A quick run down of Scottish things happening in London over December.
2nd December – Ella The Bird at Bush Hall
After playing two nights at Bush Hall last month in support of Tim Wheeler, Siobhan Wilson returns with her drawn out and gut wrenchingly stunning solo compositions. Her follow up to 2013’s Glorified Demons has been recorded with Gordon Skene (who left Frightened Rabbit last year) due for release next year and her inclusion of Dear God on the Song, By Toad Split v3 was one of this years finest moments.
3rd December – Jonnie Common, Plastic Animals & Numbers Are Futile at The Total Refreshment Centre
The annual Song, By Toad Christmas gig is upon us early on in the month. Jonnie Common is down to promote the label’s newest release, along two bands who are presumably in line to release with the label next year. Jonnie’s record, Trapped In Amber, is a treat, electronic pop with a unique sense of melody and littered with bizarrely chopped up samples and spoken work. Plastic Animals, who appeared on the Song, By Toad Split v2, as well as FoxBox’s cassette store day will be representing the shoegaze side of the label, whilst Numbers Are Futile deliver percussive lead motoric lo-fi indie. This should be a good one.
4th December – Pictish Trail at The Purcell Room, Southbank Centre
Johnny ‘Pictish Trail’ Lynch joins Sweet Baboo (who co-produced Secret Soundz #2) as part of label tour with Moshi Moshi, not Lost Map, who re-released Secret Soundz 1 and 2 this year. The two endearing and charismatic off-kilter pop song smiths are bound to put on a great show bouncing off each other in this lovely seated venue.
10th December – Young Fathers at XOYO
This is long sold out after their somewhat surprising Mercury sweep.The group’s shows this year have been electric, and they are an incredibly energetic and engaging watch. Chances are high they’ll bring along Law for a few songs, and fingers crossed for a few solo tracks before.
11th December – Supermoon at Total Refreshment Centre
Neil Pennycook (aka Meursault)’s first London outing since his rebranding over summer. Who knows what this will entail, most likely a solo performance in line with headliner singer-songwriter Alessi’s Ark, which will likely feature old material and hopefully something new. 2015 will doubtless be an interesting year for Neil, so be sure to get here before the new year comes.
13th December – Broken Records at Tooting Tram and Social
Broken Records feel alive after a few quiet years and a break from label 4AD. They may never have reached the dizzying heights of ex-label mates, The National, despite a similar appeal, but the self release of Weights & Pulleys has seen the band breathe a new breath of life, with the old material paling in comparison.
16th December – Ella The Bird at The Lexington
Another show from Siobhan Wilson at the more intimate Lexington. Bound to be great, as above.
20th December – Poppy Ackroyd at Cafe Oto
After a slightly underwhelming support slot for Hidden Orchestra Poppy Ackroyd brings her beautiful new album, Feathers, to Cafe Oto. The choice of venue, along with a more acoustic performance will ensure this is a huge step up from a more introductory performance last month, which will be enveloping and stunning. Expect tinkering on and in the piano as well as gentle violin melodies and loops. Support comes from the excellent label mates Carlos Cipa and Piano Interrupted.
22nd December – James Yorkston at Winterville
James Yorkston brings his annual Christmas show to a new venue. Whilst usually at the perfectly festive Union Chapel, with its hot chocolates, mince pies and cakes, this year the show is staged at a Spiegeltent in East London’s answer to Winter Wonderland. After sensational album launches at The Queen’s Head and Dingwalls this will surely be a treat, and James always brings along a good cast of collaborators to celebrate.