Gigs of the Week: 20 Nov – 26 Nov
Monday 20 Nov:
Mellah @ The Prince Albert
Mellah – Liam Ramsden – is a musician and producer from Peckham in South London, UK. The first and recently released single from the EP, Round, has been warmly received by music press, drawing comparisons to the likes of Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen with the music’s spoken-word tendencies. Providing a more endearing and alluring take on indie music compared to some of the more hard-edged aesthetics that we might be used to, Mellah is in contrast approachable yet unusual enough so land himself in the unique category. The music isn’t without its commercial appear either – EP track Old Friend has already been used in an episode of Charlie Brooker’s critically acclaimed dystopian TV series Black Mirror.
Loa Loa/Gender Roles/Sit Down @ Green Door Store
Endless acclaim means nothing to this three piece who persit in enduring the squalor of playing moderately filled venues across the UK. Masters of lineup curation they bring you another night of s#¡t hot bands for no money, no reason or gratification. Returning once again, for one night only at the Green Door Store – I hope you’re thirsty for Tuborg. – “Came across this band through BBC introducing… These guys are the REAL DEAL” Phil Taggart, BBC Radio 1.
Dos Floris @ Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar
To celebrate the release of her debut album, The Widowed Earth, The Underground Scene presents Dos Floris in a series of gigs across the UK. Dos Floris creates and performs cinematic electronica which has been compared to the likes of Bjork, Kate Bush, Sigur Ros, and Radiohead. Her music has been described at “the sound of heaven”, “elegant and addictive”, “astounding soundscapes”, and a “flowing magical bewitching journey”. Expect vocal loops, flutes, synths, and guitars, alongside a host of home-made contraptions including a stringed walking stick!
Tuesday 21 Nov:
Aldous Harding @ The Haunt
Outstanding Kiwi folk is on the menu at The Haunt on Tuesday where Aldous Harding will be dazzling audiences with her expertly woven tales of love, loss and triumph, alongside a performance of unparalleled intensity. Flitting from cool, calm and collected, into frantic and frenzied territory, audiences should beware of Harding’s bewitching presence which is sure to suck you in and spit you out. Previously featuring on Later… with Jools Holland, Harding has experienced some commercial success of late and has honed her act into something to behold. Certainly on not to miss for those looking for a twist on folk which veers into the stranger territories of the heart and mind.
Widowspeak @ Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar
Widowspeak remain purveyors of mood. Whether painting an image of a basement apartment with blinds closed or conjuring the sweeping openness of a desert, they’re an outfit ever preoccupied with the influence of place and the passage of time on personal experience: the way vivid memories can feel like movies or dreams. “In the past I’ve felt compelled to write songs that are more optimistic than I’m actually feeling, as if I could make it true, as if everything in the past was significant or beautiful in a way, even if it was painful. But the truth is that not everything makes sense, and not every day of your life is an experience of clear cut emotional clarity,” says Hamilton. “I struggle with this compulsion to pull away from people, pull away from the things I enjoy doing, and sometimes literally picking up and moving away when I am feeling uneasy and anxious about my future in a given space, physical or mental. Social media these days can exacerbate that as well.”
Press To Meco @ The Hope & Ruin
‘Press to MECO’ are guitarist/vocalist Luke Caley, bassist/vocalist Adam Roffey and drummer/vocalist Lewis Williams, a trio on a relentless pursuit to harness their sound into a punchy, driving and visceral powerhouse. Luke, Adam and Lewis have found creative inspiration in bands like ‘SikTh’, ‘The Dillinger Escape Plan’, ‘Rueben’, ‘Everything Everything’, ‘Manchester Orchestra’ and ‘Deftones’; to pop artists ‘ABBA’ and ‘Michael Jackson’. ‘Press to MECO’ are the perfect synthesis of technical proficiency and attention grabbing bursts of energy. They are a progressive hardcore rock metal pop [insert genre here] band hailing from Crawley/Croydon; performing off-kilter, unreasonably catchy songs, full of twists and turns. Alternating vocals blending into 3-part harmonies, coming together with sometimes beautiful, sometimes forceful, always overwhelmingly powerful instrumental breakdowns. The ideal mix of technicality and catchiness delivered with pop sensibilities that are just plain fun.
Wednesday 22 Nov:
Weaves @ Green Door Store
It’s been almost exactly a year since Weaves released their acclaimed debut LP. The self-titled album was among the most anticipated of the year, and was lauded internationally upon its release for its exuberant approach to guitar pop, which was described as “one of the most unpredictable sounds of 2016” (MTV), and “a triumphant assault on all things conventional” (i-D). It was a whirlwind year for the band who spent a nearly uninterrupted 12 months on the road, playing festivals across the globe, and touring with their fellow 2016 breakout artists Sunflower Bean and Mitski. Propelled forward by their own momentum, which they corralled like the barely contained energy of their explosive live sets, it was a transformative experience, and upon returning home to Toronto the band’s leaders, singer Jasmyn Burke and guitarist Morgan Waters, found themselves possessed by an irrepressible burst of creative energy.
Alborosie @ Concorde 2
The first Italian reggae artist to be internationally recognised, Alberto D’Ascola (aka Alborosie) was born in Sicily in 1977. He formed his first band ‘Reggae National Tickets’ in 1992 and they quickly reached success selling more than 200,000 records. They were the first Italian band to play at Sunsplash and Sumfest in Jamaica in the Nineties. After their success in Italy, Alborosie moved to Jamaica in 2000. His friendship with John Baker (ex-producer of Pm Dawn and member of Island Records) was decisive: he began to work in Baker’s Geejam studio in the Jamaican countryside and, little by little, he worked as a sound engineer and producer for international artists such as Wyclef, Angie Stone and Sisco. He also recorded Manu Chao and Nubians at the time of their visits on the island. Thanks to his talent as a producer, he managed the group Digicel Rising. After this experience, he labelled his first record Alborosie on his own label Forward Music in 2004. Despite some good tracks, most notably Burnin’ and Lootin with Ky-mani Marley, he would have to wait until 2006 to reach international recognition with Herbalist which was considered best song of the year by David Rodigan. Alborosie becomes the first white artist to be distributed in Jamaica by Bob Marley’s label, Tuff Gong. Above his work as a producer (e.i. XXL Riddim, with the voices of Gentleman, Sizzla, Luciano, Ky-mani Marley), he continues his own recordings (hits like “Kingston town”, “Slam bam”, “Police”) and featurings with: U-Roy on “Precious”, Sizzla on “Meditation”and Gentleman on “Celebration”.
Mammut @ The Hope & Ruin
Mammút is an Icelandic rock band based in Reykjavík. Formed in 2003 as ROK, an all-female trio highlighting vocalist Kata (Katrína Kata Mogensen, daughter of former Kukl bassist Birgir Mogensen), the group expanded in early 2004 to a 5-piece band by recruiting guitarist Arnar Pétursson and drummer Andri Bjartur Jakobsson, and adopted the new name Mammút. Mammút’s eponymous debut album was released in Iceland in 2006 on the Smekkleysa label founded by The Sugarcubes. The follow-up album, Karkari, was released in 2008 and included “Svefnsýkt” which became the band’s first major hit with immense radio play and charting in Iceland. With Karkari, the band was nominated in the “Best Band” category at the 2008 Icelandic Music Awards.
Thursday 23 Nov:
Steps @ The Brighton Centre
That’s right…. Steps! The British Dance-Pop group are on a nationwide arena tour this year taking their brand new single and album on the road to celebrate their twentieth anniversary. Speaking of the forthcoming album, Steps added: “This is the album we think our fans have been waiting for. It was very important for us to have a hint of the past but to try to blend it into modern day music. We think Steps are a little bit of what everyone needs right now. We can’t wait to take the new album plus all our favourite hits out on the road”.
Underwater Boys @ Green Door Store
Cannibal Hymns – the Brighton label home to DIY faves Our Girl, Abattoir Blues and more – have a new band! Brighton duo Underwater Boys are the latest signings to the label, and emerge with debut single ‘Everyone You Know’. A pair of brothers – Tom and Nick Klar – Underwater Boys make hazy psych-pop that appears blissful on the surface but is underpinned by lyrical tensions. Before delving into its lyrical ins and outs though, ‘Everyone You Know’ is simply a very good, calm pop song led by irresistible vocal melodies. Beach House and Tame Impala are named as two of the duo’s influences, and they’re worn on their sleeve in this first offering.
Syd Arthur/Laucan/Cousin Kala @ Bau Wow
Syd Arthur had a stellar 18 months. From playing huge arena shows in the US, touring with fellow progressive-experimentalis
Friday 24 Nov:
Carol Decker/T’Pau @ Concorde 2
T’pau burst onto the music scene in 1987 with the hit “Heart & Soul” reaching No. 4 in both the UK & US charts. Taken from the debut album “Bridge Of Spies”, it’s innovative use of a rap verse by a white female vocalist introduced the world to the distinctive lead vocals of Carol Decker & the song writing talents of Carol & Ronnie Rogers. “Heart & Soul” led to a meteoric rise in T’pau’s fortunes both at home & in the USA, where the track stayed on the US billboard chart for 6 months. After a UK arena tour supporting Bryan Adams, the band immediately toured UK City Halls as headliners to tie in with the next single, the classic ballad “China In Your Hand.” Nobody could have predicted the enormous impact of “China” which stayed at No. 1 for 5 weeks – the longest serving No. 1 of the year! Simultaneously, “Bridge Of Spies”occupied the number 1 album slot for 2 weeks.
Jacob Collier @ The Old Market
Since his homemade split-screen video covers of popular songs, such as Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ’bout a THing”, went viral on YouTube, Jocob Collier has attracted a worldwide following with millions of views across multiple social media platforms. Collier’s style fuses elements of jazz, acappella, groove, folk, classical music, gospel, soul and improvisation. In 2014, Collier was discovered by Quincy Jones; he was subsequently signed to Jones’s management company and began working on his one-man, audio-visual live performance vehicle.
Lowly/Hilang Child @ The Hope & Ruin
Bella Union are thrilled to announce Heba, the debut album by hotly-tipped Danish quintet Lowly – as uniquely sensual, rhythmic and mesmerising a brand of modern pop as you’ll hear in 2017: restlessly inventive, exquisitely melodic, and defying easy categorisation.
Saturday 25 Nov:
Witchsorrow @ Green Door Store
King Salami and the Cumberland 3 @ The Hope & Ruin
In 2006, one Japanese punk, one French punk, one Spanish punk, and one Caribbean tennis teacher got together to form the world’s greatest rhythm & blues party band. You couldn’t make it up. London’s R&B-punk sensation are making fun times where ever they go. With a repertoire encompassing many of the greats of the ’50s and ’60s you won’t be able to help but move your feet. The King howls like Screaming Jay Hawkins with Bo Diddley chasing his coat-tail and with Andre Williams trying to offer up some of his bacon fat. This man never stops shakin’ and twistin’ and groovin’ while the Cumberland 3 (former members of the Ulcers, Chinese Lungs and Parkinsons) play their own branded mix of vintage rockabilly desperate rock’n’roll and a bit of soul with fire, energy, gusto and fun! They play constantly all over Europe, sharing the stage with the Pretty Things, the Trashmen, the Standells, the Mummies, the Bellrays, the Cynics, etc…they have also despoiled the pristine lands of Japan, China, Australia and the US.
Nana Grizol/Garden Centre @ Latest Music Bar
Growing up in the South, Theo Hilton found both lonely solace and wide community in music. When he formed Nana Grizol in Athens, Ga., in 2007, he secured an outlet for expressing how confusion and constant pining became ingrained into a young, queer male in a small town. Despite Athens’ liberal leanings and bevy of artistic collaborators, Theo walked in liminal spaces as a queer surrounded by straight people. Nana Grizol’s first two records “Love It, Love It” (2008) and “Ruth” (2010) chronicled that mixed experience. With “Ursa Minor,” the first Nana Grizol record in six years, Theo Hilton is unequivocally certain about who he is and what he wants to say. He’s traveled and studied, moving from Athens to Seattle to New York and, currently, to New Orleans. Along the way, the role of social justice advocate came to suit him. Through song, he casts a critical eye on “Ursa Minor” to concerns environmental, like the effect of oil refineries in the Mississippi watershed, as well as how neoliberal policies chew up and spit out innocent human lives. On “Ursa Minor,” a loyal cast of collaborators return to give wing to Theo’s songs. Robbie Cucchiaro (Music Tapes) adds trumpet and euphonium lines that echo both the golden era of Elephant 6 recordings and the brass bands of Theo’s current home. Laura Carter (Elf Power, Orange Twin Records) supplies secondary drumming, clarinet trills, and trumpet calls, a familiar cradle for new songs. Jared Gandy (Area Men, Witches), on bass and guitar, notches another year in a two-decade collaboration with Theo. Matte Cathcart (Area Men, Door-Keys), an ally pulled to Athens, Ga., from Bloomington, Indiana, rounds out the quintet on drums.
Sunday 26 Nov:
Courtesans/Bullet Height @ The Hope & Ruin
In a world full of bankers, hipsters, fanatics, politicians and keyboard warriors Courtesans are the equivalent of suicidal unicorns on smack, they are the jelly babies full of boiled bovine bones that children devour joyfully, they are the duck down you sleep on providing comfort that turns into memories of the last minute its original owner was alive.
Seamus Fogarty/Alabaster dePlume @ The Prince Albert
Seamus Fogarty will release his new album The Curious Hand on October 6th. It is his first for Domino Records and follows his debut full-length God Damn You Mountain (Fence/Lost Map) and 2015’s EP Ducks and Drakes. Fogarty also shares new song ‘Carlow Town’; taken from The Curious Hand, it recounts with Homerian flourish, a night spent sleeping in a church backed by a squelching electronic beat, dirty analogue bassline and various synthesiser wheezes, vocal glitches and other sounds from Seamus’ sandbox of strange noises. Fogarty’s method of lifting sounds wholesale from his environment and tucking them into the folds of his songs like keepsakes, renders himself at once, artist and archivist as well as twisting the notion of the folk singer’s role as collector and custodian of stories, traditions and cultural curio.