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10 best international acts playing Budapest in early 2022

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  • Gábor Wágner

07/01/2022 3.09pm

After two years of cancelled shows across the world, it’s exciting to anticipate the visits of Swiss-German ice queens, Oscar-winning composers of film scores and legendary UK DJs to these shores. Here’s hoping all can make it – and that many more might follow in the summer.

Photo: Facebook/Sasha

Sasha

1/10

15 January/Akvárium Klub

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The UK has a number of legendary spinners from the acid house days, one of which is DJ Sasha, aka Alexander Paul Coe, a veteran of the Haçienda daze back in 1988. Teaming up with John Digweed, the pair ruled the superclubs either side of the Atlantic. Sasha became known for his classic remixes and marathon sets. The Welshman comes to Budapest’s Akvárium Klub to offer a relatively restrained three-hour session.

Photo: Gabrielle Duplantier - Gojira

Gojira

2/10

29 January/Barba Negra

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That rara avis, a French metal band big in the States, Gojira perform at the rock barn of Barba Negra down in south Buda. This classic four-piece features the Duplantier brothers and two mates who played in their garage in the French Basque Country 25 years ago. Originally named Godzilla, the band were forced to change it to Gojira for copyright reasons. They come to Budapest to promote seventh studio album, Fortitude, released in 2021.

Photo: Facebook/Christian Löffler

Christian Löffler

3/10

5 February/A38 Ship

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This is not the first time that this talented German electro musician has come to Hungary, but when he does – usually organised by Pure Lust – it’s always an event. Also recognised as a visual artist, Löffler blends the sounds of the environment with those of machinery in an entirely original fashion, acoustic and electronic. Think of it as storytelling without words. You can see and hear it for yourself in early February when he passes through Budapest from Kallithea in Greece, en route to a cathedral in Luxembourg, then churches in Johanneshov, Sweden, and Hackney.

Photo: Facebook/Efterklang

Efterklang

4/10

22 February/Akvárium Klub

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Previously signed to 4AD and now to Berlin’s City Slang, Copenhagen indie band Efterklang comprise three childhood friends who last played in Hungary almost ten years ago. Now they return with their sixth album, Windflowers, released in October 2021. Described by their label as ‘inventive and inclusive’, Efterklang somehow manage to be coolly restrained and distant yet full of emotion.

Photo: Facebook/Hans Zimmer

Hans Zimmer

5/10

3 March/Papp László Budapest Sportaréna

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Today’s number one film composer has picked up every prestigious award going, including an Oscar, a Grammy and a Golden Globe. Zimmer brings his well-known melodies to Budapest again from films such as The Lion King, Gladiator, Crimson Tide and The Dark Knight. More recently, the Frankfurt-born, California-based composer provided the score for James Bond film, No Time to Die.

Photo: ATC Live

Metronomy

6/10

15 March/Akvárium Klub

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Playing the Akvárium Klub on the national holiday of 15 March, Devon electro pop band Metronomy embark on what must be termed a major European tour, as it involves shows in Kiev, Moscow, Mallorca and Paris. The group, perhaps best known for Mercury-nominated album The English Riviera back in 2011, release seventh studio album Small World in February.

Photo: Jan Schoelzel - Muzo Creative

Kerala Dust

7/10

18 March/A38 Ship

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Three-piece London band Kerala Dust are still relatively fresh, having come together in 2016, and since played some 150 shows from the Dominican Republic to Tel Aviv. They have built a reputation on a particular kind of electronica, psychedelic rock and blues, working on material in their studio in Berlin. Recently, the band created a mini-movie set around a performance in the desert of southern Spain, Live, West.

Photo: Facebook/Lebanon Hanover

Lebanon Hanover

8/10

19 March/Akvárium Klub

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Formed by Swiss-German Larissa Iceglass and Englishman William Maybelline, this duo can perhaps be described as a musical version of a post-punk Bermuda Triangle. Bauhaus and the Banshees may provide inspiration but so do, apparently, William Wordsworth, ghostly forests and Berlin urbanism. Album titles include The World Is Getting Colder, Tomb For Two and Besides The Abyss. You get the picture.

Photo: Kwaidan Records

Nouvelle Vague

9/10

30 March/A38 Ship

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Nearly 20 years on, the concept created by French music producers, Olivier Libaux and Marc Collin, of reworked chanson and bossa nova versions of touchstone punk and new wave numbers continues to resonate and launch solo careers for a string of female vocalists. After Libaux’s death in September 2021, Collin carries the torch.

Photo: Paradigm Talent Agency

Shawn Mendes

10/10

30 March/Papp László Budapest Sportaréna

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Canadian heartthrob Mendes, annoyingly still only 23, returns to Hungary with his extensive catalogue of self-penned numbers as part of a 64-date world tour. His fourth and most recent album, Wonder, spawned three hit singles, one written with Justin Bieber.

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