Gig Guide

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The Independent Culture

Bat For Lashes

Bestival, Isle Of Wight 10 September; on tour 11-13 September

Citing "weather phenomena" and film director David Lynch as influences, Natasha Khan, aka Bat, can nevertheless be identified as the latest graduate of the Björk/Kate-Bush school of kookiness. Accompanying herself on piano and harpsichord, she weaves songs redolent of spooky Gothic fairytales. She is also keen on audience participation, hence punters at a recent London show were asked to howl like wolves. Khan's debut album Fur And Gold, is out 11 September.

John Martyn

London Barbican, 11 September

This one-off gig is another "Don't Look Back" event (see www.atp in which artists reprise one of their classic albums in its entirety. Martyn will be performing Solid Air, his 1973 proto chill-out masterpiece. Despite having his right leg amputated below the knee in 2003, Martyn remains an incorrigible boozer and an enthralling live performer. Lean back, close your eyes and enjoy.

Yo La Tengo

London Bush Hall, 5 September

Join the maverick Americans at this one-off show and you can expect the unexpected. The wonderfully-titled new album I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass is partly a reminder of their feedback-drenched prowess, but live, Yo La Tengo have been known to cover songs by such unlikely bedfellows as Cat Stevens, Eurythmics and Iggy Pop.

The Stranglers

On tour 20 September-14 October

Folk wisdom holds only cockroaches and Keith Richards would survive a nuclear attack, but punk veterans The Stranglers have to be in with a shout. Bassist/karate black belt JJ Burnel and keyboardist Dave Greenfield are seasoned journeymen, and the group's 68-year-old drummer Jet Black is Brit-punk's oldest star. The band's current album Suite XVI takes George Dubya to task but live you can expect more traditional Stranglers fare.


On tour 1-30 September

Described in this newspaper as "This year's Magic Numbers", Aberfeldy don't lack cutesy-pop charm. Their fresh-sounding 2004 debut "Young Forever" provided discerning milkmen with quality whistling material, and the follow-up "Do Whatever Turns You On" delivers, too. "We should have called ourselves Rio De Janeiro," joked Aberfeldy's frontman at a recent homecoming gig in rainy Perthshire. No matter: their music has sunshine built in.

End Of The Road Festival

Larmer Tree Gardens, near Salisbury, 15-17 September

Billed as "an intimate music festival in the beautiful surrounds of Larmer Tree Gardens", this is your one-stop shop for sonic sustenance. Psychedelia-influenced songwriter Kelley Stoltz, heart-warming folk heroine Kathryn Williams, and dapper crooner Richard Hawley are among the many choice acts. Other attractions include a Big Top with DJ sets until 2am and the Somerset Cider Bus. Last of the summer scrumpy, anyone?

The Fall

On tour 10-15 September

"The general viewpoint was that The Fall could have a pretty good career if they got rid of their singer", Mark E Smith has said. He was, and still is, that singer; the only constant in a band line-up that he has regularly refreshed since 1977. The Mancunian outfit has won deserved acclaim for latest offering, Fall Heads Roll, a typically bilious record that manages to sneak in a radical reworking of The Move's "I Can Hear The Grass Grow".

Juliette And The Licks

On tour 26 September-16 November

Oscar-nominated Lewis (left) faced scepticism when she began fronting The Licks, but her gigs have made converts of many a doubting Thomas. Though she wears her Patti Smith and Iggy Pop influences on her sleeve, you have to admire a thesp who is prepared to crowd-surf. New songs "Smash And Grab" and "Sticky Honey" suggest the group's second album will build upon the good work of 2005's You're Speaking My Language.