Ella Eyre, Birmingham & Leeds
True enough, Ella Eyre went to the Brit school. Maybe more pertinently, she went to that finishing school for 2013’s big pop winners: the Rudimental Academy, where soulful singers who pronounce the word “do” as “dough” guest on records and are turned into stars in their own right. It worked for John Newman, and it certainly seems to be working for Eyre. You will possibly know her powerful contribution to the band’s dance-pop hit Waiting All Night, and Eyre’s own singles, such as If I Go, suggest that her forthcoming debut album won’t stray too far from that formula: a strong if slightly mannered take on post-Amy Winehouse vocal atop some busy productions.
The Institute, Birmingham, Wed; Stylus, Leeds, Fri; touring to 1 Nov
SBTRKT, On tour
When a man is tired of London, he is said to be tired of life. So where does that leave the post-dubstep electronic artist, whose bread and butter is the heavy vibes of the city at night? Somewhere off the coast of Essex, it turns out, on Osea Island, where Aaron Jerome (the masked producer who is SBTRKT) worked on his second artist album. Osea isn’t quite the mysterious place that the pre-publicity would have you believe, more an exclusive destination with two recording studios, but it certainly seems to have had an effect on SBTRKT’s work. Formerly the maker of emotional but fairly banging electronica, generally accompanied by vocalist Sampha, his new album features other collaborators and is more uneven, but the best tracks (with Ezra Koenig, say) reveal him equally capable of fun electropop and avant garde hip-hop.
ABC, Glasgow, Sat; O2 Academy Bristol, Mon; Albert Hall, Manchester, Tue; Rock City, Nottingham, Wed; O2 Academy Brixton, SW9, Thu
Strand Of Oaks, On tour
Timothy Showalter is a writer with his heart on his sleeve, not the kind of person who bottles it all up. His beard and long hair seem to identify him as a purveyor of Authentic Americana, and there’s certainly some good Neil Youngy guitar mangling going on here, parts of it provided by J Mascis. Really, though, his current album HEAL is more 80s flavoured, its synthesizers and drum machines suggesting period rockers such as U2 or Big Country, or in today’s money, War On Drugs and John Grant. It’s this last artist Strand Of Oaks most resemble, in that Showalter keeps nothing back: his betrayals, (including his wife’s affair), his relationship with his parents, but most importantly his relationship to music. For him it’s intense, magical, and cathartic: it’s like that for the listener, too.
The Hope, Brighton, Mon; The Lexington, N1, Tue; Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, Wed; Mono, Glasgow, Thu; touring to 6 Oct
James Ferraro, London
James Ferraro’s art-world trajectory started with Far Side Virtual – essentially an album of extended ringtones – and peaked with a three-part exhibition for New York’s MoMA PS1, parts of which only existed online as a series of audio widgets and wonky CGI graphics. Since then he’s had a prolific workrate: his back catalogue, including other projects such as the Skaters and Lamborghini Crystal, is big enough to fill a second-generation iPod. This week, he plays a quietly announced show at Dalston’s Cafe Oto, but your guess is as good as ours as to what he’ll do. It could be a run through of his next release, which he teased via Facebook earlier this month, or you might just as likely get an hour of faux-jazzy piano.
Cafe Oto, N8, Thu
Dylan Howe’s Subterraneans, On tour
As drummer with the Blockheads and a man with a list of pop and rock credentials as long as a cymbal stand, Dylan Howe wasn’t the obvious candidate to drive a classic jazz hard-bop band in a style that was probably two decades old when he was born. But that’s just what he did throughout the 00s, and he managed to accomplish it with a balance of fireworks and languid soulfulness that perfectly caught the sound of the original idiom. But Howe has now unveiled a very different venture: seven years in the making, and dedicated to landmark songs from David Bowie’s Berlin triptych of albums, Howe’s Subterraneans project is both a heartfelt tribute to Bowie and a vibrant jazz album, with plenty of freewheeling swing, fiery soloing, brooding atmospherics and soulful improv.
King’s Place, N1, Mon; Dean Clough, Halifax, Wed; Jim Marshall Auditorium, Milton Keynes, Thu; Liverpool Hope University, Fri
Flood Of Beauty, London
Since John Tavener died last November, quite a number of pieces – some of them large-scale, others miniatures – have had posthumous premieres. But Flood Of Beauty, which the Britten Sinfonia Voices and Britten Sinfonia, conducted by Martyn Brabbins, perform for the first time this weekend, is by a long way the most significant. Flood Of Beauty was completed in 2007 and is a setting of the huge devotional Sanskrit poem the Saundarya Lahari, a Hindu hymn dedicated to the mother of the universe. Tavener set the text for five choirs dispersed around the auditorium, each accompanied by its own group of orchestral instruments. There are solo voices and solo instruments too, with sitar, tabla and cello all featuring, while the mood of the music, in Tavener’s own words, “is one of sustained rapture, offset by moments of divine play and, indeed, of humour”.
Barbican Hall, EC2, Sun