The Hamburg-born, Berlin-based composer and producer melds modish electronic blips and bloops with peerless fine classical chops. As a nipper he studied pianoforte under the supervision of a tutor who was once a student of Tchaikovsky, indeed. No tux required for this recital though – his sweaty, urgent sound owes as much to dirty all-night raves as it does to the stuffy concert hall.
The Good, The Bad & The Queen
Damon Albarn’s umpteenth vehicle mashes up top-drawer talent culled from the ranks of The Clash (Paul Simonon on bass) The Verve (Simon Tong on guitar) and venerable Fell Kuti alumnus Tony Allen on drums. Collectively they rock a roaming-balladeer, Chaucerian schtick, painting none-too-flattering portraits of the people and places of modern Brexit Britain, akin to Albarn’s best work from his Parklife heyday.
Josh T Pearson
Guy Garvey, him off Elbow, once described this handsome Texan troubadour, erstwhile frontman of legendary band ‘Lift To Experience’, as “the greatest male vocalist of our time”. Well then. Pearson is most certainly an arresting performer, hilarious with the inter-song bantz, and his irresistible probably-tongue-in-cheek pop-country fusion of 2018’s ‘The Straight Hits!’ (a coming out record? doesn’t matter) guarantees a barnstorming night out.
Impish, jangly 60’s infused pop with a robust basis in jazz-trained vocal technique, Burch’s recent album steers away from the pretty melancholy of her debut album Please Be Mine. And that’s really no bad thing. First Flower, the LP she’s touring right now, is less moany and more about embracing the flower of womanhood, with some juicy production touches and a fair spoon of Motown sass stirred in for kicks.
4 Dec – The Victoria, Dalston (tickets)
A fixture of the London indie scene since those dim and distant days of 2011, this four-piece mob’s swooning, reverb-soaked psych pop keeps the torch of shoegazey, effects-heavy live performance very much bright and burning. In person, they’re pretty much everything you like about Tame Impala, but twice as dancey and about a hundred times more fun.
A Perfect Circle
5 Dec – SSE Arena Wembley, London (tickets)
You certainly can’t accuse this LA supergroup – led by Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan – of doing things by halves on stage. The lasers, the lights, the dense image-rich lyricism, Billy Howerdell’s spellbinding lead guitar work, (ex-Eagles Of Death Metal bassist) Matt McJunkins’ incendiary grooves, lashings of humour, and an army of devotees to pogo along with. Perfect by name…
Dec 2 – SSE Arena, Belfast (tickets)
Dec 4 – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff (tickets)
Dec 6 – The 02 Arena, London (tickets)
Dec 8 – Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham (tickets)
Dec 9 – Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle (tickets)
They don’t make ‘em like this any more. Proper, big haired, stadium-reared 1980s bombast. From, um, Sheffield. Anyway, there’s plenty to love here after a few jars, not least Heart FM staple tracks ‘Hysteria’ and, most obviously, ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’, which turns everybody (yep, even your dad) temporarily into a wannabe pole dancer. Matey, no nonsense, tongue-in-cheek bravado. They really don’t make ‘em like this any more.
Dec 6 – The Victoria, Dalston, London (tickets)
There’s lots more than your average noodley post-rock meanderings on offer from Eyre Llew. Although they do play guitar with a bow, sometimes. From Nottingham, the steadily ascending trio of Samuel Heaton, Jack Bennett and Jack Clark are winning fans as far away as the Far East, and if you’re after a night of consciousness-expanding soundscapes punctuated with hands-in-the air eutrophic rock drops, these Eyre lads are just the thing.
Following something of an unedifying brush with the law out in California back in 2013, ex-Bauhaus frontman and self-styled ‘godfather of goth’ is back on the road, playing material spanning four decades of gloomy midlands post-punk. If you dig your rock gods with high cheekbones, mad burning eyes and apocalyptic lyrics, Murphy should be just your cup of (black, obvs) tea.