March Gig Guide

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The Independent Culture

Dead Meadow

Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach, tonight; Brighton Freebutt 8 March

Drummers say it’s harder to groove at slow tempos, but DeadMeadow – Sabbath and Zeppelin-influenced purveyors of gargantuan stoner rock – are masters of the art. Current album Old Growth is as headnod inducing as the hippest hip hop, the beardy Washington DC-formed trio cooking up a mysticism and magic-imbued stew on nuggets such as “What Needs Must Be”. Jason Simon’s low-mixed vocals, more indie slacker than priapic rocker, are the twist.


On tour until 10 March

Pals with fellow tipped Brooklynites MGMT, Yeasayer (pictured) blew minds last year with their astonishing debut single “ 2080”, a harmony-rich slice of Afrobeat-tinged pessimism in which frontman Chris Keating sang, “ I can’t sleep when I think of the future I was born into. ” Think complex, affecting music for troubled times, Yeasayer’s dystopian prophecies yearning for a time when mankind was more in tune with Mother Nature.

The Jesus & Mary Chain

London Roundhouse 12 March

For reasons unspecified, only the second of two planned nights at The Roundhouse is going ahead. Always great to see Jim and William Reid back on the chain gang, though, the spats that once led the brothers to blows seemingly behind them. Scarlett Johansson pledged her allegiance last year, even singing backing vocals when The Mary Chain played California’s Coachella festival. Look no further if you like bubblegum pop melodies wrapped in a bouquet of barbed wire.

Black Kids

London ICA 12 & 13 March

Managed by the same team that handles Björk and Arcade Fire, Jacksonville, Florida’s Black Kids continue to wow with their singular blend of R&B and Cure/Smiths-aware indie. Front man Reggie Youngblood cites Morrissey’s “funny, but heartbreaking” approach to lyrics as a direct influence, and something of that mood definitely pervades the group’s re-recorded version of their trump card “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You”.

The Black Keys

London Wilton’s Music Hall, 20 March

Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney’s spiky primal blues gets a vitalising reboot on Attack & Release, a new collaboration with guitar-loving hip-hop producer Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley, Jay-Z). Marshalling rhythms, and peppering the Keys’ riffage with flute and Moog synthesizer, Burton has helped the Akron-Ohio duo sound like world-beaters again. The faded grandeur of East End music hall Wiltons should provide a memorable setting for their return.


On tour until 25 March

Thoroughbreds or a load of old pony? Most place Oxford’s Foals firmly in the former camp. Despite their deft but uncalculated math rock debut Antidotes undergoing an eleventh hour remix, it looks set to capitalise on their “tipped for 2008” status and last year’s cameo appearance in Channel 4’s Skins. This tour supports the album’s March release. Listen out for new single “Cassius”, a typically breathless mix of angular guitars and obese techno synth.

Peggy Sue and The Pirates

Brighton Pavilion Theatre 29 March

Not a band as such, but rather skewed nu-folk duo Rosa Slade and Katy Beth Young. Refreshingly, they take the road less travelled, avoiding lovelorn confessionals to sing instead of depressed superheroes, cannibalistic relationships, or that disconcerting crunch that occurs when you inadvertently tread on a snail. The tunes are short and snappy and their in-between song banter is entertaining too. Catch them here on home turf.


On tour until 31 March

This epic jaunt is timely, for Kris Drever (guitar/vocals), Martin Green (accordion) and Aidan O’Rourke (fiddle) won Best Group at this year’s BBC Folk Awards. Deservedly so, too, for their skewed jigs and shapeshifting instrumentals have brought an alchemical quality to the form. You could say Lau is an Anglo-Celtic supergroup of sorts – one informed by earthy passions rather than inflated egos. Their gigs are explosive and no two nights are the same.