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The month ahead: Live Music in London for November

Check out our essential live music choices in London this month, as picked by Russell Cook.

Mike Warburton

Date published: 1st Nov 2013

Photograph: Finlay Quaye

Halloween's (just about) done one and the next obvious date on the event calendar is Guy Fawkes, bonfire, or bongy night, depending on your vernacular. But, when you're done with effigy-burning, hot dog eating and shivering in a field around a fire, you might want to start planning how to get through the dark winter months. Christmas is way off and you'll need some cheering up. We've put together a list of dates that'll rid of them winter blues and warm the cockles in no time.

Danish singer/songwriter, will be at Shoreditch's XOYO on bonfire night – 5th November, in case you’re from another planet – with instrumental hooks so catchy you'll be humming ‘em for months. While she has been compared to Grimes, Lana Del Rey, not sure where that one came from, and M.I.A, Mø is her own woman – her taste is hugely eclectic, citing influences from Sonic Youth to Stevie Wonder. With the level of energy she puts into her live shows, expect a well-polished, heavily pop-infused set. 

On the 8th and 9th November the sounds, flavours and artwork of Scandinavia will be on display at Camden’s Roundhouse for Ja Ja Ja Festival. Nordic stalwarts, Mew, Múm and The Raveonnettes will be joined by some of the region’s finest up-and-comers in dream pop outfit, Postiljonen, krautrocker’s Mammut and electro-pop trip NONONO. There’ll also be delectable Scandi-food on offer, including a special Nordic menu and plenty of cinnamon buns and coffee.  

Cosmo Sheldrake is a London-based looper, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. Thankfully, this seemingly mathematical approach to music doesn’t lack soul or warmth – no doubt a result of the strong improvisation element to his music, or the learn-to-play-by-ear-doctrine he advocates. As a composer and producer, he has written music for film and theatre. Dalston’s Birthdays will be an ideal setting for his sounds and show. Pop Tuesday 12th November in the diary and get your tickets her.

This is definitely one of our top picks for the month, so try not to forget about the date: 14th November. Why, I hear you ask? Well, PMR Records – the label behind Javeon – has played a major hand in the changing face of British popular music during recent years, and they don’t often bet on anything but a dead cert. The line-up is fresh with new talent, and the gig is also at Birthdays. As you can see, we like it there, tickets here.

The Fall - Mr Pharmacist

Singer, Mark E. Smith might be the only original member left in The Fall, but, as far as he’s concerned, that’s enough. Even after 30-some years on the road, the band retains a fanbase that continues to go strong. Why? Because, they churn out music full of the same conviction that brought them to the attention of the likes of the legendary John Peel in the first place. Their gig at the Clapham Grand on the 15 November is a great fit, and we've got tickets for you.

Drink from a tusk, drape yourself in animal furs (fake would be preferable to most) and yell at the top of your lungs: Amon Amarth at the Kentish Town Forum will be a raucous affair. Think Viking ships, long hair and beards, and a whole lot of tongue-in-cheek, seriously heavy music. The Swedish metallers will be one of the most exciting and entertaining acts in the capital during November, so don’t miss this one on the 17th, regardless of your musical preference.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Antennas To Heaven

There’s post rock, then there’s Godspeed You! Black Emperor. There are lots of comparable bands, but it’s in Godspeed’s live performances that they really set themselves apart. Widescreen visuals are a backdrop to a multitude of musicians that work intuitively together to take the audience through an experience that is haunting, evocative and uplifting all at once. Try not to miss them at the Kentish Town Forum on the 21st – it’ll change you a little. Really. 

As great as it would be to witness a musically-gifted monkey performing at Brixton Academy, Bonobo’s show on the 23 November at the south London music-mecca will no doubt make for a much more exciting Saturday night out. No? We think so. Live, and on record, the collaborative musician/producer has utilised the skills of a host of British artists during his career, including fellow Ninja Tune artist, Andreya Triana, so expect a host of guests.

Irish singer-songwriter Foy Vance is bringing a wealth of anthemic, Springsteen-esque tracks to Camden’s Koko on the 28 November, and if you want your faith restored in good old rhythm and blues, then don’t miss it. His music has appeared on Grey’s Anatomy, you know.  

Golden Ticket 

He’s been knocking about a couple of years now, our Finlay, but there’s a reason why audiences still pay for his music and to see the Brit and Mobo award winning artist live: he’s still got that voice. That’s why His show at Brixton Jamm on Friday 15th of this month is our Golden Ticket. 

It’s a chance for fans to catch him in a somewhat smaller setting, as he works his way through material from the 1997 classic Maverick a Strike, right through to material from album Number Ten, released last year. It’ll be a treat. You can grab your tickets straight from us, head here.

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