Grooves: Boris; Abbey Road; Don Letts; The Libertines; Paul Weller; The Novus

Thursday, 6th May 2021 — By Róisín Gadelrab

Paul Weller

Paul Weller heads a livestreamed concert at the Barbican on May 15

I HAVE attended numerous streamed gigs over the past year with varying results but this week is the first time I have ever experienced something that came so close to the real thing that I could almost taste the dry ice liberally sprayed across the stage. Japanese experimental metal band Boris’ NO World Tour In Your Head 2021 streamed in 360 degrees evokes all the feelings of being back on the front row of a small venue, the purple lights, dry ice, band looming close (guitarist Wata had a GoPro at the end of her guitar), the ability for viewers to pan around the stage, all contributed to the most realistic remote gig of the past year. Watch it in the dark drinking beer from a flimsy plastic pint glass to complete the experience. Filmed at Tokyo venue Fever, the stream is available on YouTube until May 10 by which time it will only be a week until live concerts can restart.

Aside from being a place of pilgrimage for fans of The Beatles, Abbey Road Studios has been the scene of countless historic recordings. This summer, the studios will open to the public for exclusive ticketed tours in an “Open House”, taking visitors on a specially curated trip through the studios’ history, showing all three of the original recording rooms, control rooms and the famous Studio Two Echo Chamber. Running from August 9-15, expect to find unseen images, films and artefacts as well as a selection of the very recording consoles, equipment and instruments that have shaped recorded music history.

• These days more usually found behind the decks, filmmaker, musician, broadcaster and social commentator Don Letts hosts a book reading and Q&A – There And Black Again, An Evening With The Rebel Dread – at Islington Assembly Hall on May 22.

The Libertines are more than making up for the lack of a live music scene with the addition of a fifth date (Dec 19) to their series of gigs at The Forum. They’ll be taking residence from December 10-11 and 17-19.

• Celeste, Boy George and James Morrison have been revealed as the latest names to join Paul Weller with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Jules Buckley and Steve Cradock for a livestreamed online concert at the Barbican reimagining Weller’s work. Expect new material as well as the favourites of the past in an orchestral setting – Weller’s first live performance in two years (May 15).

Rising Midlands outfit The Novus have taken a novel approach to the video for new single I Serve Not, from their debut EP Thaleia Standing out on June 18. Giving the same brief to three of their favourite visual creators, they will be releasing the different interpretations as a trilogy, the first coming from Conor Stirling. See them Live at The Water Rats on May 31.

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