Sat Oct 4. Troxy.
If you still think of The Horrors as the fright-wigged, black-clad and pretzel-thin garage-punks of 2007, where have you been? The London five-piece took a huge leap into epic soundscapes with their 2011 album 'Skying', and have now unleashed their fourth record ‘Luminous’, which confirms them as one of the UK's best young bands. Don't miss them as they return to the stage, with the volume turned up to 11 and backed by a near-blinding light show.
Fri Oct 3. Roundhouse.
Based in Gothenburg, Sweden, Goat create ace voodoo psychedelia. As well as chanting over bongos and widdly, Middle Eastern-influenced riffs smothered in reverb, they dress in colourful masks and provide one hell of an energetic, intense live experience. At this Roundhouse show they'll be supported by space-rock electronicists The Lay Llamas and fellow Swedish trippers Les Big Byrd – two acts well worth turning up early for.
Wed Oct 8. Koko.
Dan Snaith's psychedelic pop/alt rock/electronica project Caribou has rightly – finally – allowed him to receive the massive props he deserves for his innovative songwriting and general musical experimentation. We all obsessed over the beautiful, tripped-out grooves of 2010's ‘Swim’, before Snaith went on to produce an equally great techno album as Daphni. Along the way he's proved his stamina as a DJ with various bliss-inducing club sets, and heroically raged against ‘the EDM barf explosion’. Now Snaith’s finally back with a new Caribou record, ‘Our Love’, and we’re stoked for this London launch show, complete with a support set of brilliantly woozy R&B by rising star (and fellow Canadian) Jessy Lanza. Don’t miss it.
Thu Oct 9 and Fri Oct 10. The O2.
Eighteen months since he rebooted his career with a Vaseline-smooth vocal on Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky', and almost a year since he followed through with the smash hit follow-up 'Happy', age-defying R&B dude Pharrell finally rolls into London for a long-awaited solo show. His recent live sets have set songs from his latest album ‘GIRL’ alongside material from throughout an incredible 15-year career as a singer and producer: he's scored hits with Snoop Dogg, Robin Thicke, NERD, Kelis, Nelly, Gwen Stefani and loads more, so even though Williams has been criticised for his live vocals (or lack thereof) there's no shortage of potential crowd-pleasers in his arsenal. And he'll probably wear his famous Vivienne Westwood mountain hat too.
Sat Oct 25. Roundhouse.
The amazing Annie Clark arrives in London to perform her alluringly nuanced songcraft. Her material ranges from Disney soundtrack-worthy ballads to beautiful, complex, Robert Fripp-esque guitar abuse – all delivered with a hefty load of tightly wound emotion.
Sun Oct 26 – Fri Oct 31. Royal Albert Hall.
Bluesfest returns to the Royal Albert Hall this autumn with a great line-up of blues, soul, jazz, rhythm and blues and gospel music. Headliners include Sheryl Crow, Van Morrison and Elvis Costello, and there's also a packed schedule of daytime events.
Sons Of Kemet
Wed Oct 29. XOYO.
Star sax-and-clarinettist Shabaka Hutchings leads the double-drumming wallop of SOK. Tom Skinner and Seb Rochford kick out the beats, while tuba dude Oren Marshall administers low-end rumbles. Their tub-thumping stylistic mash-up combines New Orleans, African, Caribbean and dub sounds, with some scorching improv thrown in for good measure. Highly recommended.
Thu Oct 30. O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
Cryptic London duo Jungle came from nowhere at the end of last year to become one of 2014’s hype sensations. They’ve released a series of steamy, grooving, disco-edged neo-soul tracks – with instantly viral videos featuring a six-year-old breakdancer, two members of the High Rollaz freestyle rollerskating team and a huge dance crew – and they’ve already sold out two London gigs this year off the back of their self-titled, Mercury-nominated debut album. Their live shows are quite something too.
Valeriya and Friends
Tue Oct 21. Royal Albert Hall.
If you haven't heard of Valeriya, chances are you aren't Russian. She's a huge star in her homeland, winning dozens of awards, playing gigs at the Kremlin and selling dacha-loads of records. Thus you can expect a strong turn-out from London's Russian community as the singer rolls up to the Albert Hall to air her hits – although you don't have to understand what she's singing about to be blown away by her vocals.