An eclectic mix to suit all tastes this month, but I’ve not made it easy. You’ll have to choose between funk and soul or classic hip hop and modern rap, electro-swing or indie anthems. Lemon squeezy.
Who? Ward Thomas
Where? O2 Guildhall, Southampton
When? April 2nd
Why? Double – or should I say sister – act Ward Thomas and their country-pop are coming to Southampton’s O2 Academy to showcase their new album, Restless Minds, after the release of their no. 1 album of 2016, Cartwheels. In their latest album, the two twenty-somethings reflect on the world they grew up as anxious teenagers and became young women in, touching upon universal themes of social media, women in the workplace and mental health issues. They also make it relatable for any twins out there and delve a little deeper into this close and unique bond between them. Bold and punchy, they rely as much on their solo performances as on their trademark harmonies. Buy tickets here.
Who? The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Club
Where? Engine Rooms, Southampton
When? April 4th
Why? Craig Charles does more than just commentate for Takeshi’s Castle, you know; he is one of the UK’s foremost Funk and Soul commentators. He’s been hosting his funk & soul Saturday night radio slot on BBC Radio 6 since 2002, mixing classic gems from the 60s and 70s and emerging talent on the soundwaves. He may play Lister in the classic British comedy series Red Dwarf (I just had to get that in there) but his real passion is and always has been music, and it shows. Tickets are still available here!
Who? Frankie Stew & Harvey Gunn
Where? Heartbreakers, Southampton
When? April 4th
Why? If funk and soul aren’t really your thing, Frankie Stew & Harvey Gunn (or FS&HG if you’re in the know) are a musical duo, with Stew providing the rap and Gunn the production. Hailing from Brighton, these two have been friends and collaborators for the past eight years, honing a unique sound that is part classic hip-hop, part modern rap, with a sprinkling of UK garage and dance music thrown in. Tickets here.
Who? Electric Swing Circus
Where? The Brook, Southampton
When? April 19th
Why? This 6-piece fuse 20s swing and electro beat jazz to create foot stomping live performances. They’ve been at it since 2011 and they’re pretty big in the electro-swing scene in the UK, running their own annual festival, Swingamajig, and hosting a regular club night, Hot Club de Swing, but they also swing by Europe (thought it was time for a pun, how did I do?) There’s an electric double bass, vintage samples, gypsy-jazz guitar, keys, live drums, synths, electro beats and a sassy duo of female vocalists. And if they needed a hand in raising the roof – highly unlikely – there’s Still Moving DJs to take it home, who have supported or worked with the likes of Paloma Faith, Jools Holland, KT Tunstall, Bill Bailey and Tim Minchin. Not bad company. It’s set to be an explosive and dazzling night. Get tickets here!
Where? The Joiners, Southampton
When? April 19th
Why? After the recent departure of drummer Scott, Cassava are back with new UK tour dates and a brand-new single, ‘Alone’. The single premiered on BBC Music Introducing and tickets for their tour dates up and down the country have been flying out. The band formed back in 2016, and the trio are now gearing up for a year of new music and more tours. They’re the band to call in Southampton, with their anthemic indie bangers being the trusty support choice of visiting bands. Buy your tickets here.