London Gigs

London Gigs Diary: 3-9 September 2012

The iTunes festival began its annual 30-day residency at Camden’s Roundhouse on Saturday, with Usher playing the opening night. This week sees Olly Murs, Plan B, Emeli Sandé, JLS, Elbow, Jack White and Deadmau5 all taking to the stage for an audience of prize draw winners.

Further north, Wembley Arena will be dusted down by Friday to welcome Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, with support from Graham Coxon and The Kooks. Leonard Cohen’s relentless world tour stops off in Wembley on Saturday and Sunday – the same nights Lady Gaga‘s Born This Way Ball pitches up at Twickenham Stadium.

If you fancy something a little more sedate, folk legends Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick play at the Half Moon in Putney on Tuesday, while over in Dalston Marika Hackman and Luke Sital-Singh play at Servant Jazz Quarters. Sital-Singh has been touted as the British Bon Iver…check out his single Fail For You.

Tuesday also sees the return of Grandaddy to Shepherd’s Bush Empire. They’ve cut to the chase and called it The Welcome Back Tour and rumours of a new album are rife, so it’d be surprising if they didn’t throw in a few new songs.

Perfume Genius plays at the Union Chapel on Thursday for what promises to be a breathtaking show. We gave his second album, Put Your Back N 2 It, four-and-a-half stars, and called Mike Hadreas a “staggeringly talented songwriter”.

Grimes plays at Heaven on Wednesday and Thursday. We recently saw her in Edinburgh and at XOYO and loved it. In fact, we described her live show as “a curious mix of live performance, DJ set and, at times, full on rave”.

The week draws to a close with the arrival in London of Africa Express; a train that’s crossed the country bringing together African and Western artists. Co-founded by Damon Albarn six years ago, this has been the collective’s biggest tour and has seen Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Temper Trap, Rizzle Kicks, Singgai Shoniwa of the Noisettes and Carl Barât among those joining Sengalese star Baaba Maal, Egyptian rapper Karim Rish and blind husband and wife duo Amadou & Mariam from Mali among many, many others. The Africa Express pulls into Granary Square, Kings Cross, on Saturday.

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