London Gig Guide

London Gig Guide 67

Being in London or not, it is possible to track which bands are playing all round the town, and get to know them before they become the next “big thing.”

  • Estando em Londres ou não, é possível acompanhar as bandas que estão tocando em toda a cidade, e conhecê-las antes que se tornem a próxima “grande coisa”.

London Gig Guide is a weekly radio show that presents bands you can watch playing in London in the coming week, in the best small venues.

  • London Gig Guide é um programa semanal de rádio que apresenta bandas que você pode assistir em Londres na próxima semana, nos melhores e menores lugares.

No big acts! They try to bring us the very brand new music, played by bands and performers who came directly from their garage!

  • Nada de grandes shows! Eles tentam nos trazer a música novíssima, interpretada por bandas e artistas que vêm diretamente da garagem!

I’ve been listening to the podcast for some weeks now, and I have found out lovely singers and musicians! Highly recommend! This week, my favourite acts are Daniel Jeanrenaud (‘It’s gonna rain’), Gemma Ray (‘Shake Baby Shake’) and Attu (‘We Are Ordinary People’). Try it!

  • Eu tenho escutado o podcast por algumas semanas agora, e descobri ótimos ​​cantores e músicos! Recomendo! Esta semana, os meus favoritos são Daniel Jeanrenaud (‘It’s gonna rain’), Gemma Ray (‘Shake Baby Shake’) e Attu (‘We Are Ordinary People’). Experimente!

A whole day for music

Next Saturday, London is holding the Music Day, a day of free public events to celebrate the universal language of music.

music 2 logo

Originated in France, in 1982, it takes place yearly on the 21st of June – the mid-summer solstice. Last year, it was celebrated in 108 countries and 726 cities around the world.

The idea is to take music onto the streets – parks, street corners, cafe terraces, rooftops, underpasses and playgrounds, although some gigs happen in venues.

A performance in previous year

A performance in previous year

The UK started participating in 2013, with 20 events from Belfast to Jersey. Since this year the date falls on a Saturday, the organisers’ expectation is to gather many more performances and people.

Everyone is invited to take part – you can perform, organise, lend equipment and support it. In case you want to join in, but you are not sure how, they offer an attractive inspiration page.

Check up the event listings: performances occur in several towns and are divided into 24 music styles. That is music for all tastes!

A performance in previous year

A performance in previous year

D-day for London’s record stores

And the date is 25th of November, next Monday.

What happens? Rough Trade, “the iconic London music retailer that spawned Rough Trade Records and served as a cradle for post-punk music in the late 1970s” (as says Billboard), is opening a whopping, 15,000-square-foot music store in New York City. Yes, 15,000 square feet! It is massive, three times bigger than its biggest store in London.


Façade of Rough Trade West / Image from the Rough Trade website

On the other hand, that is the last day to make an offer to buy On The Beat Records shop on eBay. Tim Derbyshire opened it in 1979 in central London, just off Oxford Street, and he has now put his whole business up for sale, including the vinyl records in it. Its price is £300,000, in case you’re interested and have got a spare change in your pocket. It has got 46 offers as I write these lines.

So, what’s going on with record shop owners? Why are they going in such opposite ways?

Rough Trade says that between 2007 and 2012 record sales increased by 88% in Britain and that vinyl is more popular in America too, with sales going from $23 million to $163 million in the same period. They are hugely enthusiastic about taking their brand overseas.

Derbyshire says his store, a place where you can find from ’60s psychedelia to ’90s grunge, needs new blood, someone younger to take it on, and not particularly worried about profit. His eBay description specifies it: “If you’re at the stage in your life when you don’t have to worry about making money but can live the bohemian life, meet interesting people every day and the occasional pop or rock star, here’s your chance to take over the oldest record shop in the centre of Swinging London”.


Façade of On The Beat Records / Image from the bid page on eBay

Is it about marketing strategies? Management? Being up and running in the World Wide Web? Is Derbyshire too low profile? Or is Rough Trade too confident?

Let’s see what comes next… In this meantime, if you are a record fan as I am, don’t miss the RECORD STORE DAY! It’s next Friday! Get a new needle for your record player and put your records on!

(If you wish to experience different music, the Portuguese version of this post presents links for Brazilian songs.)