BY ED GIBBS
Tuesday 5 February
If ever a record felt as if it had dropped from above, surely it is this. Ian Sweet’s second long-player entitled Crush Crusher is produced by Gabe Wax (of Deerhunter, The War on Drugs and Soccer Mommy fame), and was recorded in Brooklyn, at the Rare Book Room studio. Shoe-gazing psycho-rock has been promised aplenty, with frontwoman Jillian Medford ditching her trademark spike for something softer, if the new record is anything to go by. Her two (male) bandmates have gone. Prepare to be surprised.
71 Shacklewell Lane, London E8 2EB.
020 7249 0810
The Glaswegian dance-pop duo, otherwise known as Julie and Shaun (who met, apparently, at a sordid office party), have quite the thing going on. Their fab No Sleep EP should get a decent airing – check out tracks Fever, Medusa, Predictable and Make It on their SoundCloud page to get into the groove. Clara Mae and Dylan provide support. Ironically, the other Dylan (Bob) had a comeback hit with the track Love Sick 20 years ago, but don’t let that confuse. It’s a coincidence. We think.
Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen
2-4 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NU
020 7613 0709
The French psych favourites are back, having wowed at festivals last summer. They’re playing a generous clutch of shows around the UK, but it’s this Londoner headliner that’s got folk talking. Check out their superb and deliciously cosmic debut LP La Planete Inexploree – one of the finest records of 2018 – to get a flavour of what they’ll be bringing to the Last. This should be one hell of a show. Support was TBA at press time.
The Old Blue Last
38 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3ES.
020 7739 7033
Wednesday 6 February
Ok, so there is now a waiting list, but synthpop fans will surely be queueing around the block to try and get into Ms Nilsson’s show at Moth Club. The Swedish, Berlin-based star writes, sings, produces, mixes, packages and promotes her wares herself, bringing a new meaning to the term ‘craft’. Tickets are/were priced at nearly £16, which shows just how much the lady is in demand. Doors open at 8pm.
Old Trades Hall
Valette Street, London E9 6NU.
020 8985 7963
Thursday 7 February
The former lead singer of The Beta Band returns to showcase his new long-player, which has been garnering plaudits galore since its release just a few shorts weeks ago. Q Magazine hailed “every song” as “top drawer”, while Mojo described it as a “stunning comeback” from Mason’s previous darker work. He wowed the Barbican in 2017 with his own wall of sound, and will no doubt do likewise tonight in Stokie. Highly recommended.
11-17 Stoke Newington Rd, Stoke Newington, London N16 8BH
020 7422 7505
Comparisons to The 1975 (and Fall Out Boy) are obvious, but the Perth pin-up four-piece have plenty of their own thing going on. Check out their breakout EP Summer is a Curse for a taster. It clocked up a whopping 10 million plays on Spotify. Now, their new single Fire seems destined to become a floor-filling anthem for our times. Tonight, they’re playing The Garage. Next time, the room will be even bigger.
20-22 Highbury Corner, London N5 1RD
020 7619 6720 / 0844 847 1678
Despite their eye-catching name, these uber-cool dark wavers are a Swiss-British outfit, who’ve been busily wowing punters for almost a decade. Their six records are available to savour via Spotify, with some great videos to accompany them on YouTube. The band’s frontwoman Larissa Iceglass has a suitably melancholic and wistful look about her, which only adds to the ambience these guys generate with apparent ease. Essential stuff.
1a Amhurst Road, London E8 1LL.
020 3553 4831
Friday 8 February
These days, the jazz-funksters, whose breakout hit Get Out of Your Lazy Bed launched them into the nation’s consciousness back in 1984, retain only frontman Mark Reilly as their original member (although the band’s original trio did reunite for over a decade, until 2015, prior to former member Mark Fisher’s passing). Reilly could, of course, tour under his name, but why ditch the Matt Bianco moniker? We wouldn’t. Expect to hear a generous smattering of material from the band’s albums (which number a baker’s dozen, believe it or not).
Islington Assembly Hall
Upper Street, London N1 2UD
020 7527 8900
The Nottingham transplant celebrates five years of living in the capital with this headline show at the Sebright. Armstrong drew inspiration, he says, from the “little villages” that make up our fine city, culminating in his debut LP The Town and The City, which sounds about right. The single, Scandinavian Pain, may sound like a distraction, but it isn’t. With shades of Morrissey, there’s a rather sharp video online to get you in the mood. Fake Turins and Jonny Abrams provide support.
31-35 Coate Street, London E2 9AG
020 7729 0937
Out to showcase and celebrate his second EP, Dark Rivers, Ben Murphie wears his influences proudly on his sleeve. They stretch far and wide, too, from classic rockers like Neil Young to contemporary singer-songwriters like Laura Marling. There are some aching ballads to be had, but plenty more besides. Support comes from the spoken word-led Dreuw and the solo folkie Lake Folks. Doors at 7pm.
451 Queensbridge Road, Dalston, London E8 3AS
020 7684 0944