Grooves: Koko; EMF; Hypnotic Brass Ensemble; Beat Poetry for Survivalists

Thursday, 7th April — By Róisín Gadelrab


Not long now till Koko reopens after its £70m refit

JUST a few days until Koko’s shiny new £70 million incarnation opens up with a whole lot of new features to explore, an ever-thrilling series of line-up announcements, an exclusive members’ club and Café Koko, a new tap bar and pizzeria. The cafe, which runs along Bayham Street, is converted from an old piano factory dating back to 1800 and will host ad hoc music shows and other events aimed at the Camden community surrounded by walls exhibiting carefully curated art and photography collection referencing the venue’s music history. There’s still time to book tickets for DJ Shadow’s June 5th Koko headlining set and the venue’s Grand Opening Party featuring Luciano and Isaac Carter with a very special guest to be announced. Also coming up are Dutch duo Weval (May 5), London instrumental act Portico Quartet (May 8), three nights of Lianne La Havas (May 9-11) and Peter Doherty (May 13). See the website for full listings.

The Dartmouth Arms Disappearing Dining Club has lined up an extended Easter weekend of food, drink, music and dancing with DJ sessions from Renata & Andy Bainbridge (April 14), Neil Thornton (April 15), Matt Timms (April 16) and Music Box Radio Takeover (April 17). Find out more at

• R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and The Auteurs’ Luke Haines bring their new collaboration Beat Poetry for Survivalists to 100 Club on April 18-19. Support from Scott McCaughey and Linda Pitmon.

For those who didn’t know, EMF are back and debut Go Go Sapiens, their first album since 1995, at 229 on April 9.

• Tickets went on sale yesterday (April 7) for Annie Mac’s new parent-friendly club night Before Midnight aimed at those who want an authentic clubbing experience without having to wait for the headline act to arrive in the early hours and still be able to have a good night’s sleep. Taking place at Islington Assembly Hall on May 20 from the respectable hours of 7pm-midnight.

I make no apology for yet again mentioning the fantastic Chicago brotherhood – Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, who conclude their two-night appearance Jazz Café tonight (April 8). Also coming up at Jazz Café are British Dancehall Veteran Macka B, California Psychedelic soul act Monophonics (April 12-13), hip hop duo Smif-N-Wessun marking Dah Shinin’ 25th anniversary, Brazilian singer-songwriter Duda Beat (April 16-17) and East Coast hip-hop royalty Jeru The Damaja aka D. Original Dirty Rotten Scoundrel (April 22) and much more.

• Union Chapel Voices gospel group present an uplifting evening of poetry and music inspired by Martin Luther King’s vision of a “Beloved Community” at the Union Chapel on April 15.

There are so many other gigs to mention and not enough space so here’s the best of the rest: The Lovely Eggs, Heaven; Freakpower, 100 Club; Crawlers + Tash & Hannah Grae, Camden Assembly; Massaoke 80s, Electric Ballroom (April 8); Keshi, Lafayette; (April 8-9); Douglas in Fur (single launch), 229; Maclaine Colston & Saul Rose, The Harrison; Less Than Jake + Skinny Lister + Millie Manders and the Shutup, The Forum Therapy?, Electric Ballroom (April 9); Against The Current, Electric Ballroom; Dan Walsh, The Harrison; METZ + Psychic Graveyard + Adulkt Life, Scala (April 10); Skinnyman presents A Council Estate of Mind, Scala (April 11); Tom Grennan, Union Chapel; Dan Patlansky, The Garage (April 12); Zach Said, Camden Assembly; Everything Everything + Phoebe Green + L’Objectif, Roundhouse (April 13); Ibibio Sound Machine, Electric Ballroom; Sea Power, Roundhouse; Sea Power, Roundhouse; Binker and Moses, Underworld; Grouper + Coby Sey, Barbican; Imelda May, Palladium; Dead Man’s Whiskey, Islington Academy (April 14); L’Extravagante + Bridget + Harri Pick + The Falling Doves, The Dublin Castle; The Antlers, Islington Assembly Hall (April 14-15); Martin Turner (ex-Wishbone Ash), 100 Club; Kadialy Kouyate, The Green Note (April 15); Reef + A + Scarlet Rebels, The Forum; Raye + Ms Banks + Unknown T, Roundhouse; Errol Linton, Green Note (April 16); Sparks, Roundhouse (April 17); Princes to Kings, Camden Assembly (April 18); Charlie Simpson, Lafayette (April 18-19); Augustine, The Garage; Teenage Fanclub, Union Chapel; Amy Duncan, Green Note (April 19); Hawklords, 100 Club (April 20); Louis Dunford, Union Chapel; Naomi Banks, The Social (April 21); Priya Ragu, Scala; Celeste + Gabriels; (April 21-22).

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