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Chris O'Toole - Live Music Reviews


MC50 - Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, 12/11/2018

Chris O'Toole at the Shepherd's Bush Empire finds founding member Wayne Kramer's supergroup playing superb tribute to the MC5's classic 1968 debut album 'Kick out the Jams' fifty years after it was released.

Black Angels

Black Angels - Forum, London, 22/9/2017

Chris O'Toole finds much-acclaimed psychedelic rockers the Black Angels unconvincing at a gig at the Forum in London.

Radiophonic Workshop

Radiophonic Workshop - Science Museum, London, 26/6/2017

Chris O'Toole at the Science Museum in London enjoys a night of archival sound effects and TV programme soundtracks from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop


Grandaddy - Roundhouse, London, 3/4/2017

Chris O'Toole enjoys a wistful and understated set at the Roundhouse in London from critically acclaimed California-formed indie act Grandaddy


Wand - Boston Music Room, London, 4/11/2016

Chris O' Toole watches Los Angeles-based psychedelic rockers Wand play an eclectic but ultimately unsatisfactory set at the Boston Music Rooms in London

Lightning Bolt

Lightning Bolt - Electric Ballroom, London, 26/11/2015

Chris O' Toole watches American noise rock duo Lightning Bolt play a furious set at the Electric Ballroom in London


Lonelady - Electrowerkz, London, 24/2/2015

Chris O'Toole watches Manchester-based electro folk artist LoneLady, despite initial technical problems, make an energetic return to the stage at the Electrowerkz in London to promote her forthcoming first album in five years, 'Hinterland'


Aristullus - Islington Assembly Hall, London, 23/5/2014

Chris O'Toole watches foemer Galaxie 500 and Luna front man Dean Wareham play a surprisingly increasingly upbeat set at the Islington Assembly Hall in London

Therapy ?

Therapy ? - Scala, London, 9/4/2014

Chris O'Toole at the Scala in London watches Irish alternative rock trio Therapy? play a euphoric set to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of their bestselling 1994 second album 'Troublegum'

Okkervil River

Okkervil River - Islington Assembly Hall, London, 27/11/2013

Chris O' Toole watches acclaimed Americana act Okkervil River play a disappointing set at the Islington Assembly Hall in London

Black Pus

Black Pus - Dome, London, 23/9/2013

Black Pus is the solo project of chaotic Rhode Island duo Lightning Bolt drummer Brian Chippendale. Chris O'Toole watches him play a dazzling and surprisingly pop-oriented show at the Dome in London

Moon Duo

Moon Duo - Dome, London, 17/7/2013

Chris O' Toole enjoys a set of blissed out guitar/keyboard rock from San Francisco-based group Moon Duo at a show at the Dome in London

Veronica Lipgloss and the Evil

Veronica Lipgloss and the Evil - Electric Ballroom, London, 5/7/2013

Chris O'Toole finds melodic American noise rock duo Pissed Jeans on dynamic form in a razor sharp, short set at the Electric Ballroom in London

Stereo Total

Chris O' Toole sees reformed post-punk giants Swans play an intense, but ultimately cathartic show at at the KOKO in London


Chrisn O' Toole watches reformed American post-punks Swans play an intense, but brilliant set at the KOKO in London


EMA - Scala, London, 15/52012

Chris O' Toole watches EMA, the moniker of Californian singer-songwriter and former Amps for Christ front woman Erika Anderson, play a set of violent, cathartic rock in an intense, but compelling show at the Scala in London


Moonface - Cargo, London, 29/5/2012

Chris O'Toole at Cargo in London expresses surprise at Spencer Krug's recent formulaic approach to lyric writing with Moonface despite the fantastical nature of much of his previous work

M Gira

M Gira - Cafe Oto, London, 7/4/2012

Chris O'Toole finds industrial rock outfit Swans' front man to be an apocalyptic and terrifying presence in a quietly intense acoutsic gig at the Cafe Oto in London


Shearwater - Scala, London, 3/4/2012

Chris O'Toole watches still underappreciated dark folk rockers Shearwater play a superb set in their biggest gig to date yet at the Scala in London

Asobi Seksu

Asobi Seksu - XOYO, London, 19/4/2011

At a show to promote their latest album 'Fluoresence' with a new robust line-up, Chris O' Toole at the XOYO in London finds New York shoegazing band Asobi Seksu failing to build on or create new ground

Barn Owl

Barn Owl - City Arts and Music Project, London, 26/4/2011

Chris O'Toole is disappointed by an inconsequential and derivative set from drone guitar duo Barn Owl at the City Arts and Music Project in London

Timbre Timbre

Timbre Timbre - ICA, London, 27/4/2011

Chris O' Toole at the ICA in London finds still undiscovered Canadian trio Timber Timbre's unique brand of experimental blues absolutely compelling

Sleepy Sun

Sleepy Sun - Borderline, London, 29/11/2010

While their front woman Rachel Fannan has recently left the band, Chris O' Toole watches San Francisco group Sleepy Sun now operating as a five piece rise against the odds and play an awe-striking and epic set of psychedelia

Xiu Xiu

Xiu Xiu - XOYO, London, 16/10/2010

Chris O' Toole watches Californian avant-garde duo Xiu Xiu play a confrontational, but compelling show at the new venue of the XOYO in London

Mountain Goats

Mountain Goats - KOKO, London, 7/9/2010

While often only basic in their singing skills and guitar ability, Chris O' Toole finds both witty and inspiring a performance from the Mountain Goats, the group led by Indiana-based musician John Darnielle, at the KOKO in London

Silver Apples

Silver Apples - Luminaire, London, 8/8/2010

Now just reduced to a single member, Chris O' Toole at the Luminaire watches a riveting performance from seminal 60's electronic act, Silver Apples

Fucked Up

Fucked Up - Hoxton Bar and Kitchen, London, 9/8/2010

Chris O' Toole at the Hoxton Bar and Kitchen in London watches a celebratory, yet terrifying set peformance from Canadain hardcore outfit F**ked Up

Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy - Shepherds Bush Empire, London, 4/8/2010

Chris O' Toole wonders if Bonnie Prince Billy's long period of creative energy has finally come to an end after watching a sluggish show with the Cairo Gang at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London


Boredoms - Forum, London, 11/5/2010

Boredoms are a Japanese avant-garde group centered around guitarist Yamantaka Eye and a revolving assortment of drummers. At the Forum in London, Chris O' Toole watches an amazing spectacle from an eight piece line-up of the group


Client - Luminaire, London, 19/11/2009

Chris O' Toole is impressed by the Clientele's distinctive sound and tranquil melancholy at a home town gig at the Luminaire in London.

Cave Singers

Cave Singers - Cargo, London, 20/11/2009

On the last night of a British tour, Chris o' Toole finds whisky-stained country rockers, the Cave Singers, in celebratory mood at a show at the Cargo in London

Big Pink

Big Pink - Electric Ballroom, London, 23/10/2009

At a show at the Electic Ballroom in London, Chris O' Toole refuses to believe the hype and finds little to be excited after watching a performance from much acclaimed electro rockers, the Big Pink

Bill Callahan

Bill Callahan - Union Chapel, London, 20/8/2009

Chris O'Toole finds former Smog star, Bill Callahan, despite a new found buoyancy, aloof and rigid with his audience at a show at the Union Chapel in London

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura - Shepherds Bush Empire, London, 23/4/2009

Chris O' Toole watches Glaswegian pop-ensemble Camera Obscura play a a rewarding, but also strangely downbeat show at Shepherd's Bush Empire in London

Crystal Antlers

Crystal Antlers - Madame Jojo's, London, 8/3/2009

Chris O' Toole finds much hyped psychedelic blues act Crystal Antlers to be a band of boundless energy and ideas, but as yet lacking the ability to focus them in a live context at Madame Jojo's in London


Thermals - London, 10/2/2009

With disastrous weather conditions outside, Chris O' Toole at the Lexington in London finds Portland, Oregon three piece the Thermals' brand of brash, taut performance worth fihgting against the cold and snow for


Torche - Scala, London, 4/12/2008

Chris O' Toole enjoys high adrenalin sets from both gloom rockers Isis, and their support act rising pop metal outfit Torche at a show at the London Scala


Calexico - Forum, London, 11/10/2008

At a superb show at the Forum in London, Chris O' Toole discovers eclectic and erratic form of charming south-western Americana to be impossible to classify on record or stage

Fuck Buttons

Fuck Buttons - Hammersmith Apollo, London, 24/10/2008

At the Hammersmith Apollo in London Chris O' Toole finds promising Bristol duo avant garde F*ck Buttons, on a support date to Mogwai, used to playing smaller venues, struggling to translate their sound to a bigger audience

Cave Singers

Cave Singers - Cargo, London, 14/8/2008

The Cave Singers is the new project of hardcore act Pretty Girls Make Graves' front man, Derek Fudesco. At the Cargo in London Chris O' Toole finds their pastoral and off-kilter blend of folk rock both riveting and compelling


Yeasayer - King's College, London, 20/8/2008

Chris O' Toole is enthralled by Brooklyn-based experimentalists' Yeasayer's mercurial take on modern pop at a show at King's College in London

Liquid Liquid

Liquid Liquid - Barbican, London, 4/10/2008

Chris O' Toole at the London Barbican finds New York minimal funk pioneers Liquid Liquid's comeback after 25 years apart most welcome, but wonders if a more appropriate setting could have been chosen for their return


Mudhoney - Forum, London, 31/7/2008

At their only show this year in Britain, Chris O' Toole at gig at the Forum in London finds pioneers of grunge Mudhoney's primitive, explosive rock to have lost none of their bite

Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes - ULU, London, 11/6/2008

Fleet Foxes have received deafening acclaim for their wondrous harmonies and classic rock sound. On their first British tour at a packed show at the London ULU Anthony Dhanendran living up to the grand wave of expectation that has preceeded them

Bon Ivor

Bon Ivor - Forum, London, 16/5/2008

At the Forum in London Chris O' Toole watches Wisconsin singer-songwriter Justin Vernon, who works under the musicial moniker of Bon Ivor, take his rustic, threadbare tales of rural life and transform them into a rollicking live show


Dodos - Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, London, 2/6/2008

Chris O' Toole finds that, in contrast to their reserved and controlled studio recordings, sundrenched avant-garde American group the Dodos are a loose, faintly shambolic, but ultimately revelatory experience at a show at the Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen in London


Breeders - KOKO, London, 16/4/2008

After a seven year absence, the Breeders rectely returned with just their fourth album, 'Mountain Battles'. Chris O' Toole finds the illusive, but charming Deal sisters' show lacking bite at a gig at the KOKO in London


HEALTH - Luminaire, London, 1/5/2008

Chris O' Toole is impressed by both experimental Los Angeles' quartet HEALTH's force and volume at a show at the Luminaire in London

Malcolm Middleton

Malcolm Middleton - Union Chapel, London, 2/4/2008

In London's spectacular Union Chapel venue, Chris O' Toole sees Scottish singer-songwriter Malcolm Middleton perform a witty and polished, but surprisingly subdued concert

Fuck Buttons

Fuck Buttons - ICA, London, 30/1/2008

Chris O' Toole is impressed by Bristol-based duo F**k Buttons' loud and confrontational avant-garde experimentalism, but nevertheless finds it too controlled at a gig at the ICA in London

Hawk And A Hacksaw

Hawk And A Hacksaw - Club Zigana, the Romanian Restaurant, London, 4/12/2008

Chris O' Toole finds A Hawk and A Hacksaw's blend of Eastern European folk and jazz intriguing and beguiling, but hammpered by their audience at a gig at the one-off venue of Club Zigana Romanian Restaurant in London


Beirut - Roundhouse, London, 10/11/2007

Chris O' Toole is impressed by the carnivalesque nature and passion of Beirut and frontman Zach Condon's performance at the London Roundhouse

St Vincent

St Vincent - Bush Hall, London, 30/11/2007

St Vincent, the moniker for American musician Annie Clark, has won much acclaim for her debut album, 'Marry Me'. Chris O' Toole finds St Vincent's set rewarding, but over complicated and too unpredictable at the Bush Hall in London

Animal Collective

Animal Collective - Coronet Club, London, 11/7/2007

At gig at the London Coronet Club, Chris O' Toole enjoys seeing electro pioneers the Animal Collective play an enthrallingly experimental set


Bees - Mermaid Theatre, 23/7/2007

Despite being dropped recently by EMI, Chris O' Toole is convinced that the Bees still have a bright future after watching them play a triumphant set of their unqiue blend of reggae, psychedelic rock, Americana and swing at the Mermaid Theatre in London

Dan Deacon

Dan Deacon - Academy 3, Manchester, 23/7/2007

At the London Cargo Chris O' Toole watches Dan Deacon whip up and win over a particulary sour faced crowd with his hyper form of pop electronica

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