Ed Sheeran review — his flop of a new album gets the full band treatment

Royal Albert Hall
Ed Sheeran at the Royal Albert Hall
Ed Sheeran at the Royal Albert Hall

“I’m not touring this album, this is it,” confessed the unsigned independent artist Ed Sheeran, preparing to “mark in time” his self-released flop of a new record with a run-through at what, by his standards, was virtually a well-appointed pub gig.

You join us in the bafflingly topsy-turvy universe where Snoop Dogg has quit dope (thoughts and prayers) and Sheeran’s latest, the briefly No 1 album Autumn Variations, arriving with little fanfare in September, bombed out of the Top 40 in three weeks.

Has Sheeran fever finally abated? Is his career experiencing what Elon Musk might call a “rapid unscheduled disassembly”? Or has he just briefly suffered a similar sales dip as Taylor Swift when she too shook off her pop ermine and