As a wise man once said, "Bloody hell, it's Soft Cell!" Well, actually, it's not Soft Cell. It's just Marc Almond solo. And the man wasn't all that wise. It was Alan Partridge. Either way, though, Monday gives you a chance to see Marc Almond of Soft Cell at Shepherd's Bush Empire. It's his 50th birthday party, so buy him something nice.
For those whose prefer sax to synth, septuagenarian free jazz legend Ornette Coleman plays Southbank Centre with his quartet, while to balance the week-starting age spectrum, American avant-pop youngsters Menomena play Old Blue Last.
Tuesday marks the first of two nights that the Bella Union label brings its dreamy indie pop to Royal Festival Hall with showcases featuring some of the best talent on its roster. Founded by the Cocteau Twins in 1997, these gigs celebrate the label's 10th anniversary. Tuesday night features Howling Bells, Fionn Regan, My Latest Novel and Beach House, while Wednesday continues with Midlake, The Dears, Stephanie Dosen and The Kissaway Trail. Tickets for both nights range from £15 to £20 and can be purchased from the Southbank Centre web site.
If you're not going to the second evening of Bella Union anniversary festivities, you can spend Wednesday with the Animal Collective. The experimental indie rockers make a welcome return to London, this time with guitar virtuoso Marnie Stern in tow. With their sound forever evolving, even if you were fortunate enough to witness one of their previous London dates, you'll still want to come to The Coronet for this performance as, more likely than not, it'll be something completely different this time around. Tickets are available for £15.50 here.
Wednesday doesn't begin and end with the Coronet, however. The Hammersmith Apollo plays host to everyone's favourite New York City new wavers, Blondie, while Birmingham boys Editors play their entry in the ICA's iTunes Festival. Although with so much happening in one night it's hard to pick just one event to attend, if forced to choose, we may just have to put our money on the Stones Throw label showcase. The never-disappointing US hip hop imprint brings its European tour to Cargo with founder Peanut Butter Wolf leading the pack. How can you resist when a whole night's worth of dope beats only ends up costing you a tenner (tickets still available here)?
Mogwai play their Somerset House date on Thursday with support from Malcolm Middleton, though tickets are unfortunately sold out. In the event you miss Marnie Stern at her Wednesday gig with Animal Collective, you can catch her on her own at Barden's Boudoir for only £6 (tickets available here). The bittersweet honesty of American singer and songwriter Daniel Johnston comes to London this week as he performs Thursday at Union Chapel and Friday at The Windmill in Brixton. Indie pop kids should find much to delight in at Borderline when Something In Construction brings The Silent League, Loney, Dear and more for the low price of £6 (tickets available here).
Friday takes us back to Somerset House for another sold out show, this time featuring Kasabian. Another instalment in the legendary FWD series hits Plastic People as Youngsta dishes up the dubstep. Lastly, you can get a £15 education in the old skool with South Bronx teacher KRS-One at the Jazz Café in Camden.
And on that bombshell...
Photo of Daniel Johnston courtesy of jbecker's Flickr photostream.