Riot Squad Publicty

Roundhouse: In the Round 2020

In the Round at the Roundhouse 2020

24 January – 1 February 2020


John Grant, Alice Russell, Anaïs Mitchell, Badly Drawn Boy, Beverley Knight,  Fatoumata Diawara, Jorge Drexler, KOKOROKO

Celebrating its fifth year, the Roundhouse presents In the Round, 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 around an almost circular stage.

Since its inception in 2016, In the Round has become known for its bold and adventurous programming.  An eclectic mix of genre-spanning artists present a series of special shows that include unique one-offs, exclusive premieres, solo sets and storytelling, making it a key fixture of the musical calendar and an exciting start to the year.


Friday 24 January – Jorge Drexler

Saturday 25 January –  Badly Drawn Boy

Monday 27 January  – Alice Russell

Tuesday 28 January – KOKOROKO

Wednesday 29 January – John Grant

Thursday 30 January – Fatoumata Diawara

Friday 31 January – Anaïs Mitchell with support from Bonny Light Horseman

Saturday 01 February – Beverley Knight

 As part of the Roundhouse’s commitment to developing emerging talent, young artists who use the Paul Hamlyn Roundhouse Studios will perform as support acts for each headline artist.



Friday 24 January


Critically acclaimed singer songwriter Jorge Drexler is a man of many talents.  Born and raised in Uruguay, he studied medicine and worked as an ear, nose and throat specialist before throwing in the towel to follow his dream of being a musician.  With 13 albums, 5 Latin Grammys and 1 Academy Award, it seems the medical profession’s loss was the music world’s gain. His recording career began in the early 90s, but mainstream success came with his seventh album, Eco, and its 2005 Oscar-winning song  Al Otro lado del río (The Other Side of the River), which featured in the 2005 Ché Guevara biopic The Motorcycle Diaries. The first Spanish-language song in the Academy’s history to win Best Original Song, it introduced Drexler to a far wider audience outside the Spanish-speaking world. His talents also extend to writing a ballet, Tres Hologramas, which premiered at the National Ballet Uruguay as well as acting in Daniel Burman’s film La suerte en tus manos.

For his appearance at In the Round – his only UK appearance – Drexler will perform his new mesmerizing solo show, Silente. Highly visual with mise-en-scène, this promises to be a rare treat for diehard and new fans alike.

“…an eminence across the Latin diaspora, his songs much covered and graced with awards.”

The Observer

Watch Silencio

Doors 7pm / Ticket Prices from £20



Saturday 25 January


It’s almost 20 years since the release of Badly Drawn Boy’s The Hour Of Bewilderbeast – an album the Guardian has called a “lo-fi-masterpiece”. The debut album earned Badly Drawn Boy – aka, Damon Gough –the Mercury Prize for Best Album, although his recording career began before that with an EP and several singles on Twisted Nerve, the indie label he set up with DJ Andy Votel. After the success of Bewilderbeast, he went on to write the soundtrack to the film of Nick Hornby’s book About a Boy, starring Hugh Grant, followed by Have You Fed The Fish? in 2002 which spawned his first Top Ten hit You Were Right. His prolific output continued with five more albums, including another soundtrack for the film Being Flynn, interspersed with stints in the States and heavy touring schedules. With an intuitive ear for melody and a ferociously creative mind, Gough and his music have been loved by fans and critics for over twenty years.

In what will be his first London show for five years, Badly Drawn Boy will be performing music from his back-catalogue alongside brand new material.

“A colossal talent” The Guardian

Watch Spitting In the Wind

Doors 7pm / Ticket Prices from £20



Monday 27 January


Alice Russell has one of the UK’s finest soul voices and so it’s little wonder that she has won accolades from such a diverse range of people as Gilles Peterson, David Byrne, Dennis Coffey, Massive Attack’s Daddy G and Lauren Laverne. She has also won over a whole host of producers – lending her strong, emotional tones to releases by Mr Scruff, Quantic, DJ Yoda and Nostalgia 77, the latter pairing producing the Seven Nation Army cover that demolished clubs for years. But following her first release, Under The Munka Moon, it’s her records with long-time producer and bandleader TM Juke that she’s best known. From their debut album My Favourite Letters through to To Dust, they have made some of the most arresting blues soul since the glory days of Aretha. Russell is an entrancing presence whether on a big stage with her 16-piece band or in an intimate club with a stripped down six-piece band. She is currently working on a new album set for release in 2020.

Alice Russell is a singer who commands attention and for In the Round she will be showcasing her new album for the first time – music she conceived to be performed in this very set up.

One of the greatest voices we have in this country.” Jamie Cullum

Watch To Dust

Doors 7pm / Ticket Prices from £17.50



Tuesday 28 January

KOKOROKO + support

Blistering horns, potent energy, and a victorious spirit are what define the sound of KOKOROKO, the London based, all-star, Afrobeat band, whose 2018 seven-minute, mostly instrumental track, Abusey Junction has, to date, notched up an astonishing 32 million plays on YouTube.  The track’s hypnotic, meditative vibe, underscores the band’s musical influences; a blend of West African rhythms, highlife and jazz. Adding grit to their groove, their sound is nonetheless, shaped by London. Channelling the greats of West Africa – Fela Kuti, Ebo Taylor, Tony Allen – through a jazz-rooted approach, KOKOROKO (whose name means ‘be strong’ in Orobo) released their self-titled debut EP in March 2019 earning a raft of glowing reviews and an invitation from Nile Rodgers to perform at his 2019 Meltdown at London’s Southbank Centre.  Powered by a seismic horn section led by trumpeter, Sheila Maurice-Grey, spiritual compositions, opiating guitar lines, soft percussion and languid vocals create a collective energy that is both tender and forceful.

For In the Round, KOKOROKO perform music from their debut EP and showcase brand new material set for release in autumn 2020.  Expect an enthralling set and be prepared to dance.

 “…a vital example of not only jazz’s new form but the shape of things to come for British music” The Guardian

Watch KOKOROKO perform  Abusey Junction (Live in Brownswood Basement)

Doors 7pm / Ticket Prices from £20



Wednesday 29 January

JOHN GRANT + support

It’s almost ten years since Michigan-born, Reykjavik- based singer songwriter John Grant released his debut solo album Queen Of Denmark lacing sumptuous soft-rock ballads with spacey synths and icy soundscapes. Since then, Grant has released a further three solo albums, each evolving so that his enduring love of synth pop now takes centre stage.  What remains constant though, is his distinctive, rich baritone voice and exquisite songwriting that draws on personal battles and the absurd, horrific, beautiful occurrences of everyday life.  It’s his songs, sometimes brutal, often heartfelt, always unblinkingly honest and laced with his trademark candour that earned him a BRIT Award nomination for International Male Solo Artist in 2014. His most recent release, 2018’s Love is Magic is his most electronic record to date.  Its fast paced collection of electro synth pop confessionals and disco workouts marry sharp, witty diatribes with melancholic ballads, marking Grant as one of today’s most compellingly idiosyncratic artists.

In contrast to his current album, John Grant performs a very rare, stripped back show in a duo format playing songs from across his celebrated career.  An unmissable In The Round ‘special’.

“a writer with his fingers on the pulse of what’s really magic”  Drowned in Sound

Watch Love is Magic

Doors 8pm   / Ticket Prices from £20



Thursday 30 January


Since the release of her debut album, Fatou (2011), Malian musician, actor and social activist Fatoumata Diawara (known as Fatou) has been hailed as one of Africa’s most trailblazing and outspoken voices.  She has worked with some of the biggest names in contemporary music; she’s recorded with Bobby Womack and Herbie Hancock, played Glastonbury, toured with the Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca and climbed aboard Damon Albarn’s star-studded Africa Express, which culminated in her sharing a stage with Sir Paul McCartney. She has also maintained a parallel career as an actor including an acclaimed appearance in 2014’s Timbuktu, which received both BAFTA and Academy Award nominations. Her most recent album, Fenfo is boldly experimental yet respectful of her Malian roots; modern electric guitar lines combine with the ancient African strings of the kora and kamel ngoni, while kit drums combine with the timeless rhythms of traditional percussion.

For her In the Round show, Fatou will be performing material from the critically acclaimed album, Fenfo, with a full band.

One of the finest, most inventive female singers in Mali…a classy affair that demonstrates her impressive musical range.”  The Guardian

Watch the video for Nterini

Doors 7pm / Ticket Prices from £20



Friday 31 January



In 2010, Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell released the album Hadestown, a folk opera based on the Greek myth of Orpheus. The response was extraordinary.  Five star reviews across the board marked it an unmitigated triumph heralding the arrival of a vital new voice and a formidable songwriting talent. Originally conceived as a community theatre project in rural Vermont, Mitchell continued developing it as a musical. Today, Hadestown is a Broadway hit and winner of eight  Tony Awards including Best Musical.  Yet Hadestown is just one release from Mitchell’s six-album catalogue. Each, including the highly acclaimed Young Man in America, and Child Ballads for which she won a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award, draws from the tradition of folk, yet with thoroughly modern execution.  Mitchell comes from the world of narrative folksong, poetry and balladry; her distinctive, fragile voice is beguiling, her melodies seductive and songcraft immaculate, tackling universal themes with emotional intimacy.

Anaïs Mitchell is a compelling live performer most usually seen in the UK, solo or duo.  Her In the Round appearance offers UK audiences a rare chance to see her music that spans the breadth of her catalogue, including some new material, together with a band.

Mitchell also appears in her latest project, Bonny Light Horseman, who will open the show. Dubbed a ‘folk supergroup’ by Rolling Stone Magazine, this astral folk outfit  comprises Mitchell, with indie rock stalwart Eric D. Johnson (Fruit Bats) and producer and instrumentalist Josh Kaufman (The National, Josh Ritter and more). Together, they mix the ancient, mystical medium of transatlantic traditional folk music with a contemporary, collective brush.

“The most engaging, and in some ways, most original artist working in the field of new American folk music” The Independent

Watch Anaïs perform All I’ve Ever Known (from Hadestown) live at The National Theatre

Doors 7pm / Ticket Prices from £22.50


Saturday 01 February


Widely regarded as one of Britain’s greatest soul singers, Beverley Knight has, over the past 25 years, notched up an incredible career as a recording artist, musical theatre star, radio presenter and a stunning live performer. Since bursting onto the scene with her 1995 debut album, The B-Funk, she has scored several Top 10 albums racking up over a million sales, won three MOBO Awards, has been nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize, three nominations for Best Female at the Brits and picked up an MBE along the way.  Revered for her sheer vocal excellence, Knight sings with an extraordinary passion and intensity. Her staggeringly powerful soul voice, bewildering vocal stamina and exuberant live performances have won her a legion of fans.  She has sung for the Queen, with Quincy Jones at his 75th Birthday concert (where Quincy himself gave her a standing ovation), with Prince, Chaka Khan, Take That, Andrea Bocelli and many more.


Beverley Knight performs In the Round celebrating the release of her new live album, BK25: Beverley Knight with The Leo Green Orchestra at The Royal Festival Hall, (released November 2019) that marks her 25 years in the business.  Expect highlights from her career that include hit songs  Shoulda Woulda Coulda and  Come as You Are, as well as classic covers, and brand new material.


“Powering through hit after hit with force, control and vocal acrobatics…. she is nothing short of astounding to watch” The Telegraph

Watch a promo video for the release of BK25

Doors 7pm / Ticket Prices from £35


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