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Pete Paphides

Pete Paphides

Formerly The Times’ chief rock critic, Pete Paphides has been writing about music ever since his fanzine Perturbed came to the attention of Melody Maker in 1991. Leaving university the following year, he spent over two years writing for Melody Maker before commencing eight years at Time Out, interviewing artists as disparate as Prince, Radiohead, David Bowie, Cher, Pulp and Sting.

Whilst there, he didn’t waste any opportunity to record several of his subjects to record outgoing answerphone messages for him. Getting all three Bee Gees to sing, "If you want to leave a message for Pete/Hold on, hold on/Leave your name and number after the beep..." is a personal career highlight – closely trailed by the time Arnold Schwarzenegger’s P.A. physically ejected him from the room for having the temerity to make a similar request.

Prior to joining The Times in 2005, Pete wrote for Mojo, Q, The Guardian and Observer Music Monthly. He still contributes to The Word and Uncut – and has written and presented two series of Lost Albums for Radio Four, as well as Greek Blues – a one-off for the station in which he traced the roots of the music that his parents played during his early life.

Recent years have seen him interview Paul McCartney, Kanye West, Arctic Monkeys, Mariah Carey, Billy Joel, Mary J Blige and – during an epic bender which culminated at Kebab Machine in Notting Hill – an encounter which saw Paul Weller ordering him to "Have a kebab – it’s your heritage, man."

Pete has been lucky enough to interview members of his three favourite bands of all time – Radiohead, Abba and Pentangle, having written liner notes for the latter’s recent box set The Time Has Come.

List of articles in the library by artist

ABBA: Abba: Supertroupers

Interview by Pete Paphides, Guardian, The, June 2002

People were often a bit sneery about Abba, born of Eurovision, duded out in satin and feathers, quintessentially pop. Only years after the group broke ...

ABC, The Klaxons, Radiohead, The Stone Roses: Second Comings: The Klaxons and the Struggle to Follow Up a Hit Debut Album

Comment by Pete Paphides, Times, The, March 2009

IT TAKES SOME doing to instigate a backlash from your fans without actually releasing a record. Yet this month, by revealing that their record company, ...

Altered Images, The Belle Stars, Dollar, Five Star, The Human League, Kim Wilde, Visage: The Here And Now Tour: Many Happy Returns

Report and Interview by Pete Paphides, Guardian, The, March 2003

To some, the Here And Now Tour is a has-beens cabaret, to others it's a harmless trip down memory lane. Peter Paphides reports from the ...

Arctic Monkeys: Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

Review by Pete Paphides, Times, The, January 2006

GIVEN THAT there probably isn't a guitar-wielding teenager who wouldn't swap with them right now, it might seem strange to suggest that we should feel ...

Arctic Monkeys: Magna Centre, Rotherham

Live Review by Pete Paphides, Times, The, April 2006

SPEND AN hour in the company of Britain's hottest young band and an inescapable irony heaves into view. How is it that a frontman with ...

India.Arie: Hammersmith Apollo, London

Live Review by Pete Paphides, Times, The, March 2003

WHERE India.Arie is concerned, the journey to enlightenment will stop at nothing – not even hair. Shorn of her customary dreadlocks since her last British ...

Babyshambles: Down in Albion

Review by Pete Paphides, Times, The, November 2005

HOW TONY PARSONS delighted in playing the contrarian on last Friday's Newsnight Review. Having lived with Babyshambles' long-awaited debut album for a week, the Mirror columnist took ...

Badly Drawn Boy: Born in the UK (EMI)

Review by Pete Paphides, Times, The, October 2006

JAMES BLUNT may have recently been voted Britain's fourth-biggest irritant, but he's found an unlikely ally in Damon Gough, the man who trades as Badly ...

Badly Drawn Boy: Brixton Academy, London

Live Review by Pete Paphides, Times, The, December 2002

ON HIS arrival in 1997, Badly Drawn Boy was feted as a Beck-style musical polymath, but was then embraced as a traditional singer-songwriter. Lately though, ...

Beyoncé: Shy Big Sister by Day, Wild Girl by Night

Interview by Pete Paphides, Times, The, November 2008

Her partner wowed Glastonbury, her music sells millions and her private life keeps everyone guessing. We talk to an unusually demure superstar ...

Asha Bhosle: Royal Albert Hall, London

Live Review by Pete Paphides, Times, The, October 2002

POP STARS who complain about their workload might care to ponder the achievements of Asha Bhosle. Since she first stepped into a studio, aged ten, ...

Blur Are Back

Report and Interview by Pete Paphides, Times, The, December 2008

SIX YEARS AFTER they last played together, 13 since their epic chart duel with Oasis and almost three decades after the band's dominant figures met ...

BMX Bandits: Kylie Unlikely

Report and Interview by Pete Paphides, Melody Maker, August 1993

One day last week, THE BMX BANDITS — those hardy Scottish indie perennials — got caught up in a rather bizarre incident involving diminutive Antipodean ...

Boomtown Rats: The Boomtown Rats

Retrospective and Interview by Pete Paphides, MOJO, May 2005

LONDON 1978. Flushed with the vindication that comes with two hit singles, Bob Geldof has decided its time for payback. ...

Kate Bush: Catch Her Drift: Kate Bush: 50 Words For Snow (Fish People/EMI) ****

Review and Interview by Pete Paphides, MOJO, December 2011

Snow as a metaphor for the fragility of youth or a woman with "a thing" for snowmen? Kate Bush's second album of the year is ...

Charlotte Church: Tissues and Issues (Sony BMG)

Review by Pete Paphides, Times, The, July 2005

DID YOU see her on Jonathan Ross the other week? Didn't she do well? Quick-witted, funny and worldly in the face of her interlocutor's ceaseless ...

Curve: Radio Sessions (Anxious)

Review by Pete Paphides, Melody Maker, June 1993

THE TROUBLE WITH a lot of these session albums is that they don't appear to offer you anything tastier than slightly less slick versions of ...

Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga: Is Lady Gaga Corrupting Our Kids?

Comment by Pete Paphides, Times, The, August 2010

Modern pop stars are corrupting the young, says the pop veteran. But isn't that what they've always done? ...

Daft Punk: French Pop: A Long Way From Françoise Hardy To Daft Punk

Overview by Pete Paphides, Times, The, February 2003

IT IS no surprise that France has only just got around to its own equivalent of Top Of The Pops. In a country where philosophy ...

Kiki Dee: The way she came in: Kiki Dee: I'm Kiki Dee (Fontana 1968)

Retrospective by Pete Paphides, MOJO, June 2011

Rescued this month from the dank basement of underground music fandom, '60s pop splendor of uplift and emotional devastation. By Peter Paphides. ...

Cathy Dennis, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark: Songwriters: Musical Chairs

Special Feature by Pete Paphides, Guardian, The, September 2002

Today's pop stars, say their critics, aren't half as talented as their predecessors because they have little or nothing to do with writing their songs. ...

Dido, KT Tunstall: Dido et al: Music to Watch Girls Buy

Overview by Pete Paphides, Times, The, March 2005

Our correspondent casts a weather eye over the fleet of female singer-songwriters floating their sonic pedalos in the wake of Dido's mighty MOR steamship ...

Nick Drake: Stranger To The World

Retrospective and Interview by Pete Paphides, Observer Music Monthly, April 2004

Nick Drake's rare talent was almost ignored in his brief lifetime. Since his suicide 30 years ago, his legend has grown and now the discovery ...

The Editors: Editors: The Back Room

Review by Pete Paphides, Times, The, July 2005

THE EDITORS' rapidly growing legion of fans sent the group's recent single, 'Munich', into the Top 30 — and by the time you read this, its ...

Florence and the Machine: What's Haunting Florence and the Machine?

Report and Interview by Pete Paphides, Times, The, June 2009

Florence Welch, of Florence and the Machine, was a macabre child. Now she's haunted by other fears — of success, mainly. ...

Franz Ferdinand: You Could Have It So Much Better (Domino)

Review by Pete Paphides, Times, The, September 2005

WHAT WOULD you give for a tenth of the confidence with which Alex Kapranos carries himself? With five singles taken from Franz Ferdinand's eponymous debut ...

Bob Geldof: Live Aid: The View From The Pitch

Memoir by Pete Paphides, Observer, The, October 2004

Nothing was going to stop a schoolboy fan of the Boomtown Rats making it to Wembley on that fateful day. Peter Paphides recalls every high ...

David Gilmour: On An Island

Review by Pete Paphides, Times, The, March 2006

OUT IN CYBERSPACE reunion rumours swirl with niggling persistence, but David Gilmour's perpetual half-smile masks an unyielding nature. Asked about a putative Pink Floyd re-formation ...

Girls Aloud: Sheffield Arena

Live Review by Pete Paphides, Times, The, April 2009

SOULLESS THEY may be, but modern leisure hangars are efficient places when it comes to meeting the needs of those who come to see their ...

Girls Aloud: The Trojan Horses of Pop

Interview by Pete Paphides, Times, The, October 2006

Girls Aloud can't write songs. So what? They turned pop on its head ...

Goldfrapp

Profile and Interview by Pete Paphides, Times, The, April 2008

JUST BECAUSE Goldfrapp's new single is a sunny pop tune that goes by the name of 'Happiness', it doesn't mean that Alison Goldfrapp holds any ...

Ed Harcourt: From Every Sphere

Review by Pete Paphides, Word, The, March 2003

IF THEY DON'T write songs like they used to, no one told Ed Harcourt. Before the 26-year-old former chef put out his first album — ...

Juliana Hatfield: No Fun Girl Three: The Juliana Hatfield Three: Become What You Are (east west)

Review by Pete Paphides, Melody Maker, July 1993

SHE'S KIND OF complicated, our Juliana. Like in the way most people are complicated. ...

The Incredible String Band: A Goat of Many Colours: The Incredible String Band

Retrospective and Interview by Pete Paphides, Rock's Backpages, October 2008

Forty years ago this month, The Incredible String Band released their benchmark double album Wee Tam & The Big Huge, just one of many milestones ...

Michael Jackson: Child star Michael Jackson became a man with a rebel "Yeow"

Retrospective by Pete Paphides, Times, The, June 2009

THE FOOTAGE is grainy and has been replayed a million times, used on every programme ever made about Michael Jackson's life. ...

Michael Jackson: Child Star Michael Jackson Became a Man With a Rebel 'Yeow'

Retrospective by Pete Paphides, Times, The, June 2009

THE FOOTAGE is grainy and has been replayed a million times, used on every programme ever made about Michael Jackson's life. By rights, it should ...

Michael Jackson: The Musical Appreciation

Overview by Pete Paphides, Times, The, June 2009

You didn't just like his music. You believed in him, whatever the distance between musical legacy and personal strife. ...

Bert Jansch: A Modest Man with an Immodest Talent

Obituary by Pete Paphides, Guardian, The, October 2011

"REMEMBER ASKING Bert, 'When you were doing it, did you know that you were like … heavy? Heavier than all those bands that were heavy? ...

Kaiser Chiefs... but Under Your Control

Profile and Interview by Pete Paphides, Guardian, The, June 2011

Burned by past leaks, Kaiser Chiefs release their new album today after exactly zero buildup – and it might well be the world's first bespoke ...

Alison Krauss, Robert Plant: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss: Raising Sand

Review by Pete Paphides, Times, The, October 2007

OUT OF THE BLUE, Jo Bartlett, the co-organiser of the small folk festival, Green Man, received a phone call one day from someone purporting to ...

The Maccabees: The Maccabees May Yet Become Greats

Interview by Pete Paphides, Times, The, January 2010

The NME tour's latest headliners may be the next big thing, but they remain modest enough to doubt their No1 potential ...

Kirsty MacColl: Pussy Galore

Profile and Interview by Pete Paphides, Time Out, March 1995

IT'S BEEN a long ascent for Kirsty MacColl. Over 15 years, she's toiled away unassumingly in pursuit of that elusive beast, the perfect pop song. ...

Shane MacGowan: Roamin' Catholic

Interview by Pete Paphides, Time Out, September 1994

It's a long way to Tipperary. Ask Shane MacGowan, who staggered out of The Pogues to spend two years exploring his home town and re-examining ...

John Martyn: May we never forget the genius of John Martyn

Obituary by Pete Paphides, Times, The, January 2009

FOR MANY MUSIC fans, one lingering image of John Martyn, the British singer-songwriter who has died at the age of 60, remains preserved in the ...

Ms Dynamite: Judgement Days

Review by Pete Paphides, Times, The, October 2005

FUNNY WHAT mainstream appeal can do to an artist. Ms Dynamite has never sounded like someone who strived too hard to achieve it, but her ...

Paolo Nutini: Paisley's Own Caped Crusader

Profile and Interview by Pete Paphides, Times, The, February 2010

SEVERAL MONTHS have elapsed since Paolo Nutini got the idea for his performance at the 2010 Brit Awards. If he remembers the moment well, that'll ...

Oasis: Hampden Park, Glasgow

Live Review by Pete Paphides, Times, The, July 2005

THESE DAYS, the Zeitgeist might prefer to be seen on the town with the likes of Coldplay – but for a band shadowed by past ...

Plan B: Who Needs Actions When You Got Words

Review by Pete Paphides, Times, The, June 2006

AS EUREKA moments go, Ben Drew's was so obvious it seems perverse that he didn't think of it before. ...

Prince: Slave To The Rhythm

Report by Pete Paphides, Time Out, March 1995

Prince has always been a bit weird, but lately he seems to have lost it completely. He's changed his name to 0+>, declared war on ...

The Prodigy: Glasgow Academy

Live Review by Pete Paphides, Times, The, December 2008

IN 1996, WHEN Keith Flint – the face that soonest springs to mind when people think of the Prodigy – shovelled on the kohl and ...

Pulp: Top Of The Fops

Interview by Pete Paphides, Time Out, October 1995

Captain's log, chartdate 1995: Pulp, Britpop's most militant misfits, are set to trounce rivals with a new zeitgeist-friendly album of caustic lyrics, hum-me tunes and ...

Queen: Mercury Rising: We Will Rock You

Comment by Pete Paphides, Guardian, The, May 2002

A new West End musical, We Will Rock You, plunders Queen's back catalogue for tunes. But, says Peter Paphides, it misses the chance to tell ...

Radiohead: Into The Light

Profile and Interview by Pete Paphides, MOJO, August 2003

Depression, dysfunction and near-dissolution – Radiohead have spent the last few years in the wilderness. In a series of astonishingly intimate interviews, Peter Paphides charts ...

Radiohead: P.O.P.R.I.P.?

Report and Interview by Pete Paphides, Melody Maker, May 1993

RADIOHEAD arrived on our pages in January, proclaiming themselves the saviours of UK pop. Four months later, they're on top of a hill in Los ...

Radiohead: 93 Feet East, London

Live Review by Pete Paphides, Times, The, January 2008

IT STARTED AT 10am yesterday and by mid-afternoon reached epidemic proportions. Radiohead fans all over London complained that they felt unwell — well, that's what ...

Radiohead: Radio Daze

Profile and Interview by Pete Paphides, Time Out, November 1997

It's hard to believe, but only four years ago no one really knew who Radiohead were. Now, with OK Computer lodged firmly in the Top ...

Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse: Record Shopping with Mark Ronson

Report and Interview by Pete Paphides, Times, The, September 2010

He may have fallen out with Amy Winehouse but the A-list producer finds a soulmate in a fellow vinyl obsessive ...

Saint Etienne: Lives Of The Saints (And Their Kids)

Interview by Pete Paphides, Times, The, June 2005

Saint Etienne have produced a concept album and a set of children's songs. But they aren't Yes ...

So Solid Crew: Crew's Control

Profile by Pete Paphides, Guardian, The, October 2002

They raced from zero to inner-city heroes in one summer, then stalled in scandal. But don't write off So Solid – there's a serious business ...

The Thrills: Filesharing etc.: Money Pit

Comment by Pete Paphides, Guardian, The, October 2003

Who are the victims of music filesharing? Peter Paphides reveals the real band of thieves ...

Tinie Tempah, The Prince Of Grime, Hits The Big Time

Interview by Pete Paphides, Times, The, October 2010

Tinie Tempah, our new rap superstar, talks music, fashion and royal hobnobbing ...

XTC: Senses Working Overtime

Retrospective and Interview by Pete Paphides, Word, The, April 2004

When the police found him howling at the moon in a mud-stained Santa suit after calling his mother the worst word imaginable, it was another ...

List of genre pieces

Farewell, Smash 'Makes Mash' Hits

Obituary by Pete Paphides, Times, The, February 2006

Paying tribute to the mag that had its finger on the pulse, but now has no pulse at all ...

Casualties Of War

Comment by Pete Paphides, Times, The, June 2005

Songs about conflict and warfare are guaranteed to destroy a musician's credibility ...

In a Spin

Comment by Pete Paphides, Observer Music Monthly, July 2004

Will iTunes really kill off the record shop? Perhaps not – after all, digital information isn't something you can have and hold. And, says Peter ...

Seven Inches Of Heaven

Report by Pete Paphides, Guardian, The, November 2002

For adolescents, it was a thrill – the first music they owned. Singles survive in the CD age as bootlegs and indie specials. Their covers ...

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