We’re always excited when new venues open in the capital and this week sees a new space at the Printworks site in Rotherhithe host its first gig. The venue, a former printing press, opened last year with a focus on club nights and DJs – and played host to Gorillaz – but they’ve been getting a new space ready, and Django Django will play the first gig there on Friday in support of new album Marble Skies. We hailed it as a return to what they do best, and we’re looking forward to seeing how it translates live in what could become one of London’s most notable venues.
Over in north London on Wednesday, Lily Allen plays an intimate comeback show in the more old-fashioned surroundings of Tufnell Park Dome. She’s recently announced that fourth album No Shame will be released in June, and we may get to hear tracks from it alongside some old favourites.
Just down the road in Camden the Roundhouse plays host to Young Fathers who celebrate the release of third album Cocoa Sugar with a show on Wednesday while much-respected musicOMH favourites Tune-Yards promote latest album I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life at the same venue a day earlier, on Tuesday.
One of London’s best small venues, the Moth Club in Hackney, hosts a pair of contrasting shows. Next generation desert rockers Imarhan play on Friday and indie favourites Martha appear on Saturday. Saturday also sees three bigger shows take place across the capital.
Hookworms promote new album Microshift at the Electric Brixton, Daniel Avery appears at York Hall ahead of the release of new album Song For Alpha, and Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble plays a solo show at Oslo.
Line up of the week can be found at the Barbican on Thursday. Ethiopian jazz legend Mulatu Astatke heads up the night with support from Fatima & Eglo Live Band, Ruby Rushton and Seb Rochford. Dream Wife meanwhile occupy very different musical territory; we were impressed by their eponymous debut album, and they perform at Heaven on Wednesday. Finally, new-ish London Bridge venue Omeara welcomes the Bella Union-signed Jonathan Wilson to play from recently released third album Rare Birds.
Nine Inch Nails were already announced as part of Robert Smith’s Meltdown on 22 June (alongside such luminaries as Kristin Hersh, Manic Street Preachers, My Bloody Valentine and The Psychedelic Furs), but with that show already sold out they have now also announced a standalone date at the Royal Albert Hall, two days later on 24 June.
Rather sooner, initimate gigs abound later this month. Jarvis Cocker‘s run of tiny dates features a stop at the Moth Club on 27 March – it’s already sold out, alas – while Jack White gives a taster of his new album at the Garage on Highbury Corner the day after.
It’s that time of year where gig announcements keep coming at pace. One of this week’s most attention-grabbing was the news that Jay-Z and Beyoncé are to appear together at the London Stadium on 15 June.
Sun Ra Arkestra feel like an ever-present on the London gig scene and, not content with an already-announced show at the Lexington in April, they will be returning on 16 August to play Union Chapel. In similar fashion, Damien Jurado follows up his show at St John on Bethnal Green with a gig later in the year at Union Chapel, presenting an alternative to fireworks on 5 November. The Tallest Man On Earth will play the same venue on 24 September.
The reputation of Michael Head seems to grow with each passing year, and he has announced a show at Islington Assembly Hall on 5 May with his Red Elastic Band. Last year’s album Adiós Señor Pussycat was warmly greeted and, when heard alongside material from his former bands Shack and The Strands, should result in a special night. Another mainstay of the alternative music scene, Bardo Pond have also announced a London show; they’ll be at the 100 Club on 6th June. And early ’90s noisy guitar types Buffalo Tom fall into a similar musical category; they play the Electric Ballroom on 5 December.