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Grooves: Radio Fandango; Denmark Street; Black Heart; Riz Ahmed

11 February, 2021 — By Róisín Gadelrab

Riz Ahmed. Photo: Hassan Hajjaj

THE geniuses behind Club Fandango, responsible for putting on hundreds of gigs at the Dublin Castle over the years, have launched Radio Fandango to ensure we don’t miss out on discovering our fave new band while venues are shut. With a jovial mission to embody the spirit of the likes of pirate stations Radio Caroline and Radio Luxembourg from times past, expect new music, interviews, live sessions, podcasts and a promise to support the support bands. They promise no genres, no pigeon holes and no algorithms – it’s a refreshing and ambitious approach and we can’t wait to hear more. We particularly hope this will inspire one particular Tufnell Park resident, who recently sparked a debate on a Camden website asking for tips on discovering new music when venues are closed and looking for good radio stations. We’d also recommend Boogaloo Radio where our very own Dan Carrieris a regular on the airwaves. Find out more at

While our social lives were sleeping, something has been happening to Denmark Street. Once the home of music publishers, recording studios and music shops, in more recent years, the destination businesses of Tin Pan Alley have largely disappeared, having fallen victim to redevelopment and rent rises. So, the jury is out on Outernet, the new billion-pound immersive media and entertainment district opening this winter. The project will include a new 2,000-capacity venue, reviving the 12 Bar Club, introducing a pro bono recording studio and aiming to ensure that the area’s musical history isn’t forgotten in the wake of the dramatic changes to the area. There will also be the new four-storey Now Building with 23,000 sq ft of floor to ceiling 360-degree 8k screen where music and arts will be broadcast 24/7. Will this be enough to continue the area’s rich musical history – and gain forgiveness – from those who have been displaced? Not every new development is bad so we’re looking forward to seeing what this brings before making our minds up. More info from

• The Black Heart has received huge support since its crowdfunder appeal was launched. This week (Thursday), Frank Turner is performing an online benefit gig as part of his Independent Venue Love series on his YouTube channel

Riz Ahmed’s The Long Goodbye live tour was due to take place at the end of last year until the pandemic interrupted his live plans, forcing him to turn to sellout online performances. Now, the prolific multi-talented musician and actor has made a 30-minute performance of music, storytelling and theatre available to stream for one month (until March 1) on demand via

• Spiritland is doing its best to revive the joy of its live sets with a series of online selections including Balearic dons Severino, Andy Taylor (We Are The Sunset), Chris Coco, jazz, dub and underground happenings from Tony Sylvester, Black Peaches main man Rob Smoughton and live film rescoring from Martin Green and Jonny Trunk.

Latest gig announcements: Robert Jon & The Wreck, 100 Club (Sept 23) and Pale Waves, Roundhouse (Feb 28, 2022).


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