Late Junction is Radio 3’s flagship music programme for all things experimental, left of centre and below the radar. Now entering its twentieth year it is broadcast three nights a week (Tuesdays to Thursdays from 23:00-01:00) and has a revolving group of presenters that includes Nick Luscombe, Max Reinhardt and Verity Sharp. It’s a consistently rewarding, invigorating listen and this week sees the first Late Junction festival take place at EartH.
On Thursday the first night is headed up by Gazelle Twin who received critical acclaim (not least from us) for last year’s Pastoral album (we were also impressed by her show at Oval Space back in December). Also on the bill is Hen Ogledd, the outfit featuring respected outsider artists Richard Dawson, Rhodri Davies and Dawn Bothwell. Seb Rochford and Pete Wareham have been on the contemporary jazz scene for many years now (as part of bands like Polar Bear, Melt Yourself Down and more) and alongside Neil Charles their latest project goes by the name of Pulled By Magnets and they’ll be making an appearance on Thursday also. First up will be Chaines, a lesser-known act that promise “claustrophobic electro-acoustic music” which sounds very Late Junction.
Friday sees This Is Not This Heat headline, Charles Hayward and Charles Bullen continuing to update the uncompromising post-punk music of former band This Heat with the help of new collaborators. Also playing will be CURL, the new project fronted by Mica Levi, Coby Sey and Brother May and O Yama O, a group formed of artist Rie Nakajima and Cafe OTO co-founder Keiko Yamamoto. They take inspiration from Japanese folk music but push it in bold and unexpected directions. If you are in search of unusual, challenging sounds EartH is undoubtedly where you’ll want to be on Thursday and Friday.
Elsewhere, the week sees The Twilight Sad return to London to promote new album It Won’t Be Like This All The Time. They’ve become an important voice in guitar music in recent times and they play the Electric Ballroom on Thursday in what is sure to be a powerful, emotional show.
Snapped Ankles are another band whose reputation has grown over the last couple of years and they appear at Oslo on Thursday. Their sound defies easy categorisation and visually they stand apart also, dressing as trees while playing on stage. If the Late Junction festival isn’t tempting enough this offers another opportunity for an out of the ordinary live music experience. Villagers at the Roundhouse and Octavian at the Kentish Town Forum are two bigger shows at opposing ends of the musical spectrum taking place this week (both also on Thursday) while highlights at the start of the week include Advance Base at the Islington on Monday and Du Blonde at the Lexington on Tuesday.