London Gigs

London Gigs Diary: 26 September – 2 October 2011

This week opens with no less than six eye-catching gigs taking place across the capital on Monday 26th September. Slow Club promote their excellent new album of roughly hewn, impassioned boy-girl indie at their biggest London show to date at Shepherd’s Bush Empire whilst Echo & The Bunnymen play their majestic, career-best album Ocean Rain in full at the Palladium.

Elsewhere Boom Bip plays a solo show at XOYO in support of new album Zig Zaj (following his Neon Neon collaboration last year with Gruff Rhys). Meanwhile, Toynbee Studios in Whitechapel sees a set of glacial electro-noir by Zola Jesus.

On other matters, what is it these days with bands whose name begins with the word black? Last week London saw gigs by The Black Angels and The Black Keys and the triumvirate would have been made complete on Monday with a show by Black Lips, who were to bring their unruly, youthful punk exuberance to Heaven. Sadly, they’ve cancelled due to exhaustion. A John Vanderslice/Loney Dear double-bill at the Lexington completes the strong start to the gig week.

The gigs taking place on Tuesday 27th see no let up in quality. The War On Drugs follow up their recent appearance at Cargo with a show at Corsica Studios, while American duo The Civil Wars play their emotive Adele-endorsed modern country in the hushed surroundings of Union Chapel. Their album Barton Hollow is the closest 2011 will get to the celebrated pairing of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss and this show should have its fair share of spine-tingling moments. Elsewhere on Tuesday, alt-country storytellers Richmond Fontaine perform two albums at the Scala – new album The High Country gets an airing alongside old favourite Post To Wire. American singer-songwriter Laura Gibson supports. Tuesday also sees Britpop survivors The Bluetones call an end to their career, playing their final show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

Wednesday 28th has an intriguing selection of gigs to choose from. The Barbican hosts a night of Sufi music, promising songs from Morocco, Pakistan, India and Indonesia played by artists such as Sain Zahoor and Marouane Hajji amongst others, while Dalston is the setting for two of the more experimental shows of the week. Ben Vida and Mark Fell showcase their contemporary modular-synth driven electronica at Cafe Oto whilst a short distance away French jazz sextet Le Bruit Du Sign headline a show at the Vortex supported by a collaboration between modern British jazz outfit Outhouse and Icelandic guitairist Hilmar Jensson. The brilliantly/terribly named When Saints Go Machine also play their synth-encased, otherworldy electro-pop at Camp Shoreditch.

Thursday 29th sees Fiery Furnaces singer Eleanor Friedberger play her debut London solo show at new venue Platform Cafe. Expect to hear off-kilter pop from her recently released debut album Last Summer. Thursday also witnesses the return of The Bees to the live circuit, playing a sold-out show at St. James Church in Piccadilly, whilst Chilly Gonzales also plays the first of eight nights at the Soho Theatre.

It is also a case of ‘another week, another London-based festival of experimental music’ as Thursday marks the opening of the Sottovoce festival. Now in its fourth year, Sottovoce has an admirably challenging, esoteric line-up which takes in jazz, electronica, improv and sound art across various east London venues. Read more here.

Finally, on Saturday The Cinematic Orchestra will live soundtrack a selection of films at the Barbican, whilst William Tyler (ex-Lambchop and Silver Jews) plays Cafe Oto, supported by Hiss Golden Messenger.

Also recommended:

North Atlantic Oscillation – Cargo – Tuesday 27th September

Connan Mockasin – Bush Hall – Wednesday 28th September

Fenech Soler – KOKO – Wednesday 28th & Thursday 29th September

Ganglians – Corsica Studios – Thursday 29th September

Just announced:

Jeffrey Lewis – Rough Trade East – 10th October

Jeffrey Lewis will appear at RTE in support of his forthcoming album A Turn In Dream-Songs. This is a show with a difference however that will feature Lewis hosting a personal slideshow presentation about the album’s artwork. Read more here.

Barn Owl – Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen – 19th November

Lost In The Glare, the latest album from San Francisco’s Barn Owl saw them deliver another set of arid, smouldering guitar landscapes. This show in Hoxton should see much of it performed live alongside other instrumental avant-Americana.

The Dø – Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen – 23rd November

Franco-Finnish outfit The Dø play their Cardigans-esque, left-leaning, delicate orch-pop in support of second album Both Ways Open Jaws.

Panda Bear – Electric Ballroom – 1st December

Tomboy, the second album from Panda Bear may have been slightly underwhelming for some but this show at the Electric Ballroom provides a chance to see if it translates more successfully when played live.

Vetiver – Dingwalls – 5th December

The Errant Charm saw Vetiver return with their fifth album, another offering of soft-edged, beautifully handcrafted songs. See them play from it at Dingwalls in December.

Euros Childs – Vortex – 14th December

Ex-Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci frontman Euros Childs plays a nigh at the Vortex as part of his short solo piano tour. It is an opportunity to see one of the most endearing men in music play a slightly different show drawing from his solo material, re-worked for piano.

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