Christmas is within sniffing distance, but before we tootle off to elbow old ladies out of the way on Oxford Street and pickle ourselves in Baileys, there’s time for one last look at the week ahead in London. Things are definitely winding down, but amongst the usual seasonal fodder – The Pogues, Aled Jones, X Factor finalists – there are a few gems worth braving the cold for.
We might mock the seasonal outings of certain acts, but two gigs we’re highlighting this week are fast becoming festive traditions. On Monday Slow Club play at KOKO. For the last few years they’ve put on a Christmas show at the Union Chapel, throwing some down beat Christmas tunes in amongst their usual set. Likewise, this is the second outing for Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler, who have switched from the rather more festive surrounds of Bush Hall to the Scala for this year’s airing of their album, This is Christmas.
If that all leaves you feeling a bit bah humbug, try The Prodigy – who we’d say are unlikely to be wearing santa hats and passing around the mince pies. The band are putting on three nights at Brixton Academy, from Tuesday. Another band putting in some hard graft this week are Happy Mondays, who are playing two nights – Wednesday and Thursday – at the Roundhouse. Earlier this year the Madchester legends reunited, with the full original line-up coming together for the first time in 19 years, and these should be pretty special shows.
Elsewhere, some of our favourite bands of the year are making final outings; Django Django are at Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Friday, Dingus Khan are supporting Arrows Of Love at a free gig at the Old Blue Last on Tuesday, and James Yorkston is playing at the Shacklewell Arms on Wednesday.
The best of the rest…
Monday 17 December
Slow Club – KOKO
Theophilus London - Cargo
Action Bronson – Old Blue Last
Tuesday 18 December
Mumford And Sons – 02 Arena
The Prodigy – Brixton Academy
Konk Pack – Café OTO
Arrows Of Love + Dingus Khan – Old Blue Last
Wednesday 19 December
Happy Mondays – Roundhouse
James Yorkston – Shacklewell Arms
Paul Weller – Hammersmith Apollo
Ed Harcourt – Cecil Sharp House
Male Bonding + Mazes – Sebright Arms
Thursday 20 December
Macy Gray – KOKO
Duke Special – Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler – Scala
Echo Lake – Water Rats
Friday 21 December
Django Django – Shepherd’s Bush Empire
The Hit Factory - O2 Arena
Saturday 22 December
Courtney Pine – Steatham Hideaway
Bombay Bicycle Club – KOKO
Hatcham Social – Catch
Sunday 23 December
Soulwaxmas - Brixton Academy
There were squeals of joy at musicOMH towers when we heard that Liza Minelli is set to play at the Royal Festival Hall, as part of the Southbank Centre’s The Rest Is Noise festival.
The show, on 1 March, will be a return to the venue for Liza, who last played there in 1973. Even better, the show is part of the centre’s Berlin in the '20s and '30s weekend which, we’re told, “explores Weimar Berlin as the centre of Germany’s political and artistic developments.”
John Grant is to play a headline show at Heaven on 13 March. The former member of The Czars, who counts Midlake as his backing band, made it to Number 10 in our top albums
of 2010, with Queen Of Denmark. Its follow-up, Pale Green Ghosts, is released two days before the gig, and features Sinead O’Connor on guest vocals. Get a sneak peak here.