Weyes Blood

The 7 must-see acts at Pitchfork Music Festival London 2023

As the clocks go back and winter draws nearer, London’s live music scene shows no sign of cooling down, with the annual Pitchfork Music Festival London set to host its third edition. 

Spanning a week from 7th to 13th November 2023, it promises to build on the enormous success of last year, with some of the most exciting acts from around the world performing in iconic venues all over the capital. With last-minute tickets still up for grabs (get yours here), here are seven acts you simply can’t afford to miss.

Ezra Collective

When: 7th November

Where: Royal Albert Hall

Ezra Collective

Credit: Press

Fresh off their historic Mercury Prize win for their album Where I’m Meant To Be, Ezra Collective will grace the stage of the Royal Albert Hall to open this year’s festival. The quintet, comprised of drummer Femi Koleoso, bassist TJ Koleoso, keyboardist Joe Armon-Jones, trumpeter Ife Ogunjobi, and saxophonist James Mollison, made history by becoming the first jazz act to win the Mercury Prize. 

It’s an accolade that has massive ramifications for the UK jazz scene. Ezra’s fusion of jazz, hip-hop, and afrobeat is impossible not to be energised by, and you’ll probably spend the entire evening on your feet. 

Weyes Blood 

When: 13th November

Where: Hammersmith Apollo

weyes blood

Credit: Getty

Weyes Blood will be closing out the festival at the Hammersmith Apollo. Her latest album explores poignant themes of social anxiety. In our review, whynow gave the album four stars, saying: “With rich vocals that are somehow both deeply emotional and entirely cut off, lyrics that are relatable without offering any advice, and music that plays with the familiar and the uncanny, the unprecedented becomes art in her hands.” 

Alabaster Deplume at KOKO

When: 10th November

Where: KOKO Camden

alabaster deplume

Credit: Press

Alabaster DePlume is a Mancunian saxophonist, composer, and spoken word artist. Known for his unique blend of ethereal jazz and poetic storytelling, it isn’t easy to place him in one category. After a misspent youth that featured a spell amongst a “strange little group” who were “happy to scare people” by carrying knives, Alabaster thankfully turned to music instead. Still, it’s a background that clearly inspired rich material for his music, evidenced in his excellent recent album, Come With Fierce Grace. 

Balming Tiger

When: 8th November

Where: Village Underground

balming tiger

Credit: Nikolai Ahn

Defying the stereotypes that have emerged in the last decade around Korean music, Balming Tiger are playing a sold-out show at the excellent, wonderfully acoustic Village Underground. Celebrated for their hits like ‘Just Fun!’ and collaborations with BTS, the band are keen to broaden the scope of how Western audiences perceive Korean musical acts. 

Speaking to NME, frontman Omega Sapien was particularly assertive about this: “Right now, when people think of K-pop, they think of groups like BLACKPINK, NewJeans and BTS, but as time goes on and as more artists like us emerge, the definition will naturally become more diversified. It’s just a matter of time.”


When: 11th November

Where: Roundhouse, Camden


Credit: Press

From Korea again, but this time via Brooklyn, producer and DJ Yaeji is set to grace the Roundhouse stage with her blend of house and hip-hop. Yaeji’s penchant for raping and singing in both Korean and English always makes for an electrifying show that dances between cultures and genres.


When: 10th November

Where: Roundhouse, Camden

sleater kinney

Credit: Press

Formed in Washington in 1994 and initially part of the riot grrrl movement by Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein, Sleater-Kinney are known for their feminist and liberal politics. Their latest project, Dig Me Out, celebrates 25 years of their breakthrough album Dig Me In, with contributions from the likes of Courtney Barnett and Wilco. 

Youth Lagoon

When: 12th November

Where: Earth Theatre

youth lagoon

Credit: Fat Possum Records

Real name Trevor Powers, Youth Lagoon has been around since 2010 but has endured a staccato career, downing tools in 2016 but reemerging in 2022 with Heaven Is A Junkyard. Powers’ music blends pop, electronic, and indie elements to create a yearning, often melancholic siren-sound. In 2021, he suffered from a debilitating illness that forced him to reconsider everything, from the musical to the metaphysical. 

Speaking to NPR, Powers mused: “But I always sensed there was something there, this greater mystery that I could feel in the wind on walks and see it in the trees and all of that. And this experience with my voice, it taught me something. I used to think that God watches people suffer, but this showed me that God actually suffers with you.”

All of this enlightened thinking really shows on Heaven Is A Junkyard, and there few better venues in London to allow its full potential to sound out than Earth in Hackney.

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