Malian singer Rokia Traoré (look out for our interview with her) plays three special shows ahead of the release of her album later in the year. On Monday she’s at Wilton’s Music Hall before she heads to the Barbican on Friday, finally ending up at Village Underground on Saturday (each show will have its own theme – dream, sing and dance). With her band containing John Parish and Seb Rochford this should be a fascinating trio of shows.
Also playing a hat-trick of shows in the capital is the mildly mysterious Cold Specks – aka Canadian singer Al Spx (still not the name you’d find on her passport). She plays three dates at Hoxton Hall on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. You can read what we thought about her debut album I Predict A Graceful Explosion here.
Finally, Amanda Palmer plays three shows at Village Underground (from Monday to Wednesday) with support from Jherek Bischoff.
Back at the Barbican on Saturday you can catch esteemed American songwriter (and Beach Boys/Brian Wilson collaborator) Van Dyke Parks who marks the imminent re-release of three of his seminal albums on Bella Union with a special show that will also feature Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes), Daniel Rossen (Grizzly Bear) and the Britten Sinfonia.
Elsewhere, KOKO will be the setting on Thursday for a show by Bloc Party, who return after an absence of 4 years to play in support of forthcoming album Four whilst Jack White follows up his recent show at the Forum with a bigger date at Hammersmith Apollo on Friday. Expect to hear much of latest album Blunderbuss. Best Coast are also in London this week, playing a show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Thursday to coincide with the release of second album The Only Place.
In more experimental territory Sun Araw & M. Geddes Gengras combine with Jamaican reggae-dub outfit The Congos for a show at Village Underground on Friday. It follows the release of their excellent collaboration earlier this year. Meanwhile, on Thursday parts of east London will have a distinct kosmische feel to them as two gigs featuring ex-members of legendary Krautrock bands Can, Cluster & Harmonia. Hans-Joachim Roedelius plays Café Oto on Thursday while Damo Suzuki appears at the Shacklewell Arms on Friday with support from the Sonic Cathedral-signed Yeti Lane. Finally, Will Dutta promotes current album Parergon with a show at the BFI on Wednesday that will also feature Plaid and Max de Wardener.
Also taking place this week:
Being There – Lexington
James Ferraro – Birthdays
Mara Carlyle – Lexington
Exlovers – Waiting Room
Man Without Country – Madame Jojo’s
Grasscut – Shacklewell Arms
Ben Kweller – Electric Ballroom
Melodica, Melody & Me – Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen
Rachael Dadd – Kings Place
Afghan Whigs – KOKO – 19th August
People Under The Stairs – Scala – 25th September
Yeasayer – Shepherd’s Bush Empire – 27th September
Dub Colossus – 27th September
Nada Surf – Scala – 15th October
Bat For Lashes – Forum – 29th October
The Fall – Islington Assembly Halls – 5th December