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Critics' choice gigs in the capital


  1. April
  2. May
  3. June
  4. July
  5. Further ahead

Berwick Street's Record Store Day

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Despite the best efforts of iTunes and Amazon, the area around Berwick Street in Soho – famously portrayed on Oasis's '(What's the Story) Morning Glory?' album sleeve – is still home to the biggest concentration of indie record shops in London. That makes it a fitting place for a free mini-festival on Record Store Day (Saturday April 19), wouldn't you say? Like last year, an outdoor main stage will host live acts all afternoon: the line-up is still under wraps, but performers

  1. Berwick Street Market Berwick Street, W1F 0PT
  2. Sat Apr 19
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Adam Ant

  • Critics choice

Tribal make-up, swashbuckling pop, occasionally missing marbles... most people think they know Adam Ant inside-out. But if you’ve never heard his 1979 debut ‘Dirk Wears White Sox’, you’re missing out on one of the finest British albums of all time. A record that’s being performed in full for the first time this week. It may lack name recognition, but Adam And The Antz’ debut proved to be a totemic template for generations of British indie bands – from Britpoppers

  1. Hammersmith Apollo 45 Queen Caroline St, W6 9QH
  2. Sat Apr 19
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Alice in Wonderland Pop-Up Restaurant Experience

Take an immersive trip down a culinary rabbit hole at this Alice in Wonderland-based pop-up. As well as a four-course dinner (complete with AiW-themed food, of course), there'll be live acting, theatre, games (including card games and croquet for full Wonderland vibes) and music. Expect more than a few treats sporting the timeless 'Eat me' line from the novel.

  1. The Arches Villiers St, WC2N 6NG
  2. Sat Apr 19
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Denovali Swingfest

  • Critics choice

The Denovali record label brings its experimental music festival, which has run in Essen, Germany since 2007, to London once again. It comes with a mouth-watering avant-garde line-up featuring everything from classical minimalism to post-rock to metal.

  1. Cafe Oto 18-22 Ashwin St, E8 3DL
  2. Sat Apr 19
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Yard Life Festival

  • Critics choice

This new charity festival puts all its profits towards MS Research, and brings a big line-up of young bands and DJs to Islington across the Easter weekend. Performers on Saturday include Van Susans, Youth Club and Nudes, while Sunday's line-up features Lemmy Ashton, Men's Adventures, The Savage Nomads and Younghusband. As well as the music there's a barbecue, a market and art installations throughout the venue, so you can get the full festival experience – and feel good about it.

  1. Islington Metal Works 7 Torrens St, off City Rd, EC1V 1NQ
  2. Sat Apr 19 - Mon Apr 21
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Live Jazz At The Rabbit

  • Free

Jazz music sessions in the cocktail bar featuring a variety of instrumentalists every week.

  1. The White Rabbit 125 Stoke Newington Church St, N16 0UH
  2. Thu Apr 24 - Thu Dec 18
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Little Havana

At this weekly Friday night session at Floridita, visiting Latin American bands and musicians play live Latin jazz, salsa, merengue and other hot grooves, followed by DJs until 3am.

  1. Floridita 100 Wardour Street, W1F 0TN
  2. Fri Apr 25 - Sat May 31
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Jazz Skool

  • Free

The Jazz Skool quintet play hard bop, cool and soul jazz classics every Thursday night.

  1. Oui Madame 182 Stoke Newington Rd, N16 7UY
  2. Thu Apr 24 - Thu Jun 19
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Trash Tuesday

  • Free

New York-styled open mic session for cabaret, musical and jazz singers.

  1. Cellar Door Zero Aldwych, WC2E 7DN
  2. Tue Apr 22 - Tue Apr 29
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Record Store Day at Rough Trade East

  • Critics choice
  • Free

London's best record store hosts a typically stunning live music line-up for Record Store Day. From 9.30am, the bill includes Toy, The Rails, East India Youth, Ben Watt performing with Bernard Butler, Younghusband, J Spaceman and The Amazing Snakeheads. Eclectic record collector and DJ Trevor Jackson spins alongside indie band Django Django, and for the kids there's a Pete Fowler mural to colour in. Doors open at 8am – turn up early if you want a decent spot for the bands.

  1. Rough Trade East Dray Walk, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL
  2. Sat Apr 19
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Desertfest

  • Critics choice

The capital's premier (and only) festival of stoner rock and doom metal returns. It's run by the promotion company Desertscene, who have been putting on heavy, heavy music in the capital since 2009, and has a sister event in Berlin. This year's Camden line-up features a host of hairy, guitar-wielding legends, including Boris (the Japanese avant-metal legends, not the mayor), recently reunited stoner heroes Spirit Caravan, Norwegian metalcore dudes Kvelertak and Scots doomwreakers

  1. The Black Heart 3 Greenland Place, NW1 0AP
  2. Fri Apr 25 - Sun Apr 27
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Fletch's Brew

  • Critics choice

Hard-hitting, drum-led modern jazz from sticksman Mark Fletcher, exploring a fusion-edged mix of classics from the likes of Weather Report, Pat Metheny and Michael Brecker. The band also features keyboardist Jim Watson and trumpeter Freddie Gavita.

  1. Ronnie Scott's 47 Frith Street, W1D 4HT
  2. Sun Apr 20 - Sun Apr 27
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The Ronnie Scott's Blues Explosion

  • Critics choice

Blues night co-led by pianist/vocalist Paddy Milner and jazz guitarist Tony Remy.

  1. Ronnie Scott's 47 Frith Street, W1D 4HT
  2. Sun Apr 20
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Damon Albarn

  • Critics choice

The multitalented Blur and Gorillaz man, Africa Express instigator and all-round melancholy musical geezer goes solo, performing songs from the first Damon Albarn album 'Everyday Robots'. Tickets for these warm-up shows before he goes on a festival-headlining tour in the summer will be as precious as Damo's gold tooth, so get in there.

  1. Queen Mary, University of London 321 Mile End Rd, E1 4NS
  2. Wed Apr 30 - Thu May 1
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See more London concerts in April

  1. April
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  5. Further ahead

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