This week’s gigs in London seem to strike a perfect balance between those by new, exciting, buzz-generating artists and those featuring experienced, much-loved outfits that, in some cases, are returning with some of the best music of their career.
Beirut can most certainly be placed in this latter category. Zach Condon and co released sixth album Gallipoli album earlier this year and it’s arguably the most assured, beautiful collection of songs they’ve put out yet. They play the Hammersmith Apollo on Friday.
Robyn returned to the fold last year to much acclaim with her eighth album Honey and she plays two shows at Alexandra Palace on Friday and Saturday. Another band coming back after significant time away is Sleeper. We found their new album The Modern Age to be “refreshingly instinctive” and they play Kentish Town Forum on Saturday.
Conversely, Nilüfer Yanya is an artist at the start of her career, having just released her debut album last month. She grew up in west London but comes from a family with Turkish, Irish and Bajan roots and it’s something that can be heard in Miss Universe. She appears at Earth on Tuesday.
Other hotly tipped bands in London this week include Black Country New Road who are at the Lexington on Thursday and the Bella Union-signed Pom Poko who will be at the same venue on Wednesday. Over in Hackney meanwhile, Swimming Tapes will play their dreamy guitar pop at Oslo on the same night.
Kings Place is the setting on Thursday for a new collaborative project between Tri Angle electronic artist Vessel and violinist Rakhi Singh. They’ll be giving the first performance of new piece Written In Fire alongside some classical pieces by Janáček.
Hauschka is an artist we’ve admired over the years and the German prepared piano specialist plays Milton Court on Friday in support of latest album A Different Forest, a concept piece rooted in the theme of nature.
Finally, we couldn’t finish without mentioning two other artists we’ve enjoyed over the years. We saw Oumou Sangare play the Roundhouse last year (read our review here) and she’s back in London on Wednesday at EartH. Similar can be said of Anoushka Shankar – we have fond memories of seeing her at the Royal Festival Hall back in 2014 and she returns to the same venue on Tuesday to play a show where she’ll be providing a live soundtrack to the film Shiraz: A Romance of India.