh, 6/11/2015

John Clarkson watches protest musician and singer-songwriter Tom Robinson play an impressive show at the Queen's Hall in Edinburgh on his first tour in almost twenty years to promote his album 'Only the Now'

Martin Metcalfe and the Fornicators

Martin Metcalfe and the Fornicators - Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, 30/6/2014

John Clarkson watches former Goodbye Mr Mackenzie front-man Martin Metcalfe play a career-defining set of both old and new material with his latest band the Fornicators in his first home town show in three years at the Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh

Chris Farlowe

Chris Farlowe - (Solid 60's Silver Show) Playhouse, Edinburgh, 24/2014

John Clarkson at the Playhouse in Edinburgh is impressed by the Solid Silver 60’s Show, which now in its 29th year features original 60's artists, and which included a strong set from blues legend Chris Farlowe

Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings

Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings - Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline, 20/11/2013

John Clarkson finds super group Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings outstanding in the only Scottish show of their recent tour at the Alhambra Theatre in Dunfermline

Parlour Flames

Parlour Flames - Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, 3/6/2013

John Clarkson watches Parlour Flames, the new band of former Oasis rhythm guitarist Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs and cult Manchester-based singer-songwriter Vinny Peculiar, play an electrifying set at the Voodoo Rooms in Wdinburgh


Godfathers - Picture House, Edinburgh, 1/3/2013

At a support date to the Stranglers at the Edinburgh Picture House on the first night of a three week tour, John Clarkson sees the reformed Godfathers, back on the road to promote their first album in seventeen years, play a fantastic set

Cathode Ray

Cathode Ray - Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh, 7/9/2012

John Clarkson finds enthralling the Cathode Ray's intense post punk at a gig at the Wee Red Bar in their native Edinburgh


Skinner - Electric Circus, Edinburgh, 17/2/2012

Grahame Skinner was the front man with 1980's chart band Hipsway and obscure 1990's art rock project Cowboy Mouth. John Clarkson at the Electric Circus finds him with his new band Skinner and at his first show in Edinburgh to be on unpredictable, but brilliant form

Asaf Avidan and the Mojos

Asaf Avidan and the Mojos - ABC, Glasgow, 21/1/2012

John Clarkson finds Scottish cult act the Big Dish's songs have lost none of their quality, but the Airdrie group lacking some faith in themselves in their first show in twenty years at the ABC in Glasgow

Jessie J

Jessie J - Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 25/10/2011

Despite appalling sound, John Clarkson finds pop sensation Jessie J taking some risks and much to commend in a show at the Edinburgh Usher Hall


Wilby - Just the Tonic, Tron Bar, Edinburgh, 24/8/2011

John Clarkson finds much to enjoy in comedian Rosie Wilby's self-deprecating new show, 'Rosie's Pop Diary', which tells of her time in the Brit Pop years trying and ultimately failing to make a success as a singer-songwriter

Tom Tom Club

Tom Tom Club - ABC, Glasgow, 20/72011

John Clarkson watches the Tom Tom Club, despite underwhelming ticket sales leading to a change of location, rise to the occasion and play an exuberant set at the ABC in Glasgow


Wolfmen - 100 Club, London, 14/7/2011

John Clarkson finds the Wolfmen, which is the band of former Adam Ant backing musicians Chris Constantintou and Marco Pirroni, taking risks at a show to launch their second album, 'Married to the Eiffel Tower', at the 100 Club in London


Miscellaneous - ABC2, Glasgow, 20/4/2011

At a show sponsored by Jack Daniels in the ABC2 in Glasgow, John Clarkson watches Sharleen Spiteri, Ian McCulloch, Kate Nash, Steve Mason and new bands Ramona and Kid Adrift play a frequently excellent set of David Bowie covers.


Scars - Picture House, Edinburgh, 28/12/2010

At their first show in nearly thirty years, John Clarkson is unconvinced by local post punk act the Scars in a gig at the Picture House in Edinburgh

Tender Trap

Tender Trap - Brixton JAMM, London, 22/7/2010

John Clarkson finds the indiepop scene flourishing on a five band bill out on by club night and label How Does It Feel to Be Loved? and headlined by Tender Trap at the Brixton JAMM in London


Glissando - Roxy, Edinburgh, 3/6/2010

In an evening packed with disaster, John Clarkson at the Roxy in Edinburgh watches Leeeds post-rock band Glissando, playing as a duo for the first time in two years, perform an against-the-odds spellbinding show

Isa and the Filthy Tongues

Isa and the Filthy Tongues - Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, 6/2/2010

At the launch gig for their second album 'Dark Passenger', John Clarkson watches Isa and the Filthy Tongues play an enthralling set of alt.rock, but finds them relying too much on thjeir past rather than present catalogue

Jimmy Webb

Jimmy Webb  - Queens Hall, Edinburgh, 6/11/2009

John Clarkson finds American singer-songwriter Jimmy Webb heartwrenching at a show at the Queen's Hall in Edinburgh

blow up hollywood

blow up hollywood - Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline, 8/7/2009

In the unusual setting of the Dunfermline Carnegie Hall, John Clarkson watches former Luna stars Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips play the UK premiere of '13 Most Beautiful...', a haunting live music soundtrack to the rarely seen 'Screen Tests' of Andy Warhol

Hey Negrita

Hey Negrita - Oran Mor, Glasgow, 17/6/2008

After a difficult year in which two of its principal members quit, John Clarkson at Oran Mor in Glasgow watches the new line-up of previously melancholic London-based blues/country rockers Hey Negrita play a blistering set fused with a new found spirit of optimism

Twilight Sad

Twilight Sad - Bongo Club, Edinburgh, 15/6/2008

At the Bongo Club in Edinburgh, John Clarkson watches usually far more impressive Scottish post rockers the Twilight Sad play au unfortunately messy and over wrought set

Hold Steady

Hold Steady - Dublin Castle, London, 18/1/2008

On a Friday have been garnering a reputation over the last few months for their strong stage presence and for having the same original name as Radiohead. Sarah Maybank watches them play an inflammatory set at the Dublin Castle in London

Stephanie Dosen

Stephanie Dosen - Ark, Edinburgh, 27/2/2008

John Clarkson watches acclaimed American singer-songwriter Stephanie Dosen play a shambolic, booze-fuelled set of wildly escalating highs and lows at the Ark in Edinburgh

Malcolm Middleton

Malcolm Middleton - Liquid Room, Edinburgh, 6/12/2007

John Clarkson enjoys a set of angst-ridden, but wryly humorous pop from former Arab Strap guitarist Malcolm Middleton at a homecoming Scottish gig to say farewell to his much acclaimed 'A Brighter Beat' album after nearly a year of touring it

Twilight Sad

Twilight Sad - Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, 29/11/2007

John Clarkson watches rising post rockers the Twilight Sad play an intense, but compelling set at the Cabaret Voltaire in Edinburgh

Lou Reed

Lou Reed - Hammersmith Apollo, London, 1/7/2007

Lou Reed has recently been touring Europe with his bleak early 1970's masterpiece, 'Berlin', and both a choir and brass and strings section. John Clarkson finds that it has lost none of and impact almost 35 years on from its original release and the New York rocker on fantastic form


Marillion - ABC, Glasgow, 5/6/2007

In his first Mrillion gig in nearly 20 years, John Clarkson sees the often misunderstood rockers play a genuinely enthralling set at the ABC in Glasgow

Malcolm Middleton

Malcolm Middleton - Queens Hall, Edinburgh, 13/1/2007

At a support date to Badly Drawn the Queen's Hall in Edinburgh, John Clarkson enjoys a set of blackly humorous acoustic pop from former Arab Strap guitarist, Malcolm Middleton


Leaves - Liquid Room, Edinburgh, 12/5/2005

Icelandic group the Leaves are back after a three year absence with a new album 'The Angela Test'. Despite sound problems. John Clarkson finds much to be impressed about with their blend of woozy, wispy rock at the Edinburgh Liquid Room


Miscellaneous - Venue, Edinburgh, 13/10/2004

Billed as "an acoustic punk supergroup", Dead Men Walking includes Glen Matlock, Mike Peters, Kirk Brandon, Bruce Watson and Slim Jim Phantom. John Clarkson enjoys their Edinburgh show on their latest tour


Waterboys - Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, 5/10/2003

The Waterboys' recent tour has found them playing shows of two halves that consist of both an acoustic and an electric set. In their 21st year, long-term fan John Clarkson finds them never more "complete"


MC5 - The Venue, Edinburgh, 9/6/2003

John Clarkson has never been an admirer of Wayne Kramer or MC%, but comes away a converted fan, after catching his first ever Scottish show at the Edinburgh Venue

Cale John

Cale John - King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, 23/6/2003

A few days into his first European tour in several years, John Cale, over 30 years on from the Velvet Underground, contnues to make waves and create surprises at Glasgow's King Tut's Wah Wah Hut

Sex Pistols

Sex Pistols - London Crystal Palace, 27/7/2002

John Clarkson finds a reformed and surprisingly well-rehearsed Sex Pistols still capable of producing the odd surprise in their first show in six years at London's Crystal Palace.

Willard Grant Conspiracy

Willard Grant Conspiracy - Edinburgh Village, 11/7/2002

WGC frontman Robert Fisher ; Steve Wynn and Silos vocalist Walter Salas-Humara recently got together to tour Britain and Ireland. John Clarkson revels in "a rare chance to catch three remarkable songwriters at their most intimate and stripped down"


Television - Edinburgh Liquid Room, 17/6/2002

In what was their first Scottish show in twenty five years, there was bound to be an element of mystery about Television's gig at the Edinburgh Liquid Room. John Clarkson, however, goes away more confused than before and with decidely mixed feelings

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