London Gigs

London Gigs Diary: 9 – 16 July

This week sees the Somerset House Summer Series get properly underway, with shows taking place in the historic surroundings of the courtyard on each night.

Tindersticks extend an already successful year to date with a show on Sunday night. They had to cancel a series of intimate gigs at the Soho Theatre earlier this year due to singer Stuart Staples’ laryngitis but this larger show should more than make up for any previous disappointment. Their 9th album The Something Rain was widely acclaimed as one of their best upon release earlier this year and alongside occasional older favourites should make this show rather special (you can also read our Q&A with David Boulter from earlier this year by clicking here).

Earlier in the week it is shows from female vocalists that stand out – Monday and Tuesday American see double platinum-selling soul star Jill Scott welcomed whilst later in the week on Thursday Anna Calvi appears with support from Eugene McGuiness and Cold Specks. On Wednesday Australian quartet The Temper Trap appear ahead of the release of their second album, with support from the highly-regarded Alt-J. With shows from The Enemy on Friday and an evening concentrating on music from the Afrobeats scene on Saturday it’s a busy week. You can get full details here (the shows continue throughout next week also – watch out for our preview in next week’s diary).

Elsewhere Hard Rock Calling takes place in Hyde Park over the weekend and sees shows by some of rock’s heavyweights. Bruce Springsteen appears on Saturday (read our review of his Manchester show here) whilst on Sunday Paul Simon celebrates the 25th anniversary of his Gracelands album by playing it in full. Soundgarden get things under way on the Friday. Read full details here.

On Saturday there’s also the Eurostar Traction festival taking place at Granary Square by Kings Cross. Gilles Peterson has curated the line up which features the likes of Sébastien Tellier, Ghostpoet, Benny Sings and The Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble. Get more information here.

Two more of the week’s most eye-catching gigs are right at the end. The collaboration between Neneh Cherry and The Thing has been one of the more striking link-ups of the year so far, each artist showing a pleasing willingness to venture outside of their usual musical territory. We were impressed by their album The Cherry Thing and talked to Cherry about it in this interview. You can catch them at Village Underground on Sunday. A gig of similar intensity takes place on the same night up in Kentish Town as The Mars Volta promote latest album Noctourniquet at the Forum.

Earlier, Sweet Billy Pilgrim play from their much-praised Crown & Treaty album at Bush Hall on Wednesday, whilst on Monday the week begins promisingly with gigs from ex-Stereolab singer Laetitia Sadier who plays the Scala and Still Corners who play the Dalston Roof Park.

There’s plenty going on in from a more jazz/experimental/esoteric angle – Cafe Oto is the venue for a show on Friday featuring ex-Led Zeppelin bassist Jon Paul Jones uniting with Norwegian musician Helg Sten (aka Deathprod) under their Minibus Pimps name. On Monday the venue opens the week with a show by the Dead Rat Orchestra who will play a live score to The Guga Hunters Of Ness. Elsewhere, Zoe Rahman plays from current album Kindred Spirits at the Vortex on Thursday and Friday sees Adrian Sherwood, Africa Hi-Tech and Kwesachu (Kwes and Micachu) all appear at Village Underground.

Finally, a mention for a small show on Friday at the Hope & Anchor in Islington by The Death Of Six By Seven (previously known simply as Six By Seven). Their emotionally charged, proto-drone-rock won them a decent fanbase back in the late 1990s (indeed, this writer remembers seeing them at the sadly-now-gone Astoria at the start of the millennium). The last decade has been less kind to them but this offers a rare chance to see them back in action again.

Also taking place this week:


Lianne La Havas – Rough Trade East

Kimya Dawson – Bush Hall


Born Blonde – Power Lunches


Dawes – Scala

Yeasayer – Lexington


Poliça– Rough Trade East

Sunless 97 – Old Blue Last

Teebs & Nosaj Thing – XOYO


Deaf Club – Old Blue Last

Wu Legends (Method Man + Ghostface + Raekwon + GZA) – Forum


Remember Remember – Dublin Castle

This Is The Kit & Rough Fields – Windmill


Remember Remember – Hackney Picturehouse

Just announced:

Oren Ambarchi – Café Oto – 3rd September

Clark – Scala – 8th September

Squarepusher – Hackney Empire – 20th October

I Like Trains – Cargo – 22nd October

Actress & Evian Christ – Village Underground – 24th October

Patrick Watson – Village Underground – 4th & 5th November

Beth Orton – Union Chapel – 5th December

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