Top ten London gigs in July
Check out the cream of the capital's gigs taking place this summer
Visiting the UK for the first time in five years, Pennsylvanian noise-rockers Pissed Jeans are signed to Sub Pop, and – along with likeminded Canadians Metz – are current guardians of that label's long-term commitment to scuzzy, badass alt rock. They've got four albums of distortion-heavy hardcore to play from, and are guaranteed to totally tear it up live.
Perhaps the true heirs of Sun Ra, The Heliocentrics – based in London – are a loose collective gathered around drummer Malcolm Catto and bassist Jake Ferguson. Their music is truly psychedelic, taking in transcendent jazz, fuzz-rock, James Brown's infinite funk, early Pink Floyd-style space rock, classical minimalism and a whole lot more. Turn off your mind, relax… You know the rest.
Blending electronica and acoustica, Tunng are experts at crafting skewed but solid folk-pop melodies. They've just released their finely calculated fifth album 'Turbines', which should feature heavily in tonight's set list.
Much more than just a Happy Shopper Kraftwerk, Phil Oakey’s definitive and hugely influential synth-pop titans have transcended the ‘Here And Now’ cabaret circuit and do a mean live show. Oakey’s powerful voice is still intact, too, even if time has robbed him of that asymmetric haircut.
Once the biggest breakout star of 'The X-Factor' (and still, probably, second only to One Direction), Lewis returns to her home city to sing her lungs out. Expects soulful caterwauling and polyphonic breakdowns - and that's just from the audience.
The celebrated hobo-turned-wyrd folk/psych-pop maverick draws from his extensive back catalogue. He'll also be playing from his new album 'Mala', his first for Nonesuch Records, which should make for a fine evening of intimate and experimental, but also highly accessible, folk inflected with Tropicalia, lounge jazz and ’70s psychedelic rock.
At 71, Parliament/Funkadelic frontman Clinton is still rocking out. Expect outlandish costumes and plenty of politico-funk from his last record, 'George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love' – and get ready to 'give up the funk, you punk'.
Legendary Woodstock-rocking Latin virtuoso psychedelicist Carlos Santana is commonly accepted as one of the greatest guitarists of all time by people who care about that sort of thing. His last album 'Shape Shifter' is 13 tracks long and purely instrumental – bliss for serious guitar enthusiasts who don't like the vocals getting in the way – but there'll be plenty of classic Latin hits with words, too, like his take on 'Black Magic Woman'.
Billy Corgan and his new troupe of Pumpkins continue their successful return. Of course they'll play all the grunge/power pop hits, as well as the newer 'Oceania' material.
Following his victory over cancer (movingly, beautifully chronicled on his 'Planet C' blog), Nile Rodgers leads out the premier polysexual disco and R&B troupe of the '70s. With hits including 'Good Times', 'Le Freak' and 'I Want Your Love' – and maybe versions of some of the Bowie, Madonna and Sister Sledge hits Rodgers worked on – they're still on excellent form as a live band, despite the loss of bassist Bernard Edwards years ago. Retro hen-party nonsense this is not.
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