Grooves: Doc ‘n Roll; Bowie; Darbar; Paloma Faith; Baxter Dury

Thursday, 21st October 2021 — By Róisín Gadelrab

David_Bowie Heddon St

Bowie in Heddon Street – from the album cover

ONE of my favourites – Doc ‘n Roll Festival – unfailingly curates a fascinating selection of music documentaries that bring new dimensions to artists you know and introduce you to those you may never have discovered. Taking place at Barbican, Curzon Soho and other cinemas from Oct 28-Nov 14, the festival has a huge programme including films on St Vincent, Goat Girl, Prince, Talk Talk and Dom Salvador and Abolition.

The rock star shop experience continues with a new David Bowie pop-up shop and experience in Heddon Street as part of celebrations of what would have been his 75th year. Expect limited edition Bowie apparel, records and collectibles plus rare and unseen video footage, fine art photography and immersive and HD video screening rooms. Cleverly located where the cover of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was shot, stop off on a tour of Bowie’s London haunts.

• Sixteen years after it was first founded in memory of tabla player and teacher Gurmit Singh Ji Virdee, the Darbar Festival returns to the Barbican after going online last year. Expect groundbreaking performances (mainly live but with some online) featuring world class musicians in this revered celebration of the music of India (Oct 21-24).

Previously postponed from the Shubbak Festival, captivating rappers Felukah, who combines her Cairo heritage with her New York life, seamlessly slipping between English and Arabic, and Palestinian-Jordanian artist The Synaptic, at the forefront of a new wave of Arabic rap and trap play Jazz Café on Friday. Also coming up at the venue are New York jazz crossover trumpeter Keyon Harrold (Oct 23); UK Hip Hop artist Jehst (Oct 28); drum ‘n bass MC DRS with a full live band – 8 Gold Rings and orchestra with support from EVABEE and DJs LSB and Dogger (Oct 30); and Brooklyn hip-hop duo Smif-n-Wessun celebrating the 25th anniversary of their Dah Shinin’ LP.

• There’s so much happening at London Palladium in the next fortnight with two nights of Paloma Faith (Oct 22-23); teen fave HRVY (Oct 24-25); Hawkwind (Oct 28); Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbot (Oct 29 and 30) and Rick Astley riding the wave of his recent resurgence (Nov 1).

You can always trust Club de Fromage & Not Another Disco with a good party – this time with Murder on the Dancefloor at Islington Academy on Oct 30. The two-room Halloween extravaganza will have scary pop in one room and terrifying indie and rock – think Sympathy for the Devil – in room 2. Expect spooky decoration, air guitar legends Lucifer’s Grandmother, a meat pie raffle, apple bobbing, the Golden Alfie award for best spooky fancy dress, spooky sing-alongs, scary visuals and the Fromage dance competition.

• Find more Halloween festivities the Propaganda Halloween special at Electric Ballroom (Oct 29) and The Water Rats on Oct 30 where Hampstead all-star band Ridiculous headline the Bugbear Halloween party with guest DJ Grave Lee Travis. Fancy dress encouraged.

Effortlessly cool Baxter Dury plays The Forum on Nov 3 with support from Audiobooks.

• Singer Hannah Scott launches her second album Drawn to Darkness at The Water Rats on Oct 24.

Robert Plant collaborator Justin Adams and renowned violinist Mauro Durante play a hybrid show at The Green Note on Oct 25.

• Gruff Rhys plays Electric Ballroom on Oct 27 with support from Bill Ryder-Jones and N’Famady Kouyate. Liverpool metal band Death Blooms also play the Ballroom on Oct 29.

More upcoming gigs: The Waterboys, Roundhouse (Oct 23); Field Music, Electric Ballroom; The Skinner Brothers, 100 Club (Oct 23); Therapy?, Electric Ballroom; The Professionals, The Garage (Oct 24); Amy Macdonald, Roundhouse; Country blues musician Martin Harley, Jazz Café (Oct 26); viral piano sensation Mezerg, Jazz Café; The Allergies, The Garage (Oct 27); Vanishing Twin + Yama Warashi, Kings Place (Oct 28); Anti Nowhere League, 229 (Oct 29); Snapped Ankles + Stealing Sheep + Mermaid Chunky, Roundhouse (Oct 30); Sheafs, The Grace; Mimi Webb, Scala (Nov 2); Songlines best artist winner 2021 Liraz, who fuses electro pop and Persian Sonics, Jazz Café (Nov 3); Jesus Jones, 100 Club; Hue And Cry, Union Chapel; Live At The Lexington – Dylan Fraser, Phoebe + Brooke Combe (Nov 4).

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