Grooves: The Wassail; Jessie J; Tiffany; Hip-hop bingo; The Garage at 30

Thursday, 14th July — By Róisín Gadelrab

Jessie J

Jessie J is at Koko

EXPERIENCE possibly the hottest Christmas of your life at the Union Chapel on Saturday where Eliza Carthy and Jon Boden’s The Wassail gathers a collection of special guests for an unforgettable night. Delayed due to Covid-19, the sold-out show scheduled for December 2021, was postponed for six months with plans for Christmas in July – with festive decorations and support from folk/Americana singer Lady Nade, seasonal tunes from Brass Band London and dance from Ewan Wardrop and the animal-headed Boss Morris. Before carolling, came wassailing, where seasonal songs were exchanged for money, food and ale, trees were blessed and wassailers would go from house to house with their songs. Eliza Carthy and Jon Boden (one half of Boden & Spiers) promise to take audiences back to the oldest songs in the English canon, telling Christmas tales, spreading good cheer and lighting up the Union Chapel for Christmas in July.

If you missed out on a ticket for Jessie J’s two nights at Koko (July 26 and acoustic set on July 27 in aid of The BRIT School), take advantage of the “join waiting list” function on the venue’s website – this is offered for other sold out gigs so worth noting.

• Pearl Jam and Duran Duran closed this year’s Hyde Park BST festival his weekend with the help of a whole lot of special guests including John McEnroe, Johnny Marr and Nile Rodgers. See our reviewer Danny Cage’s verdict on Pearl Jam and Pixies here.

Eighties pop icon Tiffany – yes, the Tiffany of countless shopping mall appearances and 1987’s I Think We’re Alone Now fame – plays an intimate acoustic set at Clerkenwell’s The Slaughtered Lamb on July 19 as she prepares to release her 11th studio album later this year. Carry on the 80s theme with Bananarama at Lafayette London on August 3-4. Before that, catch Cali rapper D Smoke at Lafayette on July 16.

• We’ve heard of hip-hop karaoke but what about hip-hop Bingo? Pensioners Grandma Flash and 87-year-old DJ Harry Spelvin introduce a comedy mash-up of bingo, hip-hop / r ‘n b. lip sync battles and dance offs at 229 on July 28.

It looks like the promoters have kept their promise that the new Café Koko on Crowndale Road will be the place for pop-ups and special community events. Nicki Minaj – fashionably late as ever – brought Bayham Street to a stop on Monday as she tried to pass by the café for a meet and greet with fans following her appearance at Wireless in Finsbury Park on Sunday. Unfortunately, while Nicki managed to wade through the crowds surrounded by police, the event was cancelled after few minutes when hundreds of fans showed up, some, from the early hours, crowding the streets in 30 degrees heat. Perhaps this wasn’t such a good idea so soon after some fans broke down the barriers at Wireless festival over the weekend to catch Nicki’s Sunday performance.

• Happy birthday to The Garage, which marks its 30th anniversary this year with a series of shows from artists who have played there over the last three decades. First, Arab Strap on August 22 – 25 years after they first played at the venue. With a history of hosting huge acts – from Jack White to Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Blur, Oasis, Yungblud and Harry Styles – expect some exciting announcements over the next 12 months.

If you like your rock with a bit of glam, head down to Camden Assembly tomorrow (July 15) for Jo-Jo & the Teeth, where they launch single No More Good News, written after the death of Tom Petty.

• We’re spoiled for choice as ever at Jazz Café with South African dance music from Esa’s Afro-Synth Band (July 16); Alceu Valença, one of Brazil’s most influential artists (July 20); Mexico’s next rock star Ed Maverick (July 21); Brazilian writer, singer poet and actress Letícia Novaes aka LETRUX (July 22); Okland Grammy winning blues musician Fantastic Negrito (July 26-27); and reggae royalty Julian Marley & The Uprising (July 28).

The Maccabees’ Orlando Weeks supports Interpol at The Forum on Sunday (July 17).

• London Palladium hosts An Evening with Roger Daltrey on Sunday (July 17), where the frontman of The Who will be performing classics, solo hits and rarities with his band, acoustic and electric, plus a Q&A open to the audience. Then on July 24, Patti Smith takes to the stage, preceded by Connie Constance and Nadine Shah.

BRIT Award-winning musician George Ezra plays Finsbury Park on Sunday (July 17) with a talented support line-up including Blossoms, Mimi Webb, Holly Humberstone, The Big Moon, Mychelle and the London International Gospel Choir.

• Continue the festival season by straying a little out of London to Hertfordshire for this year’s Standon Calling (July 21-24), which features Madness, Anne-Marie, Loyle Carner, Primal Scream, Craig David presents TS5, Self Esteem, Kojey Radical, Basement Jaxx (DJ set), Grandmaster Flash, John Grant, Sleaford Mods and many more. A little closer to home Ally Pally’s biggest ever Kaleidoscope Festival takes place on July 23 with Orbital Happy Mondays, Charlotte Church’s Pop Dungeon, The Magic Numbers, Craig Charles Funk & Soul, DJ Yoda and more plus comedy, entertainment, theatre, workshops and the chance to explore the Palace’s secret Victorian basements.

More upcoming gigs: Dean Wareham plays Galaxie 500’s On Fire + Ryder The Eagle, Islington Assembly Hall (July 22).

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