Live Music Roundup for May

Gut-punchingly brutal Rhode Island noise-geeks Lightning Bolt will play until you puke at Grand Ole Opry on May 14

Article by Jay Shukla | 16 May 2006

Sassy, sexy and totally sussed – London three-piece The Noisettes light the touch paper this month with a gig at Cabaret Voltaire on May 2. I guess you could call them indie, but magnetic frontwoman Shingai's lurching, jazzy vocal contortions really set this band apart from the crowd. Combining tight, seductive compositions with a natural sense of showmanship this trio push all the right buttons and have the potential to be massive. Have it.

Punk-folk legend and founder of Socialist musicians' collective The Red Wedge, Billy Bragg will play the Usher Hall on May 7. The universal topics of politics and love are Bragg's subject matter, and have provided rich veins of inspiration for this most unconventional of singer/songwriters. Witty and uncompromising, in Bragg's hands music becomes is a vehicle for change, not just something to hum whilst you're frying your bacon.

Experimental postmodern jazz three-piece The Bad Plus will play The Queens Hall on May 23. Flicking two fingers to snobby jazz traditionalists, this piano/bass/drums combo have reinterpreted works by Bjork, Aphex Twin and Nirvana in the past; toying with these modern classics in much the same way a cat would play with a mouse. Witty, inventive and full of surprises, this is a must-see.

Also this month: Delays at Liquid Room on the 1 st, Guillemots at Liquid Room on the 26th, Union of Knives at Cabaret Voltaire on the 28th.


Gut-punchingly brutal Rhode Island noise-geeks Lightning Bolt will play until you puke at Grand Ole Opry on May 14. Featuring one bass player and one drummer/screamer, we haven't yet decided whether their spastic time signatures and semi-improvised progressive thrash is the result of utter genius or complete insanity. Only one thing is certain: you must experience it.

'Dig!' may have painted Anton Newcombe as a paranoid, unstable halfwit but it did serve the purpose of turning a lot of people on to the awesome music of The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Look past the hype and into the music and it's clear that Newcombe is in fact a psychedelic pop shamen of quite prodigious talent. From euphoria to melancholy; garage to drone, TBJTM inhabit their own world where anything goes. This will be an event.

Punk veterans Sleater-Kinney round things out with a gig at Oran Mor on May 31. This trio have been there and done that, but their passionate political invectives and fiery, confrontational songs are as compelling today as they were ten years ago. Bristling with intricate melodies, vocal gymnastics and good old fashioned rock and roll clout, Sleater-Kinney are one of the few bands you can believe in. Go and buy a ticket now.

Also this month: Neil's Children at Barfly on the 5th, Black Mountain at ABC on the 8th, Metric at Barfly on the 16th.