Grooves: In The Round; Green Note; January Blues Festival

Thursday, 13th January — By Róisín Gadelrab

Emeli Sande credit Olivia Lifungula

Emeli Sandé. Photo: Olivia Lifungula

IT’S that limbo part of the year when it’s a bit too cold, the parties are over, people are hibernating or on a health kick and, in the 2020s, an added pandemic poses logistical quandaries at the prospect of a possible social event. Still, the music industry continues to adapt and January has a number of shows that may well stay in your memory for years to come. As ever, check venue websites for postponements, cancellations and Covid policies, which may vary from show to show depending on promoter.

The Roundhouse In The Round Festival (Jan 15-24) is one such special setup, with carefully curated artists giving unique performances in the round setting, creating an intimate feel for audiences and the potential for the kind of moments you hope for from live shows, those you don’t get from recorded media or huge arena shows. Although there have been a few unavoidable postponements (Latekid and Battle In The Round – International Breaking Championships – both to be rescheduled) and one cancellation (Balimaya Project + Camilla George), the remaining line-up looks promising…

Jan 15 – HAK Baker presents Bricks In The Wall – a groundbreaking way to start the year with Hak Baker’s G Folk, blending grime and gritty lyrics with his urban folk style giving an insight into the struggles of the working classes in 2021/22, the injustices, the hustle, the heartache. With support from Connie Constance, Rachel Chinouriri, Bel Cobain, Kai Kwasi.

Jan 18 – Goat Girl + PVA + Flaneuse – post-punk from country-tinged indie quartet Goat Girl with support from genre-hopping London three-piece PVA and Roundhouse Resident Artist Flâneuse, a multi-talented singer-songwriter, psychogeographer (?!) and classically-trained musician.

Jan 19 – An evening with Emeli Sandé – known for her soulful pop and gospel power ballads, the Scottish singer is newly signed to Chrysalis Records.

Jan 20 – Richard Dawson + Luca Manning – the black-humoured bard of Newcastle, who blends traditional English folk music, North Country blues and jazzy psych-folk, performs a special, stripped-back solo set, featuring material from his last studio album, 2020. Support from Roundhouse Resident Artist Luca Manning, whose work has been shaped by the Glasgow music and arts scene.

Jan 22 – The Kingdom Choir – an uplifting set from the revered gospel collective.

Jan 22 – The Birth of Punjabi Garage, screening + Q&A, produced by Ministry of Sound. An 11-minute documentary exploring the South Asian underground dance scene plus Q&A with DJ and producer, Yung Singh whose Punjabi Garage mix inspired the film.

Jan 24 – Ballake Sissoko + Vincent Segal + Abel Selaocoe – Celebrated Malian kora player Ballaké Sissoko rejoins cellist Vincent Ségal for one special night at In the Round to perform works from their Nø Førmat album, Musique de Nuit. Support comes from South African cellist Abel Selaocoe a master of the traditional and modern, from collaborations with world musicians and beatboxers, to concertos and solo performances.

• The Green Note re-opens on Friday with a busy programme of shows including Rob Corcora + Louis Brenna + Hannah Nicholson (Jan 18), Americana rising stars Josh Flower + Stevieray Latham (Jan), Americana fusion outfit Jose McGill The Vagaband (Jan 21), old-time outfit The Thumping Tommys (Jan 22) and Cape-Verdean world-jazz artist Carmen Souza (Jan 28). The venue is also looking for bar staff, live sound engineers and box office / door staff – a chance to experience the joy of working in a live music venue.

January Blues Festival takes place at the 100 Club with a packed blues line-up including Downliners Sect (Jan 20), Dr Feelgood (Jan 21 + 22), Ten Years After (Jan 24) and Mud Morganfield, son of Muddy Waters (Jan 26). Visit for the full line-up.

• Here is a selection of what else is coming up (subject to last-minute changes): Luciano, Jazz Café (Jan 16-17); Kid Dad, Islington Academy (Jan 18); The Skids, 229 (Jan 19); DakhaBrakha, Barbican (Jan 20): Noahfinnce + Sophie Powers, Islington Academy (Jan 21); Pip Millett, Islington Assembly Hall (Jan 22); Revive Live Tour Howling Bells, 229 (Jan 22); Ingrid Andress, Scala; Revive Live Tour, Kojey Radical, Lafayette (Jan 25); Nina June, The Grace; Blood Red Shoes, The Garage; Tertia May, Jazz Cafe (Jan 27).

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