CULTURE

Fringe show activity looming

All is quiet on the mainstream front, with minimal concert activity by top-selling international touring acts booked for the months ahead, but concertgoers can expect several interesting peripheral artists. Bookings include Beth Orton, the Flaming Lips, Steve Wynn, Madrugada, Blixa Bargeld, Stereo MCs, Soft Cell, Residents, the Bellrays, and David Thomas & Two Pale Boys. Beth Orton, a neo-folk artist from the UK with three delightful albums to her credit so far, has been booked for one performance on March 21 at the Gagarin Club in Athens. At the same venue the following evening will be US experimental rockers Flaming Lips. Their string of critically acclaimed albums since the mid-1980s has failed to generate mainstream attention. Indie rock veteran Steve Wynn, who emerged as frontman of the spirited LA band the Dream Syndicate in the early ’80s before going solo for abundant laudable work of his own, returns for the umpteenth time on April 12 at the Gagarin. Swedish garage rock revivalists the Nomads will open. Fellow Scandinavians from Norway, Madrugada play at Thessaloniki’s Ydrogeios Club on April 4 before traveling to Athens for shows at the Rodon the following two nights. Here concurrently, Blixa Bargeld, a long-serving guitarist with Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds, will be at the Gagarin Club on April 5. Newer arrival the Bellrays, the soul-garage fusion act swiftly attracting a considerable following, will play the Rodon on February 15. The reunited electro-pop band Soft Cell will perform at Rodon on February 22 and Thessaloniki’s Ydrogeios two nights later. Popular dance act Stereo MCs play the Rodon on March 7 and 8. Indie-rock pioneer, ex-Pere Ubu leader David Thomas and his Two Pale Boys, return for more bizarre adventures at the Gagarin on April 19. US incognito legends the Residents will play the Gagarin on March 15.