Just when you think the festival scene is over for the summer and the balmy days have loosed their last notes of live energy it would seem the BBC are here to sate the music fans unquenchable thirst for live events. October 25th through to the 29th promises something a little bit special for the discerning punter with the introduction of the Electric Proms.
Based at the Roundhouse in Camden (and taking in other venues in the Camden area) the Proms promises to be a festival of music for the established artist and newcomer alike. Damon Albarn in conjunction with Paul Simonon will unleash yet another one of his side projects The Good, The Bad And The Queen while The Who will be bringing their new mini opera to the stage for the first time (apparently nothing like the evergreen ‘Tommy’).
If that isn’t enough to whet your appetite there’s undoubtedly something for everyone during the event. Jamiroquai takes time out of his busy schedule punching paparazzi to take to the stage at the Jazz Caf? like many of the acts he will performing a set that will comprise of material from early in his bands career so expect plenty of stuff from ‘Emergency On Planet Earth’, suspect headwear will probably not be in attendance though but here’s the clincher…its free.
On the 26th the aforementioned The Good, The Bad And The Queen will be playing their first performance of the new album. The concept of a supergroup is not one that is new to Albarn as this new band cobbles together ex members of The Clash (Simonon) and The Verve (Simon Tong) and Tony Allen (Fela Tuti). Elsewhere on the bill expect a set from Jamie T and Young Tiger in support at The Roundhouse, standard tickets are gone but apparently there will be a set amount of ?5 tickets available on the day (see the website for details), presumably on a first come first serve basis.
Radio 1’s second John Peel night will be taking place at the Electric Ballroom (which alas has already sold out) with sets from Jack White’s band The Raconteurs with support from Squarepusher and The Horror.
Friday 27th sees James Brown returning to get on the good foot (again). The Godfather needs no additional introduction. He’s going to be providing a set of ‘swinging soul’ and ‘jazz flavoured standards’ and this set will feature appearances from special guest stars, could be worth a gander. This time ticket prices come in at ?25 plus booking fee (you wouldn’t expect to see the Godfather for anything less would you).
On the same night Fatboy Slim will be spinning an old school set upstairs at the Lock Tavern. Because of size constraints tickets for this show will not be available for sale but more a case of being offered on Radio 1 as freebies so if there are any to be had listen to the ‘nation’s favourite’ for more information. Expect a set of squelchy bouncy beat laden classics from his early days. Doubtlessly a feel good set will be on offer, but with space for only 100 punters it should be something of a unique experience.
On the 28th back at the Roundhouse both Kasabian and The Guillemots will be performing with the BBC Concert Orchestra. Both proven live acts in their own right this opportunity of teaming them live with orchestral arrangements promises to be something a bit special. Alas standard tickets are once again sold out but there will be ‘on the day’ tickets available for ?5.
The Who show up on the 29th to show off their new mini opera at The Roundhouse. It’s the same story with the tickets though, you can try your luck for the ?5 tickets but I daresay it could be a tricky prospect. However if this isn’t you thing you could always nip along to KOKO where Basement Jaxx will be hosting a one night only affair ‘The Crazy Itch Club’ will apparently be home to the ‘itchiest scratchiest array of talent alongside the Jaxx themselves’. Sounds like quite a prospect with tickets going currently on sale at ?15 courtesy of seetickets.com.
Elsewhere the Electric Proms promises not just to be a straight vanilla music event. Each day the event will be hosting new music shorts and documentaries courtesy of a liaison with the BBC Film Network and BBC Talent. All the celluloid offerings will be on show to capture the essence of live performance and music and the showings will be free throughout the duration of the event. As will be an exhibition of music related photography (live shots, bands and people generally enjoying music).
For those who aren’t fortunate enough to be attending the event the BBC will be offering coverage on the box and the wireless. Expect full coverage on Radio 1,2,3,6Music, 1Xtra and The Asian Network and World Service as well as TV coverage on BBC One and Three and BBCi (Digital TV services).
Whether you can make it to the actual events or not there should be enough coverage to keep enough the most dedicated music fan happy. So wherever you’re going to be, kick back and enjoy.