Feb gig highlights, book now

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’70 Million’ by Hold Your Horses

In February, there’s a landing of great expectations, as the young pretenders warm up for their inevitable summer festival push, but propping them up are the seasoned pros, shaking off those pre-season niggles. One man who’s sure to have received a few offers already is Fyfe Dangerfield. The Guillemots’ frontman has flown the coup, whilst trailing an indeterminate length of string to the flock he left behind. Having found love, he recorded an album in five days with ex-Suede guitarist and Brit-pop mainstay Bernard Butler, only for his beau to leave him. A lesser man could easily have produced a schmaltzy, bubblegum record which could signal his demise, but such is his songwriting ability, that it’s kind of hard to deny him this encased almanac of amour. You have to give it to The Airborne Toxic Event, they’re really trying to make this month theirs, playing no fewer than four shows, in three venues. There’s not really anything original about the LA troop, but the strength of their self-titled debut album isn’t up for question. Get there early for a chance of seeing their free show at L’International on 4 Feb. But, that’s only if you’re not up the road at Nouveau Casino, casting your eyes over the very exciting Twin Shadow. George Lewis Jr’s New Wave project has been heralded following the release of debut album ‘Forget’, was produced by Chris Taylor and the Grizzly Bear influence is as easy to see as La Tour Eiffel’s sexual innuendo. Anna Calvi comes to Paris having started an apparent love affair with The Guardian, who not only saw fit to give her debut release four stars, but have written three pieces on her in 2011 alone. However, Anna is not the only one garnering a growing and glowing reputation. One month in, and New Zealanders The Phoenix Foundation have already been purported as having the album of the year, and drawn references to the likes of the The XX and The Stone Roses. Sleigh Bells’ Alexis Krauss, and Lilly Wood, from her namesake and the Prick, are blossoming with similarities and contradictions: big reputations, big voices, strong personas, but vastly different end products, with Lilly Wood sounding like the preppy cheerleader that rebelled when running away from Sleigh Bells’ distortion-heavy slap in the face. Then there is this simply unmissable night at La Maroquinerie: Timber Timbre, CW Stoneking, and the Puta Madre Brothers make up three contrasting acts, all of which standout from the pack. There have been so many keystrokes dedicated to upcoming concerts from PJ Harvey, Iron and Wine, Ray LaMontagne, Noah and the Whale, Cold War Kids, Owen Pallett, Skunk Anansie, Joan as Policewoman and Band of Horses, so I will only mention them in passing. It’s a mark as to how strong a month this actually is that it’s taken me this long to get to Funeral Party and Little Dragon. The first a Rapture inspired punk ode to Cold War Kids, that is to say lots of clings, clangs, cowbells, attitude and songs to dance to. The latter, beautiful Swindie, best known for their collaborations with Gorillaz but deserving of your attention in their own right. Two of the strongest underground Parisian acts Hold Your Horses, and Jean Jean are also in action in February and high on the ‘to see’ list. (Mark E. Thompson, www.gigsinparis.com)
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Wed 2 Feb
Fyfe Dangerfield, La Boule Noire
Twin Shadow, Nouveau Casino

Fri 4 Feb
The Airborne Toxic Event, L’Internationale

Mon 7 Feb
Lilly Wood and the Prick, La Cigale

Tue 8 Feb
Anna Calvi, Nouveau Casino
Sleigh Bells, La Maroquinerie

Fri 11 Feb
The Airborne Toxic Event, La Machine
Little Dragon, Nouveau Casino

Tue 15 Feb
Cold War Kids, Bataclan
Funeral Party, La Maroquinerie

Wed 16 Feb
The Phoenix Foundation, La Flèche d’Or
Noah and the Whale, Café de la Danse

Thu 17 Feb
Iron and Wine, L’Alhambra
Ray LaMontagne, L’Olympia

Fri 18 Feb
The Airborne Toxic Event, La Flèche d’Or

Mon 21 Feb
Timber Timbre, CW Stoneking, and the Puta Madre Brothers, La Maroquinerie

Tue 22 Feb
Owen Pallett, Café de la Danse
Skunk Anansie, L’Olympia
Band of Horses, La Cigale

Wed 23 Feb
Joan as Policewoman, La Flèche d’Or

Thu 24 Feb
PJ Harvey, L’Olympia
Hold Your Horses, La Flèche d’Or

Fri 25 Feb
The Airborne Toxic Event, La Flèche d’Or

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