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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.

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, 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, Melody Maker, 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 ...

Adele: Academy, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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, 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 ...

Angel Haze: Gorilla, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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 ...

Erykah Badu: Apollo, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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 Beta Band, King Biscuit Time: Steve Mason: 'I've Had Enough'

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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 ...

Jeff Buckley

Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 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 ...

Mark Burgess: The Witchwood, Ashton-under-Lyne

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 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 ...

Melanie C: St George's Hall, Bradford

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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. ...

Natalie Cole: King and I

Interview by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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 ...

CSS: Cansai de Ser Sexy (Sub Pop)

Review by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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. ...

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

Interview by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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, 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, Guardian, The, 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, Guardian, The, 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 ...

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

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

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

The Divine Comedy

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 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 ...

Pete Doherty: Peter Doherty: Fez Club, Sheffield

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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, Guardian, The, 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, Guardian, The, 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 ...

East 17: Sheffield Arena

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

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

Elastica: Under the Influence — Elastica: Sheffield University

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

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

Eminem: Manchester Arena

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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 ...

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

Interview by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, September 2004

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

Foals: "I built a fortress around myself"

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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 ...

Foo Fighters: Foo Man Chew

Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 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 ...

Garbage: Go On, Manson

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 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 ...

Girls Aloud: Sheffield Arena ***

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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 ...

The Go-Betweens: Warehouse, Leeds

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Record Mirror, 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 ...

Har Mar Superstar: Welly Club, Hull

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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 Horrors: Academy 3, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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, Guardian, The, 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, Guardian, The, 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: Back From The Brink

Interview by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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 ...

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

Report by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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 ...

James: Manchester Apollo

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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: 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 ...

John Grant: Queen of Denmark (Bella Union)

Review by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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, Guardian, The, 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 ...

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 ...

Justin Timberlake: Arena, Sheffield

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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, Guardian, The, 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, Guardian, The, 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 ...

The Killers: Empress Ballroom, Blackpool ****

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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 ...

Lady Gaga: Academy, Manchester

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

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

The La's: Lee Mavers: The Lost Boy

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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 Lemonheads: Evan Dando: Whole In One

Profile and Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 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 ...

Lush: Singled Out

Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 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, December 1989

Saint Errant ...

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

Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 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, ...

Manic Street Preachers: Richey Edwards: Vanishing Point

Report by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 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, Guardian, The, 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' ...

Maximo Park: Tales of Woe and Vodka

Report and Interview by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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 ...

McAlmont: Splash Club, London

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 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, Guardian, The, 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, Guardian, The, 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, Guardian, The, 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 ...

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. ...

Paolo Nutini: Night & Day, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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, Guardian, The, 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 ...

Pulp: Fame Fatale

Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 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, 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 ...

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

Interview by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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, 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, Guardian, The, 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 ...

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

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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, Guardian, The, 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 ...

Shakira: Manchester Arena ****

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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 ...

Shed Seven: The Italian Mob!

Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 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, ...

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

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 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 ...

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

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

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

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

Retrospective and Interview by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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 Thrills: Apollo, Manchester

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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 Verve: Northern Soul Asylum

Interview by Dave Simpson, Melody Maker, 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, Guardian, The, 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 ...

Amy Winehouse: Carling Academy, Newcastle

Live Review by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, 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 ...

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