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Róisín Gadelrab’s music news: Bare Hunter a glass act; Kerrang! snaps on show; Gigs of the week

23 March, 2017 — By Róisín Gadelrab

Bare Hunter came out on top in The Pogues Irish Whiskey competition, A Shot At Discovery

THERE was an eclectic selection at the London heat of The Pogues Irish Whiskey competition, A Shot At Discovery, at Islington Academy last week (Thursday). It seemed to me and my fellow judges that, much like at a normal gig, the line-up had been designed to take things up a gear as the evening progressed. Ultimately, one band stood out like no other: the avant garde Bare Hunter – led by a moustachioed, Stetson-wearing frontman with moves to rival Jarvis and Jagger – who will no doubt become festival favourites in no time. It wasn’t always easy listening but, in a world where it is increasingly difficult to find true authenticity, these guys just might have it. Special mention to trad-rock band Dead Man’s Whiskey, who oozed charisma, killer riffs and Jack Black-style rock vocals (schoolboy error to wear a JD T-shirt to a Pogues Whiskey-sponsored gig, or were they sticking it to the man?). The final, at Islington Academy on April 27, will pit the regional finalists against each other for £3,000 towards instruments, studio time to record an EP with a member of The Pogues, opportunities to play live at O2 Academy venues, management services from Brontone Management (Must/The Pogues), plus continuing development support from the organisers.

• The Access All Areas exhibition of photos by Kerrang! magazine photographer Paul Harries at Proud Camden, runs until April 23, showcasing Harries’s portfolio of celebrated rock figures including Nirvana, Slash, Metallica, Slipknot, and Muse.

• Mike and the Mechanics celebrate the launch of latest album, Let Me Fly, at Imperial, 4 Pentonville Road on March 27.

Want to know what’s de rigueur in New York at the moment? Head to Black Heart for Brooklyn Brewery’s Brooklyn Sound tour, where Brooklyn-based band Primitive Weapons play alongside the UK’s Winnebago Deal and three-piece Henry Blacker.

• Brothers Rizwan and Muazzam play their only London show of their tour marking the 20th anniversary of the death of their uncle, singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, at Barbican on March 27 – an evening of Qawwali music, derived from sufi poetry.

Five-time Grammy winners The Swingles perform new album Folklore at Cecil Sharp House on March 30. The vocal ensemble have been going for more than 50 years, but don’t be freaked out by their youthful looks – they’re not vampires, the line-up has varied a lot over time. The current members look like they may not even have been born when the band was originally formed in Paris in 1962.

• The line-up for the annual Somerset House Summer Series has just been announced. Snap up your tickets quickly if you want to catch any of the following: Norah Jones (July 6); Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley (July 7); The Cinematic Orchestra (July 8); Goldfrapp (July 9); Warpaint (July 10); The Robert Glasper Experiment (July 11); Birdy (July 12); Foster The People (July 13); Tom Misch (July 14); Mashrou’ Leila (July 15); Songhoy Blues (July 16).

For something a little more gentle, Nashville-based acoustic soul-blues singer-songwriter Brigitte De Meyer, and singer-songwriter-guitarist Will Kimbrough, play the Green Note on March 27.

• Country singer Frankie Davies plays the Borderline on March 28.

Notable gigs this week: Ghouls, Islington Academy (March 25); Goldfrapp, Roundhouse (March 27); Pulled Apart By Horses, Scala (March 28); Lemon Twigs, Koko (March 29); Frank Carter, Koko; Creeper, Electric Ballroom (March 30).

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