Jordan Worland, from local music website Slate the Disco, gives his top live music picks for the month ahead
Cambridge’s post-rock heroes Black Country, New Road (above) are scattered around the UK, but are coming back to us on 29 September. The enigmatic six-piece’s show at The Portland is our must-see gig this month. Expect a hypnotic blend of spoken word, saxophone and metallic judder from one of the country’s most exceptional and exciting new acts.
Fast action is required if you’re to catch Bill Ryder-Jones in the intimate setting of the Unitarian Church (28th) as this one is close to selling out. Multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger and composer, Ryder-Jones has a career spanning 15 years and counting. Starting out as The Coral’s guitarist in 1996, he’s since embarked on solo exploits, including If…, an orchestral reimagining of Italo Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveller, to film scores and solo albums. He’s in town to showcase his latest release, a piano-only version of his 2018 album, Yawn.
As always, there’s a busy month at The Blue Moon, but our top pick from the packed line-up comes on the 21st. Sunday Driver are back and performing as a full band in their home town for the first time in quite a while. They’ll be showcasing material from their much-anticipated third album. The line-up is complemented by the crystalline vocals of Kerry Devine, the melodic hooks of Jeremy Tuplin, and neoclassical, downtempo pianist and songwriter, Alexander Carson.
Back at The Portland Arms, there is another gem courtesy of power-pop darlings Martha on the 3rd. This Durham four-piece expertly craft songs that are energetic, passionate, political and finished with lush, four-part harmonies – autumn nights were made for bands like Martha.
An exceptionally busy month at The Portland Arms also sees shows from The Pale White (10th), Damo Suzuki (18th), Kyan (23rd) and former Tribes frontman Johnny Lloyd (24th). Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage play a brilliant style of scuzzy, urban indie-rock-folk, like a 21st-century mash-up of Sonic Youth, Pete Seeger and R Crumb. They’re at the venue on the 25th, while the thrilling Pulled Apart By Horses (26th) are also well worth a look.