Great live music is plentiful in Cambridge this autumn and September sets the bar for what to expect before the year is over.
We start at the Cambridge Junction where the Mark Lanegan Band on the 3rd is our top tip. Mark Lanegan focused his latest album around his love of Krautrock and British post-punk. With compelling and brilliantly realised tracks, Lanegan’s latest release proves that at 50 there’s not just mileage left in him still but that he’s going to lead us to many more places yet. Sweet Billy Pilgrim set out on a UK tour this September following the release of their fourth album – the critically acclaimed masterpiece Motorcade Amnesiacs. They play Cambridge Junction J2 on the 17th.The new album sees the band stepping away from their previous electronic and acoustic experimentalism into a thriving, accessible record that many consider the best of their career to date.
Other highlights across the Cambridge Junction site this month include Martin Simpson, Andy Cutting and Nancy Kerr at J2 (24th), Stereo MCs at J1 (25th) and From The Jam also at J1 (19th). The biggest night of the month at the Junction however belongs to Mallory Knox who play a homecoming show on the 30th. The band are flying high on the back of their top 20 album Asymmetry and the show is a part of their largest UK tour to date.
There’s also a quartet of Corner House shows that catch our eye this month. First up is the authentic delta blues stylings of Tim Holehouse who plays on the 1st. Secondly prog/pop/psych band Gurgles headline the following night (2nd). Expect totally far-out pop tunes driven by cosmic organ, jazzy drums and swell harmonies. Support comes from Cambridge adult-orientated pop outfit Model Village. Manchester’s sextet Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura, consisting of three guitarists, two bassists and a drummer, specialise in free improvised acid rock, they bring their instrumental hurricanes to The Corner House on the Friday 11th. The other show catching our eye at The Corner House this month is the debut Cambridge appearance of Bruising on Sunday 6th. Fuzzy and laden with pop hooks, the Leeds-based duo of Naomi Baguley and Ben Lewis create tunes that are both grizzly and infectious all at once.
The Portland Arms September schedule is heaving with must-sees. Teleman at the same venue last year was one of our favourite shows of 2014, so needless to say we’re excited to see them back this month (3rd). Expect charming melodies complemented with curvy aural tunnels of psychedelic, swooning pop.
Down Mill Road at Relevant Records this month there’s a varied choice of live music going on. Prog-rock outfit 4th Labyrinth strip their sound back to perform a semi‑acoustic show on the 4th and the following night sees folk and country band the Garance’s Trio perform. Heartwork takes over on the 11th, performing tracks from his new EP, which launches that night.
Meanwhile at the Vaults their unplugged series continues this month with three shows planned. Thursday 3rd hosts power pop outfit The Hot Lights playing an acoustic set, the 10th sees Jack Burrell perform his moving, traditional take on folk, and B-Sydes headlines on the 17th.
Belgian indie-pop outfit Balthazar make their Cambridge debut this month at The Portland Arms, on the 15th. With three quality albums under their belts, this quintet have evolved from their catchy, angular indie-pop of 2010 to the more sophisticated classic feel of their last album Thin Walls, which came out in March and is full of nocturnal grooves and mesmeric melodies.
Still at The Portland Arms, Manchester garage quintet PINS finally make a headline appearance in Cambridge on the 17th. Accumulating high praise and a growing fan base for their debut album Girls Like Us, tight-knit girl gang PINS with their unique dark pop, post-punk, fuzzed up garage sound and alluringly abrasive chant-like vocals have had quite a two years.
Our final Portland Arms tip this month is Kid Wave on Monday 21st. London-based quartet Kid Wave (pictured) make an appealing style of guitar pop, fuzzy and warm, not really adhering to any particular trend. Their sultry, melodic pop is pretty addictive, one to catch for sure.
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