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Grooves: Black Heart; 6 Music Festival; Carrie Underwood; Birdy; U2

25 March, 2021 — By Róisín Gadelrab

Carrie Underwood. Photo: Jeremy Cowart

CONGRATULATIONS to The Black Heart for reaching its fundraising target, meaning it should now survive past lockdown and into the unknown! Now time to focus on getting our other favourite venues to their targets. And while we await a return to the live scene, here’s another selection of online music to bring into your home – plus one tantalising live date for your diary.

We were so disappointed when Kentish Town’s layered, lauded and most humble musician Michael Kiwanuka had to pull out of BBC 6 Music Festival at the Roundhouse last year. While it won’t be the same as witnessing his super-calm persona in real life, he is one of the headliners of this year’s festival, which has gone online (March 26-28). Streaming on BBC iPlayer / BBC sounds, Kiwanuka, Laura Marling, Bicep, Poppy Ajudha, Black Country, New Road, Dry Cleaning, Nubya Garcia, Shame and Working Men’s Club will play live performances across Alexandra Palace and Broadcasting House. There will also be the opportunity to relive or catch classic sets you may not have seen before including from Depeche Mode, Foals, Young Fathers, Róisín Murphy, Little Simz, Kelis, Loyle Carner and one of our favourites from last year – Brittany Howard. Highlights will also be shown on BBC4 on March 26.

• On Easter Sunday, if the mood takes you, seven-time Grammy Award-winning country music superstar Carrie Underwood is here to soundtrack your day with a free special concert in support of forthcoming gospel album My Savior – 5pm BST on her official Facebook page with donations going to Save The Children.

• U2 have already embarked on their Virtual World tour (they were made for this kind of thing), with a series of vintage gigs being broadcast on the band’s YouTube channel for the first time with enhanced visuals, remastered audio and new opening act performances from Dermot Kennedy, Fontaines DC, Carla Morrison and FEU! Chatterton. The remaining three concerts are: U2 Under A Blood Red Sky live At Red Rocks, 1983 (March 25); Popmart – live From Mexico City, 1997 (April 1) and iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE – live In Paris, 2015 (April 10). www.u2.com/news/title/u2-the-virtual-road/

• On April 15, Birdy performs a one-off global livestream at Wilton’s Music Hall featuring tracks from throughout her career and new song Deepest Lonely. Tickets on March 26 via Drift.

And then it will be May and, if things go to plan, live music will slowly start returning. On May 15, Barbican Associate Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra its Creative Artist in Association Jules Buckley and guest artists will be joined by Paul Weller for a concert reimagining Weller’s work, including new material, in what will be Weller’s first live performance in two years.

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