The live music calendar kicks off in January with the fifth edition of In the Round at London’s Roundhouse.
Since its inception in 2016, In the Round has welcomed a diverse range of renowned artists from Shirley Collins, Oumou Sangaré, Patti Smith and John Cale to Matthew E White, Nadine Shah and GoGo Penguin.
The yearly series of shows puts intimate performances at the forefront and takes place in the venue’s main space for fully seated concerts placed around an almost circular stage.
Next year’s series promises yet another stellar programme, which will feature sets from John Grant, Anaïs Mitchell and KOKOROKO.
Here, Jane Beese, head of music at Roundhouse, takes us through some of the highlights of the past five years and shines a light on some of 2020’s performers. Dig in…
Marianne Faithfull – Broken English
Marianne’s In the Round show was really legendary – she was in anecdotal mood and told the story that the last time she was on stage at the Roundhouse was in Hamlet playing Ophelia in 1969. At the end of the show a heckler from the back shouted, ‘tell us a story Marianne’ to which she immediately replied, ‘I’ve been telling you a fucking story all night darling.’ Such a hero.
Patti Smith – Land
I’ve been lucky enough to work with Patti on a number of events since 2005 when she curated Meltdown Festival which I worked on at the time. I was so happy when she agreed to do In the Round last year. For me Land is the track that I always return to – it represents everything that Patti means to me. As a live artist she is still one of the most powerful people I’ve ever seen on stage.
Nadine Shah – Holiday Destination
Nadine is one of my favourite artists, great tracks, live presence and on the money politics. Her show at In the Round was life changing for those who hadn’t seen her before.
Keaton Henson – Sweetheart What Have You Done To Us
Keaton’s In the Round shows was one of the most beautiful. It’s well documented that he suffers from anxiety and therefore doesn’t play live very much. This was an extraordinary performance.
Martha Wainwright – Proserpina
This was Martha’s mother, Kate McGarrigle’s last song that she wrote and it’s just so beautiful. To my knowledge Martha has only performed it once live. I also love the track on Martha’s first record about her relationship with her father. Martha has a completely brilliant stage presence and I just love her vocals.
Ghetts – Preach
We were so happy when Ghetts agreed to celebrate ten years of Ghetto Gospel with an In the Round show. He dedicated one of tracks that night to his mum who was in the audience and it was a really lovely moment. I love this track.
Creep Show – Mr Dynamite
I’ve just seen Creep Show live for the first time and thought they were so brilliant. Check them out next time they are in town. Having John Grant on the line up for this year’s In the Round is really special and he is working with our Roundhouse Choir to be part of the show which will be a great start to their year.
Beverley Knight – Now or Never
I’ve loved Beverley’s work for years and her live show will just blow you away.
Kokoroko – Adwa
I saw Kokoroko at their show as part of Nile Roger’s Meltdown last summer and they just blew me away. They just seem to represent a new freedom in music which is so relevant and necessary at the moment.
The 2020 programme for In the Round is as follows:
Friday 24 January Jorge Drexler
Saturday 25 January Badly Drawn Boy
Monday 27 January Alice Russell
Tuesday 28 January KOKOROKO
Wednesday 29 January John Grant
Thursday 30 January Fatoumata Diawara
Friday 31 January Anaïs Mitchell with support from Bonny Light Horseman
Saturday 01 February Beverley Knight
For more information about the 2020 edition of In the Round and to purchase tickets, please visit roundhouse.org.uk.