The clocks might have gone back last week, but summer suddenly seemed a little closer with a succession of big concert announcements, although not necessarily the type that fits comfortably under the “gig” banner.
More like globe-conquering behemoth events. Take That of course broke every record available selling out 25 dates equating to 1.34 million tickets in 24 hours, culminating in 7 nights at Wembley Stadium in July. Meanwhile, the old and new of American rock will be rolling into Hyde Park with Bon Jovi and the Kings Of Leon already lined up for some of their own wealth-creating dates in June.
Back to the present and we’ve bought a new cardie, so will be enjoying indoor gigs and keeping warm at the following this week.
Gigs Of The Week: 1-7 Nov 2010
Midlake / John Grant – Roundhouse – 2 Nov
The Bella Union label has had a bloody good year, hasn’t it. Enjoy two of its finest acts on a classy double bill of Midlake (pictured) and John Grant, whose respective albums The Courage Of Others and The Queen Of Denmark have shone through as two of the finest examples of songsmithery this year. Their joint tour (which makes sense, given Midlake double as Grant's backing band) will also take them to Exeter, Norwich, Oxford, Leicester and Cambridge.
Lloyd Cole – Union Chapel – 3 Nov
Having left The Commotions behind over 20 years ago, Lloyd Cole is still building his collection of solo albums having released Broken Record earlier this year. He’s been trundling around Portugal and the UK for the last couple of weeks, and now lands in London. His website clarifies: “two sets, no support”. Expect his small ensemble of just him, Marc Schwaber and Matt Cullen sharing acoustic guitar, banjo and mandolin duties and revisiting that extensive back catalogue.
Lykke Li – Heaven – 4 Nov
Lykke Li’s in town ahead of releasing her follow-up to 2008’s Youth Novels album. With her contemporary Robyn hogging the press’s attention when it comes to Swedish pop stars, Lykke Li’s set herself apart by being that little bit edgier and indier. Comeback single Get Some demonstrated that she’s still able to pull off an addictive melody backed with some unusual ideas. She’s in the country for this one date only for now.
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Garage, London – 1 Nov; Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, London – 2 Nov
Temper Trap / Cloud Control – IndigO2, London – 2 Nov
The Black Keys – Brixton Academy, London – 2/3 Nov
Yann Tiersen – KOKO, London – 3 Nov
Let’s Wrestle – Lexington, London – 3 Nov
!!! – KOKO, London – 4 Nov
El Guincho – Cargo, London – 4 Nov
Giant Sand – Queen Elizabeth Hall, London – 4 Nov
MEN – Electrowerkz, London – 5 Nov
Micah P Hinson & The Pioneers – Queen Elizabeth Hall, London – 7 Nov
ATP: Animal Collective
The All Tomorrow’s People people have been busy feeding us announcements this week for their Butlins Minehead events. Ensuring that the brand will stay popular into 2011, they’ve scored a big coup in bringing Animal Collective in to curate its May event. Plus they bolstered their December lineups with more DJ announcements for the Godspeed You! Black Emperor weekend and some starry acts including Saint Etienne, Wild Beasts and The Go! Team for Belle & Sebastian’s Bowlie 2.
Also sharing the Butlins Minehead love is the Bloc Weekender, returning for a fifth instalment of edgy dance-based mayhem. The first ten acts have been announced, Warp-act LFO among them, as well as others including Moderat, and Claude Von Stroke. Expect lots of minimal house and glitchy grooves. Don’t expect too much happy hardcore, but then last year’s festival featured Salt-n-Pepa’s first UK date in over a decade, so who knows how the lineup will evolve. Bloc 2011 will be held on 11-13 March.
Plonking yourself onto a Mark Ronson record seems a bankable piece of advice for any budding pop stars. Featuring on Bang Bang Bang (Amanda Warner’s the one in the funky specs that isn’t Q-Tip), MNDR are a male/female duo specialising in funky arthouse disco-pop. Their profile’s been given a boost to the point of readying some of their own releases and a headline gig at Hoxton’s XOYO on 24 November.