Photo: Julia Noni
Pop experimentalists Young Fathers have evolved into a band perfectly capable of creating breath-taking careworn piano ballads (recent single ‘Lord’) and gorgeous melodies, and then serving them up on an album next to tracks in which paranoid beats and off-key and out of time rhythms rule. It might not be for everyone, but it’s a commitment to etching out their own idiosyncratic place on the contemporary musical spectrum which means Young Fathers always demand attention. Live, the group’s visceral, incendiary shows are guaranteed to get everyone in the venue moving.
7 Apr, Paradiso
I’ll be honest, I don’t really believe in any god, or the idea of a heaven and hell. But if I did, I imagine that heaven might very well sound like Nilufer Yanya’s extraordinary voice. It is just lush. A voice to provoke swoons and groans of pure pleasure and awe. A boundless husk of a thing I could listen to all day long until my days were no more. What’s best is that Yanya’s music – a mash-up of soul, R&B and indie influenced by everything from Nina Simone to Amy Winehouse and Pixies – is as lovely as her delivery demands. I don’t normally choose a ‘favourite’ gig to go to each month, but if I did this would definitely be it.
10 Apr, Paradiso
As tragic a tale as you will hear, Her were a duo until the untimely death of founding member Simon Carpentier after a long battle with cancer in August 2017. In tribute to his friend and bandmate, Her’s other half, Victor Sol, finished and released their self-titled debut album, and is now touring their songs around Europe. And their music certainly deserves to be heard, hopping from R&B to soul, pop and indie and back again, Her’s layered vocals and crystalline production stands them shoulder to shoulder with genre-fluid heavyweights like James Blake and Jamie Woon.
18 Apr, Paradiso
Photo: Holly Whitaker
Shame are part of a scene that seems ready to inject something that’s been missing in British music for some time: guitar-driven bands who use brains rather than banter to write songs. After forming in the Queen’s Head pub in Brixton – the Fat White Family’s former headquarters - album ‘Songs of Praise’ has been feted as one of the most thrilling indie debuts for some time. Live, Shame’s anthemic choruses, sneering delivery and witty lyricism create an atmosphere not unlike that of chaotic forefathers The Fall.
26 Apr, Melkweg
After supporting Lianne La Havas and gigging for Burberry (yep, really), L.A. Salami might just be on the cusp of greatness. Or at least some sort of mainstream success. Why? Well after some reasonable but not especially exciting EPs, he’s now crafting some cracking indie-pop. A troubadour who seems born to wander London’s Tube stations with only his guitar for company, he weaves social commentary and observations about life in the city into genuinely interesting songs about the world today. One to watch, preferably live later this month.
20 Apr, Paradiso