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Róisín Gadelrab’s music news: Dark Sacred Nights; Joel Baker; Chris Difford; Bombskare

18 April, 2019 — By Róisín Gadelrab

The Good, The Bad and the Queen. Photo: Kevin Davies

IN light of the recent Extinction Rebellion protests, The Union Chapel’s Dark Sacred Nights, tomorrow (Friday), seems to have arrived just in time. The night of music, poetry and dance aims to shine a light on the climate change crisis affecting the planet. Shalom Chorale (2018 BBC Gospel Choir of the Year) will headline, The Ben Comeau Ensemble (led by award-winning composer, pianist and organist Ben Comeau) will present a new work inspired by the recent student climate change marches, and Claudina Edwards – who has performed extensively with the London International Gospel Choir – will explore the sense of hopelessness that can arise when faced by challenges on a global scale. The evening will also include performances from Masashi Fujimoto, Anna-Liisa Donatella, Akeim Toussaint Buck and Luke Simpkins.

• All musicians are welcome to sign up to The Blues Kitchen’s 100-hour Blues Jam as part of the venue’s 10th anniversary celebrations. Running non-stop from June 9 to June 13, it aims to beat the venue’s current record of 50 hours, reached during its fifth anniversary. All profits will go to Help Refugees and Camden Music Trust. It will also be live-streamed for those wishing to watch from afar.

• The Red Army Choir have overcome terrible tragedy after 64 of their members, including conductor Valery Khalilov, were killed in a plane crash in 2016. They perform a special concert at London Palladium on April 23. Their dramatic live show also features an orchestra and ballet dancers. The choir perform a diverse repertoire every show, from operatic arias, popular music, and also more traditional Russian folk songs and hymns.

• Former Labour Party speech-writer, singer-songwriter, musician and producer Joel Baker was discovered by BBC Introducing Nottingham and DJ Dean Jackson after sending his demos in to the station in embossed parliamentary envelopes. He plays The Lexington on April 23.

• Musician Chris Difford is the guest of honour at Rock And Roll Book Club, The Union Club, Soho, on April 24, where he will discuss his memoir, Some Fantastic Place – My Life In And Out Of Squeeze, with author Julie Hamill.


• Flook, featuring Gospel Oak flautist Sarah Allen, play Kings Place on April 25.

• Is it really 12 years since Damon Albarn, Paul Simonon, Tony Allen and Simon Tong – aka The Good, The Bad and the Queen – brought out their self-titled debut album? November 2018 saw the release of Merrie Land, their second album. They return to play the Palladium tomorrow (Friday).

Jackie Charles

• Berlin-based Jackie Charles (band and alter-ego of Kaja Bremnes) bring their Parallel Lines show to The Islington tomorrow (Friday), the launch date of debut album Future Fantasies.

• The Lock Tavern continues its relaunch with a free four-day festival in collaboration with record label Communion Music. A programme of up-and-coming DJs and artists will take over the Tavern over the Easter bank holiday weekend (April 19-22). More information from

• The Jazz Cafe celebrates the 40th anniversary of ska’s most iconic imprint, 2 Tone Records, with Edinburgh nine-piece Bombskare, who will play a range of classic hits from across the label’s four-decade lifespan, on April 20.


• Superfood play their farewell show at Scala on April 22, although judging by Dom and Ryan’s statement, they seem to have left the door open: “We are playing what could potentially be our last show for a long time at Scala on 22nd April. Right now the cogs of Superfood have slowed down and it’s time to go away and clear our heads before we can give you something we’re truly happy with again. During our time away we’ll be constantly writing and exploring other projects we’ve wanted to do for a while.”

• US Hip-Hop duo Atmosphere bring their Mi Vida Local Tour to the Electric Ballroom on April 23.

• Notable gigs this week: Daddy Long Legs + The Shadracks, 229 (April 19); Dimitri From Paris, Jazz Cafe; Broken Hands, Black Heart (April 21); Nouvelle Vague, Islington Assembly Hall (April 22-23); Archie Faulks, Camden Assembly (April 23); Newton Faulkner, Palladium; Rodrigo y Gabriela, Roundhouse (April 24); Puppy, Underworld (April 25).


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