In the Round
31 January – 10 February 2018
An eclectic mix of artists in a rare, intimate setting
Oumou Sangaré, Jimmy Webb, Nadine Shah, Portico Quartet, Levellers, GoGo Penguin, Chip and Beth Orton
Now in its third year, the Roundhouse presents In the Round 2018, a series of shows devoted to intimate performances set in the venue’s iconic main space, staged in a rarely seen fully-seated concert set up. Fast becoming a fixture of the music-lovers’ calendar, the series runs from 31 January to 10 February with a programme of ten very special shows, including premieres and special sets from an eclectic mix of artists. Confirmed to appear so far are Malian superstar Oumou Sangaré whose soaring, powerful voice sits in stark contrast to the gritty unguarded voice of American songwriter-singer Jimmy Webb, who accompanies his best loved songs with compelling stories of his life. Brightonian punk-folk-rockers Levellers perform a very special acoustic set while Chip, one of the UK’s most celebrated rappers returns to his grime roots to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of his breakthrough mixtape. Known for their hypnotic, mesmerising mix of jazz and electronica, GoGo Penguin premier brand new music while Portico Quartet return to their signature cinematic, minimalist sound. Geordie songstress Nadine Shah, known for her darkly powerful voice and bleak, yet compassionate lyrics and Beth Orton, one of the most unique and beguiling voices in British music.
Wednesday 31 January Oumou Sangaré
Thursday 1 February Jimmy Webb
Friday 2 February Nadine Shah
Saturday 3 February Portico Quartet
Sunday 4 February Levellers Acoustic
Thursday 8 February GoGo Penguin
Friday 9 February Chip
Saturday 10 February Beth Orton
As part of the Roundhouse’s commitment to developing emerging talent, each night young artists from the Paul Hamlyn Roundhouse Studios will perform as support acts for the headline artist.
Wednesday 31 January
OUMOU SANGARÉ + support
Often referred to as the “The Songbird of Wassoulou” (a southern wooded region of Mali which she considers her spiritual home), Oumou Sangaré is widely regarded as the greatest living female voice in African music. Stylish, elegant, feisty and charismatic with a powerful, soaring voice, she has become an emblem for African womanhood and is a striking role model. A difficult upbringing after her father left has informed her music and throughout her career she has used her songs to campaign fearlessly to improve the position of women in Mali. Inheriting her mother’s singing talent, she became the family’s main breadwinner by the age of 13, going on to join the Djoliba Percussion band, with whom she toured Europe in 1986, and went on to record her debut album, Moussolou, at the age of 20. A sensation in her home country, it was released outside Mali a year later on World Circuit, marking the beginning of a long association with the label, for whom she went on to record three further albums between 1993 and 2009.
For this show she will be performing material from her latest album Mogoya. After more than 20 years with World Circuit, Mogoya was released on the French label No Format! With traditional African instruments augmented by electric guitar, bass, keyboards and synths, the music not only draws upon a rich musical heritage, but also looks to the future.
“Sangaré’s voice is a soulful joy, soaring to high notes and resounding with a husky richness.” The Guardian
Doors 7pm / Tickets £15-25
Thursday 1 February
JIMMY WEBB + support
Not many artists can say they premiered a classical nocturne and had a rap hit with Kanye West in the same year, but American songwriter, composer and singer Jimmy Webb’s career is full of surprises. His songs have been sung by some of the greatest voices of all time including Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Elvis Presley, Art Garfunkel and of course, Glen Campbell for whom he wrote such iconic songs as ‘By the Time I Get to Phoenix’, ’Wichita Lineman’ and of course, ‘Galveston’. He became one of the greatest pop songwriters of the 1960s and 70s and as such the youngest person ever inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Only last year Rolling Stone Magazine listed Webb as one of the top 50 songwriters of all time. As a performer of his own songs he is utterly engaging. It’s as much about the yarns and the anecdotes – humorous, informative, touching – as it is his gritty, authoritative, unguarded voice that sings his songs with such loving care.
For In the Round, Webb will preview his brand new memoir, ‘The Cake and the Rain’ taking the audience through his extraordinary life of the late 60s and early 70s. Incredulous, tender, funny and often heartbreaking stories accompany some of his timeless songs of the period. A musical memoir of one of the greatest songwriters of all.
“He could have played for twice as long and nobody would have left.” The Guardian
Doors 7pm / Tickets £15 – £25
Friday 2 February
NADINE SHAH + support
Nadine Shah’s singular, darkly powerful voice and bleak, yet compassionate lyrics have earned the Geordie a fierce reputation as an uncompromising talent. Tender, soulful and haunting, Shah’s sparse, sombre delivery has seen her compared to the likes of PJ Harvey, Siouxsie Sioux and even a “time-ravaged Marianne Faithfull”. Her brooding post-punk style, with grinding guitars and rasping saxes form the backdrop to songs that have, over the course of three albums, tackled taboo subjects in a compelling, graceful and sincere manner. Born to a Norwegian mother and a Pakistani father the singer-songwriter takes influences from Nina Simone, Scott Walker, poet Philip Larkin and even artist Frida Kahlo. Constantly challenging her listeners, she explores and dissects topics such as mental health, relationships, and on her most recent recording, the highly acclaimed ‘Holiday Destination’ (2017), Islamaphobia and the unfolding refugee crisis, while the brilliant, gritty hit single, ‘Out the Way’ is a biting and scathing contemplation of the rise of global nationalism.
Live, Nadine Shah strikes a captivating presence. An effortlessly commanding performer, her In the Round show sees her perform music from her current album alongside music from her previous recordings.
“She can make almost anything sound remarkable……. her sharp, incisive rock songs shimmer with a ripe theatricality every time she opens her mouth” – Pitchfork
Doors 7pm / Tickets £15-20
Saturday 3 February
PORTICO QUARTET + support
Mercury Prize-nominated Portico Quartet has always been an impossible band to pin down. Sending out echoes of jazz, electronica, ambient music and minimalism, the group created their own singular, cinematic sound over the course of three studio albums, from their 2007 breakthrough Knee-Deep in the North Sea, and 2010 John Leckie-produced Isla, to the self titled recording Portico Quartet in 2012. Now rebooted as Portico Quartet, with the return of Keir Vine on hang drums and keys, after a brief spell as the three-piece Portico, the group released their fourth studio album Art In The Age Of Automation on forward thinking indie jazz and electronica label Gondwana Records in August 2017. It’s been hailed as possibly their finest album yet, with the band simultaneously delivering both a return to their mesmeric signature sound and fresh new sonic departures in their new music.
For In the Round the band will debut previously unheard new music alongside music from Art in the Age if Automation as well as luminous classics from their much-loved back catalogue.
“Portico Quartet stake claims to territory occupied by Radiohead, Cinematic Orchestra and Efterklang”. ***** The Guardian
Doors 7pm / Tickets £15-19.50
Sunday 4 February
LEVELLERS ACOUSTIC + support
Formed in 1988, when musicians Mark Chadwick and Jeremy Cunningham met in a Brighton pub, Levellers released two EPs the following year on their own Hag label before signing to Musidisc. Their first album A Weapon Called the Word was released in 1990 and went Gold without even charting. It was in 1994 that they really hit the big time when their appearance at Glastonbury Festival attracted the biggest stage-front crowd the festival had ever seen. They have long been, and still are, one of the best live bands around, but often overlooked is their impressive back catalogue of recorded music. Levellers sold more platinum, gold, and silver albums in the 1990s than any other act. They’ve had 7 Top 40 albums, including the number 1 album Zeitgeist and their platinum-selling 1991 album Levelling The Land, and a number of Top 40 singles including ‘This Garden’, ‘Hope St’, ‘Just the One’ and ‘What a Beautiful Day’.
For In the Round Levellers will perform a special acoustic set of Levellers classics and brand new numbers taken from their forthcoming album We The Collective, due for release in Spring 2018. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios with legendary producer John Leckie, the album celebrates the band’s 30th anniversary.
Doors 7pm / Tickets £15-25
Thursday 8 February
GOGO PENGUIN + support
Noted for their hypnotic melodies, visceral bass-lines and tidal rhythm, Manchester-based leftfield piano trio GoGo Penguin are pianist Chris Illingworth, bassist Nick Blacka and drummer Rob Turner. Their music has been described as acoustic-electronica but they draw equally on rock, jazz and minimalism, game soundtracks and glitchy-electronica to create their unique music. It’s music for the heart, head and feet and saw their album v2.0 (Gondwana records) named a Mercury Prize album of the year 2014 alongside albums from Damon Albarn, Young Fathers and Jungle. In 2015 they signed to Blue Note Records and more recently they have been touring their own score to Godfrey Reggio’s cult film Koyaanisqatsi.
For this very special return to the Roundhouse stage (after their November 5th 2016 performance) the trio will feature music from their fourth album, A Humdrum Star (Blue Note Records), which is set for release on 9 February 2018.
“The members stayed locked in their grooves, three young men making music with jazz instruments, rock dynamics and circumscribed dance-music strategies.” New York Times
Doors 7pm / Tickets £15-25
Friday 9 February
CHIP + support
In 2006, a young teenager living on a housing estate in Tottenham released a single reaching over 3 million views on YouTube. Over the coming three years and with the release of I am Chipmunk, his debut recording at just 18, Chipmunk (as he was known then) had amassed a shelf full of accolades including Mobo Awards for Best Newcomer, Best Hip Hop and Best Grime act and a fierce reputation as one of the most honest, lyrically dexterous of rappers and one of Britain’s most talented grime stars. Since then, Chip has released an impressive number of mixtapes and EPs, enjoyed a plethora of hit singles and considerable pop success. His proven versatility has seen him collaborate with the upper echelons of the grime, urban and r&b scenes from both sides of the pond with his second album marking the rise from London grime star to global celebrity.
Headlining the Roundhouse here for the first time, Chip marks the 10-year anniversary of his breakthrough mixtape, League of My Own and a return to grime. Released as his first studio album in 6 years, League of My Own II features percussive beats and relentless, sparring sessions amidst other musical styles serving, says the Guardian, “as much a statement of intent as an assured retrospective of what he’s already achieved.”
Doors 7pm / Tickets £15-19.50
Saturday 10 February
BETH ORTON + support
Beth Orton is one of the most unique and beguiling voices in British music. Over two decades she has proved herself to be a peerless artist able to effortlessly bridge the previously unseen musical gaps between the Chemical Brothers and Bert Jansch. Pairing her inimitable voice to a synthesis of electronic and acoustic instruments, Beth started out as both an outlier for the nascent UK folk revival and a one of the few recognisable faces at the forefront of the mid ’90s dance scene. She earned a Mercury nomination with her first album Trailer Park and won the Brit Award for Best British Female Artist with the follow up, Central Reservation. Throughout her career, Beth has consistently challenged perceptions of her music – both as a solo artist and in collaboration with musicians and producers as diverse as Four Tet, Terry Callier, Emmylou Harris, Johnny Marr and Nick Cave.
For In the Round she will be performing songs spanning her celebrated career from Trailer Park, Central Reservation, Daybreaker, Comfort of Strangers and Sugaring Season to her latest album Kidsticks. Co-produced with Andrew Hung of experimental electronic noise band Fuck Buttons, Music OMH hailed Kidsticks as a triumph, describing it as “comfortably among the best things she’s ever done. A delightful return.”
“Fascinating and inventive, reshaping our expectations constantly.” Sydney Morning Herald