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Welcome to our new review section, here we review our highlights from gigs in recent weeks and take a look forward to the month ahead, focussing on gigs and events we are particularly looking forward to. Reviews are archived by month in the menu above
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LATEST REVIEWS


29/02 PORTICO QUARTET
York Hall, Bethnal Green
Barbican

 

 

Tonight Portico Quartet play a homecoming gig in a boxing ring in Tower Hamlets. Despite the venue’s pugilistic tradition there’s nothing aggressive about the sound tonight: this gig is organised by the Barbican. The PA has an almost unbelievable clarity when you’re used to the muddy sound of other London venues.



There’s something joyful and welcoming about tonight’s set.. After endless comparisons to Steve Reich, Flying Lotus, Arve Henriksen, from critics scrabbling to describe Portico’s expositional compositions, it really seems as though the Quartet have discovered their core sound. In art and in music, as in life, there’s this ongoing process of becoming what you are. In their new record, eponymously titled Portico Quartet, Portico seem to be getting closer to their own central truth. Maybe this is one reason – in addition to the gorgeous pa – in addition to the home turf venue – why tonight has this gorgeous feeling of familial warmth.

 


Portico Quartet showcase new songs this evening. Drawing heavily on a blues palette they colour in between the lines of their jazz sketches: ‘Window Seat’, the sprawling ‘4096 Colours’, ‘Ruins’. All of these songs toe a line between free-form and scripted. ‘City of Glass’ is cinematic. ‘Rubidium’ contains steel drum licks. The four musicians onstage are in harmonious collaboration. They make it look easy as kirigami-style lights spool over the balcony spectators and ceiling.

 


There’s very little from Portico’s back catalogue this evening, only ‘Dawn Patrol’ and ‘Clipper’ join the party. With a nod to a break between the main set and the encore (does anyone really take these breaks seriously any more?) Portico ease us back into the cold, wet London night with a double song helping. First ‘Steepless’ with chanteuse Cornelia providing guest vocals, and then the twinkling au revoir of ‘Dawn Patrol’ pats us on the backs as we emerge back into real life: the noises of cars, the overbearing Shard, the littered streets of London. In our heads: the plaintive yearning of Wyllie’s saxophone carries on painting a mental landscape that transcends the journey home.

 

- Arike Oke (text)

- York Tillyer (images)


 

THIS WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS 

MON 2ND
ALASDAIR ROBERTS @ SLAUGHTERED LAMB - £15
GOAT @ KOKO - £15
TY SEGALL + WHITE FENCE @ SCALA - £14

TUE 3RD
A CELEBRATION OF BERT JANSCH @ RFH - SOUTHBANK CENTRE - £25
BRAIDS @ XOYO - £10
DAWN HUNGER @ OLD BLUE LAST - FREE
FACTORY FLOOR @ HEAVEN - £12
MICHAEL ROTHER PERFORMING NEU + HARMONIA @ NETIL HOUSE - £18
SLINT @ FORUM - £25

WED 4TH
BEAK + ANIKA + CUTS @ NETIL HOUSE - £15
DAMIEN JURADO @ ST PANCRAS OLD CHURCH - £18
MV & EE @ CAFE OTO - £8

THU 5TH
DEAN WAREHAM + PAPERCUTS @ ST PANCRAS OLD CHURCH - £15
DUTCH UNCLES + OUTFIT @ ISLINGTON TOWN HALL - £14
EAGULLS @ SEBRIGHT ARMS - £7
JACUZZI BOYS + NIGHT BEATS + PARADISE + MORE @ CORSICA STUDIOS - £13
LA FEMME @ BIRTHDAYS – £7
LANZAROTE XMAS PARTY @ CORSICA STUDIOS
LONNIE HOLLEY (DUST TO DIGITAL) @ CAFE OTO - £7
THE LEISURE SOCIETY @ SHEP BUSH EMPIRE - £17
WOLF PEOPLE @ NETIL HOUSE - £10
WOLFGANG VOIGT @ ST JOHN AT HACKNEY - £14

FRI 6TH
25 YRS OF NINJA TUNE: COLDCUT + THE ORB + MORE @ FIRE - £15
DEAN WAREHAM + PAPERCUTS @ ST PANCRAS OLD CHURCH - £15
JAH WOBBLE + PJ HIGGINS @ BORDERLINE - £19
WARP X TATE @ TATE BRITAIN - FREE

SAT 7TH
BLUE AEROPLANES @ WATER RATS - £13
INTERSECT FESTIVAL @ VARIOUS N16 - £5
NUMBERS: HUDSON MOHAWKE + JACKMASTER + MORE - £20

SUN 8TH
JOE MCPHEE SURVIVAL UNIT @ CAFE OTO - £10
SAM GREEN & YO LA TENGO @ MILTON COURT - £15
THE MAGIC BAND @ BORDERLINE - £25


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