Gig guide – Thurs 12th – Wed 18th September 2013

Thursday – Strypes, Electric Ballroom

Strypes have been garnering a lot of critical mass lately. Ridiculously young Irish band playing R&B in the Dr Feelgood / early Stones sense.

They’re the real deal, no matter what a few jaded old wanker hipsters think.

The new album is out this week and I was lucky enough to catch them at Rough Trade’s instore gig on Wednesday – they played a blistering high-octane set comprising ten songs in half an hour – at least, I think it was ten, I may have lost count.

Here’s a clip of what they sound like live, hot off the press from last night (Wednesday 11th Sept)

Thursday – Summer Camp, McCluskys

The second, eponymous album from Elizabeth Sankey and Jeremy Warmsley has more of a coherent sound than 2011 debut “Welcome To Condale” which should hopefully endear them to a wider record-buying public.

They’re now playing R&B in the Beyonce sense, and foregrounding the hip-hop style sampling that was present sporadically on the first record, and for my money they’ve nailed it.

BRough TrwdddddddddBuy the Stephen Street-produced album from Banquet Records and you get a free ticket to the gig. Or buy a ticket to the gig and you get a free album. Whichever way you look at it, it’s a bargain at seven of yer English pounds.

Friday – Rachel Ann Weiss, Regal Rooms, Hammersmith

Rachel Ann Weiss is a New York singer-songwriter who released a rather loverly debut album “Dear Love” last year; She’s touring the UK for the first time this week with drummer and electric piano player in tow. The overall sound is reminiscent of 70s Americana, with the USP being Weiss’s powerful vocals.

This song is from her second ever gig in the UK last night (Wednesday Sept 11th), appropriately at the 12 Bar Club in Soho’s Tin Pan Alley, Denmark Street.

Saturday – I Was A Cub Scout – Borderline, Soho

If you’re a two-member band and you split up, it’s a bit difficult. More than that and you simply get a new singer, drummer, synth player or freaky dancer and carry on. But it never works with duos. Except with Chas And Dave, oddly. Dave decided he’d had enough of touring and retired, so Chas simply got another Dave in. Chas And A Dave. B

Five years ago this option was not available to I was A Cub Scout.

They looked to have potential with their laid-back take on anthemic indie dance tunes then split up acrimoniously in 2008 in the middle of a tour.

They didn’t speak for years and it’s taken them until now to reach a point where they can achieve closure and play a farewell gig.

Post break-up sex, if you like.

Sunday – King Lizard – Fiddler’s Elbow Camden

If you’re looking for an alternative to the Camden Amy Winehouse memorial gigs (two years – seriously?) where does the time go?) then Sunday night at the Fiddler’s Elbow could be for you.

King Lizard have been ploughing a well-trodden furrow through the metal hinterlands for a few years now, and you have to ultimately love a band who include in their ranks a singer called Flash Roxx and a drummer called Moyano El Buffalo.

Monday – Catfish & The Bottlemen – Sebright Arms

Latest Welsh indie hopefuls who’ve played over 100 shows in 18 months, building an audience the old-fashioned way and in the process honing their live craft. This could be the last chance to catch them at a venue this small

Monday – Boho Dancer – Phoenix Artist Club (18:45)

A venue that is possibly central London’s best kept secret, the Phoenix Artist Club. Early start for three acts headlined by the excellent Boho Dancer and also featuring Tom Baxter and Leslie Mendelson.
Free entry but let ‘em know you’re coming down first as it’s quite a small venue.

Tuesday – Cloud Control – Rough Trade Instore

Australia’s wonderful Cloud Control have a new album out this week hence the instore. They play a sun-drenched psychedelic take on indie, in the same area as bands like Yeasayer but, as always with Aussie bands, it’s the tunes that are important. Like this one from the new LP

Wednesday – Department M – Club Fandango, Tipsy Bar

Club Fandango are brilliant. I’ve been to countless of their promotions down the years, there’s generally three or four bands on and without exception I’ve come away with one or two New Favourite Bands.
Headlining are Department M, the band formed out of the ashes of the excellent and much-missed Grammatics. Really looking forward to seeing what Owen Brinley’s new band sound like live after a couple of excellent singles (below).

Support from the Savage Nomads and Young Romance.

That completes an an absolute killer seven nights of LDN giggage, if I can last the pace.
See you down the front. Bring caffeine.

Gig Guide w/e Sunday 8th September 2013

How did it get to September again? Seriously? Quite a few bigger names starting to play the odd gig or even tour now that everybody’s back from their holidays. Here’s a few suggestions for some great live music entertainment this week, starting with the only “bigger name” I’m including this week!

Monday – Be Good Tanyas, Union Chapel

Alt.country royalty play the beautiful Union Chapel with its fine acoustics and all, ahead of their greatest hits collection which is released on September 24th in the UK if anyone wants to buy me an early Xmas prezzie.

Monday – Black Yaya – Hoxton Kitchen & Grill

Black Yaya is the offspring of rage and thunder. Black Yaya is anger and guile. Black Yaya is a merciless fight, and redemption songs.

Black Yaya is also David Ivar, frontman of Herman Dune, who seem to be getting in here on a weekly basis in various guises.

Tuesday – Splaaasshh – Rough Trade East instore (7pm)

OK then, Australia. You gots Tame Impala. But the Kiwis and Poms have joined forces to give you some serious competition in the dreamy psych-rock stakes. Ten quid or so gets you the album plus a ticket to this gig, which is the best value of the week in my book.

Tuesday – Heartless Bastards – Garage

Excellent classic garage rock stylings from Heartless Bastards. Imagine Black Keys only with more tuneage and (slightly) less riffage, and a frontwoman with the most powerful voice this side of Janis Joplin. Been waiting to see this lot for years, ever since I heard “The Mountain”.

I shall most assuredly see you down the front for this one.

Tuesday – Cayucas – 100 Club

Arse! I think I’m destined to never see this band live, there’s always a clash. Next time, Cayucas. Next time. If anyone reading this goes along, I want a full review please.

Wednesday – Drenge – Tipsy Bar

And guitar-based indie STILL REFUSES TO LAY DOWN AND DIE! Drenge are from Castleton, a lovely small town in the Peak District about thirty miles from Sheffield. Rawest thing to have a chance of chart-bothering action since the Arctic Monkeys, also from these parts (and with a cracking new album about to drop).

Thursday – Khalilah Rose – Hootannanny

For reggae singer Khalilah Rose, being in the music business is not about the pursuit of fortune and fame. This talented Rastafarian empress has no time to be caught up in the hype of the music biz, as she is more concerned about setting the standards for roots reggae music on a global level.

She is on a serious musical mission in the name of Rastafari to restore the genre to its past glory.
Rose joined the Rastafari faith in 2009, the following year she moved back to Jamaica, where she was discovered by Tanya Thelwell of UMI Records. Since then, her career has been growing from strength to strength.

To date, she has recorded a number of popular singles, most notable are her collaborations with other cultural reggae acts such as Unite and Be Strong, done with Turbulence, and Jah Is Living, featuring Lutan Fyah. Both songs are featured on her debut album titled Zion’s Lullaby, which was released on the Ackee & Dumplin imprint earlier this year. The 14-track album features production work from a number of top-flight musicians and producers, including Dean Fraser, Ed Robinson, Fifth Element Crew and Carl James.

Although Rose is not yet a household name in Jamaica, her music has spread far beyond the shores of her island home. As a result, she has made numerous appearances on events in Europe, Africa, Brazil, Israel and North America. The music video for her single titled Hail Him is currently enjoying strong rotation in South Africa.

Thursday – Hot Head Show – Garage

OK, if I say to you “blues-rock band” and “fronted by the son of Police drummer Stewart Copeland”, I bet you’re thinking “Nah, I’ll give them a miss”.

Seriously don’t. Raw as hell, and far more experimental and out there than anything Sting and the Boyz ever did.

Think about it. If the guy wanted to trade on his old fella’s name, he’d have gone under his own name, like the various Beatles and Zappa offspring do. This is the real deal.

Friday – 14 Iced Bears – Dublin Castle

Classic eighties Brighton indie band, now reformed and touring the hits, which is what all reformed old bands should do!

Sunday – Ringo Deathstarr, Lexington

Fans of the big buzzsaw guitar sound with lots of echo will love this band. Just a hint of something a bit more ethereal there to differentiate them from the Jesus And Mary Chain and The Raveonettes. All three bands are great, you understand.

That’ll do for now I reckon. Same time next week. Me, I shall be sampling a bit of Heartless Bastards and Splaaassh on Tuesday with some sweet reggae at the Hootannanny on Thursday courtesy of Khalilah Rose.

Sunday – Two Cow Garage – Windmill, Brixton