Roisin Gadelrab’s music news: Ural Thomas; Roy Harper; Dublin Castle; Malcolm London
15 March, 2019 — By Róisín Gadelrab
Ural Thomas plays the 100 Club on March 16
MORE than half a decade ago, soul singer Ural Thomas was sharing the bill with the likes of Otis Redding, The Rolling Stones, James Brown and Stevie Wonder, playing more than 40 shows at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theatre. Now almost 80, Ural brings his band Ural Thomas and the Pain to 100 Club on March 16.
• Singer-songwriter Roy Harper has been performing for more than 50 years, collaborating with and enjoying tributes from Led Zeppelin, Kate Bush, Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour and many more. He brings his last-ever major UK tour to London Palladium on March 16, of which he says: “Partly because many of the things I wrote about in McGoohan’s Blues in 1968 are still very relevant 50 years later, and partly because my third record was a watershed moment in my recording life, it’s been long in my mind that I should dust it off and bring it on tour again.” Harper will be joined by Bill Shanley and an ensemble of musicians led by Fiona Brice.
• Hip-hop artist Brother Ali has won acclaim for his socially conscious, personal rhymes. He brings his Shadows on the Sun Anniversary tour to Jazz Cafe on March 19.
• Yet another anniversary this week, as King’s Cross venue Scala marks its 20th birthday with a special show from Simian Mobile Disco and Deep Throat Choir performing sixth album Murmurations, with support from Charlotte Adigery and Mafalda on March 19.
• Don’t forget the unique and sometimes surreal One Man Band Festival arrives at Blues Kitchen and the Jazz Cafe (March 20-28).
• The latest instalment of The Dublin Castle’s Rock ’n’ Roll Book Club (on March 20) features Finding The Fourth Beatle co-author David Bedford in conversation with Julie Hamill, followed by a DJ set from Tony Bugbear. The book tells the story of The Beatles from 1956-1970 as they went through 23 drummers, including Colin Hanton, Pete Best and Jimmie Nicol, before they found Ringo Starr.
• To coincide with World Poetry Day, poet, activist, educator and musician Malcolm London, who hails from Chicago, appears at the Jazz Cafe on March 21. London, who tackles tough contemporary issues in his spoken word work, has worked with Chance The Rapper on documentary Some Call It A Conspiracy, and Donnie Trumpet, Vic Mensa and How to Dress Well on his last album OPIA. Joining him on the bill are LA alt-rapper Busdriver, electronic pop band Benin City led by poet Joshua Idehen, and Touching Bass-affiliated artist Lex Amor.
• Are we really at that stage that bands like Embrace are celebrating their 21st anniversary? They take their tour to the Roundhouse on March 15 where they will be playing 1998 album Good Will Out in full.
• West London Moroccan-Egyptian rapper Ay Em has been making his name as a bright emerging artist with his fusion of rap, trap, afro swing and Arabic sounds. He plays Islington Academy on March 15.
• UK electronic duo Spectrasoul have produced for Metalheadz, Exit Records, Critical Music and many more over the past decade. They headline Egg on March 15, sharing the bill with fellow drum ’n’ bass producers Fred, Etherwood and Submorphics.
• Keeping to its regular spot of the third Friday of each month, Crawdaddy! returns on March 15 where DJs Gary, Lucienne and Danny, will be joined by special guest ska DJ Ian Roberts, to play the finest in northern soul, Tamla Motown, 60s R&B, ska and rocksteady, all on vinyl.
• Cally rock quartet SWMRS play Electric Ballroom on March 16 with support from Zuzu, Destroy Boys and Big Character. The band’s second album, Berkeley’s On Fire, was released last month.
The Cinematic Orchestra
• Nu-jazz and electronic group The Cinematic Orchestra headline a three-night residency at the Roundhouse from March 20-22 with a selection of support acts each night including James Holden & The Animal Spirits, Hidden Orchestra, Moses Boyd, Nathan Fake, Alfa Mist and Yazmin Lacey.
• Notable gigs this week: The Korgis, 100 Club (March 15); Opia Bloom (formerly Youth) + Onur + Jem Nash + Selin & The Band, Camden Assembly (March 16); Picture This, The Forum (March 19); Stetsasonic, Jazz Cafe (March 20); False Heads, The Monarch (March 21).