This is always a quiet time of year, but the bonus is that it’s a great time to catch new acts taking advantage of a lull in the listings schedules. One of our recommendations this week is Norma Jean Martine, who’s playing an unplugged set at Servant Jazz Quarters on Wednesday 11 January. Raised in the outskirts of New York but now a Londoner via Nashville, her work is influenced by classic song writers, her voice beautifully breathy; a passionate singer-songwriter to ease you in to the year gently.
On the opposite side of the coin, Big Joanie play at Moth Club on Friday 13 January, as part of the London Short Film Festival. The night starts with a screening of Richard Oretsky’s 2006 film, Bad Brains Live at CBGB’s 1982. The hour-long film shows seminal hardcore band Bad Brains playing live at the legendary venue. Following the film, there’ll be a panel discussion on black identity politics in music and the arts, featuring Pauline Black (of Selector) Debbie Smith (Echobelly) and Rachel Aggs (Shopping), hosted by Chardine Taylor Stone, whose riot grrrl band Big Joanie, will round the night off with a live set.
The wonderful Martha Wainwright will play a free acoustic gig at Rough Trade East on Thursday 12 January to promote her new album, Goodnight City, out now on PIAS Recordings. It’s an early one; doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start.