London Gigs

London Gigs: 16-22 May 2016

Announcement Of The Week

1-2-3-4 Festival is set to return in September, after a four year break. The festival, which ran from 2007-12, has got a new home, Three Mills Island, in Bow, where bands will play in a ‘pit party’ style, with the audience gathered around them. The organisers bill it as ‘Four stages of original innovators and the new breed’ and looking over their confirmed line-up, they’ve nailed that down pretty well; The Jesus and Mary Chain, Bo Ningen, Gang of Four, The Cribs, Spector, Carl Barat and The Jackals, The Wytches and Toy play alongside a host of young upstarts. Early bird tickets for the one-dayer on Saturday 3 September, cost £24.95.

Gigs Of The Week

Manic Street Preachers bring their Everything Must Go Tour to London this week, with two nights at that most anarchistic of venue, the Royal Albert Hall. It marks – astonishingly – the 20th anniversary of the album that saw them cross over from underground heroes to mainstream indie rock stalwarts, but many of the tracks – so beloved by fans as a parting gift from Richey Edwards (five of its tracks use the guitarist’s lyrics and the album was their first after his disappearance) and a poignant shift in their sound and vision – are rarely aired in the live arena. So these shows – on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 May – are going to be something quite special indeed.

Lail Arad launches her second album, The Onion, at Chats Palace this week. Stylistically, she flits between folk, intricate blues and brassy pop, but throughout, it’s all about her voice and witty narrative. For example, we love 1934 (A Song For Leonard Cohen), which sees Arad wishing that she’d been born earlier (“It’s just a shame that you were born in 1934”), so she could have been lover or muse to Cohen. In our review, we referenced Dory Previn and Jonathan Richman …see for yourself on Tuesday 17 May.

Bat For Lashes releases her long-awaited new album, The Bride, in July. Its first offering, I Do, is a brilliantly told story of a woman whose fiancé is killed in a crash on the way to their wedding. The bride flees the scene to go on their honeymoon alone, resulting in dark musings on love, loss and grief. It’s all done in typical Natasha Khan style – wonderfully melodramatic and utterly haunting. She’ll be previewing other tracks from The Bride at The Union Chapel on Monday 16 May.

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