The best music to catch in Croatia this November

From world-class ballet and opera to outsider rock, techno and the cream of contemporary jazz, November is a brilliant time for music in Croatia

© Chrissie Hynde
By Marc Rowlands |
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As the Indian summer fades from memory, it's time to head indoors. Autumn and winter are the time that Croatia's music scene really comes alive, with all students back in their university towns and cities and everyone returned from holiday. You're much more likely to see international touring bands and DJs visit Croatia in this period and with Rijeka's cultural calendar picking up pace in preparation for its European Capital of Culture year in 2020, it's not only Zagreb that has world-class entertainment this month. Split also has a major DJ visiting this month who you shouldn't miss.

The best music to catch in Croatia this November

Mimika Orchestra
©Domagoj Mokrović
Music, Latin and world

Mimika Orchestra

Mimika Orchestra are an extensive ensemble of expert Zagreb-based musicians who combine jazz and classical influences with Balkan folklore. They are an astonishing band in the live arena and present a unique sound that you could not find anywhere else in the world. Their latest album, the fascinating and accomplished 'Divinities Of The Earth And The Waters' is their third and was released in 2018 to justly rave reviews.

© DJ Garth
Music, Dance and electronic

Imogen Recordings: Five Years Anniversary

Imogen Recordings is a disco and house label run by Zagreb-based DJs Antonio Zuza and Ilija Rudman. Since 2015, the label has released music from contributors including Rudman, legendary Chicago house vocalist Robert Owens, Metro Area's Darshan Jesrani and Italian deep house original, Don Carlos. Their tenure as a label has been accompanied by some great intimate club nights in their home city, often using venues that are far from the imagination and reach of other promoters, including nights with guests like Ashley Beedle, Charles Webster and Fred Everything. They also use their own pristine soundsystem at the nights. For their fifth anniversary, they're holding a weekend birthday party at Super Super. On Friday November 8th, a veteran of Detroit's pivotal Music Institue and boss of NDATL Recordings, Kai Alcé rejoins the team, while on Saturday November 9th it's the turn of DJ Garth (pictured) of Grayhound Recordings and wild San Francisco parties fame who is making his Croatian debut on the occasion. Their next party, in December, will feature Compost label head Rainer Truby.

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The Tiger Lillies
© Krists Luhaers
Music, Cabaret and standards

The Tiger Lillies

The Tiger Lillies are a unique British music combo who are heavily influenced by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s masterpiece 'The Threepenny Opera' and the wild, pre-war cabaret scene of Berlin. Bringing to mind popular TV series Peaky Blinders, they explore the dark underbelly of historic Britain's inner city streets, a landscape of pimps, prostitutes, conmen, murderers and thieves. A timeless soundtrack which takes inspiration from gypsy music, circus sounds, French chanson and songs from the British music hall era accompany the dark themes. The band have previously been nominated for a Grammy. This highly theatrical date in Rijeka is their only gig in Croatia this year and they appear here as part of their thirteenth anniversary tour.

Music, Rock and indie

Mick Harvey & J.P. Shilo with Steve Shelley & Glenn Lewis

For anyone with an interest in outsider music or alternative rock, this concert is simply a must. Australian multi-instrumentalist Mick Harvey has been a vital contributor to alternative rock since the mid-'70s, when he was a founding member of legendary bad boys The Birthday Party, alongside Nick Cave. Harvey followed his friend into later band, The Bad Seeds and stayed for 22 years, departing in 2009 to end what had been a 36 year long collaboration. In later years, Mick Harvey's other great collaboration has been with English artist PJ Harvey (no relation). He appeared as a musician on her 'To Bring You My Love' (1995), 'Is This Desire?' (1998) and 'The Hope Six Demolition Project' (2015) albums and he played on and co-produced her 'Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea' (2000) and 'Let England Shake' (2011) albums. He has also toured extensively as a member of PJ Harvey's stunning live band. Having released several solo albums, including 'The Fall And Rise Of Edgar Bourchier And The Horrors Of War' (2018), this concert sees him present a double-header containing two seperate sections. One will see a performance by close collaborator J.P. Shilo (Hungry Ghosts / Rowland S. Howard / The Blackeyed Susans) while the other section of the show will see Harvey draw from his solo material. Joining the pair on stage will be Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley and Glenn Lewis (Cambodian Space Project) on bass.

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Music, Rock and indie

Brit Floyd

Highly acclaimed UK-based Pink Floyd tribute act celebrates 40 years of the Floyd's most famous concept album 'The Wall' by performing the rock opera in its entirety. A semi-autobiographical rock opera by founding Pink Floyd member Roger Waters, The Wall is one of the biggest selling albums of all time and explores at times harrowing themes such as self-imposed isolation, bullying, mental illness and even fascism, albeit viewed through the eyes of a rather precious and privileged global rock star. Though under-credited, a large amount of the album's success and longevity should be attributed to its producer, Bob Ezrin, who also worked extensively with Alice Cooper and produced Croatian duo 2Cellos 2013 album 'In2ition'. The show will feature impressive production and will also feature classic Floyd songs from albums like 'Wish You Were Here' and 'Dark Side of the Moon'.

Music, Punk and metal

Annihilator

Formed in 1984 and still fronted by founding guitarist (and now vocalist) Jeff Waters, Annihilator are one of Canada's biggest ever metal bands and the biggest from within the thrash sub-genre. They have released sixteen studio albums to date with their seventeenth promised at some point in 2019, the band undertaking a huge European tour in winter in support of its promotion.

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