When was it decreed that where there is sport, there must also be music? Who knows, but now Madonna pops up in mid-Superbowl, indie anthems go with highlights montages, and the Olympics bring a smorgasbord of gigs. Hyde Park in London has shows for every generation: Duran Duran, Snow Patrol, Paolo Nutini and Stereophonics (July 27th) for the middle-aged, representing Britain’s four nations, if not the majesty of its music; Dizzee Rascal and Katy B (July 26th), to prise the teens from their sofas; and Tom Jones (July 28th, free), rejuvenated by a stirring new album. The best bet could be Blur, who have a great warm-up act in the Specials (Aug 12th). But the most intriguing musical event comes at the unlikely hour of 8am on July 27th, when Martin Creed, both a Turner-winning artist and a rock singer, presents “All the Bells”, and anyone with a bell—church, door, sleigh, even bicycle—is urged to ring it. It promises to be bizarre, chaotic and just possibly magical. ~ Tim de Lisle
All the Bells across Britain, July 27th; allthebells.com
ROCK AT A GLANCE
Leonard Cohen (European tour Aug 12th to Oct 7th, N. American tour Oct 31st to Dec 20th). His world tour of 2008-10 was a career high, charming large crowds with high emotion and dry humour. Can he do it again at 77? A delicious new album, “Old Ideas”, says he can.
Meltdown (Southbank, London, Aug 1st-12th). The artsiest of rock festivals is curated by Antony from the Johnsons, who brings on his personal left-field pantheon: Diamanda Galas, Marc Almond, Laurie Anderson, plus the astute curator Hal Willner, and most strikingly, Liz Fraser, the beguiling voice of the Cocteau Twins, back on stage after a 14-year break.
Lady Gaga (European tour, Aug 14th to Oct 6th). Madonna’s natural heir, or the Alice Cooper of the 21st century? Either way, headlines will be made.
Tony Bennett (European tour, to Aug 1st). Expert crooner who is now the oldest swinger in town, at 85. Leonard Cohen, eat your hat out. ~ TDL