Posts Tagged ‘top 10’

June 2014: Top 10 UK Live Events

Posted on June 6th, 2014 in Live, News, Recent posts by .

We’ve compiled a list of the top ten concerts happening this June to help make sure you don’t miss out on this month’s best shows.

Toumani & Sidiki Diabaté – Tour


Toumani and Sidiki round off their UK and Europe wide tour this June with nine more dates, culminating with a main stage appearance at Glastonbury. Their new album takes a modern look at Mande classics from Mali and is a great document of these two kora masters. This tour is a rare opportunity to see the father and son duo performing together, so don’t miss out!

Across the UK and Europe, June 1-29. More info.


Songlines Encounters Festival


This year’s three-day festival features some wonderful performances from Songlines Newcomers Family Atlantica, Anna Phoebe, Iranian kamancheh maestro Kayhan KalhorÇiğdem Aslan, and a UK debut for Romanian singer Oana Cătălina Chiţu. Each day will also feature a free performance in the King’s Place foyer.

Where & When: Kings Place, London, June 5-7. More info.


Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin – Tour


The folk duo, who released the incredible Mynd at the tail-end of last year, will tour the UK this June.

Where & When: Across the UK, June 6-29. More info.


Martin & Eliza Carthy – Tour

The father and daughter of British folk will tour the UK this June in support of their first ever album together as a duo The Moral of the Elephant. A stripped back affair predominantly featuring Martin’s guitar and Eliza’s fiddle playing, it was released on June 2. The tour starts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.

Where & When: Across the UK, June 6-29.


Field Day 2014


This year’s affair at Victoria Park in East London is headlined by Metronomy on the Saturday and alt-rock band The Pixies on the Sunday. It’s all about the acts playing in the afternoon, though, with Seun Kuti & Fela’s Egypt 80 (pictured) performing on the Eat Your Own Ears stage, and Syrian wedding singer Omar Souleyman set to perform, too (both Saturday).

Where & When: Victoria Park, London June 7-8. More info.


Doolin Folk Festival


Set in the grounds of Hotel Doolin in County Clare, the Doolin Folk Festival will play host to the best artists from Ireland’s incredibly rich folk scene. Headed up by Irish-American five-piece Solas (pictured), there will also be performances from Damien Dempsey and Kíla.

Where & When: Doolin, Co. Clare, Ireland, June 13-15. More info.


Celebrating Sanctuary

afrikan boy

As part of Refugee Week in London (June 15-22), Celebrating Sanctuary features arts, crafts, and music from refugees living in England and beyond. The free afternoon event features music from Polish-British singer Katy Carr and Ethio-jazz artist Haymanot Tesfa, and a performance from Afrikan Boy, whose album ABCD is out later this year.

Where & When: Bernie Spain Gardens, London June 15. More info.


Midsummer Terrace Party with Fatima


The Prince of Wales in Brixton plays host to Swedish songstress Fatima and the Eglo Live Band. The rooftop party also sees Kartel  DJs Bagheera and Moyo bring Afro-electronic flavours to proceedings.

Where & When: Prince of Wales, Brixton, June 21. More info.


Africa Oyé


One of Songlines’ Top 10 UK Summer Festivals, Africa O has an incredibly vibrant line-up, and is set in the beautiful surroundings of Sefton Park. The festival is headlined by MOBO award-winning artist Finley Quaye, and other acts appearing across the weekend include Joe Driscoll & Sekou KouyatéJupiter and Okwess International (pictured), and reggae group Misty in Roots.

Where & When: Sefton Park, Liverpool, June 21-22. More info.


World City Music Village 2014


The 12-day celebration of London’s rich diaspora will see performances from artists hailing from Africa, South America, the Middle East and the Balkans. There are performances all over London including the festival weekend at Osterley House in Middlesex, which features performances from the fantastic Dele Sosimi and his Afrobeat Orchestra, Afghani tabla player Yusuf Mahmoud (pictured), and Guinean ensemble Wuntanra.

Where & When: Across London, June 25-July 6. More info.

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March 2014: Top 10 UK live events

Posted on February 28th, 2014 in Live, News, Recent posts by .

There are so many fantastic concerts going on this March that we’ve compiled a list of the top ten to help make sure you don’t out of this month’s best shows.

Idan Raichel          


The Israeli songwriter – who has worked with an incredible array of artists in the past, including Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré (pictured above) – is visiting London for a one-off special gig, showcasing music from his new album Quarter to Six. He is known for his unique fusion of Arabic and Ethiopian musics and electronics, however this intimate show will see him perform his works on the piano in the manner in which he composed them in Israel.

Where & When: KOKO, London, March 2. More info.

Reflection of Silence: Flavours of Iranian and Kurdish Music


This creative improvisation sees four artists of varying backgrounds collaborating for an exciting evening of Persian and Kurdish music. Tara Jaff (pictured), the Iraqi-Kurdish harpist and singer will be joined by Iranian guitarist Pouya Mahmoudi, setar maestro Mehdi Rostami, and Adib Rostami (tombak and kamancheh).

Where & When: Kings Place, London, March 8. More info.

Sidi Touré


Featured in this month’s issue of Songlines (#98), Sidi Touré will be touring the UK playing songs from this new album Alafia. Hailing from Gao, Mali, he has rapidly become an important artist and representative of Songhai culture.  The bluesman will be playing three dates across the country.

Where & When: The Forge, London, March 14; Komedia, Brighton, March 18; Old Town Hall, Gateshead, March 15. More info.

Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba


The Malian ngoni star and his band will tour the UK this March. His most recent album Jama Ko was voted as one of Songlines’ Best Albums of 2013, so don’t miss the chance to see him live.

Where & When: Across the UK, March 11-20. More info.

The Elizabethan Session


Some of the best artists of the British folk scene are living together for a week in a rural retreat, writing music inspired by the Elizabethan period. This exciting event shall see the fruits of their labours. The session will feature Martin Simpson, Nancy Kerr, Jim Moray, Bella Hardy, John Smith, Emily Askew, Rachel Newton and Hannah James.

Where & When: The Old Palace, Hatfield House, March 20; Cecil Sharp House, London, March 22. More info.

Juan Martin


Virtuoso spanish guitarist Juan Martin is touring a spectacular show this March with his Flamenco Dance Ensemble. He shall also be accompanied by singer Amparo Heredia for his dates with the ensemble.

Where & When: Across the UK, March 2, 26 (solo); March 7-18 (ensemble). More info.



Photo: Marie Planeille

Following the release of their seventh studio album Emmaar, Tinariwen will play two very special dates at London’s Village Underground this March. They shall also perform at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival this coming May.

Where & When: Village Underground, London March 6 & 7. More info.

Damned Nations


The collaborative project between Nuba Nour and Welsh musicians Sian James, and Gwyn Jones is travelling throughout England and Wales this March. These artists – united by their shared status as minority cultures – worked together on the album DamNation at the Rockfeld studios, which is due to be released in May.

Where & When: Across the UK, March 1-21

Salsa Celtica Tour 


The Scottish-Latin big band released their sixth album The Tall Islands this February, and are touring the UK with their unique blend of Afro-Latin salsa and Scottish folk.

Where & When: Across the UK, March 6-30. More info.

Flamenco Festival


This year sees the 11th edition of this fantastic annual celebration of flamenco in London. Featuring a debut from Ángel Muñoz – who has collaborated with the legendary Flamenco guitarist Paco Peña – the festival also sees appearances from Farruqito, Miguel Poveda and Sara Baras.

Where & When: Sadler’s Wells, March 1-15. More info.


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Top of the World: Samba Touré – Albala

Posted on June 23rd, 2013 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Words by Nigel Williamson

A voice of reason singing the Malian blues

Like his compatriot Bassekou Kouyaté, it has taken Samba Touré a while to emerge as a star of Malian music. Now in his mid-40s, his slow advance finally began to gather pace in 2009 with Songhai Blues, recorded for the label World Music Network. Conceived as a tribute to the late Ali Farka Touré, the record helped establish him as perhaps the most talented of the next generation of Songhai bluesmen, taking forward the great man’s legacy. He entrenched his growing reputation with a second album for World Music Network, 2011’s Crocodile Blues. His first for his new label, Glitterbeat, sounds like another major step forward. The sharp production by Chris Eckman of Dirtmusic and the guitars and keyboards of Hugo Race, formerly of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, lend the record the kind of dynamic energy that will appeal to indie rock fans. Yet it’s done with a subtlety that avoids any sacrifice of the wellspring of Samba’s inspiration, the timeless profundity of the African blues tradition.

Recorded in Bamako in autumn 2012, Albala is a suitably dark, even sombre work that reflects Touré’s desperate concern over the troubles in northern Mali on songs such as ‘Fondora’ (Leave Our Road), ‘Ago Djamba’ (Life Betrays Us) and the plea for ethnic unity ‘Awn Be Ye Kelenye’ (We Are All Malians): the album’s title is a Songhai word meaning ‘danger.’ His voice is resonant, the rhythms have a relentless groove and his guitar burns with the intensity of the desert sun. But above all, there’s a confidence and gravitas that reinforces the feeling that Samba is a man whose time has come.


(On Glitterbeat Records)

Click here to buy the album on Amazon

Click here to download the album on iTunes

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