London Live Dates – incl. Nneka, John Maus and Broken Records

My latest collection of forthcoming London concerts that merit investigation:

John Maus
Hawaiian-based and blessed with a boomingly low voice, John Maus was never going to just fit in.  Be it the atmospheric brood of Do Your Best or the electro-based, jazz-like Pure Rockets, his music is weird, often sinister, and discomfortingly mellow, as if he’s scarcely bothering to put any effort in. To boot, he looks annoyingly cherubic. And yet, much like the songs of his former cohorts, Ariel Pink, he has a dainty, unexpected likeability beneath the roughshod surface. 
Weds 28 October – The Rest Is Noise, Brixton (a new bar from the folk behind the Amersham Arms)
John Maus on MySpace (check out the comically-listed critical dismissals)
MP3: John Maus – Do Your Best (zSHARE)


Marina & The Diamonds
No matter how often my iPod shuffles on one of Marina’s folksy-rock tunes, I’m still amazed at her lyrical ability to paint the prettiest little scenes out of thoroughly mundane episodes, or perfectly encapsulate the peaks and troughs of romance.  Bettter yet, she’s a polished live act these days, flirting, talking and singing majestically, while still seeming the pleasant girl next door.  A more personable Florence, then: less exotic and slender, more humble and humourous, and blessed with just as distinctive a voice: this one cutely Welsh, infused by red wine and velvet. 
Tues 3 November – The Relentless Garage, Highbury (tickets here)
Weds 18 November – Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, Shoreditch
Marina & The Diamonds on MySpace
MP3: Marina & The Diamonds – Hermit The Frog (zSHARE) (an old song)


If much more elegant chanteuses are your thing, Nneka’s jazz ballads might be just the ticket.  Blending rhythms and sounds from her native Nigeria with the precepts of Westernised soul, she sounds (and looks) a bit like Lauryn Hill – but a stripped-down, eerie version.  Though often funky, Nneka’s perceptive songs tell of a struggle for identity, be it her own – her parents relocated to Germany while Nneka was just four – or that of her homeland, its river the scene of a constant oil-based guerilla war.
4 November – University of London Union (ULU), Bloomsbury (tickets here)
Nneka on MySpace
MP3: Nneka – Niger Delta (zSHARE)

Broken Records
A Scottish act rather overshadowed (weren’t they all?) by the clamour over Glasvegas, Broken Records specialise in beautiful, string-based rock chaos.  On their most rollicking rides, guitars are thrashed, violins plugged, drums thwacked and Jamie Sutherland’s chesty vocals thrown out like imminently-exploiding grenades.  There are also calmer numbers though, imbued with the sort of romantic tenderness that makes you want to squeeze your lover’s shoulder and whisper warm words in their ear.
Thurs 5 November – Bush Hall, Queens Park (tickets here)
Broken Records on MySpace
MP3: Broken Records – If The News Makes You Sad (zSHARE)


SWIMMInG / Dimbleby & Capper
These two are among seven upcoming acts lining up as part of this latest free Last.FM night at Cargo.  Dimbleby & Capper (whom someone tracked down on my blog recently by searching “pretty blonde singer london short-hair”), aka New Cross-lass Laura Bettinson, offers introverted pop that contains odd samples and eccentric arrangements, and yet sounds somehow vintage and old-fashioned; Nottingham-based SWIMMInG, meanwhile, come on more epic, their anthemic sound boasting a rather euphoric, sun-drunk mentality that slowly seduces.
Fri 6 November – Cargo, Shoreditch (details here)
Dimbleby & Capper on MySpace / SWIMMInG on MySpace
MP3: SWIMMInG – Panthalassa (zSHARE)
MP3: Dimbleby & Capper – Beautiful But Boring (zSHARE)

Pete Rock & CL Smooth
Hip-hop legends (both in terms of performing and producing) and a choice name to drop for many of today’s young rappers, Pete and CL are back in town for a one-off London show. You can probably imagine the way things will work: the show will sound nostalgic and very nineties; the Mount Vernon duo will show they can still cut the mightiest MC-ing mustard; and plenty of fun will be had by all, even if it is a Monday night.  We’re eminiscing over them indeed – can 15 years really have passed?
Mon 9 November – The Relentless Garage, Highbury
Pete Rock & CL Smooth on MySpace
MP3: Pete Rock & CL Smooth – They Reminisce Over You (zSHARE)


Veronica Falls
With a song called Beachy Head, it seems the South Coast is a favourite destination for this intense foursome.  The epic coastline chimes rather well with the intense, fraught sound Veronica Falls produce, one centred on careering guitars and Roxanne’s chameleon voice – peachy during Found Love In A Graveyard, poisonous and punky in the new number.  Their gothic glamour ought to particularly suit the dim Old Blue Last well, even if they’d secretly prefer shore-side to Shoreditch.  Support at The Victoria comes from Manchester’s raw, thrashing and potentially smashing Hyacinth Girl.
Thurs 12 November – The Old Blue Last, Shoreditch (details here)
Sat 14 November – The Victoria, Mile End (with Hyacinth Girl)
Veronica Falls on MySpace / Hyacinth Girl on MySpace
MP3: Veronica Falls – Found Love In A Graveyard (zSHARE)
MP3: Hyacinth Girl – Everybody Knows (zSHARE)


~ by ripamel on 26/10/2009.

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