Following on from the BBC/Barbican collaborations covering jazz and folk, we now have the third instalment on the series – Soul Britannia – which looks at Britain’s extended love affair with black music over the past 50 years.
Events are varied and perhaps not all to your taste, but there’s definitely some interesting stuff worthy of your attention. Pick of the events for me is Transatlantic Soul Connection, which features Geno Washington, Jimmy James, Eric Burdon, Madeline Bell, Eddie Floyd and Sam Moore. The night highlights Britain’s emerging fascination with black music in the 50s and 60s, revisiting the sound of the clubs in that era.
Other events include a live set from the Brand New Heavies (with a stack of special guests), a rare showing of Babylon (a 1980 movie about a young Rastafarian rapper rising above his daily grind through a reggae sound system) and Jeremy Marre’s feature on the life of James Brown – Soul Survivor. There’s also DJ sets throughout from Dennis Bovell’s HiFi and the Soul II Soul Sound System.
The season runs from 2nd February, with tickets available now.