It’s not peak time for gigs in London at this time of year but here’s a few cracking nights out you may be interested in.
Jello Biafra And The Guantanamo School Of Medicine – Dingwalls, Monday
One for all of us ageing punks at a loose end on a Monday evening. Jello fronted classic punk band the Dead Kennedys and hasn’t mellowed with age as the new album “White People And The Damage Done” attests :
Nadine Shah – Shepherds Bush Empire, Tuesday
Supporting Bat For Lashes, you could say this was too obvious a pairing of Britain’s foremost Asian female alternative musical talent. One thing that is certain is that Natasha “Bats” Khan will have her work cut out to match Shah, who has produced an excellent debut album “Love Your Dum And Mad”, a title worthy of 70s progsters Caravan (“Cunning Stunts” being their wordplay highlight).
Shah is a different animal entirely from Khan, though, with a deep, soulful voice that maybe shows the influence of her Pakistani father (her mother is Norwegian and she was raised in Newcastle)
Velcro Hooks – Shacklewell Arms, Tuesday
I’m a sucker for this kind of thing. Loud scuzzy guitar but not so loud that you can’t hear the dislocated, punky lyrics. Would not sound out of place in the New York punk scene circa 1976 – somewhere near Television or Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers.
Signed to Fierce Panda records, usually a guarantee of quality, this should be good.
Rose Elinor Dougall – Shacklewell Arms, Wednesday
Two great acts in a row at the Shacklewell. It’s all very well but over the past ten years, while I’ve been loosely based in West London on and off, which was fine circa 2006 to 2007 when all the cool gigs were in Camden. But unfortunately the centre of hip has since relocated East. Twice. First to Shoreditch and now it’s Dalston where the haircut kids mainly hang out. Hang around long enough and they’ll all be living in Colchester.
Rose Elinor Dougall was an original member of the superb Pipettes but since leaving a few years ago has been writing and recording pop songs of astounding quality that deserve a far wider audience. Her new single “Strange Warnings” could be the best thing she’s been involved with.
This gig is free, so if you’re anywhere in the vicinity, there’s no excuse for not turning up, really.
Mr Cat And The Jackal – Half Moon, Putney, Wednesday
This top South African band offers a theatrical show of pirates and beggars who sing ancient songs for music bootleggers. “For our massive repertoire we all pass around three dozen instruments to create our own sound. It’s salvation we dread, we’re five from the Cape where we ate, drank ‘n read and practiced our good ‘old folk tales from the sea and the land. Our songs will set sail with a whisky in hand – a spectacle of paradox-like discord to soothe, designing our songs for your soul to groove on”. Could be great – here’s a sample choon.
Cauls – Windmill, Brixton, Friday
Intriguing combination of post-rock and 80s melodic melancholia at the Windmill, also featuring Bloody Mammals, Great Cop and Pippos Progress. You can download Cauls’ latest EP from here :
Skatalites – Jazz Cafe, Friday
The Skatalites were one of the biggest of the original Jamaican ska groups of the mid-sixties. There’s only sax player Lester Stirling of the original lineup of the band left standing but as this relatively recent (2003) live version of their best known song Guns Of Navarone shows, they’re still pretty tight. This music is eternal.
Deep Sea Arcade – Hoxton Kitchen & Grill, Saturday
Psychedelic Aussie five-piece owing no small debt to baggy, which seems to be making a comeback (see Swim Deep). You can guarantee that when an Aussie band plays London they will draw a crowd of homesick Ockers, and that doesn’t always mean they’re actually any good, but Deep Sea Arcade are the real deal. I’d pitch them somewhere between the slower stoner anthems of Tame Impala and the faster, poppier beats of Cloud Control.
This is the bargain of the week I’d say – eight of your English pounds only, what are you waiting for?
See you down the front!