This week gets off to a strong start with a show at the Barbican on Monday by Jónsi & Alex Somers who will be playing their Riceboy Sleeps album in full with help from the London Contemporary Orchestra. In our review of the album back in 2009 we commented how it “shimmers with enchantment” and this live performance (the first time they are playing it live in the UK) should be rather beautiful.
Kronos Quartet are regular visitors to London and they return to the Barbican on Thursday to play Sight Machine, a multimedia performance with Trevor Paglen that sounds fascinating. “While the Kronos Quartet perform works by Terry Riley, Laurie Anderson, Steve Reich, Egyptian electronic musician Islam Chipsy and others, the musicians are monitored by cameras feeding into a suite of artificial intelligence algorithms. The software turns this abstracted information back into images, which are then projected onto the screen behind the performers, showing us how machines and their algorithms perceive what we are seeing”.
Jane Weaver is also back in London this week to promote new album Loops In The Secret Society which reimagines elements of her last two albums, 2017’s excellent Modern Kosmology and 2014’s The Silver Globe. She’ll be at the Purcell Room on Saturday.
Elsewhere, festivals dominate. The Walthamstow Garden Party has established itself as a much-loved event in the London live music diary and returns this year with another strong line up. Over the course of Saturday and Sunday you’ll be able to hear (for free!) Malian afro-pop, Cuban mambo, Columbian salsa, Cape Verdean soul and Brazilian hip hop courtesy of the likes of Amadou & Mariam, Mayra Andrade, Orquestra Akokan, Tassia Reis and LA-33. It can get busy so it’s best to arrive early.
Over on the Strand meanwhile the Somerset House Summer Series gets underway on Thursday with a show by hip hop/soul collective The Internet. Friday sees East London R&B artist Nao take to the stage, powerful jazz trio Sons Of Kemet bring their thrilling show to the historic venue on Saturday and Jacob Banks plays his gospel/soul/jazz-influenced songs on Sunday.
The second weekend of The Turning Tides Festival in Greenwich sees Oumou Sangare and James Holden appear on Saturday. The River Knows project closes the event on Sunday and features an array of singers (including Laura Mvula, Kwabs, Beth Orton, Nadine Shah, Gruff Rhys, Andreya Triana, Rosie Lowe, Eska, Nilufer Yanya and Sam Amidon) interpreting various river-themed songs. It’s all free!
Over in Hyde Park Bob Dylan and Neil Young play BST Hyde Park On Friday (Cat Power and Laura Marling are also on the bill), while on Saturday Florence & The Machine headlines with support from The National, Nadine Shah, Aldous Haring, Khruangbin and Self Esteem.