The Camden Crawl isn't the only festival in town this weekend. If the thought of braving the Stables Market even on an average Sunday sets your agoraphobia aflame, you don't have to miss out on great live music, as today marks the start of Ether 08, Southbank Centre's annual celebration of art and technology. With Ether running through 28 April, you could even attend both festivals, though Southbank Centre's stunning line-up this weekend means some difficult decision-making lies ahead. If you perfect cloning or teleportation technology by tomorrow afternoon, please leave contact information in the comments, as we are currently experiencing a need to be in two places at once.
Even if you side with Southbank Centre, Friday 18 April will force you to choose between hometown favourites Goldfrapp in Royal Festival Hall and 1970s Krautrock legends Harmonia in Queen Elizabeth Hall. Whilst our love of Goldfrapp is no secret, our pick this time is Harmonia. Brian Eno famously once declared them to be the world's most important rock band, and still today their influence is undeniable. Max/MSP madman Leafcutter John opens.
If we aren't too shattered on Sunday, we'll turn out for the second day of the 2008 International Beatbox Convention. It's a free event and, in addition to hosting some of the most talented oral 808s on the planet, features workshops, seminars and open mic sessions. As part of the convention, Southbank Centre Artist in Residence Shlomo will perform on Saturday evening with dub pioneer Mad Professor. Tickets cost £15 for this event.
Highlights of the rest of the week include Current 93 with Baby Dee on Monday 21 April, a Radio Soulwax night on Thursday 24 April and Pere Ubu and the Brothers Quay performing Alfred Jarry's 1898 play Ubu Roi on both Thursday and Friday nights. The festival closes on the 28th with Thomas Ades presenting a new video work entitled In Seven Days and London Sinfonietta performing Steve Reich's minimalist classic Music for 18 Musicians.
Anyone interested in contemporary art will easily find something to enjoy at Ether 08, whilst fans of electronic and experimental music should probably plan now on spending most of the next eleven days there.
Ether 08 at Southbank Centre, 17 - 28 April 2008. Ticket prices vary per event. Full festival details can be found here.
Image of David Thomas of Pere Ubu courtesy of Southbank Centre.