Bewilderbeastie boy’s back
10 October, 2019 — By Róisín Gadelrab
Badly Drawn Boy
AS the evenings get darker and colder, it’s all too easy to succumb to the sofa, the heating and an endless supply of streaming options.
But if you can resist the tendency to hibernate, there is so much happening in our music venues that will justify braving the outdoors.
One of those that works ceaselessly to bring us a huge variety of shows is The Roundhouse.
Alongside hosting individual gigs, the Chalk Farm venue also puts on numerous music festivals, each with their own unique characteristics and each attracting a loyal following.
We have already previewed Roundhouse Rising, a celebration of new and emerging talent, which has in the past highlighted the skills of the likes of Little Simz, Tom Misch, The Magic Gang, Hooton Tennis Club, Pretty Vicious and Dom McAllister.
This year’s showcase (Oct 15-29) features a headline main stage slot from Warp label artist, rapper GAIKA, who closes the series with an exclusive one-off show of his signature blend of grime, dancehall and R&B-infused electronic music, with the help of a 10-piece jazz ensemble led by composer Jason Yarde.
There will also be appearances from Liverpool electronic experimentalists Stealing Sheep, west London grime MC Big Zuu, Colossal Squid, Æ MAK, electro-beats outfit Colossal Squid – AKA Adam Betts and Kai Whiston – Sinead O’Brien’s spoken-word and post-punk blend, and much more.
Looking a little further ahead, the celebrated In The Round festival returns in January, showcasing an eclectic mix of artists in a rare, intimate setting, putting the artists at the centre of a fully-seated audience as they perform in the round.
Coming into its fifth year and running from Jan 23-Feb 1, the venue has announced the first wave of artists slated to appear. The festival has become known for sparking memorable one-offs, exclusive premieres, solo sets and storytelling as artists perform in the round surrounded by the audience.
The line-up so far includes:
Jorge Drexler. The Uruguayan former ear, nose and throat specialist gave up medicine to pursue his dream of becoming a musician, going on to produce 13 albums and secure five Latin Grammys and an Academy Award. For his appearance at In the Round – his only UK date – Drexler will perform his new solo show, Silente.
Badly Drawn Boy. Almost 20 years on from the release of his acclaimed album, The Hour of Bewilderbeast, Badly Drawn Boy returns for his first London show in five years, to perform music from his back-catalogue alongside brand new material.
KOKOROKO. The London-based all-star Afrobeat band, which blends West African rhythms, highlife and jazz, perform music from their debut EP and showcases new material to be released in autumn 2020.
Fatoumata Diawara. Malian musician, actor and social activist Fatoumata Diawara (known as Fatou), hailed as one of Africa’s most trailblazing and outspoken voices, has worked with some of the biggest names in contemporary music, having recorded with Bobby Womack and Herbie Hancock and shared a stage with Paul McCartney. Fatou will be performing material from the critically acclaimed album, Fenfo, with a full band.
Anaïs Mitchell plus support from Bonny Light Horseman. Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell, whose 2010 folk opera Hadestown, based on the Greek myth of Orpheus, won such critical acclaim that it went on to become an eight times Tony award-winning Broadway musical, appears at the Roundhouse with a band to give a rare performance of songs from her back catalogue. Mitchell also appears in her latest project, Bonny Light Horseman, who will open the show. Dubbed a “folk supergroup”, the band features multi-instrumentalist Josh Kaufman and Eric D. Johnson (Fruit Bats).
Beverly Knight. British soul singer Beverly Knight celebrates the release of new live album, BK25: Beverley Knight with The Leo Green Orchestra at The Royal Festival Hall, marking 25 years in the business. Expect highlights from her career that includes hits Shoulda Woulda Coulda and Come as You Are, as well as classic covers and brand new material. More acts and supports will be announced soon.