Upcoming Gig Highlights


Summer is officially here, and we can't wait to head out and see some live music. First things first though, some dates for your diary. Right now, booking ahead is pretty much essential if you want to see the biggest acts, and that’s bound to be the case with Pitchfork Music Festival, arriving in London for the very first time from 10-14 November 2021. It’s super exciting to see the first London edition of the global music website’s city takeover festivals, and highlights of our inaugural edition include American rapper and performance artist Mykki Blanco bring her wild live show to Village Underground on 10 November, math-punk outfit black midi perform at the Southbank Centre on 12 November and the lush compositional collaboration between Bobby Gillespie and Jehnny Beth (of Primal Scream and Savages fame, respectively) play two dates at EartH in Hackney, from 10-11 November. Each gig has excellent support, and there’s much to choose from elsewhere among the artists and venues involved.

The not-so-new but oh-so-revered EFG London Jazz Festival has also announced the first wave of live acts for this year’s edition. We’re excited to see Israeli double-bassist and composer Avishai Cohen’s enchanting blend of modern jazz harmony and traditional folk melodies live at the Barbican Centre on 16 November. Elsewhere the London Sinfonietta have teamed up with the stars of the new London jazz scene - including saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi and trumpeter Laura Jurd - to present new work exploring the connection between classical music and jazz composition at the Southbank Centre on 17 November. A homage to Coltrane’s Alice and John - both pioneers of modern music in their own right - comes to Cadogan Hall on 13 November courtesy of sensational saxophonist and bandleader Lakecia Benjamin.

In the here and now, there’s plenty to look forward to. Laura Mvula recently released her third album, and it’s an 80s-tinged pop sensation tying synths and drum-machines together with Mvula’s idiosyncratic vocals, so we’re excited to see her live at Village Underground on 2 September. It feels like we’ve been waiting forever for trombonist Emma-Jean Thackray’s debut album, and it’s almost upon us! To celebrate the release of the record’s cosmic journey through jazz, psych and funk she’s performing at Colour Factory on 28 July. Both these gigs are Waiting List only at the moment - but it’s well worth getting your name in the hat.

Les Filles de Illighadad are a Tuareg band from the Saharan Desert Village of Illighadad in Niger, fronted by Fatou Seidi Ghali. Her virtuosic guitar playing, and the innovative use of ancient choral chants by her band of fellow “Daughters of Illighadad” make for a stirring and powerful musical experience - catch them performing at Moth Club on 1 September. Stirring and powerful but hailing from very different backgrounds, Dublin’s Mercury-nominated post-punk outfit Fontaines DC are performing a special gig at Kingston’s Pryzm venue on 2 August at the unusual time of 4pm. Their sophomore album was a highlight of 2020, and this is a great opportunity to catch their explosive live show.



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