Friday, June 17, 2011

Killer line-up

King’s Cross music scene’s fine start to summer

Mirroring the area as a whole, Kings Cross’ live music scene is small but wonderfully diverse. It’s also really buzzing at the moment, nowhere more so than at the 1150 capacity Scala which this week was chosen for two warm-up gigs by stadium and festival headliners The Killers. The concerts are next Wednesday and Thursday and not surprisingly sold out in minutes.

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  • The Scala

Our other famous old venue - Water Rats - hosts indie bands nearly every night of the week and on Wednesday (while The Killers are on down at the Scala) will be witnessing a gig by Deaf School, credited by veteran music journalist Paul du Noyer as being the link between The Beatles and the Liverpool music scene of the early 80s.

Apart from the warehouse clubs and DJ bars, that used to be all there was for proper concert venues until along came Kings Place, whose two concert halls host an amazing range of musical genres, which their Songlines mini-festival (23 - 25 June) exemplifies perfectly with a line-up including Bulgarian folk, Portuguese Fado and a Finnish harmonica quartet.

Next up is St Pancras Old Church, a site of Christian worship since the 4th Century, which started hosting live music last year and is where Emmy the Great just kicked off her latest tour. Next week it’s visited by Canadian singer Dan Mangan.

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  • St Pancras Old Church recently acquired an alcohol licence
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  • Emmy the Great, St Pancras Old Church 10th June

The St Pancras Station Sessions began in 2009 and returned this week with their most ambitious programme to date: a 6-week festival of free concerts taking place every weekday evening on several stages around the station. Tonight’s performance is by Nerina Pallot.

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  • Guillemots, St Pancras Station, 15th June 2011

Finally, the British Library’s calendar occasionally includes live music and tonight their Out of this World sci-fi season is the theme for an amazing-sounding Late at the Library night that includes Global Communication, The Radio Science Orchestra, Rob da Bank and Jon Hopkins. Sadly I’ll be missing that, because despite spending this morning writing about the King’s Cross music scene, I already have a ticket to see Half Man Half Biscuit at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
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