London’s buzzing with a summer breeze and while festival season has many travelling out of the capital city, there’s a feverish lineup that’s got us heading South of the Thames and over to the Battersea Arts Club.
This summer we know you’ve already been spoilt for choice, but if you’re looking for something a little more continental in spirit, there’s a new live event series taking over the beautiful chambers of the Battersea Arts Centre’s through August and September. Set up by GOAT music, the former Roundhouse music programmers ‘Borderless’ has already kicked off since the start of the month and lined up some of the UK’s best homegrown talent, alongside a veritable stable of artists from around the globe.
Forthcoming shows includes performances from Dele Sosimi, Nubiyan Twist, Haelos, Kath Bloom, Electric Jalaba, Meta Meta, Family Atlantica, Roseau, Mammal Hands and Francesca Belmonte and if you don’t already now here’s what you need to know about 5 of our picks.
Hackney born but raised in the shadow of Fela Kuti, Afrobeat legend Dele Sosimi, returned to Nigeria at the age of four going on to witness the height of the 70’s Afrobeat scene. Sharing the stage with Fela at Glastonbury in 1984, Dele became the Musical Director for both Fela’s Egypt 80 and FemiKuti’s Positive Force, soon after Fela’s passing in 1997, the time came for Dele to focus on his solo career. Living in London for the past 22 years, Dele has patiently crafted a following with his Afrobeat Vibration all-nighters developing his own sound blending funk grooves with Nigerian traditional music (including hi-life), African percussion, jazz horns as well as rhythmical singing. Performing his live sets all over the world, he’s been seen regularly on the world festival circuit.
Releasing a reworking of his highly acclaimed record ‘You No Fit Touch Am’ on Wah Wah 45s with Prince Fatty and Nostalgia 77, Dele Sosimi finally made a return with his first full-length album in almost a decade. Considered to be an album that not only gives a musical representation of Dele’s strong socio-political opinions, it also showcases Dele’s classic song-writing reminiscent of 1970s Lagos.
See DELE SOSIMI + Soma perform at the Battersea Arts Centre on the 18th Aug – Get your tickets here.
Up next are the homegrown 12 piece London/Leeds group Nubiyan Twist who’ve created their own new wave fusing Afrobeat, soul, jazz, dub and hip-hop into an improvised soundsystem. Releasing their debut project ‘Straight Lines’, to critical acclaim these musicians, DJ’s, producers and lead vocalist Nubiya Brandon have brought together the best of British culture and musical styles with deep influences from the likes of Fela Kuti, King Tubby, J Dilla and Herbie Hancock.
Their lead single ‘Work House’ from their debut project featured Sri-Lankan born Londoner Suren Seneviratne aka My Panda Shall Fly.
While the sporting world has all eyes on Rio this summer, we’ll have our ears perked to the sounds of five of São Paulo’s most sought after musicians. Metá Metá are known for creating seductive Afro-Punk sounds through a mix of Afrobeat, Afrosambas, be-bop and art rock. Be prepared for their explosive life-affirming music that tops off with the rage of the punk era yet seduces with the introspective spirituality of Jazz greats like John Coltrane and Sun Ra.
Fresh off their second album, Metá Metá pull together ancient chants of the orixás into a dirty brew of psychedelic samba, distorted jazz and Afro-punk – get a taste of their brew below;
METÁ METÁ perform at the Battersea Arts Centre on the 13th Sep – you can get your tickets here.
At the heart of this family are a trio from three continents: London born Jack Yglesias, a veteran of The Heliocentrics and live Quantic bands; his wife Luzmira Zerpa, traditional Venezuelan musician, poet and singer with a magical voice acclaimed by Manu Chao; and half Nigerian – half Ghanaian Kwame ‘Natural Power’ Crentsil, master percussionist and dancer. They lead a multi-national band of London’s finest musicians and are a major highlight on the Borderless lineup.
Family Atlantica have previously collaborated with the father of Ethiopian jazz, Mulatu Astatke, and Cuban rumba legend Yoruba Andabo. Their intense live show has conquered many festival stages across Europe and most recently they featured as the support act for Buena Vista Social Club’s final UK tour. Promising an intercontinental feast of sound Family Atlantica will take you on an expedition to the furthest reaches of the musical spectrum. Fresh off the release of their ‘Cosmic Unity’ 15 track album on Soundway Records, they are pure energy.
FAMILY ATLANTICA + Ezra Collective perform on the 14th Sept and you can get your tickets here
More than just a trio of jazz musicians, former buskers Mammal Hands are tuned into their own frequency producing beautifully arranged hypnotic compositions. Nick Smart on piano, Jesse Barrett on drums/percussion and Jordan Smart on saxophone, met in Norwich where together they drew together their shared influences from Phillip Glass to Pharoah Sanders to The Cinematic Orchestra to fuse their own sound with elements of North Indian, Sufi and African trance.
MAMMAL HANDS perform on the 21st Sept and you can get your tickets here.