London Evening Standard: Review: YOKO ONO PLASTIC ONO BAND, Royal Festival Hall, London

by John Aizlewood, Evening Standard, 17 June 2013.


She may have turned 80 in February but Yoko Ono is still capable of turning heads and minds. Not looking a day over 60, as mentally sharp as ever, Ono has transcended age. She opened Meltdown 2013 (which she’s curating) with a blistering, thrilling, cutting-edge music-as-art set, which not so much pushed boundaries as ignored them. Like some cocksure 70-year-old kid, she even had the chutzpah to begin with the new Moonbeams, which started as rumination and finished in a frenzied, freeform barrage of transfixing noise.

How times change. Once reviled, she’s now an international treasure and the world has finally caught up with the music of Ono and her seven-strong Plastic Ono Band which included her son Sean Ono Lennon (“what are we gonna play next, mum?”) and, in the Linda McCartney role, Lennon’s girlfriend, Charlotte Kemp Muhl.

To […]

The Telegraph: Review: YOKO ONO PLASTIC ONO BAND, Royal Festival Hall, London

by Marc Lee, The Telegraph, 15 June 2013


The history of bands featuring a mother and son in the line-up is brief. There was Lieutenant Pigeon, who had a number-one hit in 1972 with Mouldy Old Dough (on honky-tonk piano, Mrs Hilda Woodward); four decades on, there’s the revived Plastic Ono Band, with octogenarian Yoko Ono on lead vocals and her son, Sean Lennon, among the (relatively) youthful bunch of rockers filling the stage behind her.

It must have been a challenge growing up in the shadow of a departed pop legend (John Lennon was murdered when Sean was five) while being looked after by such a famously, epically eccentric character as Yoko.

She got up to some pretty weird stuff – plenty of which was revisited in a lengthy montage of film clips that heralded the opening gig in this year’s Meltdown festival at the Southbank, […]

The Guardian: Review: YOKO ONO PLASTIC ONO BAND, Royal Festival Hall, London

by Alexis Petridis, The Guardian, Saturday 15 June 2013.


Towards the end of her set, Yoko Ono performs her 1974 song Yes, I’m a Witch, as a duet with the rapper Peaches. The latter towers over Ono in a pair of vertiginous studded platforms, interspersing her verses with approximations of Ono’s various patented vocal styles – screaming, groaning, that uniquely harrowing bleating noise – while behind her, The Plastic Ono Band, whose current lineup features both Ono’s son Sean Lennon and Japanese musician and producer Cornelius, crash away. It all sounds furious and defiant. “You know,” says Ono quietly, after it ends, ” I wrote that song when you guys were really attacking me.”

There doesn’t seem any danger of that happening in the Royal Festival Hall. The audience roar delightedly when she arrives onstage, after the screening of a short film […]