Grooves: Rag‘n’Bone Man; Libertines; James Yorkston

Thursday, 22nd April 2021 — By Róisín Gadelrab

The Libertines Roger Sargent

The Libertines. Photo: Roger Sargent

LIVE music is returning soon but it looks like we’ll have to maintain flexibility for some time yet. Some festivals, such as Boomtown, Creation Day and the Southbank’s Meltdown Festival (this time curated by Grace Jones) have come to the realisation that they will need to postpone until next year as ongoing requirements make things more difficult and insurance issues continue.

Other outdoor events such as All Points East and the Kenwood concerts are going ahead while live indoor shows begin in May with strict distancing or seated requirements – Jazz Café’s seated arrangement brings it right back to the feel of old jazz clubs of the past.

At the same time, Barbican is going for a hybrid option, with limited capacity gigs returning soon while simultaneously being live-streamed with ticket prices reflecting the different levels of attendance. It won’t be long until small groups of humans will be allowed back indoors to once more feel the bass reverberating through the floor, provide artists with the feel and smiles of an appreciative (thinned-out) crown and to wake venues up with general noises, while lighting and sound techs once more play to their immediate audience and atmosphere is a thing once again.

And if there is a particular gig you want to see, pick up tickets quickly as events are selling out.

• Keep your eyes out for Rag‘n’Bone Man in the area at the end of June, with an appearance at Kenwood on June 25 with Raye and Will & The People and then three sold out nights at the Jazz Cafe (June 27-29). It wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine he could well take a minute to explore Camden.

• Without wishing summer away, there is such a clamour for Libertines tickets for their Giddy Up A Ding-Dong tour at Kentish Town Forum (Dec 10-11 and 17) that they have now announced a fourth date on December 18.

Barbican’s Live from the Barbican concerts bring back in-person shows from May 17. With a line-up including folk singer Shirley Collins (May 23), This is The Kit (May 30), the world premiere of Errollyn Wallen’s new opera Dido’s Ghost (June 6), spoken word performer George the Poet (July 1) and a duo recital from Sheku & Isata Kanneh-Mason (July 4), shows will have reduced numbers, be socially-distanced and also be live-streamed to a global audience. Upcoming dates also include 12 Ensemble with Jonny Greenwood and Anna Meredith, performing in their own works (June 19); GoGo Penguin presenting material from their 2020 self-titled album and back-catalogue (July 10) and Nadine Shah and band performing material from her new, critically acclaimed album Kitchen Sink (July 18). Mercury-nominated composer and songwriter Moses Boyd’s show takes place on April 18 before indoor gigs return and so will be live streamed.

• Scottish folk singer James Yorkston plays two shows at Jazz Café on May 22 following the release of his seventh album The Wide, Wide River earlier this year.

Upcoming live gigs: Peter Hook & Manchester Camerata present The Sound of Joy Division Orchestrated at London Palladium (Sept 10); Stone Foundation, 100 Club (Sept 10); Blossoms, The Forum (rescheduled dates Sept 13-15); Metz, Scala (Sept 22); Martin Stephenson, 100 Club (Oct 2); Seasick Steve, Palladium (Nov 7); Mary Coughlan, Islington Assembly Hall (Nov 9); Secret Affair, 229 (Nov 13); The Spitfires, Islington Assembly Hall (Nov 21); Sweet, Islington Assembly Hall (Nov 28); The Howlers, The Lexington (Dec 4).

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