London Gigs

London Gigs Diary: 29 November-5 December 2010

London is bracing itself for a flood of male-fronted alternative rock bands this week. You’ve got Arcade Fire (pictured) playing the O2, The National at Brixton Academy and Vampire Weekend at Alexandra Palace. Then there’s Biffy Clyro and Pendulum appearing separately at Wembley Arena and 30 Seconds To Mars at the O2.

Depending on which night you go, you can also catch rising talent in the form of Phosphorescent or Menomena supporting The National, or Laura Marling or Janelle Monáe playing before Vampire Weekend.

After a week that brought us the sad news that one of musicOMH’s favourite London venues the Luminaire will be closing soon, it’s good to know that London is attracting so much world class talent. Let’s hope the smaller venues aren’t being left behind.

Gigs Of The Week: 29 Nov-5 Dec 2010

Menomena + Pope Joan – XOYO, London – 30 Nov

If all those big name bands sound a little obvious, try this gig out for two acts in their ascendancies. Menomena released one of the albums of the year in fourth long-player Mines. Bursting with innovation and personality, it plays like TV On The Radio with their eccentricities curbed. Promising young Brighton act Pope Joan provide support.

More details here.

Leftfield – Brixton Academy, London – 3, 4 Dec

Dance music icons Leftfield are in town for a couple of nights as part of their UK tour which also has dates remaining in Birmingham, Bristol and Dublin. Seminal 1995 album Leftism with its classic contributions from the likes of John Lydon and Toni Halliday was hugely influential in bridging the gap between electronic music and live performance. This reappearance is another welcome addition to the ongoing 1990s nostalgia trip.

More details here.

Janelle Monáe – Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London – 5 Dec

One of the stories of 2010, Monáe took most of us by surprise with her first full studio album The ArchAndroid (Suites II and III). Its sprawling blend of wide-ranging influences and startling originality turned the diminutive Kansas native into a star. And then there’s her dance moves. See her perform in person for what should be an intoxicating night of sharp soul/funk music and fancy footwork.

More details here.

Also Recommended:

IO Echo – The Drop, London – 29 Nov

Erland And The Carnival + Anna Calvi – XOYO, London – 29 Nov

Phosphorescent – Hoxton Bar & Kitchen – 29 Nov

Susheela Raman – Rich Mix, London – 30 Nov

Agnes Obel – Water Rats, London – 1 Dec

Fujiya And Miyagi – ICA, London – 1 Dec

Paul Smith – Bush Hall, London – 1 Dec

Best Coast – Scala, London – 1 Dec

The Concretes – Lexington, London – 1 Dec

Koudlam – CAMP Basement, London – 2 Dec

Portico Quartet – ICA, London – 3/4 Dec

Just Announced:

Scissor Sisters

The Little Noise Sessions brand continues to expand with the announcement that New York’s finest merchants of camp will launch the first Tiny Noise Session with a 350-capacity night at Bush Hall on 4 December. Landing bang in the middle of a UK arena tour promoting this year’s Night Work album, they’re also due at the rather larger O2 Arena later in the month. While the mention of terms like “stripped back” and “acoustic” might find some reaching for the amplifiers and others heading for the exit, this gig offers a rare opportunity to see a very different side of Jake Shears and his gang. As with the Little Noise Sessions and the upcoming Pet Shop Boys Big Noise Session, it’s all raising money for Mencap.

More details here.

Rufus Wainwright

What an Anglophile. In the same week as he played at the Royal Albert Hall, Rufus Wainwright announced a five night residency at the Royal Opera House next July. Mixing things up over the course of the stint he’ll be performing his Rufus Does Judy! show twice, he’ll be teaming up with sister Martha on one night and with father Loudon on another, and finally he’ll end the series with a concert version of his opera Prima Donna, sung by Janis Kelly.

More details here


And one more thing … the curator for next year’s Meltdown Festival at the South Bank Centre has been announced as Ray Davies. The former frontman of The Kinks will follow in the footsteps of luminaries like Scott Walker, David Bowie and this year’s Richard Thompson. It’s difficult to predict exactly how his artist choices will pan out. You might expect a Britcentric slant but recent album See My Friends featured collaborations with Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and Black Francis, so watch this space. Ray Davies’ Meltdown will take place in June.

More details here.

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