London Gigs

London Gigs Diary: 31 January – 6 February 2011

It’s been announced that the BBC Radio 2 Electric Proms will be axed after five years of diverse Autumnal gigs primarily based at the Roundhouse venue in Camden. We’ve been there for some of its best nights, whether Dame Shirley Bassey or Sir Elton John. We’ve seen The Streets and Kasabian backed by full orchestras and Doves playing with the 20-strong London Bulgarian Choir. While the series seemed to have had some difficulty finding its identity which was tweaked every year, it came up with enough inventive live twists on the stars of contemporary music for its passing to leave an unwelcome gap in our calendar.

Gigs Of The Week: 31 Jan – 6 Feb 2011

Lulu And The Lampshades – Lexington, London – 2 Feb

With the impish Luisa and Heloise at the helm, Lulu And The Lampshades are celebrating the release of Cold Water, their debut EP. A cutesy and quirky musical style full of upbeat percussion and the employment of violins and ukeleles, they’re not going to be for everyone, but if you’re a lover and not a hater, their live show promises good things. With songs bursting with imagination and optimism, you might just fall in love a little bit.

More details here.

Los Campesinos! + Summer Camp + Grouplove – Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London – 3 Feb

How strange to think that Los Campesinos! are now elderly statesmen of indie pop. But that’s how it looks on this sprightly bill, as they’re backed up by two of the best rising acts from that genre. We’ve been championing Summer Camp for some time with their sepia narrative tunes and Americans Grouplove are, on the basis of first single Colours, also promising big things this year.

More details here.

Gaggle (pictured) + Dry The River + Marques Toliver Borderline, London – 5 Feb

A dazzlingly original concept blending the voices of (give or take) 22 female voices with the arthouse values of East London and the nous of their commander-in-chief Deborah Coughlin, the Gaggle community has been delighting and infuriating audiences for about a year now. Without doubt an act to be seen live, they’re deservedly headlining this gig as part of HMV’s Next Big Thing series, which shines a light on a whole heap of rising stars in 8 venues across the city, each night hosting three acts for 10 quid.

More details here.

Also Recommended:

Metronomy – Heaven, London – 1 Feb

The View – Old Blue Last, London – 1/2 Feb

Richard Thompson – Royal Festival Hall, London – 2 Feb

Gang Of Four + John And Jehn – Heaven, London – 2 Feb

Jim Noir – The Garage, London – 2 Feb

Grouplove – Hoxton Hall, London – 3 Feb

Smoke Fairies + Sea Of Bees – Scala, London – 3 Feb

Cage The Elephant – The Garage, London – 3 Feb

The Duke Spirit – Heaven, London – 3 Feb

James Blake + Catherine Okada + Cloud Boat – Borderline, London – 4 Feb

Fenech Soler + Mirrors + Is Tropical – Upstairs At The Garage, London – 5 Feb

Chilly Gonzales + The Robot Heart – Borderline, London – 6 Feb

Just Announced:

Architecture In Helsinki

Melbourne-bred pop experimentalists Architecture In Helsinki have taken four years over their latest album Moment Bends. First single That Beep, a confusion of Prince-funk, late ‘80s synths and a touch of bhangra, was first released back in 2008, so frankly it’s about time this record landed. They’ve lined up a few UK dates including one at London’s XOYO on 12 April.

More details here.

The Great Escape, Brighton

Brighton’s multi-venue music festival has announced its first wave of this year’s acts. Bigger names include Friendly Fires who will play at The Dome, Warpaint and Villagers. Other quality acts already confirmed include Nedry, Twin Shadow and PVT. The line-up will eventually swell to over 300 acts playing in 30 venues. It’ll be happening all over Brighton from 12-14 May.

More details here.

Fleet Foxes

Details of one of the most anticipated returns of the year are in. Fleet Foxes have scheduled their second album Helplessness Blues for release on 2 May. At this stage they’ve just announced one UK date as part of a trans-Atlantic tour and will play the Hammersmith Apollo on 31 May. Fingers at the ready – tickets go on sale 9am on 4 Feb.

More details here.

Arcade Fire + Mumford & Sons + Beirut + The Vaccines – Hyde Park, London – 30 June

Hyde Park might not be the most inviting of venues, but this line-up has a good chance of competing with its vast outdoor space. The common link between these four acts is that they all know how to work a crowd. Cynics might sneer at the manipulative folk of the people-pleasing Mumford & Sons but they’ve proven themselves very able live players with the ability to turn large crowds into riotous celebrations. Their commercial nous should fit in neatly between the dominant power of Arcade Fire and the more alternative style of Beirut whose sound has shifted over the years between emotionally gripping Balkan folk, Central European classicism and synthesised pop. With The Vaccines offering bottom-of-the-bill support, this should be one of Hyde Park’s best dates this summer.

More details here.

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