Top ten London gigs in August

Check out the cream of the capital's gigs taking place this summer



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Grandmaster Flash

'Flash is fast, Flash is cool…' Ever since the heady days of the seminal block parties of the mid-'70s Bronx, Grandmaster Flash has been an ambassador for hip hop - whether with the original Furious Five rap crew, pioneering mixing and scratching, or just rocking parties around the world.

  1. Brooklyn Bowl London The O2 Arena Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX
  2. Until Fri Aug 1
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Eastern Electrics

Boasting one of the strongest dance festival lineups of any event in 2013, Eastern Electrics has grown into quite the beast these days. Slick house act Art Department, US house legend Kerri Chandler and Berlin's Queen of Techno Ellen Allien head up an impressive and evolving line-up that's sure to get stronger and stronger, causing beat-heads everywhere to drool with dancefloor (dancefield?) anticipation. There's a whole load of cutting edge house and techno, but pretty any electronic genre you care to name is covered here.

  1. Hatfield House
  2. Until Sat Aug 2
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Visions Festival

After a storming (and scorching) Year One, hip one-day festival Visions returns to Hackney for more fun in the August sun. Across four intimate venues in the vicinity of London Fields, Visions presents musicians including two big headliners: hard-partying pop-punk Andrew WK and Minneapolis trip hop brooders Poliça. Oh, and of course there's non-musical stuff too: a comic and zine showcase, a 'fantasy music shop' art installation, a tattoo art exhibition, and a market featuring food by Lucky Chip and Breddo's Taco Shack, vintage clothing, and new designers selling clothes and jewellery and accessories.

  1. London Fields Brewery 365-366 Warburton St, E8 3RR
  2. Sat Aug 2
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Wilderness is a festival that champions all the arts, from outdoor theatre courtesy of Shakespeare's Globe to talks and debates, horse riding, a lakeside spa and even 'long table' banquets with leading chefs. The music line-up's pretty cool too: headliners are legendary ivory-tinkler and songwriter Burt Bacharach, downbeat pop trio London Grammar and wonky electronicists Metronomy, and highlights further down the bill include Jessie Ware, Gregory Porter, Connan Mockasin and Mount Kimbie.

  1. Cornbury Park Charlbury, OX7 3EH
  2. Sun Aug 10
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Sinéad O'Connor

The ultra-courageous queen of the emotional/political pop crossover hits the road once again on her delightfully-titled 'Crazy Baldhead Tour.' At tonight's show, the singer's backed by a new seven-piece band.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Tue Aug 12
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ATP, Pitchfork and Primavera Sound have joined forces to put on Jabberwocky, a new two-day festival with a stellar line-up that could well be one of the highlights of the London summer. So far the bill includes a headline set by indie rock royalty Neutral Milk Hotel, alongside top-drawer electronic music from James Blake, Caribou, Vatican Shadow, Kode9, Darkside and I Break Horses; metal from Deafheaven, Earth, Electric Wizard and Jesu; punk by Pissed Jeans, Iceage and Metz; and more assorted brilliance by acts including psychedelic combo Hookworms, Californian freak-rockers Thee Oh Sees and young shoegaze-pop stars Joanna Gruesome. All this plus film and food – and for a very reasonable £35 for a one-day ticket – mean this one's worth booking well in advance for.

  1. ExCeL Centre 1 Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL
  2. Until Sat Aug 16
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Jimmy Cliff

The legendary '60s Jamaican singer cracks out his old smooth, reggae/soul hits, such as 'You Can Get it if You Really Want' and 'I Can See Clearly Now', as well as tracks from his new album, 'Sacred Fire'.

  1. Clapham Grand 21-25 St John's Hill, SW11 1TT
  2. Tue Aug 19
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A decade and a half into their career, Goldfrapp haven't stopped pushing envelopes. Their sixth album ‘Tales of Us’ is another sleek confection of glam-funk synthpop, turbo-charged electro, sexed-up nu-disco and epic, operatic balladry. They're never less than a dazzling marriage of sound and vision live, either, with Alison Goldfrapp's eccentric wardrobe playing no small part.

  1. Old Royal Naval College College Approach, SE10 9LW
  2. Thu Aug 21
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Reading Festival/ Leeds Festival

This long-lived festival fave, which takes place in both Reading and Leeds over the August bank holiday, remains one of the most popular and music-focused rock festivals in the country. Lacking any of the more cutesy elements of modern fests (gourmet cuisine, immersive theatre experiences etc), rawk is always the order of the day – though the festival's dance tents have blossomed in recent years. Reading 2014 packs an enormous line-up and should be just as raucous as usual despite efforts by the promoters to crack down in recent years on last-night hi-jinks like cage fighting, throwing aerosols on bonfires and banging on oil drums with sticks until 4am.

  1. Richfield Avenue, Reading
  2. Fri Aug 22 - Sun Aug 24
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Kate Bush

Yes indeed: that's Kate Bush, performing live. Echoing Bowie's sudden unretirement last year, the woman who brought you 'Wuthering Heights', 'Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)', 'Cloudbusting', 'Hounds of Love', 'Experiment IV' and more surreally classic songs will be playing her first live shows in 35 years in London later this year. Tickets for the whole run – 44,000 seats or so – sold out in 15 minutes, so unless you got lucky in March your only way in is to buy pay through the nose for a dodgy resale ticket. Or, you know, make a deal with God.

  1. Hammersmith Apollo 45 Queen Caroline St, W6 9QH
  2. Tue Aug 26 - Wed Oct 1
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