London Gigs

London Gigs Diary: 30 April – 6 May 2012

On first glance the prospect of Tinariwen and José González collaborating appears to be a confounding one, each act seemingly coming from different, almost irreconcilable musical places. Yet, on Thursday the Shepherd’s Bush Empire will be the setting for a show that will see both appear on stage together for what is promised to be the first and only time.

Tuareg outfit Tinariwen have built up a strong reputation as a live band since being picked up by western music world back in 2007. Last year’s Tassili album contained hints that the band was headed in different musical directions however, being more acoustic-focused than earlier offerings, something which maybe makes Thursday’s show with Swedish indie-folk singer González less of a surprise.

Trembling Bells & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy come across as a more natural pairing, indeed the Glasgow quartet have previously acted as Will Oldham’s backing band. It’s a harmonious relationship further evidenced by The Marble Downs, their excellent album released on Honest Jons earlier this year, the former’s frosted alt-trad-folk sitting comfortably alongside Oldham’s dark, introspective musings. They appear at Union Chapel on Sunday.

Elsewhere, talented Canadian songwriter Patrick Watson promotes excellent third album Adventures In Your Own Backyard at an intimate show at St. Stephen’s Church in Shepherd’s Bush on Monday (watch his video for single Into Giants here). New Order also return to the live circuit to play a pair of shows at Brixton Academy on Wednesday and Thursday (without a certain Peter Hook).

Other highlights can be found in live shows by more acts returning after periods away. Little Boots is due to release her second album later in the year and she warms up with a show at XOYO on Friday, whilst Hanne Hukkelberg promotes fourth album Featherbrain at a show at the Lexington on Monday. Meanwhile, The Rapture play Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Wednesday and Here We Go Magic play a small show at the Seabright Arms on Saturday.

Other gigs this week


Matthew Dear – Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen

Russian Circles – Scala


The Hives – Borderline

The Staves – Tabernacle

White Rabbits – XOYO


Arboretum/Luke Roberts/Hush Arbors – Cargo

Dry The River – Electric Ballroom

James Blackshaw – Café Oto


Blood Red Shoes – Heaven

Alabama Shakes – Brixton Electric

Dan Mangan – Bush Hall


Asian Dub Foundation – (playing live score to La Haine) – Troxy

Just announced:

Somerset House announced details of their Summer Series of gigs this week. Tindersticks, M83, Anna Calvi, Jill Scott, Katy B and Paloma Faith are just some of the names that will be appearing within the atmospheric surroundings of the courtyard during July. Read full details here.

Other gigs recently announced:

Lisa Hannigan – Queen Elizabeth Hall – 13th May

Beach Fossils – Water Rats – 28th May

Kathryn Williams – Union Chapel – 29th May

Gary Numan – Forum – 1st June

Cypress Hill – Forum – 5th June

Maximo Park – Heaven – 8th June

The Tallest Man On Earth – Hackney Empire – 3rd July

Gravenhurst – Cecil Sharp House – 26th September

The Frank & Walters (Trains, Boats & Planes 20th anniversary show) – Garage – 26th October

The Polyphonic Spree performing the songs of The Rocky Horror Picture Show – Forum – 31st October

Spiritualized – Roundhouse – 5th November

Lucinda Williams – Royal Festival Hall – 10th & 11th November

Ben Folds Five – Brixton Academy – 4th December


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