Peter Gabriel's pioneering world-music label, Real World has a few of its roster out on the road in the next few months either in support of new releases, as part of a festival appearance or just for the sheer hell of it.
Legendary bluestronica guitarist and producer, Little Axe (otherwise known as Skip McDonald) will be airing tracks from his brand new album 'Bought For A Dollar, Sold For A Dime' due for release on 7th June. The album reunites Skip with long-time collaborators, drummer Keith LeBlanc and bass player Doug Wimbish. Along with another Real World legend, dub-wizard Adrian Sherwood (also featured on the album), Skip will appear at a special launch gig at the Plan B venue in Brixton on Friday 21st May.
Tickets are on sale now for £12.50. Expect a fusion of virtuoso blues fret-work, swamp-delta vocals and whip-cracking dub-frippery. And let's not forget Skip's solo dates in Basingstoke on 15th May and the Larmer Tree Festival on 16th July.
Portico Quartet has proven its worth in the field of jazz and atmospherics over the past year or so, not least with the release of the haunting 'Isla' album in 2009. The ex-buskers kick off a short tour tonight in Southampton before continuing to Bexhill (19th), Coventry (20th), Northampton (21st) and two dates in Cornwall - Constantine, Falmouth (26th) and Penzance (27th). They will also be appearing at the Mostly Jazz Festival in Birmingham on the 4th July (more on this festival to come).
Mamer may not be a familiar name to many (yet), but his Kazakhstan-language and Chinese-roots music on the 2009 'Eagle' album has stunned many listeners so far. He is also in the throes of a short tour - tonight in Milton Keynes, tomorrow in Bracknell then off to Aldershot's West End on the 20th, Chatham Brook (21st), London's lovely Luminaire (23rd), Canterbury (24th), Reading (25th) and finally Chichester's Empire (27th). See him.
Finally the Cambodian-Americano psychedelic fusion band, Dengue Fever, will be kicking up a storm at the End Of The Road Festival in September, their only UK date (so far) and a festival worth considering with Wilco and Mountain Goats also on the bill.