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London Gigs Diary: 11 July – 17 July 2011



Lovebox picLovebox is all set to take over Hackney's Victoria Park once again, which this weekend plays host to what has embedded itself as a three-day highlight in London's summer season. 

Each night is loosely themed. Friday offers up Bang The Box, although there doesn't seem to be huge musical consistency with The Wombats headlining, and other acts high on the bill including current urban-darling Example, indie-darlings Metronomy and pop-darling Ed Sheeran. What they have in common is that they're all having darling years.

Music Safari is Saturday's theme and all eyes will be on Snoop Dogg who will be recreating his 1993 debut album Doggystyle. Bringing back original collaborators Daz Dillinger and Kurupt, RBX, The Lady Of Rage, Warren Dogg and Joe Cool, it'll be a rare opportunity to experience live what is regarded as one of the classics of its genre. Other acts scheduled to appear include The Drums, Katy B and Lykke Li, while original Loveboxers Groove Armada will present their Red Light, touted as a return to the warehouse vibe that they originally sprang from.

Sunday is OOF Day, or Out And Out Fierce. Marked by appearances of some of the most glammed up pop stars around, it'll be a no holds barred extravaganza of glitter and disco. From headliners Scissor Sisters, through Robyn, Kelis and Marc Almond, to acts lower on the bill like The Shit Robot Show, Planningtorock and Monarchy, there ain't no fierce party like a Sunday Lovebox party.

More details here

Gigs Of The Week: 11 July – 17 July 2011 

Congotronics vs Rockers – Barbican, London – 12 July

If this show's whole is bigger than the sum of its parts, then that's a whole lot of whole, because its parts are pretty spectacular. Part of the continuing Blaze Festival, this project was inspired by last year's Tradi-Mods vs Rockers album released by Crammed Records. This time, Africa and the Congotronics are represented by the mesmerising Konono No 1 and Kasai Allstars, while the Western Rockers are made up of musicians including Sweden's wondrous Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Argentina's Juana Molina and her gentle looping, and indie-legends Deerhoof. To see the world collide with such a disparate bunch of insane geniuses promises madness, dancing and one of the most memorable nights of the year.

More details here.

Hurts + Gaggle + Saint Saviour – Somerset House, London – 14 July

As the Summer Series at Somerset House continues until the end of this week, Hurts will be bringing their brand of Mancunian power pop to the cobbled square. Supported by the electro-disco of former Groove Armada frontwoman Saint Saviour, and the female flock that make up the numbers behind all-girl choir Gaggle, this night offers a wide selection of camp and ridiculous fun. Other acts playing this week include Blondie, Lamb and My Morning Jacket.

More details here.

Metropole Orkest vs Basement Jaxx – Barbican, London – 14, 15 July

Another intriguing offering by the Blaze Festival finds those stalwarts of the British dance/pop music scene, Basement Jaxx, returning to the stage following their announced demise, for this collaborative effort with 70-strong Dutch orchestra Metropole Orkest. Felix and Simon will be joined by their usual pool of powerful vocalists including Vula Malinga, Sharlene Hector, Brendan Reilly and the voice of Good Luck, Lisa Kekaula. Reworking their back catalogue of classic party songs to the strains of that many instruments is a must for anyone who fell in love with the likes of Red Alert or Where's Your Head At.

More details here.

Also Recommended:

Kyla La Grange – Lexington, London – 12 July

Dog Is Dead + Big Deal – Lexington, London – 13 July

S.C.U.M – Electrowerkz, London – 13 July

Spank Rock – The Nest, London – 13 July

Allo Darling – XOYO, London – 13 July

Male Bonding – Buffalo Bar, London – 14 July

They Might Be Giants + Treelight For Sunlight – Koko, London – 15 July

The Unthanks – Barbican, London – 16 July

Plant Plants + Drugg – Shacklewell Arms, London – 16 July

Erykah Badu – Brixton Academy, London – 17 July

Just Announced:

Bonjay – Shacklewell Arms, London – 23 July

Fierce Toronto-twosome Bonjay are back in the UK for a few dates later this month. With frontwoman Alanna bringing back memories of 1990s glamazon Adeva thanks to some spiralling vocals and huge stage presence, and their tunes finding a weird, addictive path between disco and dancehall, they're a great prospect live. Last time they were in London, they played at Bush Hall as part of a triumphant line-up that also included Light Asylum and MEN. This time, they'll be playing the increasingly popular venue, The Shacklewell Arms, after a quick detour for some gigs in Glasgow and Manchester.

More details here.

The Antlers – Screen On The Green, Islington, London – 24 August

Along with fellow North Americans Bon Iver, Iron & Wine and Timber Timbre, The Antlers have shaped the first half of 2011 with albums characterised by strong melodies, inventive instrumentation and engaging, individualistic male vocalists. Burst Apart followed up 2009's Hospice by somewhat moving away from that album's intensity towards a sound that is surely destined to break them through to a much wider audience. This one-off cinema gig will showcase the new album in full. It's not to be missed.

More details here.



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