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Róisín Gadelrab’s music news: Madonna; Sting and Shaggy; King Charles; Sons Of Raphael

16 May, 2019 — By Róisín Gadelrab


SO yet another London institution is to be swallowed up by the ravenous redevelopment, rates and rent rises of Soho. While not an issue unique to the West End, these three “R”s are slowly decimating our live music venues, with the historic Borderline club being the latest to go. It is sad to see just how many venues I have crossed off my listings venues list (crossed out but not deleted, so they are not forgotten) over the years as they disappear into the ether to join their fallen counterparts in music heaven. So, DHP, which tried to revive Borderline over the past two years, will close the club this summer, continuing to host gigs booked to play there before closure and with a promise to rehouse later gigs. They have retained the Borderline name, so perhaps this venue will pop up again nearby in the future – although of course its historic band room won’t travel with it. This is why the work of the Music Venues Trust is so important – support your venues while you still can. The upcoming Camden Rocks Festival is the perfect way to experience live music across 20 of our venues.

• Speaking of Borderline, Madonna is bringing her Madam X tour to the relatively small (in Madonna’s world) London Palladium next year (January 26-30 and February 1-2). Influenced by living in Lisbon over the past few years, Madame X is a collection of 15 new songs that celebrate Madonna’s long-time love of Latin music and culture as well as other global influences.

• The unlikely combination of Grammy winners Sting and Shaggy bring their island vibes to the Roundhouse on May 19. Following their critically acclaimed 2018 tour, the pair combine their bands to perform songs from their album, 44/876, and collaborate on each other’s most celebrated hits including Every Breath You Take, Englishman In New York, Message In A Bottle and Mr. Boombastic.

Belshazzar’s Feast – Paul Sartin of Bellowhead and Paul Hutchinson of The Playford Liberation Front) – play Knees Up Cecil Sharp Ceilidh, an energetic evening of folk dance, at Cecil Sharp House tomorrow (Friday).

Benjamin Zephaniah

• Poet/musician/educator and more, Benjamin Zephaniah and the Revolutionary Minds play the Jazz Cafe tomorrow (Friday) with support from Amy True. See our interview with Benjamin online.

Crawdaddy! is back and celebrates its ninth birthday doing what it does best, playing the finest northern soul, mod, Motown, vintage R&B, Two Tone ska and rocksteady, all on vinyl, at The Fiddler’s Elbow on May 17. This month guest DJ Freddie Boom Boom (The Reggae Shack, Boom Shaka Lacka) joins regular DJs Gary, Lucienne and Danny. Freddie will be playing “a selection of plastic fantastic party sounds from Young Jamaica and Young Black America, joining the musical dots from Ska and Reggae to Riddim’n’Booze and Soul, via excursions into hot hot Latin Bugalu and Club Jazz”.

• Sister Sledge celebrate 40 years of album, We are Family, at The Roundhouse on May 18 where they will perform alongside an eight-piece band to also play their greatest hits. Special guests Norman Jay MBE, DJ Fat Tony, DJ Artwork and Sink the Pink DJs complete the disco line-up.

Barbican’s free Sound Unbound festival of music takes place between May 18-19. The weekend-long (classical) event features more than 100 short performances in a festival atmosphere representing many different musical styles performed by a wide range of artists including Max Cooper, Mira Calix, Nora Fischer, Gabriel Prokofiev, as well as a screening of The Artist (2011), with a live performance of the soundtrack by BBC Symphony Orchestra in the Barbican Hall and more.

• Electropop trio Saint Etienne return to Barbican on May 22 with support from the London Contemporary Orchestra, where they will perform Tiger Bay in its entirety to mark the album’s 25th anniversary, as well as a selection of material from their back catalogue.

Chris Difford performs classic Squeeze material, whilst debuting new solo music and discussing extracts from his book, Some Fantastic Place, at Islington Assembly Hall on May 23.

King Charles

• Since February, King Charles began releasing a new track every month, with a plan to do so for the following six months. He plays The Lexington on May 17.

Former public defender Mike Massé has gained notoriety for his YouTube clips showing his renditions of songs from the likes of Toto, Boston and Asia, who have made their admiration known. See him at 229 tomorrow (Friday).

• LA songstress LP – aka Laura Pergolizzi – headlines the Roundhouse main space tomorrow (Friday).

Also tomorrow, south London grime artist Yizzy plays his first headline, hometown show at Islington Academy.

• The original members of Transglobal Underground reunite once more with Natacha Atlas to play Islington Assembly Hall on May 18.

Collateral won a massive competition out of 20,000 bands to play the main stage at the Electric Ballroom at this year’s Camden Rocks Festival on June 1. They co-headline Borderline on May 18 with Daxx & Roxane.


• Dublin rock band Inhaler, made up of four former schoolfriends, play Borderline on May 21.

Sons of Raphael

Brothers Loran and Ronnel Raphael, who are Sons of Raphael, play Islington Assembly Hall alongside Mini Mansions on May 22.

William The Conqueror

• Notable Gigs this week: Wreckless Eric, 100 Club (May 17); An Evening with Katherine Jenkins, London Palladium; Glitter Machine, Lexington (May 18); William The Conqueror, The Lexington; Fuzzy Sun, Camden Assembly; Primal Scream, Scala; Chameleons Vox, Strange Times tour, Dingwalls (May 21); Emerson Snowe, The Islington; Joshua Burnell & Band – The Road To Horn Fair, Cecil Sharp House (May 22); Mineral, The Dome; Big Thief, Roundhouse; Lights, The Garage; Kero Kero Bonito, Electric Ballroom (May 23).


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