This year there’s a variety of gigs, club nights, and DJ sets to go and throw some shapes at, here’s a few of our highlights from the big dogs to the unsigned.
Gigs - Who to see during 2018:
Absent Kelly's the Cav Club present Adannay @ The Cavendish Arms on Friday 16th March
After a sell-out show in December and her EP Launch Party at Hootananny Brixton, soulful singer-songwriter Adannay headlines a night of soul, pop, and R&B hosted by Absent Kelly. There's support from a number of other unsigned artists, so head down to Stockwell (London) this Friday to hear Adannay's new EP performed live, with some cracking mashup's. Her Favourite Song is now available on Spotify, Apple Music, and Soundcloud.
Gizelle Smith @ Archspace, London on Saturday 24th March
Head over to the funk and soul singer's launch party of her new album Ruthless Day, released on Jalapeno Records the 30th March. Preview some tracks and pre-order your copy of Ruthless Day for a taste of what to expect, 'S.T.A.Y.' featuring Eric Boss is bound to get you shaking your stuff.
Greg Wilson, John Morales, and OK Jones @ XOYO on Saturday 14th April
Legends of disco djing - Greg Wilson was the first person to dj live on TV in England and he puts on sets that are like a psychedelic disco trip. John Morales stems from Studio 54 playing all his remixes of the classics.
Love Supreme at the Roundhouse @ Roundhouse, Camden on Saturday 5th May
We attended the 2017 festival and it was a cracking event, so this is a safe bet with great artists on the line-up. Featuring Mr Jukes, Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles (Cory Henry is en route to become contemporary jazz's Herbie Hancock), Moon Hooch and many others.
You can also get tickets for Love Supreme Festival on 29th to 1st July at Glynde Place, Lewes, Sussex (we're talking Earth, Wind, & Fire, George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic, Tom Misch, Mavis Staples...it's a banging line-up).
Smoove & Turrell with guest Izo FitzRoy @ Archspace, London on Thursday 24th May
Another act on the Jalapeno Records label who will be releasing some new material this year, following on from 2016s Crown Posada comes the funk band's fifth album Mount Pleasant, if you're not in London then checkout their tour dates and get involved.
Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra @ Nowton Park, Bury St. Edmunds on Friday 25th May
With a selection of special guests joining Jools on-stage including Soft Cell's Marc Almond and frequent collaborator Ruby Turner, for those who watch Later...with Jools Holland know that this is a performance not to be missed.
George Benson UK Tour @ Royal Albert Hall, London on Wednesday 27th June
We saw him at Love Supreme festival and he has certainly still got it, with an incredible back catalogue of groovy soul, funk, blues, and jazz tracks - he is a living legend and puts on a show full of the classics.
Bruno Mars @ BST Hyde Park on Saturday 14th July
The man who is sure to be MJ’s successor as the King of Pop is gracing Hyde Park this summer and tickets are still on-sale; they are cheaper than his tour but you get to see an array of artists, what's not to love! Bruno along with his band The Hooligans are one of the most talent group of musicians on the live music scene - dancing, playing, singing, and just generally creating an incredible atmosphere.
Theatre - Which West End shows to watch this year:
Chicago @ Phoenix Theatre, London
The musical version of Chicago returns to London with Cuba Gooding Jr. as Billy, so head to the Phoenix Theatre, rouge your knees, roll your stockin's down, and all that Jazz...
Dreamgirls @ Savoy Theatre, London
If you've seen the movie then I need not say anymore. If you haven't seen the movie then, firstly, WHY NOT?! Secondly, it's based on the story of Diana Ross and the Supremes with an unbelievably great soundtrack full of northern soul and funk.
Hamilton @ Victoria Palace Theatre, London
This is THE show to see apparently, huge on Broadway and has a lot of buzz on the west-end with it's jazzy & funky hip-hop style - almost new territory for mainstream musicals - and a historical story that deals with race and gender.
Motown the Musical @ Shaftesbury Theatre, London
The story of Motown told through the music of Motown, this fairly recent addition to the West End has over 40 songs featured and an incredible ensemble of actors, dancers, and singers that would give most other shows a run for their money.
Tina: The Musical @ Aldwych Theatre, London
A new show with all of Tina's classics from 'Simply the Best' to 'Proud Mary' telling her story - this will be debuting in March and it's bound to be a sell-out, so grab your tickets early and get those big 80s hair-do's ready.
Club Nights - Where you should take your dancing shoes in 2018:
South London Soul Train @ CLF Art Cafe Block A, Bussey Building, London
Currently running every Friday or Saturday night, playing all the best in rare grooves, funk, soul disco, hip hop and everything we love at Trouve la Groove. Featuring an array of guest DJs and live bands, see below for what Soul Train have to offer over the next two months:
- Saturday 10th March with Jenna & the G's (live) + more
- Friday 16th March Vault Festival Special with Dr Meaker
- Saturday 17th March with Geno Washington & Ram Jam Band
- Saturday 24th March 4 Club Mash Up with Echoes Of (live)
- Sunday 1st April Easter Special with Omar vs MDCL (live)
- Saturday 7th April with Eva Lazarus (live) + more
- Saturday 14th April Motown & Marvin Gaye special + more
- Saturday 21st April Live Special with Fred Wesley
Disco Freaks @ Notting Hill Arts Club, London
Running every second saturday of the month, master mixers Disco Freaks will be hosting a residency set with their classic bangers and rare grooves in all realms of disco, from early 80s bass heavy disco funk to the contemporary electronica of nu-disco. We were lucky enough to see these guys twice at Glastonbury and boy do they know how to throw a party...
XOYO Loves @ XOYO, Shoreditch, London
Every Saturday night XOYO bring you the best in disco, house, funk, techno, soul - think Studio 54 meets Defected in the House and Glitterbox. All night DJ sets and all night dancing, with a sound system and lighting rig to take your Saturday night out to the next level.
Jazz Cafe - What London's grooviest music venue has to offer:
This is one of our favourite venues, always hosting top-class events from the world of groove, so we've dedicated an entire section to their cracking line-up. Head down there every Friday and Saturday for Night Thing and Soul City, with an array of DJs from the disco, funk, and soul scene.
From musical tributes to intimate gigs, and renowned DJ sets to themed parties, Jazz Cafe have got it all - here are some of our highlights:
A Night of Neo-Soul - Monday 12th March
"From Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill to D’Angelo and Donell Jones, join us on this journey of neo-soul satisfaction."
The Universe of Tim Maia - Friday 16th March
"Tim Maia is universally recognised as one of the icons of Brazilian music heritage. He contributed to a raft of Brazilian music styles, including funk, bossa nova, disco, romantic ballads, pop, rock, jazz, baião and MPB. To mark the 20th anniversary since his untimely death, a ten-piece Brazilian band led by Kita Steuer will perform a selection of Tim Maia’s greatest hits at the Jazz Cafe."
The Legend of William Onyeabor - Monday 19th March
"Bridging funk, disco and afrobeat, Onyeabor’s style was wholly unique and revolutionary for the time and place in which he grew up. Bukky Leo’s Black Egypt collective have put together a full show that unequivocally celebrates the life and times of one of the true icons of our lifetime."
A Night of Marvin Gaye - Sunday 25th March
"Enjoy an evening of classic Marvin Gaye performed by a full live band.Following three previously sold-out shows, we once again pay tribute to the Prince of Soul with a full live band performance of his greatest hits from Sexual Healing to Let’s Get it On…just how Marvin, himself sang them!"
Jocelyn Brown - Monday 23rd April
"R’n’b legend Jocelyn Brown returns to her spiritual home. A staple at the Jazz Cafe, Jocelyn is back for a special intimate show – her performances with us have never been less than spellbinding, as many would attest. Spanning not just r’n’b but soul, funk and jazz as well, we can’t think of many other artists that embody the spirit of the Jazz Cafe as well as Jocelyn Brown."
Odyssey - Wednesday 9th May
"Forming in 1968, New York-based Odyssey have gone on to become one of the most successful disco groups of all time.Starting out performing in New York dance clubs they hit the big time in 1977 with their iconic disco cuts “Native New Yorker” and “Easy Come, Easy Go”, two gems that brilliantly captured the NY scene at the time. “Don’t Tell Me, Tell Her” and the smash hit “Going Back to My Roots” soon followed, cementing the group’s place in disco history."
A Night of Stevie - Monday 14th May
"Enjoy an evening dedicated to Stevie Wonder as a full live band play classics from the living legend. Come and enjoy an evening of classic songs from Stevie Wonder and hear hits such as Sir Duke, Isn’t She Lovely, My Cherie Amour, Superstition and so much more."
Soul City: Mr. Mendel and Marcel Vogel - Saturday 19th May
"Every Saturday at Soul City, we connect the dots between soul, disco, house and more from across the ages, in the company of our favourite selectors. [...] Both architects of melodic and light disco and house, Mendel’s touch has been heard across countless edits for the likes of James Brown, Nina Simone and Fela Kuti, whilst Vogel broke through last year with the anthemic ‘I Got Jesus’."
The Cuban Brothers - Thursday 7th June
"The Cuban Brothers’ peerless funk soul review blends sexy, soulful music, with jaw-dropping b-boy action and riotous comedy.Born of the loins of seventies Havana, nurtured on a diet of soulful, sexy tunes and inspired by Cuban historical fact and mythology, the Brothers are celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band this year with a homecoming show at the Jazz Cafe."
Omar - Friday 8th June and Saturday 9th June
"British born, classically trained soul legend Omar’s career spans twenty five years. The multi-instrumentalist’s blend of classic and neo-soul shows at the Jazz Cafe are always an enchanting experience, and following this year’s new solo album and his collaborative album with Courtney Pine, this one’s going to be no different."
The Fatback Band - Thursday 2nd August
"One of the most acclaimed disco, soul and funk groups to have ever emerged from America, The Fatback Band return to the Jazz Cafe after the sell out success of their last headline show here in 2016."
Heatwave - Monday 29th October
"One of funk and disco’s preeminent bands [...] with hits like ‘Mind Blowing Decisions’, ‘Boogie Nights’ and the all time classic ‘Allways and Forever’, Heatwave are no strangers to chart success with a string of hits reaching the top twenty, and the foot stomping ‘Boogie Nights’ climbing all the way to number one in 1977."