Gig Guide – w/e Sun 25th August

This week is far more promising than last week for LDN gigs. Must be coming up to summer’s end or something, which is sad as we’ve had the best summer for years. OTOH, it does mean the autumn giggage season will soon be upon us, woo hoo!

Spector – Madame Jojos, Soho, Tuesday

One of the most exciting mainstream indie prospects in years. Watch this half-hour set from Reading last year. Then imagine how great they’d be in a sleazy club environment.

Then get a ticket for their White Heat gig at Madame Jojo’s in Soho.

Arbouretum – Borderline, Tuesday

Nobody sounds quite like these guys, who have something of The Band about their ragged, doomy classic folk-rock sound. Touring their fifth album “Coming Out Of The Fog”

Lloyd Bradley talk – Rough Trade West, Thursday (6pm)

I first encountered Lloyd Bradley as the black music guy at the NME, and while I am eternally grateful to him for showing me there was more to music than Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, his body of work is far more impressive than simply contributing to the inky music papers.

This is the launch of his new book on the hidden history of Britain’s black music, tracing the journey from Lord Kitchener’s calypso to Dizzee Rascal’s Glastonbury triumphs with a panel of special guests the steel pan maestro and music historian Dr Lionel McCalman and Norman Jay MBE.

The Evening will be soundtracked by an exclusive mix inspired by the book by DJ Zed Bias.

Black music has been part of London’s landscape since the First World War, when the Southern Syncopated Orchestra brought jazz to the capital. Following the wave of Commonwealth immigration, its sounds and styles took up residence to become the foundation of the city’s youth culture.

Sounds like London tells the story of the music and the larger-than-life characters making it, journeying from Soho jazz clubs to Brixton blues parties to King’s Cross warehouse raves to the streets of Notting Hill – and onto soundsystems everywhere.

As well as a journey through the musical history of London, Sounds Like London is about the shaping of a city, and in turn the whole country, through different waves of immigration, which shows how the soul of the capital and the soul of its music cannot be separated.

Essential for anyone with an interest in the history of black music.

Deaf School – Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, Friday

Liverpool’s Deaf School were one of the great unsung bands of the late seventies, perhaps the only thing stopping them being huge was simply that they weren’t punk. They still kick arse live to this day in their all-too infrequent live shows.

Sun Ra Arkestra – Cafe Oto (5 days from Friday)

Sun Ra was one of the most controversial and innovative figures in jazz music. In 2011 the legendary jazz big band played a sellout three night residency at Cafe Oto. Fronted by sax man Marshall Allen since Sun Ra’s untimely demise in 1993, they’re returning to play five nights straight at the same venue. This is a full hour’s worth of concert footage from 2009 to give you some idea of what to expect.

Arrows Of Love – Buffalo Bar, Friday

I first saw Arrows Of Love about five years ago supporting somebody at the 100 Club, and loved them. They went quiet for a while but reappeared about a year ago with some excellent new material. Definitely worth catching live.

Hawkwind – Shepherds Bush Empire, Saturday

The lords of Space Rock perform their classic 1975 album “Warrior On The Edge Of Time” in its entirety, and pretty damned good it is too if this clip from a gig at the Komedia in Bath earlier this year is anything to go by.

The Rutles / John Otway – “Lazy Sunday Afternoon” – Borderline, Sunday (afternoon)

Just like the real Beatles, there are only two members of the Rutles left, but since one of them is Neil Innes, this promises to be an excellent run through the Prefab Four’s finest hits.

Support from the legendary John Otway

which makes this the gig of the week, no question. See you down the front!

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