Britain’s Got Talent
ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER
Now in its fourth year, the Live at Chelsea concert series is a set of outdoor shows staged in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Commissioned by King Charles II and designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the building and its grounds have homed retired military ‘Chelsea Pensioners’ since 1692. Each year, some of the proceeds are designated for the Pensioners and the maintenance of the Grade I-listed site. Andrew Lloyd Webber – A Musical Celebration (17 June) is the hot ticket.
Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber has composed numerous hit musicals, from The Phantom of the Opera and Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat to Sunset Boulevard and Evita, winning seven Tonys, seven Oliviers, three Grammys, a Golden Globe and an Oscar for his efforts. This month, the composer – who was 70 in March – is honoured with a spectacle of recording artists and West End stars, accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, and ending with a firework display. Sing along to familiar, well-loved songs from Cats, Evita, Starlight Express and The Phantom of the Opera, as well as performances by the West End cast of School of Rock – The Musical and stage stars including Imelda May and Mica Paris. Meanwhile, the winner of TV’s Superstar talent search, Ben Forster, will sing songs from The Phantom of the Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar, in which he played the lead. He’ll be joined by Tyrone Huntley – who won an Olivier Award for playing Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar – while Joe McElderry, the former winner of TV’s The X Factor and the lead in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, sings hits from the musical.
You can also watch the English rock band Kaiser Chiefs (14 June). Best known for their number one hit Ruby and their Mercury Music Prize nomination in 2005, they will kick off the festival. The following night, don’t miss guitarist Jeff Beck (15 June), who has performed with The Yarbirds, won eight Grammy Awards and recorded with huge stars Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner and Mick Jagger. The British singer-songwriter James Blunt (16 June) also headlines as part of his world tour, The Afterlove. Expect to hear You’re Beautiful!
Heritage Live Summer Concerts is a series of performances in three locations, including in the grounds of Kenwood, a stately home in Hampstead Heath.The concerts are Kenwood’s first since 2013. Sam Cooper, English Heritage’s general manager at Kenwood, says: ‘We are thrilled to be bringing back the summer concerts to Kenwood. People have been asking us for ages when they would return and we’re hopeful this will become an annual event. I can think of no better way to spend a summer’s evening than listening to music against the spectacular backdrop of Kenwood.’
The headliner is Katherine Jenkins. The Welsh mezzo soprano performs at the Last Night of the Kenwood Proms (24 June) alongside the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Jenkins is best known for singing for the Pope and at the Queen’s 90th birthday, and for competing in the US show Dancing with the Stars. More recently, last year she took to the West End stage to perform in Carousel. The Military Wives Choirs will warm up the crowd ahead of Jenkins, singing songs from their newest album, Remember, which commemorates the centenary of the end of World War I.
You can also dance to DJs Graeme Park and Mike Pickering at Haçienda Classiçal (15 June), with a DJ set by Orbital, wave your Union Jack for English tenor Alfie Boe (16 June) – who has also performed for the Queen – and catch the Texan country singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson, with support from Rufus Wainwright (22 June). Finally, The Movies of John Williams (23 June) – film scores from the Star Wars, Jaws, Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park series played by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra – is set to be a family favourite.
Each summer, the Southbank Centre picks an accomplished artist such as David Bowie, Morrissey or Yoko Ono to cherry-pick their favourite musicians for its Meltdown festival. While 2017 belonged to MIA, this year’s 25th edition (15-24 June) sees Robert Smith from The Cure curating. He says: ‘I’ve finally figured out my Meltdown festival psychedelic puzzle… and it really is just like heaven. Ten delirious June days at London’s Southbank Centre await!’ Smith will host CURÆTION-25 (24 June), a one-off show in the Royal Festival Hall to close the festival. He’ll be joined by special guests, including the post-punk band The Twilight Sad.
Elsewhere, DJs perform in the Clore Ballroom, there will be free music outside on Riverside Terrace, free family-friendly activities and a chance to dance until 2am at Concrete Lates, thanks to Kiasmos (15 June), Vessels (16 June) and Eat Static (23 June). Listen to big names such as The Libertines, Manic Street Preachers, Placebo, Nine Inch Nails, Kathryn Joseph and Jo Quail. If you’d like to hear new talent, you’re spoilt for choice: the Italian trio JoyCut (15 June) have new work, and the Korean band Jambinai perform folk and metal music (16 June).
THE ROLLING STONES
Rock legends The Rolling Stones are set to play at the home of England rugby, Twickenham Stadium (19 June), the finale of their Stones – No Filter tour. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood last played in the UK in 2013, at Glastonbury festival and in Hyde Park. Watts says: ‘The Stones’ audience is the glue that keeps us together. The best and most satisfying moment is when you are reaching the end of the show and they are all going nuts.’
The founder of 1990’s band Catatonia, Cerys Matthews is performing with friends at the third edition of the Poetry & Lyrics festival, which is on at Kings Place (8-9 June). The Welsh star headlines the festival, which will also see two late-night parties with Benin City performing their new album Last Night and an interview with Jehnny Beth, the frontwoman of the English rock band Savages.
SAVE OUR SOUNDS
Even global music stars started somewhere, so support up-and-coming talent, grassroots music venues and female contributions to the music industry throughout June during Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s first Sounds Like London festival. Attend exhibitions and free DJ workshops for women, or watch them show off their new skills at Fabric. You can also listen to emerging female artists perform in unique settings across the capital, and attend gigs to raise money for music venues faced with closure.