After a brief hiatus for our festival-packed summer, the Top 10 gig guide is back, with a list of ten of the best concerts happening this September, so you don’t miss out!
Swanage Folk Festival
Set in the majestic surroundings of Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, Swanage Folk Festival is a three-day affair featuring both local artists, and acts from further afield. The incredibly infectious Blackbeard’s Tea Party will be performing twice over the weekend – including a Saturday night ceilidh – and Songlines favourites O’Hooley & Tidow (pictured) will play on the Sunday evening.
Where & When: Across Swanage, Dorset, September 5-7, More info.
Tashi Lhunpo Monks
The Tashi Lhunpo Monks started their mammoth European tour last month in Dorset, but return to the UK for a further 19 dates this September. The monastery which was forced out of Tibet following the national uprising in 1959 is now based in Karnataka, India. Cultural exchanges are occasionally organised by various trusts worldwide, and this is a great chance to see some wonderful performances by the Tibetans.
Where & When: Across The UK, September 6 – October 18, More info.
This September offers a rare opportunity to catch Celtic superstars Altan at an intimate venue in London. Cecil Sharp House will play host to the Irish group who have been a stalwart of the Irish traditional music scene for the past few decades.
Where & When: Cecil Sharp House, September 11, More info.
Africa Utopia at the Southbank Centre celebrates the influence of the African diaspora upon ideas on how to improve our world through ways of thinking about culture, sustainability, technology and community. There are talks, debates and workshops across the weekend – including a bustling street market – and performances by the Kinshasa Symphony (pictured), and five-piece Simply Soweto Encha.
Where & When: Southbank Centre, London, September 12-14, More info.
With a glistening career spanning 50 years, Mulatu Astatke has established himself as one of the finest musicians and bandleaders in Ethiopia. Last year’s Sketches of Ethiopia was a Top of the World, not to mention a personal highlight, and he recently headlined the brilliant Shambala festival. Catch him at the Royal Festival Hall this September for what promises to be an outstanding show.
Where & When: Royal Festival Hall, London, September 13, More info.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo with members of the Royal Ballet in Inala
This unique collaboration at the fabulous Sadler’s Wells Theatre sees the award-winning choreographer Mark Baldwin work with choral superstars Ladysmith Black Mambazo to produce a brand new production, which fuses South African and Western cultures on stage. Its combination of contemporary dance and choral mastery will prove to be a unique experience, so make sure you catch the show during its four-day residency this month.
Where & When: Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London, September 17-20, More info.
The grand-nephew of Gypsy-jazz legend, Django Reinhardt, takes to the stage this September for a tour across the UK. He combines a variety of different influences in his work, including flamenco, Latin, and Brazilian jazz.
Where & When: Across the UK, September 17-October 29, More info.
The London African Music Festival
This September sees the 12th London African Music Festival take place. Spread across 16 venues over ten days, the festival features some fantastic performances from world-famous acts including Niger’s Bombino, Guinea’s Sékouba Bambino, and Ghana’s King Ayisoba. There is a London debut for Malian songstress Mamani Keita, and the British-Ghanaian funk band Yaaba Funk (pictured) are set to tear up Rich Mix on September 19.
Where & When: Across London, September 19-28, More info.
Following the success of last year’s Mortissa, Çiğdem will tour the UK this September and October. The ‘Making Tracks’ tour opens at the Brighton Dome, and finishes up at Cambridge’s Junction three weeks later.
Where & When: Across the UK, September 21 – October 7, More info.
Following last year’s sold-out event, Sahara Soul returns to the Barbican with a younger generation of artists set to take the stage. Western Sahara’s Aziza Brahim (pictured) has been going from strength to strength recently, having released Soutak – her first album for Glitterbeat Records – earlier this year. There will also be performances from Noura Mint Seymali, Nabil Baly Othmani, and Touareg band Tartit. Read more about all these artists in this issue’s cover feature (#103, October issue).
Where & When: Barbican Centre, London, September 27, More info.