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.
The brilliantly-named Flamingods are neither omnipotent nor (bright) pink – but they do a great line in understated psychedelia. Listen out for plenty of upbeat, tropical-flecked sounds from their 2016 album ‘Majesty’, which contained a few imaginatively jazzy, proggy detours for good measure.
The masterful, flame-haired singer-songwriter has lost none of her punch over the years. Whether she’s performing intense, heart-rending ballads or spikier numbers that show a love of dark, passionate pop (grab a load of ‘Professional Widow’, which got a hefty dancefloor rework from Armand Van Helden, but still stands tall as an original), she’s always capable of a spellbinding live performance.
The New York post-punky outfit are back with a new album, ‘Abysmal Thoughts’, which they're touring in support of tonight. The new record features plenty of the kind of bouncy, new wave-indebted tunes (think of a more overtly upbeat Talking Heads) that made them so darn buzzy back in 2010-11, which should translate to a live setting nicely.
Those not-so-grizzly Brooklyn boys return to the stage to carve out more of their psychedelic, folky indie-rock. These days, there are plenty of acts doing similar-ish things, but the grizzlies have been plugging away for longer than most and still know how to stir up a bit of magic in their songs. New album ‘Painted Ruins’ will no doubt be the order of the day tonight.
The mini-E8 music crawl returns for a fourth year of rock ’n’ roll swagger, returning to its original one-day status. The price has upped a little from the previous cheap-as-chips ticket cost in previous years, but there’s still enough bang for your buck to make it something of a bargain, thanks to alt-indie hotshots including Jagwar Ma, The Rifles, Bo Ningen and Saint Agnes. Plus, the acts are now spread across five Hackney venues, which you get entry to from one wristband.
The international eight-piece collective from London, led by the charismatic Eno Williams, are known for whipping up a storm of afrobeat, funk and disco, both on record and in their frenetic live shows. If the likes of Melt Yourself Down push your buttons, make Ibibio Sound Machine your next obsession – and give yourself an energetic taster at this show.
A few years back, Brooklyn-born rapper and actor Joey Bada$$ was one of the most exciting names in hip hop, and he’s still got the skills and the fire to cause a bit of a storm today. His no-nonsense, solid-as-a-rock take on hip hop recalls the genre’s jazzier past, and is welcome respite from the gimmicks and theatricaly of many rappers.
Delicately soulful singer-songwriter Kiwanuka, most definitely in hock to Bill Withers and Al Green, topped the BBC’s Sound of 2012 list and picked up a Mercury nomination for both his debut album and the follow-up, ‘Love & Hate’, which arrived last year. Hearing him air those heartfelt-but-catchy songs live, through that powerful voice, should be a treat.
Haunting and esoteric Swedish electro-pop four-piece Little Dragon released a new album, ‘Season High’ earlier this year – which is good news for us all, because it gives them an excuse to hit the London live circuit again. As ever, they draw from trusted sources as diverse as Prince, Depeche Mode and Grace Jones, but given a fresh, uplifting treatment, which should make for an engaging live show with plenty of opportunities for grooving.
Enormously talented Breton composer and multi-instrumentalist Tiersen is best known for his crisp piano balladry and woozy accordion waltzes, especially those written for the multi-million-selling ‘Amelie’ soundtrack. Live, though, he often favours rockier presentations, which should benefit from the grandiose Albert Hall setting tonight.