Trust us on this: it’s definitely worth going to bed early for the next couple of nights. And make sure you set your alarm, because Friday and Saturday mornings see some red hot tickets go on sale – everything from one of London’s best open air cinema series, to big gigs by international stars and homegrown indie legends. Here’s what you should be booking for over the next two days…
Young Ella Yelich-O’Connor hasn’t done too badly for herself over the last couple of years. After revealing a deft talent for vocal acrobatics and opulent melodies with her early singles ‘Tennis Court’ and ‘Royals’, she made one of the smartest pop albums of recent times – her debut, ‘Pure Heroine’ – then wowed the audience at the Grammys. Now she’s back in the UK for her first shows since a tiny one-off club gig last September. And she’s still only 17. Props, Lorde.
Watching a movie at Somerset House in the fancy grand courtyard is just about a perfect night out (if you remember to take a cushion for the cobbles). Tickets for the 14-night season shift fast, so get in quickly when they go on sale on Friday. This year they’ve got three premieres – including the very excellent Nick Cave doc ’20,000 Days on Earth’ and a new Marion Cotillard drama ‘Two Days, One Night’ – plus seen-them-before-and-love them classics like ‘Annie Hall’ and ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’.
Retro-but-refreshing young singer-songwriter Bugg burst from his hometown of Nottingham to the top of the charts in 2012. His brand of indie country-folk mixes a Dylan-esque rasp with Miles Kane’s brand of mordant Mod-rock, plus a dollop of Americana on his latest album ‘Shangri La’. Now he’s playing a huge Ally Pally show – the Buggwagon doesn’t show any signs of slowing down yet.
Is there anything Clean Bandit can’t do? The electronic pop troupe from Cambridge broke through spectacularly in January with ‘Rather Be’ – the most successful single of the year, and the first to stay at Number One for four weeks since 2011. It’s a prime example of their appealing, intelligent sound, which uses synths, violins, drum machines and a rotating cast of vocalists. Unusually for a group so fond of loops, they’re known for building their tracks on stage without pre-recording anything – so they’re a great live act to boot. It’s a good thing we aren’t the jealous types.
The man they call ‘The Ginger Elvis’ arrives at Meltdown to perform a solo acoustic set. On top of his leadership of Queens Of The Stone Age and a longstanding producer/collaborator job with Arctic Monkeys, Josh Homme has been a member of Kyuss, Eagles Of Death Metal and Them Crooked Vultures – so he should have no shortage of material on which to bring his distinctive croak to bear. Just one question: since when did anyone (except maybe his mum) call him ‘Joshua’?
Recently tipped by none other than David Cameron, the Söderberg sisters return to London to ply their charming, lushly harmonised, narrative alt folk, with a set that’ll likely lean on their new album ‘Stay Gold’. Keep an eye out in the audience for Dave and Sam.
If you still think of The Horrors as the fright-wigged, black-clad and pretzel-thin garage-punks of 2007, where have you been? The London five-piece reinvented themselves with the psychedelic post-punk-meets-shoegaze of their second album ‘Primary Colours’, took a huge leap into epic soundscapes with the follow-up ‘Skying’, and have now unleashed their fourth album ‘Luminous’, which confirms them as one of the UK’s best young bands. Don’t miss them as they return to the stage, with the volume turned up to 11 and backed by a near-blinding light show.
The founding fathers of fuzz-pop return to the London stage, still grumpily black-clad and led as ever by the taciturn Reid brothers. At this one-off London show the Mary Chain will be going back to their roots for a full performance of their 1985 debut album ‘Psychocandy’, which established the ‘sweet melodies plus searing noise’ template adopted by countless bands in the year since. When the band first played these songs live in London, their set lasted 20 minutes and famously sparked a riot at North London Polytechnic. Tonight should last a little longer and be a bit less violent, but hopefully the volume will be set as high as ever.
These Brooklyn indie rockers have hints of the feral shoutiness of Wu Lyf, the rootsiness of Mumford and the stadium-busting anthemics of Springsteen. A potent combination, then – and now that they’ve managed to secure the rights to their name (after a period playing as We Are Augustines) they could well be unstoppable soon. Until then, check out their London-set video for ‘Cruel City’, which makes the Smoke look like a total dump.
Move over, Glastonbury: the world’s biggest music festival is about to begin. This year’s BBC Proms kick off on Friday July 18 at the Royal Albert Hall, the 6,000 capacity-venue that has hosted the series of classical events since 1941. Every year the Proms see the world’s greatest orchestras and classical performers come to London, and 2014 is no exception. Advance booking is recommended for the biggest concerts, but up to 1,400 standing tickets are also available for each performance.
Check out the rest of this week’s big live music announcements.