With two BRIT awards under her arm, a collaboration with Calvin Harris in the bag and on an increasingly steep popularity trajectory, it seems only a matter of time before Dua Lipa is confirmed in the select circle of pop A-graders. On Friday she plays Alexandra Palace, a gig that already seems to be at a smaller venue than it could have been. Read our thoughts on last year’s eponymous album here.
Another act to be riding a sizeable wave of enthusiasm and acclaim is Shame. We’ve already dished out two five-star reviews to them this year (for debut album Songs Of Praise and their show back in January at the 100 Club) and Wednesday’s long sold out gig at the Electric Ballroom will no doubt be welcomed in similar fashion (and is another show to feel underpitched in terms of venue size).
One artist who now commands venues befitting of her music and status is Joan As Police Woman. Her albums are so consistent, and she promotes sixth release Damned Devotion with a show at the Royal Festival Hall on Sunday.
Four newer all-girl bands also appear in London this week. Hinds play songs from second album I Don’t Run at the Electric Brixton on Thursday while Goat Girl mark the release of their self-titled debut album with a show at the Garage on Tuesday. Madonnatron label themselves ‘psychedelic witch prog’ and have already started to build up quite a fanbase following the release of their debut album last year. You can experience their dark, intense sounds at the Lexington on Wednesday. Over at Heaven on the same night you’ll find Girl Ray who seem to get better with each show (read our review of last year’s show at the Scala here).
Wednesday sees a host of other artists also hit the capital. Jordan Rakei plays the first of two shows at Ronnie Scott’s that night (he’s also there on Thursday) while Irish singer-songwriter David Kitt plays from new album Yous at the Borderline also. Barbarossa promotes new album Lier with a show at the Islington on Wednesday while, in more experimental territory, Tyondai Braxton appears at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Finally, Nada Surf return with a show at Tufnell Park Dome on the same night.
If none of the above appeal you’ve got two final options towards the end of the week. Alexis Taylor has a show at Omeara on Friday (the same day his new album Beautiful Thing is released) and Sunday sees everyone’s favourite Syrian techno producer Omar Souleyman play what should be a bouncing show at Oval Space.
This week saw the next set of names announced for Robert Smith’s Meltdown festival in June. It further builds on the already impressive line up – highlights include CURAETION 25 (featuring Robert Smith and guests), Low, Death Cab For Cutie, Suzanne Vega, Frightened Rabbit, Loop, Moon Duo, The Joy Formidable and The Soft Moon. It promises to be an excellent two weeks.
In other news, Neko Case will be appearing at the Barbican on 8th November in support of forthcoming album Hell-On, and Gruff Rhys will be promoting new album Babelsberg at the same venue on 12th September. Finally, we’re pleased to hear that Ladytron are returning – they play the Roundhouse on 4th November.