London Event Listings: Spring 2011

*Blackstar feat Mos Def and Talib Kweli + De La Soul + Rakim @ Hammersmith Apollo (10th May)

Wed 16th Feb
>Mark Ronson & The Business International @ The Roundhouse 

Thu 17th Feb 
>Ghostpoet Album Release Party @ Electrowerkz 

Fri 18th Feb
>Finn Peters Music of the Mind @ Vortex Jazz Club
>[The last ever] Inspiration Information w/ Patrick Forge, Phil Asher and Jimbo @ East Village

Sat 19th Feb 
>Doctors Orders Present: EPMD w/ Skitz & Rodney P @ The Forum 
>Classic Material x Eglo 2nd Bday w/ Fatima, Floating Points, Krystal Klear, Olivier Daysoul, Mizz Beats, Mary Anne Hobbs, Funkineven & Alex Nut @ The C.A.M.P.
>Soundcrash Presents Bonobo, Mr Thing, Kutmah, Lazy Habits & First Word @ XOYO
>Soweto Kinch @ Rich Mix
>Mr Scruff @ Koko
>Nonsense @ Plastic People

Sun 20th Feb
>A Rihanna Birthday Special w/ Lots of Rihanna, Lots of songs featuring Rihanna, Lots of Rihanna videos projected on the stage, Rihanna life-size cut-outs + Guest DJ’s@ The Macbeth

Wed 23rd Feb
>Earnest Endeavours w/ Daedelus, Starkey, Lazersword & Tokimonsta @ Secret Venue 1

Thu 24th Feb 
>Simon Says 2 w/ Clare Maguire, Homeboy Sandman, Resonators, The Boxettes, Charlie Dark, Laura J Martin, Tanya Auclair, The Wah Wah 45s Players, DJ Format, High Contrast, Ross Allen, Scrimshire, Ross PTH, & Capstone @ Jazz Cafe
>Jamie Woon @ Scala  
>Book Slam w/ Eska (+ Andreya Levy, David Levithan & Roger Robinson) @ The Tabernacle

Fri 25th Feb 
>The James Taylor Quartet @ Ronnie Scotts
>Rank & File Present James Blake (dj set), Bullion, Sampha & co @ The Red Gallery
>Mica Paris @ Jazz Cafe (+Sat 26th)
>Nonsense Clash @ Janice Leathers Warehouse
>Rock The Belles w/ Little Boots, Nikki Beatnik, Lauren Verge, Sarah Young, Emily Rawsom, & Lady Chann @ East Village
>The Gravy w/ Capac & Cornelia @ The Record Bar, Luigi's (Stoke Newington Church St)

Sat 26th Feb
>Big Chill Presents Mixcloud: The History of Hip Hop w/ DJs Disorda, Breakin' Bread, Chris Read, DJ MK, Blakey, Alex Nut + special guest @ Big Chill House
> Floating Points & Mr Saturday Night @ Plastic People
>Roundhouse Rising "Un-Convention" @ Roundhouse
>Livin' Proof @ The C.A.M.P.

Sun 27th Feb 
>Obenewa Album Launch @ Tabernacle


Tue 1st March 
>Janelle Monae @ The Roundhouse
>Gold Panda + special guests @ XOYO
>Devlin + Ghetts @ Islington Academy 

Wed 2nd Mar 
>Mulatu Astatke @ Queen Elizabeth Hall
>M.O.P. @ Jazz Cafe

Fri 4th Mar 
>Soul II Soul @ The Roundhouse
>Doctors Orders Present DJ Neil Armstrong @ East Village
>Heidi Vogel @ Royal Albert Hall Cafe Consort 

Thu 3rd Mar 
>Aesthetic Sounds presents Jaguar Wright w/ Sharlene Hector, Sarah Fonteyne & Enrico Delves @ Vibe Bar

Sun 6th Mar
>Sy Smith & Zo! @ Jazz Cafe 

Wed 9th Mar 
>Maceo Parker @ Jazz Cafe 

Thu 10th Mar 
>Spread Love TV Presents: Joell Ortiz @ Cargo
>Jaguar Skillz @ Koko 

Fri 11th Mar 
>Eska @ Queen Elizabeth Hall Front Room
>Staff Benda Bilili Live + Gala Screening of Benda Bilili Biography @ The Union Chapel
>A Field Day Night w/Four Tet (DJ set) + Floating Points + Brackles & co @ XOYO
>Laura J Martin @ Water Rats 

Sat 12th Mar
>WOW Festival w/ VV Brown, Speech Debelle, Annie-Flore Batchiellilys, Yvonne Chaka Chaka & Baaba Maal @ Royal Festival Hall

Mon 14th Mar
>Dee Dee Bridgewater @ Ronnie Scotts (until Fri 18th)

Sun 13th Mar 
>Ayanna Witter-Johnson @ Purcell Room

Wed 16th Mar 
>Chali 2Na @ Jazz Cafe (until Thu 17th)

Thu 17th March
>7s Unda The Stairs w/ Thristian bPm & Funkineven @ 3 Blind Mice 

Fri 18th Mar 
>Raekwon @ The Forum
>On The Real w/ J-Live @ Plan B 

Sat 19th Mar 
>Taste of Sonar: Buraka Som Sistema, The Gaslamp Killer, MJ Cole, Benji B, Braiden, Axel Boman, Tiger & Woods and Noaipre @ The Roundhouse
>Wagon Christ (LP Launch) + dÉbruit (full live band) @ XOYO
>Nonsense w/ Dego & T.Williams @ Plastic People

Fri 25th Mar
>Quantic DJ Set @ Passing Clouds
>The Playground Presents oOoOO-dj, Teebs, DIMLITE, Jeremiah Jae, Becoming Real, Breton, d/r/u/g/s, ANXST, Anthony C @ Electrowerkz 
>[Launch] Chairman Kato and Chris Stoneman present: Underbelly @ Teasmith

Sat 26th Mar
>Urban Nerds: Zinc + Newham Generals + Hot City + Rattus Rattus & co @ XOYO

Sun 27th Mar 
>Poejazzi w/ Kadija Kamara, Warsan Shire, Bridget Minamore & Kiki Investigates @ Volupte Lounge

Mon 28th Mar 
>Yoruba Womens Choir @ Queen Elizabeth Hall 

Tue 29th Mar 
>Cee-Lo Green @ Shepherds Bush Empire 

Wed 30th Mar
>Nicolas Jaar w/ Live Band @ Fabric 
>Marlena Shaw @ Ronnie Scotts (until Sat 2nd April)
>Onetaste Vocal Workshop w/ Eska @ The Book Club
>Dwele @ Jazz Cafe


Fri 1st Apr
>Dwele @ Jazz Cafe
>Audiotorium Present DJ Format @ The Westbury 

Sat 2nd Apr
>Dwele @ Jazz Cafe  

Mon 4th Apr
>Asa + Tiken Jah Fakoly @ The Barbican
>DJ QBert @ Jazz Cafe

Tue 5th Apr
>Micachu and The Shapes and the London Sinfonietta @ Queen Elizabeth Hall

Thu 7th Apr
> 2001: A Space Odyssey With Live Music @ Royal Festival Hall
>Dels, Joe Goddard (Hot Chip), & Micachu @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen
>Aesthetic Sounds w/ Slakah the Beatchild @ Vibe Bar 

Fri 8th Apr
>Esperanza Spalding @ Barbican
>FACT & Young Turks: Jamie xx b2b Oneman + Hyetal (live) + Bullion b2b Cherrystones + The Shining (Morgan Zarate & Acyde) + Romy xx @ XOYO

Sun 10th Apr
>Bilal @ Jazz Cafe 
>Harmonic Series w/ James Blake, Seb Rochford, Anna Meredith & Max de Wardener @ Purcell Room

Mon 11th Apr
>José González performing with The Gothenburg String Theory + Little Scream @ The Barbican

Wed 13th Apr
>Murs @ Jazz Cafe 
>Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 @ Royal Festival Hall

Thu 14th Apr
>Lykke Li @ Shepherds Bush Empire

Fri 15th Apr
>Ojos de Brujo + special guests @ Barbican
>Conya Doss @ Jazz Cafe 

Sat 16th Apr
>Ghostpoet, Lukid, Kutmah, Kelpe, Anchorsong & Jehst Soundcrash Club Night @ XOYO >Conya Doss @ Jazz Cafe

Mon 18th Apr
>Wretch 32 @ XOYO

Tue 19th Apr
>Orquestra Buena Vista Social Club @ The Royal Albert Hall
>GZA @ Relentless Garage

Mon 25th Apr 
>Bonobo Live @ Koko (+26th Apr)

Tue 26th Apr
>Asher Roth, Nottz, Nefew, Eat More Cake, Kulez @ Camden Centre

Wed 27th Apr
>Amp Fiddler @ Jazz Cafe

Thu 28th Apr
>Raphael Saadiq @ Shepherds Bush Empire
>Andreya Triana @ Jazz Cafe

Fri 29th Apr
>Carroll Thompson @ Jazz Cafe


Sun 1st May 
>Aloe Blacc @ The Scala

Thu 5th May 
>Orchestre Poly Rhythmo De Cotonou @ The Scala
>Gonjasufi + Full Live Band @ XOYO

Tue 10th May
>Blackstar feat Mos Def and Talib Kweli + De La Soul + Rakim + guests @ Hammersmith Apollo

Wed 11th May 
>Little Dragon @ Heaven, Under The Arches

Fri 13th May
>Numbers Present Fabric Live w/ Hudson Mohawke, SBTRKT, Jackmaster, Autonomic, Martyn, Afrika Hi Tek, dBridge, Consequence, J.Rocc, James Pants, Kutmah, Alex Chase @ Fabric

Wed 18th May 
>Wiz Khalifa @ HMV Forum

Sun 22nd May 
>Hypnotic Brass Ensemble @ Jazz Cafe

Mon 23rd May
>Terri Walker & Ski Beatz @ Jazz Cafe

Tue 24th May
>Hypnotic Brass Ensemble @ Jazz Cafe

Tue 31st May 
>Sade @ O2 Arena

PMOI LIVE: DTMD @ Southpaw Brooklyn (CMJ 2010)

We've been talking about these guys for a while now, since their impressive debut EP The Basics came out in January, and I kept rubbing my eyes about the fact they were 19 but showed so much confidence. Luckily enough they were available to come through for the showcase we put on at Southpaw in Brooklyn with Homebase NYC in October for CMJ Music Festival, and the guys opened the show (and did themselves proud, they're real naturals live), which also featured Olivier Daysoul, Tranqill, Hezekiah, Homeboy Sandman, Outasight, Blu and lots of others. I look forward to hearing their forthcoming debut album, hopefully out soon...

Filmed & edited by Joel Craigs

Review: Jónsi "Go" Tour Live in Brighton

photo by kirstie shanley
Photo by Kirstie Shanley

I saw this live video months ago and determined I had to see Jónsi live, so when the amazing Kate Magic offered me a ticket I leapt at the chance. I've combed the net but can't seem to find a video that truly conveys how incredible the show was - perhaps so much so that it can't actually be captured on video.

jónsi - sinking friendships (live) from Jónsi on Vimeo.

After a beautiful start to the evening from folk trio Mountain Man (three ladies, lumberjack gear, no beards, haunting voices), the main event began and I can honestly say I've never seen anything like it. The video below should give you a vague idea of the visual element to the show, it wasn't strictly a concert in the sense that you just go and watch a band sing songs - this was a concert, theatre performance, magic show and film rolled in to one.

You begin to suspect from the outset that Iceland must have some actual real magic in the water or air. Jónsi and his band of woodland creatures appear and conjure up the show, filling the air with their sounds until it felt there must be hundreds more creatures hiding somewhere playing tiny but very loud drum sets, guitars, pianos and xylophones which somehow caused a disturbance in the forest in the background bringing forth fires, wolves, deer, owls, floods and an army of ants. I found myself open mouthed, filled with wonder, overjoyed, scared, on the verge of tears and completely overwhelmed throughout (to the point I refused to go and meet the band afterwards in case they didn't seem so fairy-like). I really hope you go and experience it for yourself [link to tour schedule].

Jónsi live show by 59 Productions from Jónsi on Vimeo.

Jessie J performing @ iLuvLive

One of my favourite blogs Pinboard just sent this over - we blogged about Jessie J a while back and it's great to see more footage of her (I watched the last video about 257 times). Apparently her debut album will be dropping this year - good news.
Hailing from Essex, Jessie has already penned hits for Chris Brown and Miley Cyrus ("Laugh, but it's paying my rent" she says) and has just signed a major deal with Universal Music/Island Records.

i Luv Live has recently moved to Proud in Camden, and is one of London's most influential talent showcases - check it out!

Baileys on the Rocks (worst pun ever?)

Corrine Bailey Rae.
Remember her? Cute woman, cute music, cute voice, really nice, inoffensive sound/package. Really Sweet.
I was really surprised by her new single, I'd Do It Again. Strong, beautiful, painful, calm and progressive. I could talk about how recent tragic events in her life could have contributed to this new development but that would be cheap. It would take away from the song writing and that would be cheating you, I really felt it. I think you will too.

You have two options, the official video I'd Do It Again or the Jools Holland performance. (I hope his last name is Holland, after I wrote that I became unsure and now I'm positive that Jools Holland is a mayonnaise brand or something)

Mburu-Bowie x



Longplayer at the Roundhouse

I went to Longplayer at the Roundhouse yesterday to catch part of a highly ambitious and fascinating project. "Longplayer" is famously the longest non-repeating piece of music ever composed - 1000 years long to be exact. It began playing at midnight on the 31st of December 1999, and will continue to play without repetition until the end of 2999, (at which point it will complete its cycle and begin again). You can hear it at any time in the lighthouse at Trinity Buoy Wharf, where a computer is currently playing it, or streaming live by clicking HERE.

Obviously the Roundhouse couldn't give up it's space for the rest of the project, but yesterday a 1000 minute section was played over the course of 12 hours, directed by Longplayer's composer Jem Finer, and performed by 26 musicians on a 20m wide instrument covered in 234 singing Tibetan bowls (described as a "giant ‘bronze age’ synthesizer), in the breathtaking interior space of the Roundhouse main space. Alongside the music was a 12 hour relayed conversation inspired by the philosophical implications of long time with some of the world's leading writers, filmmakers, scientists, academics and technology activists (think TED!), in the smaller theatre downstairs.

I got there just in time to catch playwright & critic Bonnie Greer (whom I love and used to watch Newsnight Review for), talking to mathematician Marcus du Sautoy (famous for popularizing maths) about the theatre of mathematics and Marcus's ability to explain and make maths accessible to people, much the same way Stephen Hawking did with A Brief History of Time. Or at least I think that's what they were talking about. After half an hour an usher gonged a Tibetan bowl, which signaled it was time for one speaker to leave and the other to remain, so Greer was replaced by Robert Peston (journalist & business editor for BBC news), who launched in to a coversation about the misapproriation of maths leading to the current financial crisis and why hedge fund managers are not inherantly evil. Interesting, but the next gong sent us upstairs for some music.

At this point, the contemporary dancer in me took over and my desire to take off my shoes and roll around on the floor slightly disabled my objectivity about the experience. The Roundhouse, a former steam engine repair shed, is an incredible space, especially in daylight, and the gloriously beautiful instrument comprised of six concentric circles sent my newly maths-addled brain in to raptures of joy. The layers of sound emanating across the room at a wide range of frequencies almost felt like a spiritual experience - some were so low you could really only feel them vibrating your chest. All of this performed by a solemn looking group of musicians whose intense concentration reminded me of monks in a temple performing a beautiful ritual as they beat and stirred the vibrations out of the bowls and in to the cosmos. I had a sneaking suspicion that some of the (mostly middle aged) characters dotted around the room, sitting on the floor in various states of bliss, sandals and bandanas were in it for the long haul - reminiscing about the post modern experimental movements and events of their youth and still reaching out to explore. I didn't stay too long - tourist in a mueseum style - because there was something so hypnotic about it those sounds, to sit down would have been to remain...

I got some fuzzy footage, trying unsuccesfully to stream from my phone, but for the Roundhouse's stream of talks & music click HERE


Just got this new beauty from uber modest and delightful UK artist Stac. Seems 'quirky' solo female artists are growing on trees at the mo (in the press anyhoo), so the earholes are mighty grateful for the freshness of her trademark lush harmonic work, tasty hooks combined with the rude beat-work of Afrosaxon on this joint. Check out singles Balls Bounce on 7 inch/digi download (plus nifty remix from Bonobo) and heartbreaking Glory out in the Autumn on WahWah 45's. Catch her at the Jazz Cafe this Friday night. It should be incendiary if her rumoured track record with setting fire to an old music teacher is anything to go by....its the quiet ones you got to watch out for..Enjoy!

Ash - The Alphabet Tour

I think Ash was the first ever live gig I went to (on my own), at the Oxford Zodiac in 1996 I believe - Rick the drummer was wearing a green dress & I was determined to marry Tim Wheeler (lead singer). Showing my age. I love the idea they've come up with for "The Alphabet Tour", hitting loads of small towns in an A-Z of the UK, so fans will get to see them in a smaller venue like I did all those years ago...

The tour will be used to launch the A-Z Series, starting with True Love 1980 on October 12. The series contains a collection of 26 limited edition 7″ and digital download singles released fortnightly after the first.

ash600Tickets go on sale tomorrow (August 27), you can click HERE for the dates

"Who the f*ck are Ash?!" do I hear ye soulful cry? I shall tell thee.
You can cop a free download of their most recent single below now that you love them too...