CULTURE

Concert schedule filling up

It’s building up into what should be a very active period on the domestic concert circuit over the next few weeks and months as bookings of more and more international acts – old, new, traveled, and less traveled – are being announced by the day. Acts on the growing agenda include the Rolling Stones, B.B. King, Salif Keita, members of the Cuban old-school collective Buena Vista Social Club, Roger Waters, Depeche Mode, Philip Glass, Lisa Minelli, Frank Zappa’s offspring in a tribute show to their dad, the Fall, Simple Minds, Barry Adamson, and Sisters of Mercy. The African music star Keita will perform two shows for charity – tonight at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall and tomorrow at the Athens Concert Hall. Funds from both performances will go to UNAIDS, the United Nations division established to tackle AIDS. Interestingly, Keita sacrificed plenty to pursue his love of music. Born to royal lineage with roots dating back to the founder of the Malian Empire in the 13th century, Keita was disowned by his father after announcing his plans to play music. Starting from scratch, he went on to establish himself as one of the African continent’s biggest musical acts, exporting his music throughout the world. Just days away, the death-defying English post-punk band the Fall will perform one show at the Gagarin club on March 10. The Fall – or, rather, leader Mark E. Smith and his myriad of associates who have passed through the band’s ranks since the late 1970s – have gradually chiseled out an undeniable niche of their own in British rock history. Three decades on, this peripheral act remains innovative and virtually impossible to predict. Just a couple of days later, on March 12, another celebrated English group which had emerged around the same time, Echo and the Bunnymen, play one show at Club 22. Now a handful of great albums into their second tenure following a breakup in the early 1990s, the dark new-wave group’s two original members, singer Ian McCulloch and guitarist Will Sergeant, both into their 40s, appear to be enjoying a new lease on creative life. Nowadays a solo performer, Barry Adamson – formerly a bassist with punk art-rock band Magazine in the late 1970s, followed by a stint in the early lineup of Nick Cave’s backing band, the Bad Seeds, in the mid-1980s – is scheduled to perform at the Gagarin club on March 17. His solo albums, dating back to 1989, depict an artist whose work has branched out into an ominous imaginary soundtrack. The next day, Marc Almond, the former singer of synth-pop act Soft Cell in the 1970s and ’80s, will perform a show at the same venue. Goth-rock act Sisters of Mercy play in Athens on April Fool’s Day at the Sporting Arena. Also on April 1, at the Kerameikos venue, the internationally renowned Serb musician Goran Bregovic will perform his Gypsy-and-Balkan-tinged opera based on «Carmen.» Still going, Simple Minds will be at Club 22 on April 14 and 15. Some original members of the Buena Vista Social Club have died since the Cuban old-school collective’s sold-out summer show at the Lycabettus Theater several years ago, but the surviving members, helped by newer personnel, are continuing to take their genuine Cuban sound around the world. They play Athens on May 19 at the Kerameikos venue. Later on this year, Zappa’s offspring, touring with shows based on their father’s material, will be here as part of the «Zappa play Zappa» tour for one show on June 7 at the Athens Olympics facility in Hellenikon. As was made official last week, the Rolling Stones will be at the Athens Olympic Stadium on June 25. Tickets go on sale March 7. Minimalist Philip Glass will play two shows at the Herod Atticus on July 3 and 4. Soul legend Solomon Bourke has been booked for two nights at the same venue, on July 11 and 12. Other prospective performances at the open-air Herod Atticus include blues legend, B.B. King on July 22, Liza Minelli on July 26 and 27, and contemporary jazz singer-pianist Diana Krall on July 13. The enduring electro-pop band Depeche Mode, which enjoys immense popularity in this country, has been booked for August 1 at Malakassa on the outskirts of Athens.