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Róisín Gadelrab’s music news: Hip-hop at Sadler’s Wells; Portobello Live; Record Store Day

20 April, 2017 — By Róisín Gadelrab

John Cooper Clarke will be at Portobello Live

IF you haven’t yet made plans for the bank holiday weekend, there’s plenty to see – here are just two examples of opportunities to catch great music over the break: hip-hop fans can visit Sadler’s Wells for hip-hop dance theatre celebration Breakin’ Convention, and take the opportunity to see Mercury winner Speech Debelle for free at the closing event Park Jam at Spa Fields on May 1 (see below details). Alternatively, if you’re over in west London, there’s Portobello Live, a festival of music, cabaret, spoken word and performance art taking place at various venues in Notting Hill between April 30 and May 1. For one £20 wristband, you can see the likes of John Cooper Clarke, Don Letts, The Egg, Glen Matlock, Micall Parknsun, Taz, Gaz Mayall, Femi Fem, The Members, DJ Noel Watson, Potent Whisper the activist, spoken word and grime artist and many more. The influential Blatantly Blunt organisation will be showcasing UK and international hip-hop and grime talent from as far as Zimbabwe and Canada, plus there will be a live graffiti jam, the It’s Behind You exhibition looking back over 25 years of the iconic Portobello Panto, neighbourhood music academy ‘The Rhythm Studio’ will hold drumming sessions, and listen out for harmonies from the Portobello Live! Choir, which will open the festival. Info from Under-16s free but remember photo ID may be required.

The new Doctor Martens shop has opened in Camden Market, completing its long association with music by unveiling its own in-store stage where bands, DJs and artists will be invited to play each week. You can also catch a glimpse of some rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia with one-off displays from counter-culture legends including Pauline Black, Twin Atlantic and Slaves.

• Re:Imagine is bringing a full orchestra to the Jazz Cafe on April 26 to celebrate The Roots’ greatest hits in their own manner.

Former Faithless singer Maxi Jazz (above) told us last month how he had turned his hand to guitar and wasn’t looking back. See him and his band the E-Type Boys at Jazz Cafe on April 22.

• Israeli peace campaigner and musician David Broza (above) performs with unlikely collaborators at the Union Chapel on April 27.

Manchester five-piece Cabbage are making waves with their angry, satirical neo post-punk – they have plenty to say, and they’re going to say it – austerity England watch out. See them at Dingwalls on April 27.

• Philadelphia rocker Joseph Parsons brings his double EP The Field The Forest to the Green Note on April 25.

Notable gigs this week: Low Island, Electrowerkz; John Prine, Palladium (April 21); Hayseed Dixie, The Garage (April 22); While She Sleeps, St Pancras Old Church (April 24); Touts, Camden Assembly (April 26); Barry Adamson, M.O.T.H. Club (April 27).

• Don’t forget Record Store Day this weekend (April 22). Camden still has a few vinyl specialists so get out there and support them. For details of the various events and releases visit


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