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London Gigs Diary: 14 – 20 February 2011



Sleigh Bells pic Some good news this week as the 100 Club, to be found at 100 Oxford Street, has been saved from the closure threatened a few months ago. Intriguingly, Converse, the American shoe manufacturers have quite literally stepped in to save the day.

Whether this will have any effect on the day to day running of the venue remains to be seen. They’ll presumably have little interest in having the beer exclusivity that other brands impose, and are unlikely to turn down Doc Martens wearers at the door. It could be part of a wider campaign to get more deeply entwined with alternative culture. 

Or they could just be jumping feet first into a sound business deal that has no wider meaning. Whatever the motives, the 100 Club is a place that stands out in the West End as somewhere that encourages underground bands trying to break through. And the more venues like that we have, the better for all of us.

Gigs Of The Week: 14 – 20 Feb 2011

Sleigh Bells (pictured) + MEN + T3ETH – Heaven, London  14 Feb

Ah, what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with an assortment of the world’s finest edgy noise-pop groups. What the bands on this brilliantly executed line-up have in common is that in Alexis Krauss, JD Samson and Veronica So, they have three of the best frontwomen in the business. Expect pop tunes relayed through decibel-enhanced performances packed with attitude and energy by the kind of girls you wouldn’t want to bring back to meet your mum. Unless your mum’s fucking cool.

More details here

Edwyn Collins – Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London – 16 Feb

It’s hard to believe quite how brilliant it’s been to have Edwyn Collins back in the music business. Having released a storming comeback album last year in Losing Sleep, he’s followed it up by proving himself to still be a devastatingly good live act, hampered but not beaten by the effects associated with the serious illness he suffered in 2005. Having performed the undisputed highlight set of last December’s Bowlie 2 Weekender, we know how much he invests into his live performance. At that gig, he was backed by Teenage Fanclub, and helped out by Alex Kapranos and Ryan Jarman. Hopefully he’ll have a few surprises at this NME Awards show as well.

More details here.

NME Awards Tour – Brixton Academy, London – 19 Feb

After a long trudge around the country, the NME Awards Tour finally pitches up in London for its final night. You can’t really go wrong with the combination of Crystal Castles, Magnetic Man, Everything Everything and The Vaccines and you can play the “put the bands in order of preference” game, although you’re unlikely to be able to change the running order to match your preference on the night.

More details here.

Also recommended:

Bright Eyes + Tim Kasher Scala, London 14 Feb

The Joy Formidable – Koko, London – 14 Feb

The Bees – Union Chapel, London – 14 Feb

Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan – Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London – 15 Feb

The Naked And Famous + Wolf Gang + Spark – Heaven, London – 15 Feb

Chapel Club – Heaven, London – 16 Feb

Dana Jade + Peoples Persons – Notting Hill Arts Club, London – 16 Feb

Teddy Thompson – Barbican Centre, London – 16 Feb

Or, The Whale – Upstairs at the Relentless Garage, London – 16 Feb

Florrie + Sparkadia + Mercedes – Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London – 16 Feb

Tu Fawning – Old Blue Last, London – 17 Feb

Miles Kane + Young Buffalo – Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London – 17 Feb

Yuck + Cults + Guards – Bush Hall, London – 18 Feb

T3ETH + Seams + DRUGG + Vialka – Macbeth, London – 19 Feb

Ben Folds – Hammersmith Apollo, London – 20 Feb

Just Announced:

The Dears

Montreal band The Dears are back with a fifth studio album, Degeneration Street. Still led by the male/female axis of Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak while other band members have come and gone, they’ll be playing at the Borderline on 19 April before heading to Manchester and Glasgow.

More details here.

Arctic Monkeys

The Arctic Monkeys will be unleashed once again on the British public with their fourth album due for release later in the year. The Sheffield lads have announced two dates in their hometown at the Don Valley Bowl on 10 and 11 June. Hopefully they’ll follow these up with some big London dates soon enough, but for now these are your opportunities to hear the new material. Support over the two days will be provided by close ally Miles Kane as well as The Vaccines and Anna Calvi and local bands Dead Sons and Mabel Love.

More details here.

Gregg Allman

A legend in American southern rock music, Gregg Allman’s been releasing stuff in various guises since the 1960s. When Duane, the other Allman brother in The Allman Brothers Band died in 1971, Gregg started releasing solo material and has kept going ever since. His latest project, Low Country Blues, finds him reinterpreting blues classics from the likes of Muddy Waters and BB King. He’ll be playing the Barbican on 1 July, before heading to Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and Edinburgh’s Usher Hall.

More details here.



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