wears the trousers magazine

february gig guide

You may ask what, like war, the month of February is good for. To its detriment it’s cold, bombarded with Valentine’s Day marketing to the point of overkill, barren of public holidays, and did we mention how it’s still bloody freezing? In its favour…it’s short. Too harsh? Okay, well, there are some pretty fantastic gigs coming up over the next four weeks. So many, in fact, that it was hard to pick just one event per night to recommend. Don’t forget that many of these artists have several other dates lined up for the month, so use the handy Myspace links we’ve provided to find out if they’re coming to your town. Make space in your diary.

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Lacuna Coil + Decapitated + Kataklysm + Man Must Die
02 Academy, Birmingham

£12 | 7pm

There’s nothing like some heavy metal to kickstart the month. Italian rockers Lacuna Coil, fronted by the ever-crushworthy Cristina Scabbia, will hit Birmingham Academy with gusto in one of the opening shows of a major European tour. Expect to hear hits from their 2009 release Shallow Life, an album which marked their departure from gothic metal to a more accessible take on extreme rock. If you missed out on the album’s original release you can pick up the deluxe edition, out today.

SEE ALSO: Thao with The Get Down Stay Down + Dag för Dag + Foreign Slippers playing at Barfly, London (£6 adv, from 7pm)

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Nerina Pallot
The Pigalle Club, London

£16.50 | 8pm

Platinum-selling, Brit Award-nominated Nerina Pallot plays one of Picadilly Circus’s most interesting venues, where patrons can enjoy a top notch meal in the surrounds of the chic 1950s décor while enjoying live onstage entertainment. The Jersey-born singer-songwriter is promoting last year’s album The Graduate, no doubt with a sprinkling of songs from her previous two releases and covers thrown in for good measure.

* * *


Nanci Griffith + Edwina Hayes
Shepherds Bush Empire, London

£27.50 adv | 7.30pm

Grammy winner and all-round music legend Nanci Griffith hits Shepherds Bush Empire with her esteemed brand of “folkabilly” in support of last year’s politically-inspired album The Loving Kind. The Austin-born artist has recorded duets with a number of equally high calibre artists such as Willie Nelson, Mary Black, Don McLean and Emmylou Harris, but is joined this time round by frequent tour partner Edwina Hayes.

* * *


Esben & The Witch + SBTRKT + Worship
Hobby Horse, London

FREE | 8pm

We predict big things from Brighton-based trio Esben & The Witch, who revel in moody, goth-inflected electronica. This show precedes their first single release through 4AD, ‘Lucia, At The Precipice’, and they’ll be supporting The xx in upcoming months. Get down and enjoy their brand of self-dubbed “nightmare pop” (suggestion: arrive early!). DJ set from Andrew Hung of Fuck Buttons.

* * *


Nancy Elizabeth + Madam
Whitechapel Gallery, London

£7 | 8pm

Nancy Elizabeth made one of 2009’s finest albums in Wrought Iron, her second release on The Leaf Label, and will no doubt be playing much of that set tonight in typically spellbinding form. Joining Nancy to make the evening it doubly special is London’s own Madam, who regular Wears The Trousers readers will know from our recent Odetta tribute CD, on which she delivers a powerful version of the brilliant ‘Water Boy’. Not to be missed.

* * *


Rachael Dadd + Fiona Sally Miller + Adelaide’s Cape
Daylight Music @ Union Chapel, London

FREE | Midday

This event kicks off the brand new season of Daylight Music shows at London’s Union Chapel, which are a fantastic way to see some great new artists for zero pennies on Saturday lunchtimes. Regular Wears The Trousers readers will know that we’ve been supporting Rachael Dadd a lot lately, so get yourself down to this show to find out why. Browse all upcoming Daylight Music shows here.

* * *


Heidi Vogel + Cecilia Stalin + Grace Obika
UK Soul Jam @ Jazz Café, London

£8 adv | 7pm

The first UK Soul Jam event of 2010 features a thrillingly eclectic lineup of homegrown contemporary soul artists headed by the distinctive voice of Heidi Vogel, a Sade-evoking artist influenced by her Brazilian heritage and Samba roots who has previously performed at the Royal Albert Hall and Coachella and Fuji Rock festivals. This established night, previously televised on Sky TV, also features open mic jam sessions and a surprise guest. You can bet it’ll be a treat since previous guests have included Amy Winehouse, Jeffrey Daniel of Shalamar and ex-Floetry star Marcia Ambrosius.

* * *


Jesca Hoop + Daniel Cliffe
Bodega Social, Nottingham

£7 adv | 8pm

Jesca Hoop’s latest album Hunting My Dress has become a firm Wears The Trousers favourite since its release last December. Bearing the endorsement of former employer Tom Waits (she worked as a nanny for his children), who describes her music as “like going swimming in a lake at night”, she brings her brand of fantasy-woven indie-folk to Nottingham as part of a February-long tour across the UK. Highly recommended.

* * *


Slow Club + First Aid Kit + Slow Moving Millie
HMV Next Big Thing @ The Garage, London

£10 adv | 8pm

We’ve had a lot to say about Slow Club and First Aid Kit over the past year, so this HMV Next Big Thing show offers the perfect opportunity to see both acts on the same bill. Admittedly The Garage isn’t quite as good on the acoustics side as Union Chapel, where Slow Club have often played and where First Aid Kit are due to play on March 4, but the quality of the music on offer will surely make up for that. We haven’t heard of Slow Moving Millie before, but we’re betting she’s pretty good to feature on this lineup.

SEE ALSO: Dayna Kurtz + Delta Maid playing at Electroacoustic Club @ Slaughtered Lamb, London (£8 adv, £6 for Wears The Trousers readers on the door, from 7:30pm)

* * *


Lisa Mitchell + The Wave Pictures + The Miserable Rich
HMV Next Big Thing @ The Borderline, London

£10 | 7:30 pm

Young Australian singer-songwriter Lisa Mitchell might not be the biggest name on this bill, another of the HMV Next Big Things showcases, but last year’s debut album Wonder was a real treasure and, seen live, she always delivers a set so charming that even diehard musos can’t fail to raise a smile.

SEE ALSO: Jess KleinNoelie McDonnell playing at Electroacoustic Club @ Slaughtered Lamb, London (£10 adv, £6 for Wears The Trousers readers on the door, from 7:30pm)

* * *


La La Vasquez + Dignan Porch + Prize Pets
Stag’s Head, Hoxton, London


One of our favourite new bands, La La Vasquez peddle guitar-based sounds with girlish, Anglocentric vocals and a subtle, ’50s surf-rock feel. If you were tuning in to Wears The Trousers’ radio debut on Ruth Barnes’ ‘The Other Woman’ show a few weeks back, you’d have heard us dropping an exclusive play of their track ‘Don’t Rush Me’, which is out in April, preceded by another 7” single in March. Fun fun fun!

* * *


Rolo Tomassi + Enter Shikari
Hammersmith Apollo, London

£21 | 6pm

Enjoy some mid-month moshing with frenetic, supercharged synth/punk quintet Rolo Tomassi, who are supporting Enter Shikari on their latest UK tour. The Sheffield ‘mathcore’ outfit dropped their debut album Hysterics back in 2008 through Hassle Records and are due to release their second in March. If it’s anything like their debut, expect high pressure distortion and gloriously chaotic song structures.

* * *


This Is The Kit + David Cronenberg’s Wife + Triple Rosie
Witches Hat Club @ The Slaughtered Lamb, London

£6 door | 7:30pm

This Is The Kit is Winchester-born artist Kate Stables. Though she now resides in Paris, a grand total of three musical projects mean she’s over here in the UK rather a lot. As well as This Is The Kit, she plays alongside Jesse D Vernon and Emily Stables in Morning Star and with Rachael Dadd in Whalebone Polly. When she’s not sewing textiles and working with prints, Stables weaves reflective, captivating folk.

* * *


Marcia Griffiths + Bitty McLean + Freddie Jackson + John Holt
7th Reggae Got Soul Valentine Showcase @ 02, London

£35 adv/£40 doors | 7:30pm

The O2 hosts a reggae-fest in honour of Valentine’s Day, featuring a number of established, well-loved voices of the genre, including the legendary Marcia Griffiths, whose celebrated 40-year career includes tours with Bob Marley as part of the I-3s. If the plethora of videos on YouTube are anything to go, Griffiths evokes all the best nostalgia of the genre’s hotplate heyday.

* * *


tUnE-yArDs + Trash Kit
Cargo, London

£7.50 adv | 8pm

Merril Garbus’s experimental DIY opus BiRd-BrAiNs was one of the most heartwarming success stories of 2009, and duly made a healthy showing in both our best of 2009 readers poll and our albums of the decade list. This highly anticipated show is a one-off London date for Garbus, and with support from our beloved Trash Kit, this should be a pretty awesome night.

* * *


Maple Bee + Fitness Club Fiasco + Ill Fit DJs
The Social, London

FREE | 8pm

Maple Bee is the work of Melanie Garside plus Miss Sophie Riga De Spinoza and “various other angelic cohorts”. Sister to KatieJane, Melanie has been crafting alt-acoustic nectar for some time now, and recent album Home is worth tracking down for its dreamy, lush folk sounds.

* * *


Shepherds Bush Empire, London

£17.50 | 7:30pm

Former grunge queen Courtney Love returns to the UK after far too long to grace the NME Shockwaves Awards, no doubt with all the usual drama we’ve come to expect from the tiara-toting icon. Ms Love’s announcement to tour as Hole a few months back, despite being the only original member in the line up, drew baffled criticism from ex-bandmates Eric Erlandson and Melissa Auf der Maur, but the show goes on regardless. Don your best red lipstick and get rocking to the sounds of a modern legend.

* * *


Anna Calvi + Eugene McGuiness
Not In Kansas Anymore @ Lock Tavern, London

FREE | 9pm

Her earlier work in Cheap Hotel was pure blues fire, and though her current material has redirected into charismatic indie, Anna Calvi remains one of the most exciting talents around. She’s only just starting to blip on mainstream radars, but Calvi has been smouldering on the underground scene for some time, and with the support of respected peers like Mumford & Sons and The Invisible, it seems 2010 will be her debutante year.

* * *


Speech Debelle
Plug’N’Play, Reading

£8 | 7:30pm

Speech Debelle has been nothing short of lively since the beginning. Just moments after our glowing review of her debut album Speech Therapy, she was beating the likes of Bat For Lashes and Florence + The Machine to last year’s Mercury Prize. As if this didn’t cause enough controversy amongst naysayers, the confident London MC then announced she was leaving her label Ninja Tune, citing poor management which resulted in poor record sales. It’s a bold move, and we’re still waiting to see whether she can stay afloat, but in the meantime we recommend you catch her brand of jazzy hip hop at Reading’s Plug’N’Play.

* * *


Kath Bloom
Café Oto, Dalston

£10 | 8pm

We included Kath and her upcoming album Thin Thin Line in our most anticipated albums of the Spring. Here’s what we said: “Having recorded on and off since 1976, Kath Bloom is one of the music industry’s survivors. She’s currently enjoying a second revival thanks to 2008’s brilliant Terror and reissue of her wonderful 1982-’83 sets Sing The Children Over and Sand In My Shoes, not to mention last year’s beautiful tribute compilation, Loving Takes This Course, featuring the likes of Meg Baird, Scout Niblett, Josephine Foster and Mia Doi Todd. Thin Thin Line looks set to continue this inspirational trajectory with grace and power.”

* * *


Daisy Dares You + Chipmunk + Tinie Tempah + Skepta
Bizzare Tour @ Shepherds Bush Empire, London

£12.50 adv | 6pm

Everywhere we look Daisy Dares You is being touted as someone to watch, and her crunchy, big-bang pop places her firmly among the crop of mainstream-leaning up-and-comers like Ellie Goulding and Eliza Doolittle. She’s already signed up to major label Jive/Sony, and though her polished pop may sound a little saccharine at first, she’s a versatile voice with an impressive list of influences ranging from Kurt Cobain and Morrissey to Nick Cave and Rage Against The Machine.

* * *


New Young Pony Club
Islington Academy, London

£13.39 | 7pm

This month sees the welcome return for New Young Pony Club, whose 2007 debut Fantastic Playground scooped a Mercury Prize nomination. Drummer Sarah has been moonlighting with Bat For Lashes, performing with the headdress-donning artist all over the world, but is still very much part of the band. New album The Optimist arrives early in March, and if the pretty sizzling preview freebie ‘Lost A Girl’ is anything to go by, should hold great things. Catch them at the Islington Academy for a one-off date that heralds a bigger tour in March and enjoy their blend of New Wave, post-punk flavours and electro-pop sensibilities.

* * *


Joana & The Wolf + Captains Of British Industry + Small Engine Repair
Club Ugly @ The Social, London

FREE | 6pm

Expect charismatic, art-rock from London-based quartet Joana & The Wolf, fronted by Lithuanian singer Joana Dramatic. The band has built a solid reputation over the last few years for their theatrical approach to both their recorded work and live performances. Expect to hear their recent single ‘Natural Born Killer’, which captures their edgy indie-rock rather well.

* * *


Krystle Warren
Soho Theatre, London

£10 adv | 9:45pm

This is the first of four dates at Soho Threatre for the silken-voiced Krystle Warren, whose debut album Circles warmed our snow-coated winter no end. Warren combines the soul of artists such as Nina Simone and Jeff Buckley, melding classic songwriting with youthful jazzy heart.

SEE ALSO: Astrid Williamson + Elíza Newman (ex-Bellatrix) playing at The Slaughtered Lamb, London (£8 adv, £6 for Wears The Trousers readers on the door, from 7:30pm)

* * *


Dum Dum Girls + Male Bonding + The Human Race
Upset The Rhythm @ Bardens Boudoir, London

£5 adv | 8pm

We nodded approvingly when LA-based Dum Dum Girls (essentially the project of Kristin Gundred, aka Dee Dee) announced her signing with Sub Pop earlier this year. The label are set to release her debut album I Will Be in March, and you can take it from us that it’s solid gold stuff. Her current press release declares it to be “neither lo-fi nor too polished”, with Richard Gottehrer (Blondie, The Go-Go’s and, more recently, The Raveonettes) and Dee Dee herself on production. Her Myspace counts ex Vivian Girls founder Frankie Rose as a current band member, along with ‘Jules’ and ‘Bambi’. We’re not sure whether Rose will be at this date, but it’s sure to be a buzzy, ’60s garage-pop funfest either way.

* * *


Swing Out Sister
Bush Hall, London

£25 | 7pm

Andy Connell and Corinne Drewery of the British “sophisti-pop” band Swing Out Sister are still going strong, and although their popularity in the UK has waned somewhat after their ’80s heyday they’ve retained a loyal fanbase in Asia where they continue to tour and record. Catch them at Bush Hall where they’ll be playing material from their latest album Beautiful Mess, and maybe a few of their hits, perhaps ‘Breakout’, ‘Surrender’, ‘Twilight World’ or the now-iconic ‘Am I The Same Girl?’.

* * *


Chapter 24 + Fiction
Biddle Brothers, London

FREE | 8pm

Chapter 24 are a co-ed act we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this year. Their fledgling status means there isn’t a lot of material to go by, but what we have heard are tight, joyfully rhythmic numbers ranging from Slits-style punk-groove to jaunty indie, psychedelic rock-inflected affairs. Energetic, super fun and known to put on rather eccentric live shows.

* * *


Invasion + Bo Ningen
Bungalows & Bears, Sheffield

FREE | 8pm

Invasion’s own description of their music is rather sweeping, taking in “’60s soul, ’70s psychedelia, ’80s thrash, ’90s doom”, but it’s also pretty accurate. Coming together through a love of traditional heavy metal fare such as dragons, wizards and magic, the trio have imbued their charged, distortion-heavy rock with all these themes. The band are fronted by the powerhouse, Skin-evoking cries of lead vocalist Chan Brown, who often dons hoods and other medieval-influenced outfits during live shows.

SEE ALSO: Scary Mansion + The Tailors + Line & A Dot playing The Allotment @ The Slaughtered Lamb, London (£6, from 4pm)

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Charlotte Richardson Andrews and Alan Pedder


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

what a good month!

Comment by michelle

Hey, fantastic list of gigs there. Bring on February.

Was just wondering if you wouldn’t mind mentioning ours as well.


New Young Pony Club and Foals are both to DJ and there are live performances from The Boxer Rebellion and Eliza Doolittle. It’s all in aid of Action Against Hunger’s Haiti appeal and all proceeds from tickets and drink sales will go to the charity’s work in the country.

19th February, Clapham Grand, 7pm. Hosted by XFM’s Pete Donaldson.


Comment by Mary

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