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London Gigs Diary: 9 May – 15 May 2011



Wild Beasts pic Swathes of the capital’s gig-goers will be deserting their normal habitat for Brighton and the excellent line-up at this year’s Great Escape, or for Minehead's Animal Collective-curated ATP, announced as the last May ATP for the foreseeable future. But there's still lots of great stuff happening for those of us left behind. 

Having said that, one of the most intriguing needs to be approached with some caution. The lovely folks over at Eat Your Own Ears, together with Harrier and Zinnerwell (also known as Sam Potter of Late Of The Pier) are putting on the first Blackout – Anonymous Artists Play Music In Pitch Black. Yes, that's right - the live performances will take place in the dark and while the audience are assured that the bands are well-known, they’ll not be told who will be playing. In fact there’s no guarantee that the artists’ identities will ever be revealed.

The novel challenges will be for the promoters to find acts who will suit that kind of environment and make it entertaining, and for the artists to, you know, be able to play their instruments. We’re all in the dark as to how this concept will pan out, but it’s got our interest piqued enough to find out.

The first Blackout gig will take place at The Apiary on Thursday 12 May. More details here.

Gigs Of The Week: 9 May – 15 May 2011

Wild Beasts (pictured) – Wilton’s Music Hall, London – 11, 12 May

With this week’s release of their third album, the universally lauded Smother, Kendal boys Wild Beasts are playing the lovely Wilton’s Music Hall in the East End for two nights as part of their celebratory UK tour. They'll be back again in November when they'll play the Shepherd's Bush Empire.

More details here.

Sufjan Stevens – Royal Festival Hall, London – 12, 13 May

Following his successful return last year with The Age Of Adz, Sufjan Stevens’ European tour reaches the UK this week. He’ll be found playing the Royal Festival Hall for two nights, before heading on to Brighton, Gateshead, Dublin and Manchester.

More details here.

Short Circuit Festival – Roundhouse, London – 12, 13, 14 May

For lovers of the roots of electronic music, this year’s Short Circuit Festival explores the work of labels Raster-Noton and Mute Records. Thursday will be devoted to the former, featuring the world premiere of a collaborative piece by Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto, Atom TM and Bluenote. Mute’s  Friday’s line-up includes Richie Hawtin, a DJ set from Moby, Recoil and Nitzer Ebb while Saturday finds Erasure headlining above other Mute acts including The Residents, Liars, Josh T Pearson playing Mute songs and Alison Moyet, as well as DJ sets from Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore and Andy Fletch.

More details here.

Also Recommended:

Bill Callahan – Barbican, London – 9 May

Howling Bells – Scala, London – 9 May

Black Star – Hammersmith Apollo, London – 10 May

Spiers & Boden + Eliza Carthy – Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London – 11 May

North Mississippi Allstars – Dingwalls, London – 11 May

Josh T Pearson – Union Chapel, London – 11 May

Those Dancing Days – XOYO, London – 11 May

The Soft Moon – Lexington, London – 11 May

The Antlers – Heaven, London – 12 May

Scout Niblett + EMA – Cargo, London – 12 May

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Grafitti – Koko, London – 13 May

Grimes – Old Blue Last, London – 13 May

Just Announced:

Angie Stone – Jazz Cafe, London – 14, 15, 16 June

Ever since she broke into the charts with classic single Life Story back in 2000, Angie Stone’s been widely regarded as one of the great modern but classic soul singers, eschewing the obvious commercial route for a more subtle, loungey feel. With her fifth album, Unexpected, released last year, catch her at one of these three gigs in June.

More details here.

Metronomy – Royal Albert Hall, London – 3 October

Statisticians and scientists have figured out that by the time October comes around, Metronomy’s success rate will have taken them to the heights of this headline show at the Royal Albert Hall. Such optimism is entirely warranted as their third album, The British Riviera, has already begun its slow-burn climb towards its recognition as one of the biggest leaps forward by any act in 2011. This gig (if a night at the Royal Albert Hall can possibly be classed as such a thing) could join it as one of the best of the year.

More details here.



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