This week’s new live music

Peaches | Mumford & Sons | C Duncan | #4Jazz Festival | Laura Cannell | The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner

Peaches, On tour

If you shock people for six months you’re interesting; do it for 20 years and you’re seminal. While Canadian contemporaries have changed their musical strategies (like Chilly Gonzales) or made surprising breakthroughs (like Feist), Peaches has stayed making electronic rock very much within the arena of adult sexual behaviour. Interestingly, though, however bold they may have first appeared, Peaches’s songs have never been confined to an art ghetto. Instead, they’ve found a place outside it, as her song Fuck The Pain Away did in the film Lost In Translation. Her new album Rub (an eye-watering array of sexually themed material featuring Kim Gordon and Feist) makes that sound all very PG now, but it’s interesting that Peaches is moving in a satirical and witty way through a subject matter that in hip-hop is often simply pornographic.

Glasgow School Of Art, Wed; Islington Mill, Salford, Thu; Concorde 2, Brighton, Fri; touring to 6 Dec

JR

Mumford & Sons, On tour

Much has been made of the fact that on their latest album, Wilder Mind, Mumford & Sons have abandoned their banjos to make searching indie rock. In truth, the change isn’t as profound as that. It’s not like Bob Dylan going electric, more like when George Osborne started brushing his hair forward: a slightly altered appearance for what remains an extremely conservative proposition. Still, it would be incorrect to suggest that the Mumfords are an unthinking group; they have played to their strengths, developing an unyielding rock that ticks the same boxes as Kings Of Leon or U2.

Capital FM Arena, Nottingham, Sat; Sheffield Arena, Sun; Genting Arena, Birmingham, Mon; 3Arena, Dublin, Wed & Thu; touring to 14 Dec

JR

C Duncan, On tour

C Duncan
C Duncan Photograph: PR

A one-time student of composition, Christopher Duncan is accustomed to hearing his work performed by ensembles and choirs. With his agreeably low-key output as C Duncan, however, he works very much in miniature, journeying in a generally charming interior world. An upbeat stopping point between Bon Iver’s cabin in the woods and the melancholy solitude of Brian Wilson’s teenage room, C Duncan’s Mercury prize-nominated album Architect creates its reveries with stacked harmony vocals and some pleasant tunes, guileless melodic gifts that will possibly put some in mind of Neil Hannon’s group the Divine Comedy, if lacking the presence of a likely breakout hit. It’s true, the talent on display is under-served by the rinky-dink production, but there will be those who find this to be an enterprise small but very nicely formed.

The Courtyard, N1, Tue; Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, Thu; The Pleasance, Edinburgh, Fri; touring to 5 Dec

JR

#4Jazz Festival, Coventry

Jazz musicians generally have to make their own luck, but for more than 30 years British artists could count on Jazz Services for gigs, advice, and sometimes a shoulder to cry on. Now rebranded as JazzUK, the organisation returns with a Coventry mini-festival to announce its rebirth, featuring a powerful cast of UK musicians including star saxists Courtney Pine (Old Grammar School) and Julian Argüelles (Broadgate Music Marquee & Urban Coffee). One of the day’s most intriguing prospects is likely to be an appearance by WorldService Project (The Tin At Coal Vaults). A show by prize-winning young bassist-composer Misha Mullov-Abbado and his band (pictured, Broadgate Music Marquee) will also be a highlight.

Various venues, Sat

JF

Laura Cannell, Norwich & Newcastle upon Tyne

Laura Cannell
Laura Cannell. Photograph: Dougal Waters

From her previous home in rural East Anglia, Laura Cannell often saw wild deer. Taken by their strange barks, she wrote a piece imitating the sounds for double recorder, included on this year’s Beneath Swooping Talons. Cannell often plays two recorders and the fiddle, which she plays by hooking the bow underneath the strings. Her sources are the earworms in early and Renaissance works, by composers including the 12th-century nun, mystic and composer Hildegard von Bingen. But despite the age of her sources she is one of the most exciting instrumentalists around. Cannell also plays in Oscilanz with This Heat drummer Charles Hayward and Ralph Cumbers (AKA Bass Clef), and on Friday features in artist Peter J Evans’s performance of Broken Telephone.

St Peter Mancroft Church, Norwich, Sat; Baltic 39, Newcastle upon Tyne, Fri

JA

The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, Birmingham

Though its usual mode of modest understatement and insistent consonance often seems worlds away from most of the work that it usually plays, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group has consistently championed Howard Skempton’s music, with a succession of commissions and premieres. But his latest work, The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, promises to be rather different from anything we’ve heard from him before. It’s a setting of sections of Coleridge’s poem for baritone and ensemble that has been composed with the soloist Roderick Williams in mind. It is easy to imagine why Skempton, a composer who always weighs the significance and effect of every note he puts on paper, would relish working with such a supremely tactful and responsive singer as Williams.

CBSO Centre, Birmingham, Fri

AC

Contributors

Jennifer Lucy Allan, Andrew Clements, John Fordham & John Robinson

The GuardianTramp

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