Annie Clark released Strange Mercy, her rather fine second album under the St Vincent name, earlier this year and she plays arguably the standout show in London this week at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on Thursday. Previous St Vincent gigs have shown Clark to be a captivating, confident performer and her biggest show to date on the South Bank should cement her reputation further.
Another album sure to be nestling alongside Strange Mercy in end of year lists is Burst Apart by The Antlers. It is a powerful combination of heartfelt lyricism and emotive guitars and you can expect to hear much of it when they play KOKO on Thursday. The following evening at KOKO sees a performance of an album released 10 years ago that shares this heady mix of qualities, namely The Optimist by Turin Brakes. It provides a chance for London gig-goers to escape the onset of winter by immersing themselves in the warmth and acoustic beauty of an album that still sounds great in 2011.
Saturday sees Nils Frahm perform from his critically acclaimed album Felt at Cafe OTO, whilst gigs by legends of country and jazz take place at bigger venues on the same night. Alison Krauss & Union Station play the first of four shows at the Royal Festival Hall, whilst the McCoy Tyner Trio appear at the Barbican.
Elsewhere indie-popsters Los Campesinos! play a show at KCLSU on Monday whilst Wednesday sees Belle & Sebastian guitarist Stevie Jackson play a solo show at Heaven.
Other highlights are William Fitzsimmons playing an intimate show at the Barfly on Monday, Malian kora master Toumani Diabate playing Union Chapel on Friday and Braids and Exitmusic both appearing at an ATP-sponsored show at XOYO on Wednesday.
Kathleen Edwards – Rough Trade East – 8th November
The Chap – Madame Jojo’s – 8th November
Waters – Shacklewell Arms – 8th November
Fountains Of Wayne – Scala – 9th November
Girls – Electric Ballroom – 9th November
The Good, The Bad & The Queen – Coronet – 10th November
Amon Tobin – Hackney Empire – 11th November
Ane Brun – Scala – 11th November
Trophy Wife – Nest – 12th November
The Barbican announced their Spring/Summer 2012 Contemporary events this week and it contained a mouthwatering selection of shows to look forward to.
The show featuring premieres and new collaborations between Nico Muhly, Sufjan Stevens and Bryce Dessner on 9th April may have received the most publicity but no less exciting is Muhly’s show on 16th March alongside Owen Pallett and the Britten Sinfonia.
Equally exciting is the live performance of Big Star’s seminal Sister Lovers album by a band including The Posies’ Ken Stringfellow and R.E.M.’s Mike Mills in what is sure to be a deeply moving show on 28th May.
Other concerts include appearances by alt-country legends The Jayhawks , Norwegian avant-electro-jazz trailblazers Jaga Jazzist, American forward-thinkers Bang On A Can Ensemble and esteemed chamber-classicists Kronos Quartet. Well done The Barbican. Read more here.