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Canalside drinking, dancing and partying at Number 90’s 5th birthday bash

© Number 90 canal

Number 90 are hosting a long weekend of festivities to celebrate their 5th birthday

East London drinking and dining destination Number 90 is celebrating its fifth party with its biggest weekender ever. The Hackney Wick hangout will be hosting a mini festival over 4 – 7 April 2019. Expect DJ sets, gastro delights, new cocktails, competitions and art… and the festivities are free!

Located by the canal, the Hackney venue will kick things off on Thursday night with music from Stranger Than Paradise Records. The party really gets started on the Friday with Dutch DJ and producer Tom Trago hitting the decks, as well as Fabric’s new resident DJ Anna Wall and all-female collective SISU spinning until sunrise.

On Saturday evening, iconic record store Phonica Records will be hosting the festivities along with The London Disco Society, Late Night Tales and Vicious Creatures keeping the party going until 6am. During the night, revellers can expect a special surprise from Number 90’s neighbour space Studio 9294. Finally, the celebrations will wind down with a chilled Sunday. Enjoy a boozy brunch with Tropical Disco Records providing the Sunday soundtrack.

  • Number 90 Bar & Kitchen’s 5th Birthday party takes place on 4 – 7 April 2019. Number 90 Bar & Kitchen, 90 Wallis Road, Hackney Wick, E9 5LN. Nearest station: Hackney Wick. Open Thu and Sun 12pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-6am. Free entry. For more information, visit Number 90’s website.

    For the latest what’s on guide in London, click here.

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Celebrate the capital’s rich musical heritage at Soho Music Month 2018

Soho Music Month © Marc Sethi

Soho’s rich musical heritage is celebrated throughout Soho Music Month this June
© Marc Sethi

It’s June so that means summer is officially here! What better way to greet the best season (in most people’s opinion!) than a month-long celebration of the capital’s rich musical heritage. Taking over W1 this month is Soho Music Month, featuring a host of cultural events in venues across the area.

With 2018 being the centenary of women getting the right to vote, part of the festival will celebrate females in the industry. Independent label Market will be curating an all-female line-up, while female founders of independent labels will be taking over Berwick Street Market (16 June) selling their roster’s best vinyl. Meanwhile, three female DJs Xanthe Fuller, Sophie Callis and Cherrie Flava will be broadcasting live from the market on Soho Radio.

© Newburgh Quarter

Grab a bean bag or a spot on the ‘grass’ for the Newburgh Sessions

Throughout the festival, the hub and exhibition space Platform LDN will be opening its doors at 3 Carnaby Street. Daily throughout June, it will play host to a variety of free events, including a GRM Daily panel discussion, Reprezent Radio’s live broadcasts, book signings with DJ Jumping Jack Frost and DJ Target, of BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra fame. Check out the Carnaby website for listings and to register for a place on one of the sessions.

Every Thursday evening (5pm-9pm) in June, there will be a series of free outdoor gigs in the Newburgh Quarter. A pop-up stage will appear under ‘The Plug’ light installation on Ganton Street with a lawn and bean bags. Kicking things off on 7 June will be an all-female hip-hop DJ battle with Melody Kane, Emily Rawson, Ellie Prohan, Fearney and Sandra Omari. Following on 14 June will be Alex Tracey and his funk and indie pop-rhythms, presented by Stageside, a platform for unsigned, emerging or breaking artists from Instagram collective @London. On 21 June, will be a showcase of new talent from Platform LDN, NME Emerging and TuneCore. Closing the month on 28 June will be resident female DJs from NYC restaurant Dirty Bones, spinning old school hip-hop, R&B, funk and soul.

Throughout the month, there will be a host of musical events taking place in the streets, boutiques and restaurants of the area. Expect to see jazz sessions at The Duck & Rice, instore performance from Swedish singer-songwriter Natali Felicia at Sandqvist, ‘Bring Your Own Vinyl’ listening parties at Shinola and Campfire Music Sessions at Filson. There will be free guided walking tour on the music heritage of Carnaby and Soho. Meanwhile, Dirty Bones will be launching a limited-edition Doo Wop cocktail in homage to Lauryn Hill, as well as selling limited-edition Mac Daddy sliders, with a portion of the sales going to charity partner Youth Music.

For a guide to what else is on in London in June, click here.

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Schumann Street review: A fascinating musical ‘crawl’ around Spitalfields

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

Andrew West and Rob Murray perform during Schumann Street, a ‘song crawl’ around the Huguenot houses of Spitalfields

The Spitalfields Music Festival is an annual celebration of innovative music, featuring local and international talent. Venues across east London play host to a wide variety of performances. The last event of the 2017 festival in December was the captivating Schumann Street. Sixteen artists from very different genre and backgrounds were invited to perform their own interpretation of the songs in German composer Robert Schumann’s 1840 song cycle Dichterliebe (A Poet’s Love).

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Baritone Benedict Nelson expresses forlorn desperation in Allnächtlich im Traume

The audience were split into groups to start our journey on the immersive, promenade musical installation. For the evening, eight local residents of the Huguenot houses of Spitalfields had opened their doors to stage two performances across different floors. The whole event takes place over 75 minutes so participants were invited to come and go as we please from each house, spending just long enough to hear the 16 pieces. We started our experience in Wilkes Street, a small group of us stepping into the parlour of a charmingly creaky early 18th century home. With just six of us squeezed into the wood-panelled front room, we sat quietly as a pianist Andrew West and tenor Rob Murray provided an interpretation of one of the song cycles by candlelight. Next, we headed upstairs for a cosier experience with a guitarist Aart Stootman accompanying singer Abimaro by a roaring fire in the living room.

Despite being a classical piece, the story of Dichterliebe was told to us through hip-hop, Bengali folk, soul, jazz, R&B, blues, as well as a classical. We stood, sat on chairs, tables and floors; or lingered in dark corners as we snuck in and out of the performances trying not to interrupt. The song cycle is about love, then loss, with the musicians giving musical expressions of the joy and the torment the heart goes through. One particularly enchanting performance was Mara Carlyle and Liam Byrne in the basement kitchen of a courtyard home. Carlyle sang while wearing Marigolds and washing up at the sink, as Byrne accompanies her on the viol. She then switches direction with a musical saw, bringing a quirky, modern end to the piece. Moving upstairs, we were greeted by an incredibly emotional performance by soprano Héloïse Werner and harpist Anne Denholm in a darkly lit living room. Werner looked positively heartbroken as she forlornly belted out lines from Und Wüssten’s die Blumen. I also particularly enjoyed German duo Apollo 47 depicting the torment and obsession that love can inflict as they rapped Hör’ ich das Liedchen Klingen. In a room covered in lyrics on the wall, the pair were oblivious to the audience as they rambled around with their lanterns trying to make sense of their emotions.

In the end, I only visited seven houses and was disappointed to have missed the last one, due to the fault of my own time management. I enjoyed the different stagings – from a more formal setting of a singer by a piano, to a drunken singing rampage around another house. While some artists acknowledged your presence, for many of the others, it felt like we were eavesdropping on a private or mundane moment – the writing of love letters, household chores, a lonely moping session. In addition to being entertained by very different performances, I felt privileged to see inside these amazing Georgian houses. I loved checking out their original shutters, fireplaces, wood panelling and window seats. Overall, it was certainly an ambitious premise, but the Spitalfields Music Festival certainly pulled it off. The result was a quirky, innovative experience which brought the classical workings of Schumann to a new audience.

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Guide to London’s music festivals this summer 2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2014

Festival season kicks off again for the summer

This summer sees some of the biggest music acts and DJs in the world converging  on London – and the Home Counties – for the festival season. Here’s a one-stop guide to what’s on and where to get tickets. However, be aware that most will sell out in advance so I would recommend getting your tickets asap.

  • 3 June : Camden Rocks

Hard rock and metal festival featuring over 250 bands (big names and underground talent) at 25 venues around NW1. This year’s line-up includes Feeder, The Coral, The Damned, The Rifles, Milburn, Reverend And The Makers, The Professionals, Royal Republic and many more. Tickets: £39.50. For tickets, visit the Camden Rocks website.

  • 3 June : Field Day

Popular festival returns to East London, featuring performances from Aphex Twin, Dr John Cooper Clarke, Lady Leshurr, Flamingods, Omar Suleyman and many more. 11.30am-11pm. Tickets: £64.50 (online). Victoria Park, Victoria Park Road, Hackney, E3 5SN. Nearest stations: Bethnal Green or Mile End. For more information, visit the Field Day website.

  • 4 June : Mighty Hoopla

A pure pop extravaganza comes to north-east London, featuring live music, DJs, bingo, fun fair rides, giant ball pit, karaoke, cooking talks, bars, food and more. Acts include Years & Years, All Saints, Will Young, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Fleur East, Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon, Snap!, Alison Limerick, Jodie Harsh and more. Tickets from £30. Finsbury Park, Harringay, N4. Nearest station: Finsbury Park. For more information, visit the Mighty Hoopla website.

  • 7 – 24 June : Hampton Court Palace Festival

Big names perform against the backdrop of the historic palace. Acts include Bryan Ferry, James Morrison, Amy McDonald, Will Young’s Jazz Sessions, Van Morrison, Jools Holland, Bjorn Again, Corinne Bailey Rae, Ricky Astley and Michael Ball with Alfie Boe. Tickets range from £39.50-£95 depending on act. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (trains from Waterloo). For more information and tickets, visit the Hampton Court Palace Festival website.

  • 9 – 18 June : Meltdown

This year’s Meltdown Festival is curated by M.I.A. Acts include Young M.A., Tommy Genesis, Young Fathers, Soulwax, Afrikan Boy, Block Party with Rinse FM, Giggs, Yung Lean, Princess Nokia, Hip-Hop Karaoke, Crystal Castles and more. Ticket prices vary. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.

  • 10 June : Bushstock Festival

One day music festival across Shepherd’s Bush. Acts include The Staves, Áine Cahill, Basia Bulat, Benjamin Francis, Leftwich, Bruno Major, Colouring, Cortes, Gordi, Isaac Gracie, Jade Bird, John Joseph Brill, Jordan Mackampa, Krusoe, Liv Dawson, Methyl Ethel, Noctürn, Outlya, Rhys Lewis, Spring King, Ten Tonnes, Tender Central and The Wandering Hearts. Tickets: Tickets from £30. At multiple venues across W12. For more information, visit the festival’s website.

  • 10 June : Southport Weekender Festival

Long-running music weekender comes to London for one-day only. Featuring Kerri Chandler, Roger Sanchez, David Morales, Tony Humphries, Julie McKnight, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Jazzie B, LTJ Bukem, Fabio & Grooverider, Detroit Swindle, Osunlade, Delano Smith, Derrick Carter, Joey Negro, Grant Nelson, Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson, CJ Mackintosh, Booker T and many more. 12pm-10pm. Tickets from £45. Finsbury Park, N4. Nearest station: Finsbury Park. For booking, visit the Southport Weekender Festival website.

  • 15 – 18 June : Live At Chelsea

Long weekend of open air concerts at historic home of the Chelsea Pensioners. Featuring Ludovico Einaudi, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Belle & Sebastian. Tickets from £38.50. Royal Hospital Chelsea, Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, SW3 4SR. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For tickets, visit the Live At Chelsea website.

  • 30 June – 2 July : Love Supreme

Jazz festival in leafy Sussex, featuring The Jacksons, George Benson, Gregory Porter, Herbie Hancock, Laura Mvula, Corinne Bailey Rae, the Robert Glasper Experiment and many more. Tickets: Day £59.50, Weekend camping £165. Glynde Place, Lewes, Sussex, BN8 6SX. Nearest station: Glynde (trains from Victoria or London Bridge). For more inforation, visit the festival’s website. Read the rest of this entry

Scat’s going on? Highlights of London Jazz Festival 2016

© YolanDa Brown

Saxophonist YolanDa Brown will be playing at the Barbican during the London Jazz Festival

Whether you’re a huge jazz aficionado or curious to discover more of the genre, the EFG London Jazz Festival is a good place to be. Returning to the capital on 11-20 November 2016, the 1o day festival sees a variety of gigs – both big and small – coming to over 50 venues across the city. Over 2000 international and home grown talent from a range of backgrounds will be showcasing their music.

Here’s some of the highlights of this year’s festival:

– 11 November : Takuya Kuroda & Makaya McCraven

Japanese New Yorker Takuya, a trumpet maestro and Chicago jazz star Makaya kick off the opening night of the festival with a double bill. Tickets: £20. Jazz Café, 5 Parkway, Camden, NW1 7PG. Nearest station: Camden Town.

– 12 November : Alice Zawadski & Jamie Safirudden

Critically acclaimed Anglo-Polish singer and violinist Alice and pianist Jamie play music dedicated to Joni Mitchell. 9pm. Tickets: £17.50. Live @ Zedel, Crazy Coqs, 20 Sherwood Street, Soho, W1F 7ED. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus.

– 14 November : SFJazz Collective play Michael Jackson

All-star jazz collective featuring Miguel Zenón, David Sánchez, Sean Jones and Robin Eubanks play the hits of the King of Pop Michael Jackson. 7.30pm. Tickets: £10-£27.50. Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, Belgravia, SW1x 9DQ. Nearest station: Sloane Square.

– 15 November : YolanDa Brown

MOBO-winning saxophonist Yolanda will be performing reggae love songs with her 10-piece band and accompanied by Shingai Shoniwa of The Noisettes. 8pm. Tickets: £20-£30. Barbican, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS. Nearest station: Barbican.

– 17 November : Hailey Tuck

Texan jazz singer Hayley has been named as one of Yahoo! Music’s ’25 singer-song writers under 25 to watch’. 7pm. Tickets: £20. Live @ Zedel, Crazy Coqs, 20 Sherwood Street, Soho, W1F 7ED. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus.

– 18 – 19 November : Sarah Jane Morris & Antonio Forione

Singer Sarah Jane and virtuoso guitarist Antonio will be playing tracks from their new collaborative album Compared To What. 7pm and 9.30pm. Tickets: £24. Live @ Zedel, Crazy Coqs, 20 Sherwood Street, Soho, W1F 7ED. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus.

– 20 November : Wayne Shorter Quartet

Revered jazz composer/songwriter Wayne Shorter and his musicians will be playing his cutting edge compositions. 7.30pm. Tickets: £15-£50. Barbican, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS. Nearest station: Barbican.

For a guide to what else is on in London in November, click here.

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Get your funk on this Bank Holiday at Madness’s House of Common Festival

© Lock N Load Events and Anglo Hannah Management

House Of Common, curated by Madness, takes over Clapham Common for one day only on Bank Holiday Monday
© Lock N Load Events and Anglo Hannah Management

Now we’re in August, it feels like the summer is rushing by the rate of knots. However, there’s still time for some festival fever. This August Bank Holiday Monday, chart legends Madness are hosting their very own music festival on Clapham Common.

The Baggy Trousers stars will be inviting a host of their musical pals to share the stage during the day long alfresco extravaganza. Acts include The Hot 8 Brass Band, Craig Charles, Terry Farley, Spring King, Toddla T, Rob Da Bank, and Reggae Roast. Also performing include Toots & The Maytals, David Rodigan, Norman Jay MBE, Congo Natty & The All Stars, Mike Skinner & Murkage present Tonga, Ms. Dynamite, Kiko Bun and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.

A statement from Madness reads: ‘We are honoured and privileged that London has found us a place where for one day every year we can have our very own festival, we here by name that day House of Common. See you in Clapham Madheads… For the love of the common people.’

  • House of Common takes place on Monday 29 August 2016 (Bank Holiday) from 12pm until 10.30pm. Tickets: £47.81. Clapham Common, SW4. Nearest stations: Clapham Common or Clapham South. For more information and tickets, visit the Madness website.

For a guide to London’s music festivals this summer, click here.

For a guide to what else is on in London in August, click here.

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London A Cappella Festival 2016: World class vocal groups brighten up January

© Nedim Nazerali

Grammy-winning vocal group The Swingles will be performing at the A Cappella Festival
© Nedim Nazerali

Following the success of Glee and the Pitch Perfect movies, a cappella is bigger than ever. Returning to brighten up this gloomy January is the London A Cappella Festival. Now in its 7th year, the three-day festival is bringing some of the top a cappella groups from around the world to our capital.

Home Free

Country music group Home Free are flying over from Minnesota, USA to make their UK debut

This year’s festival at Kings Place in Kings Cross is curated by five-time Grammy-winning vocal group The Swingles and Ikon Arts Management. There won’t be an instrument in the place as singers come together with only their voices creating the music. The festival forms part of BBC’s Great Creative event, which celebrates British arts, culture and creativity.

Among the highlights of this year’s festival include co-hosts The Swingles, performing ‘Winter Tales’, inspired by the cold season. Country music group Home Free are flying over from Minnesota, USA to make their UK debut, while Tenebrae Consort will be singing as they launch their new album Sun, Moon, Sea And Stars. Other acts performing included supergroup Naturally 7 and Shlomo & the Vocal Orchestra. There will also be workshops, foyer showcases, talks and free interactive events.

  • The London A Cappella Festival runs from 28 – 30 January 2016. It takes place at Kings Place, 90 York Way, King’s Cross, N1 9AG. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. Tickets start from £9.50. For more information, visit the London A Capella Festival.

For a guide to what else is on in London in January, click here.

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