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London Gigs Diary: 22-28 November 2010



4926061177_19e9b61641 2010 was a brilliant year for music festivals (good grief, even Glastonbury remained dry), and last week they were celebrated by the UK Festival Awards which took place at the IndigO2.

A lot of prizes were handed out. Some of them went to Bestival (Best Major Festival), Green Man (Best Medium Festival) and Kendal Calling (Best Small Festival). Some others went to T In The Park, who picked up both the Lifetime Achievement and the coveted Best Toilets awards.

With more and more festival-goers choosing to go abroad for a better weather prospect and line-ups that can’t be matched, UK festival organisers are going to have to keep their standards up. But for swathes of acts, festivals are one of the best sources of work and income. So well done to all those involved, and thanks for keeping us reviewers so busy.

Gigs Of The Week: 22 Nov-28 Nov 2010

Laura Marling – Conway Hall, London – 23, 24 Nov

Sometimes things just go right. You get the feeling that Laura Marling (pictured) couldn’t have planned her still fledgling career’s trajectory any better. Loved by the Mercury Music Prize, the NME and by a Mumford, she’s sold a fair few copies of her second album I Speak Because I Can and she’s attracted attention in America. And despite all that, she’s still relatively under the radar and can therefore choose her gig venues for reasons other than how many tickets she can sell. The Conway Hall, the home of the Ethical Society, and a venue with a strong folk music history, hosts her two nights this week.

More details here.

Elton John – Union Chapel, London – 25 Nov

With a headline gig at last month’s Electric Proms and a night of The X-Factor themed around him, Elton John is centre of attention again. We’re promised that there will be no frills at this gig, staged by Absolute Radio – just the man and his grand piano on stage at the glorious North London church, the Union Chapel. He’ll be revisiting some of his classics and showcasing his current album project, The Union, which sees him collaborate with Oklahoman legend Leon Russell.

More details here.

Gruff Rhys – Toynbee Studios, 26 Nov

The ridiculously prolific frontman of Super Furry Animals and Neon Neon will be back with a third solo album next year. The follow up to 2007’s well-received Candylion is expected to be released in February 2011. Early marker song Shark Ridden Waters suggests good things are coming our way. He’s on tour in Manchester, Glasgow and London this week. Get the early lowdown on his new material.

More details here.

Also Recommended:

Zeus – Relentless Garage, London – 22 Nov

Trash Talk + Cerebral Ballzy – Underworld, London – 22 Nov

Beach House – Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London – 23 Nov

MNDR – XOYO, London – 24 Nov

Salem – Shoreditch Church, London – 24 Nov

Jamie Woon – XOYO, London – 25 Nov

Marnie SternHoxton Bar & Kitchen, London – 25 Nov; Lexington, London – 26 Nov

65daysofstatic CAMP, London – 26 Nov

Wildbirds And Peacedrums – Union Chapel, London – 27 Nov

John Legend And The Roots – Hammersmith Apollo, London – 27 Nov; Jazz Cafe, London – 28 Nov

Just Announced:

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton! 'nuff said. She’ll be here next summer to support a brand new album. Just in time for Glastonbury perhaps?

The Smoke Fairies + Sea Of Bees

This double bill will be a treat for anyone who likes intricately-written pop folk songs. British act The Smoke Fairies have already proven their worth with this year’s debut album Through Low Light And Trees. Providing support will be Sea Of Bees, or Julie Baenzinger, who’s been impressing with her delicate and charming way with a melody, like on the excellent Wizbot. They’ll be touring together from mid-January ending up at the Scala in London on 3 February.

More details here

Isle Of Wight Festival

The Isle Of Wight Festival got in early by announcing next year’s headliners. Pulp for starters, three weeks before they appear at London’s Wireless Festival, and thus currently making this their first UK gig since reforming. Safe bets Kings Of Leon, Foo Fighters and Kasabian will keep a lot of people happy, ahead of what will undoubtedly be busy festival summers for all of them.

More details here.



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