Weekly Gig Guide: March 20–26
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What's that we see? Is that the... sun? It's time to emerge from your crusty duvet and wipe those crumbs off your shirt mate, because the spring has sprung (as much as London will allow, anyway). This week's gig guide is optimistic and rhythm-filled to get your limbs warmed up for the parties to come. Mosh hard to Cloud Nothings. Whine ya waist with Seun Kuti. The world is your oyster.
Have you ever heard a bad Hot Chip record? Nope, neither have we. They're one of those bands that have aged perfectly and gotten better with time. However, they’ve been quite quiet recently, since lead singer Alexis Taylor has found a new home behind the piano to bring us bittersweet solo songs to shelter us from the shit storm of the outside world. Plus, you get to leave with his new LP so the melancholy party doesn't have to end at Rough Trade East.
Whatever happened to the pop-punk nerds you went to secondary school with that were quietly tucked away writing music? Well, they grew up and became Cloud Nothings, your new fave scuzzy indie punk band. They've joined the high ranks of fellow US indie trailblazers like Wavves or Titus Andronicus and created an incredible body of work that's brazen, vulnerable and just downright sick.
If you’ve got nothing to do on Tuesday, how does a lovely little C. Macleod gig at the newly done-up Sebright Arms sound? We've recently become obsessed with his cinematic, picturesque Springsteen charm, all presented in a soothing mid-tempo haze. Something tells us he’s not going to be so small in the future, so you'd be really silly to miss out on this intimate show.
You know what they say – all good things come in pairs, and that couldn't be more true about supermodel-turned-musician-twins The Garden. When they're not busy flashing their tear-inducing jawlines for Saint Laurent, these neo-punks have been catching everyone's eye making urgent, avant-garde post punk with just a bass and a drum kit. Come see for yourselves – just make sure you dress sharp, babes.
Despite the industrious name, Machinedrum is far brighter than you’d think – it’s all glitched-out hi hats over pastel shade R&B. Think along the lines of Kaytranada or Hudson Mohawke and you're getting there. And with the night being done by 11pm, it’s far more wholesome to tell your colleagues about than that time you rolled into the office straight from a fabric all-nighter. It's okay, we've all been there.
The last time Funky Dee rolled off the tongue was about 2010. His massive grime tune 'Are you gonna bang doe' made huge waves all the way from Channel U to the mainstream. Funky Dee is back in the present day after linking up with the godfather Wiley himself for his massive comeback tune 'Moving with the times' that we just can't get out of our heads. Expect lots of grime deep cuts, soulful melodies and garage beats. Get your skanking shoes on bruv, it's gonna be dope.
Winner of the prestigious BBC Sound of Poll, Ray is the dose of soulful R&B we didn’t know we needed – her singing style is rich, improvised and just downright soothing. Not only do we get to enjoy Ray’s therapeutic tunes, but she’s also being joined by one of our fave LDN newcomers Cosima, who sounds so much like Sade we have to pinch ourselves every time we listen to her. This lineup is so stacked there’s no wonder it’s sold out, but we know you’ll find a way in to vibe to these queens.
Not only will iconic Nigerian drummer Tony Allen be giving us a taste of his feel-good business, but we'll also be getting a show stopping set from Seun Kuti – the youngest son of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti. Like all of the optimistic glows of traditional African rhythms, jazz and funk, this sound’s gonna make you lose your limbs and open your soul. You know how the saying goes – seize the day and dance all night to some Afrobeat.
Having spent the past thirty years producing for legends like D’Angelo, Jay Z and Nas, while also pioneering a sound of his own as one half of iconic duo Gang Starr, there's no doubt in anyone's mind that DJ Premier is a king. This is as real a snapshot of 90s hip hop as you’re gonna get, and rather than school you with a snobby history lesson, he’s just gonna effortlessly drop Mobb Deep and A Tribe Called Quest as if to say "yeah, I fucking made that". He's just fucking cool like that.
Just for a minute, close your eyes, and transport yourself back to the teen glory days of when MTV music videos were the centre of our lives. Let all of the doo rags, fresh-to-death bling and Southern rap wash over you. Now open your eyes, because we have good news: Atlanta's finest Ludacris is making a glorious return to London to play all our hip hop faves. Time to lose your mind, and if you ain't down wit' it: then move bitch, get out the way.
Have you ever just wanted to run into a field with your closest mates, scream-singing about all of your failed romances, how much you hate Brexit and how shitty your retail job really is? Well, look no further, because bright-eyed DIY punks Martha are here to lead the free movement. Hailing from a little town called Pity Me, Durham (seriously), they're lacing their power-pop chords with urgent, less-than-perfect vocals that will charm you to death. The show is sold out, but you've just gotta cop a ticket.