It’s almost definitely drizzling and chilly right now so what better way to keep warm than by seeking out a sweaty room full of adrenaline-pumped music fans? Here’s our guide to the best London gigs happening this November.
London’s autumn gig calendar is always packed, and there’s no reason why this year would be an exception. Among our October gig highlights you’ll find rising stars alongside veterans and legends. Here are our must-see concerts in London this month.
Why are you shouting about the famous Camden venue? I’m not! Kokoko! is the name of an innovative music collective who formed miles away from north London – at a block party in the Democratic Republic of Congo three years ago. When you say ‘collective’, are there lots of people involved? Yes, 70 dancers, instrument-makers, musicians and performance artists make up the wider DIY collective. However, the key five-piece band comprise Débruit, Boms Bomolo, Dido Oweke, Love Lokombe and Makara Bianko (aka the Lingwala devil, whose zagué – the language spoken in some parts of the DRC – vocals illuminate their sound). DIY? Like painting and decorating? Actually almost. Kokoko! make their own instruments from upcycled materials like sardine tins, engine parts, typewriters and plastic water bottles. What started out as a financial necessity has brilliantly become their creative calling card. What kind of instruments do they make? Their latest single, ‘Kitoko’, was recorded using a sculptured, cross-shaped harp called ‘Jesus Crise’. They have also transformed a typewriter into a percussion instrument, pitched bottles of water to play melodies and fashioned a one-string guitar from a bike brake and a milk tin. Wow. How would you describe their sound? ‘Fongola’, KOKOKO!’s must-hear debut album, is a hot, dizzying mess of psychedelic, hook-laden, no-wave post-punk, polyrhythmic fire and politically charged lyrics. They sound like the perfect festival band. They are! Catch them i
Don’t come to The Black Madonna for wishy-washy opinions. The adoptive Londoner is one of dance music’s loudest voices when it comes to gender equality, queer pride and the sorry state of US politics (her pinned tweet is a reply to Donald Trump back in 2012, poetically stating: ‘suck my balls’). But as someone who grafted in the disco-house-techno margins until her forties, Marea Stamper is also one of the friendliest faces in the business: a serial hugger and vociferous supporter of her fellow non-male DJs. Underground DJs who become massive stadium-pumpers often get sneered at for selling out. It’s telling that this hasn’t yet been the case with The Black Madge. Born in the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky, Stamper got her start after impulse-buying a local DJ’s entire collection: a tobacco barn full of funk and disco records. Six years on, she’s one of the most in-demand DJs in the world – with the perpetual jet lag to prove it – and is finally putting the finishing touches on a debut LP. Ahead of Field Day this weekend, she tells us about her Kardashian-related meltdown and that time she punched a cop. You grew up in the Appalachians in Kentucky – what was it like to be a young raver there? ‘You make your own world there. The scene is whoever gets up in the morning and puts on their big-girl pants and decides to make a scene! The freedom is great. Each weekend, you’d drive to whichever neighbouring city was holding a big rave. We’d drive through the buckle of the Bib
Life is tough, and tiring, and kind of expensive... especially if you live in London. Sometimes it's hard not to wish you had your own personal cheerleader to give you a pep talk whenever your branches are beginning to droop. That's not possible, sadly, but you can always rely on music to give you a quick (and cheap) mood boost. So to help you find your motivational mojo, we’ve picked 30 of the most inspirational songs out there. With these bops on your playlist, there will be no stopping you from now on. RECOMMENDED: The best '90s songs
Too often, pop songs are filled with your grandma’s version of LOL – lots of love. But some genuinely funny songs do actually make you LOL, ROFL, LMAO and every other laughing acronym the interwebs offers. We’ve rounded up the ditties that will make you titter into one gag-worthy list.
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