This appears to be the week where several artists have decided one show isn’t quite enough and have opted to play multiple shows in the capital. Tori Amos released her 12th studio album Night Of The Hunters earlier this year and, as you would expect, it is a work of impressive scope, ambition and beauty. When she spoke to us earlier in the year she talked about how the album was a 21st song cycle inspired by themes found in classical music and this week she plays selections from it both at the Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday and Hammersmith Apollo on Thursday.
Elsewhere Malian duo Amadou & Mariam play three special shows at York Hall on Wednesday, Thursday & Friday. These are concerts with a difference however in that they will be played entirely in the dark (both Amadou and Mariam are blind). Entitled Eclipse, the show will tell the story of Amadou and Mariam’s life and work together and should be rather special evenings.
Elsewhere, two-tone ska legends The Specials play Brixton Academy on Monday followed by Alexandra Palace on Thurday. Nitin Sawhney plays two nights at Union Chapel on Thursday and Friday in support of ninth studio album Last Days Of Meaning, whilst PJ Harvey plays her second night at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday following her earlier show there last week.
Meanwhile, the Scala is the location for the three day-long celebration of British indie label Fortuna Pop’s 15th birthday. You can catch shows from the likes of The Primitives, Crystal Stilts, Allo Darlin’, Darren Hayman & The Secondary Modern and The Ladybug Transistor amongst others from Tuesday to Thursday. Get full details here.
Tuesday sees Anna Calvi play from her widely-lauded self-titled debut album at Shepherd’s Bush Empire whilst Lykke Li plays her radiant, assured pop from latest album Wounded Rhymes at the Roundhouse on the same night. Indie favourites Throwing Muses return to the live circuit in support of their recent career-spanning Anthology with a show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Wednesday, providing fans with a chance to hear their gloriously off-kilter power-pop songs once again. On the same night American alt-folk artist Charlie Parr also plays just along the road at Bush Hall.
Fucked Up play the extravagantly subversive rock of latest album David Comes To Life at the Scala on Monday whilst Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard promote their new album A Turn In The Dream-Songs at a show at Heaven on Wednesday. Svelte French chanteuse Camille plays from current album Ilo Veyou at Hackney Empire on Thursday whilst her sometime producer and collaborator Majiker (British musician Matthew Ker) plays his own show on Monday at Servant Jazz Quarters. His second album The House Of Bones is inspired by ghost stories and haunted house movies from the 1940s and will, appropriately, get its first London live airing on Halloween.
The Lexington has four notable smaller gigs this week. Ex-Black Box Recorder vocalist Sarah Nixey appears on Tuesday, indie dream pop purveyors Young Galaxy play Wednesday, Californian guitar-pop five-piece Gardens & Villa play from their eponymous debut album on Thursday whilst Siskiyou (featuring ex-members of the wonderful Great Lake Swimmers) wind things up on Sunday.
The Ryucihi Sakamoto Trio play a special show at the Royal Festival Hall on Tuesday performing a selection of pieces from Sakamoto’s album 1996, which collects music taken from his soundtracks to films like The Last Emperor, Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, The Sheltering Sky and High Heels. The RFH is also the setting for a show on Saturday by iconic singer songwriter Roy Harper who celebrates his 70th birthday with support from the excellent Jonathan Wilson.
Finally, Saturday sees two notable shows in north London. German electro duo Digitalism play from current album I Love You, Dude at the Kentish Town Forum, while down the road in Camden the Roundhouse hosts a night of hip-hop courtesy of MF Doom and Ghostface Killah.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Roundhouse – Monday 31st October
Submotion Orchestra – XOYO – Monday 31st October
Led Bib – Vortex – Monday 31st October & Tuesday 1st November
Dry The River – Regent Street Apple Store – Tuesday 1st November
Fixers – Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen – Tuesday 1st November
Gotye – King’s College – Tuesday 1st November
Timber Timbre – Union Chapel – Tuesday 1st November
Dustin Wong – Brixton Plan B – Wednesday 2nd November
The Rapture – KOKO – Wednesday 2nd November
Magazine – Kentish Town Forum – Thursday 3rd November
Deer Tracks – The Nest, Dalston – Thursday 3rd November
Patrick Wolf – Roundhouse – Friday 4th November
Hurts – Brixton Academy – Friday 4th November
Art Brut –Garage – Friday 4th November
The Antlers – Borderline – Sunday 6th November
Explosions In The Sky – Prince Charles Cinema – 21st November 2011
Iceage – Corsica Studios – 6th December 2011
Korallreven – Shacklewell Arms – 12th December 2011
AA Bondy – Lexington – 13th December 2011
Skrillex – Brixton Academy – 17th February 2012
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds – O2 Arena – 26th February 2012
Orbital – Royal Albert Hall – 10th April 2012
Elvis Costello (The Revolver Tour) – Royal Albert Hall – 23rd & 24th May 2012