Soul music’s secret genius is coming to The Barbican – Book Now!
Leroy Hutson, Barbican 12th July
In 2017 Leroy Hutson paid the UK a quick visit, playing his sumptuous 70s soul grooves in deepest darkest North London, and anyone who was there that night will be testament to the man’s magnificence.
Curtis Mayfield’s replacement in The Impressions, former roommate of Donny Hathaway, a singer, arranger, performer, and producer, he only now seems to be getting his dues (roughly 40 years late), and quite right too. His string of albums from the 1970s – Love Oh Love, The Man, Hutson, Feel the Spirit, Hutson II, Closer to The Source – have always had an underground following, many of whom would staunchly argue that they’re up there with the iconic works of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder from around the same time. Yet, somehow, Hutson has always drifted under the radar. Until now.
Acid Jazz are currently reissuing all of his 70s albums (not to mention an anthology of his finest cuts), and you can catch him at The Barbican on 12th July, playing a one-off gig as part of the wonderful Innervisions Festival 2018 (www.innervisionsfestival.com), which finds some of soul, hip hop, and reggae’s finest playing in venues all around London. You would be wise to stop everything, get your golden ticket, and kneel in reverence to one of soul music’s true greats.
Find out more (www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2018/event/leroy-hutson)
Three must-listen Leroy Hutson albums
Love Oh Love (1973)
His first solo record, and one of the most romantic soul albums ever made. When You Smile is the equivalent of a thousand scented candles.
Widely considered to be his masterpiece, this features his two best-loved tracks, All Because of You, and Lucky Fellow. Recently reissued by Acid Jazz.
Hutson II (1976)
Made up of studio cuts that didn’t make Hutson, for a collection of cast-offs this is astonishing. Some argue that it trumps its predecessor.
What’s On NOW?
Get Folked Up
With spring sprung and summer coming, it’s perfect weather conditions for a folksy soundtrack. You’ll find some great acts at the Slaughtered Lamb in May/June, including: Sydney based singer/songwriter Odette, combining soul, spoken word, folk, and pop (she also lists Keats as an influence); banjo-strummer extraordinaire Dan Walsh, and his trio, The Dan Walsh Trio; and folkie folk Emily Portman and Rob Harbron.
The Museum of London will be exhibiting 200 works by 50 artists celebrating London Nights – those witching hours when the sun goes down and the capital is cloaked in darkness, promising a “dramatic, nocturnal journey”. You’ll find portraiture, conceptual photography, archive footage from previous centuries, and spilled kebabs all over the pavement. Okay, minus the last bit.
London Nights, May-November, Museum of London
Masterful mover Akram Khan’s nal dance performance (in a full-length piece) finds him filtering the myth of Prometheus through a First World War lens. It’s guaranteed to be staggeringly good stuff from the contemporary dance favourite – one of the shining lights from the much- feted London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony. Remember that? So so good!
Akram Khan Company, XENOS, 29 May-9 June, Sadlers Wells
He’s been a member of Neil Young’s Crazy Horse, Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, and according to the font of all knowledge, our pal Wikipedia, he’s even duetted with Bart Simpson – but it’s as a solo artist where Nils Lofgren really shines. You can catch him doing his thing at The Barbican this May. He’s got skills to pay the bills.
Nils Lofgren: 50 Years… up the road, 28 May, Barbican