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Guy Garvey’s Meltdown at the Southbank Centre – 10th June to 19th June 2016

Guy Garvey

Guy Garvey, lead singer of Elbow, 6 Music DJ, presenter of BBC iPlayer’s Music Box with Guy Garvey and solo artist, curates the 23rd Meltdown.

Guy joins a long list of renowned festival directors including Jarvis Cocker, Patti Smith, David Bowie, Yoko Ono, Ornette Coleman and David Byrne

This year’s Meltdown has an eclectic range of artists, Guy goes back to his roots with Mancunian trio I am Kloot performing their Mercury-nominated album with backing from a 12-piece orchestra.

Other featured artists include Lift to Experience, Femi Kuti, The Staves, Connan Mockasin, Richard Hawley and Laura Marling .

With circus acts, poetry, art installations, free events and much more, the Meltdown Festival will offer something for everyone.

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Southbank website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

 

All you need to know about The BBC Proms 2016 : 15th July to 10th September 2016

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The BBC Proms 2016 is one of the largest global classical music festivals with over 90 concerts  as well as a number of other events.

Highlights for the 2016 season include concerts featuring world-famous conductors like Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Simon Rattle, Vladimir Jurowski, Valery Gergiev, Sir Andrew Davis, Bernard Haitink, Thomas Adès and Daniel Barenboim.

The Proms attracts some of the finest orchestras and this year will include Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, Halle, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic and Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela.

Although classed as a classical music festival, the Proms features a wide range of music especially in the late night Proms, this year will feature Quincy Jones, a tribute to David Bowie, John Wilson Orchestra will be performing the best of Ira Gershwin, A celebration of Latin American music and A night of Gospel music. There are Proms that feature the dance music from Strictly Come Dancing, Bryn Terfel will be performing the title role in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, all three of Stravinsky’s landmark ballets for the Ballet Russes will be performed over one weekend, a season of music inspired by Shakespeare, marking 400 years since the playwright’s death and Ten cello concertos, starting with Elgar’s Cello Concerto performed by Sol Gabetta on the First Night.

A Brief History of the Proms

This is the 120th year of the Proms and tries to stay true to its original aim: to present the widest possible range of music, performed to the highest standards, to large audiences.

Proms were originally ‘promenade concerts.’ These were outdoor music performances during which the audience could walk (or ‘promenade’) around. The first Proms concert took place on 10 August 1895 and was created by Robert Newman, manager of the newly built Queen’s Hall in London.

Newman was keen to reach a wider audience by offering more popular programmes, adopting a less formal promenade arrangement, and keeping ticket prices low. He recruited Henry Wood to be the first conductor of the first Proms season and both Newman and Wood decided offer a mixture of popular and adventurous works. Financial problems threatened to end the Proms following the First World War until the newly formed BBC took over the running of the event. The BBC began to broadcast the concerts and significantly widened its appeal, and although there were financial problems during the Second World War have promoted the Proms ever since. One of the major changes was when the Queen’s Hall was destroyed by bombing in 1941 , the event was switched to the Royal Albert Hall where it has remained till the present day.

Promming

One of most unusual aspects of the Proms is the large amount of tickets available to people who wish to stand, the popular tradition of Promming (standing in the Arena or Gallery areas of the Royal Albert Hall) is central to its unique and informal atmosphere.

Up to 1,400 standing places are available for each Proms concert at the Royal Albert Hall. The traditionally low prices allow you to enjoy world-class performances for just £6.00 each (or even less with a Season Ticket or Weekend Promming Pass). All spaces are unreserved.

Over 500 Arena and Gallery tickets (priced £6.00) are available for every Prom. These tickets are available on the day and cannot be booked in advance, so even if all seats have been sold, you always have a good chance of getting in (although early queuing is advisable for the more popular concerts). You must buy your ticket in person and must pay by cash.

A limited number of Arena tickets will usually be sold to the Day Queue from two and a half hours before each performance. For Arena tickets join the queue on the west side of the South Steps. The remaining Day Promming tickets will then be sold from Door 11 for the Arena and Door 10 for the Gallery (queue along Bremmer Road) from 45 minutes before the performance. Tickets for Late Night Proms are available only on the doors, from 30 minutes before the performance. Arena and Gallery tickets are available only at Door 11 and Door 10, not at the Box Office.

If you are unable to get tickets for a popular Prom, be aware that returns often become available. In addition, many boxes and some seats at the Royal Albert Hall are privately owned, and these seats may be returned for general sale in the period leading up to the concert. The Royal Albert Hall does not operate a waiting list.

Last Night of the Proms

The final concert in the series is the Last Night of the Proms  which is very popular and has it own ticketing method.

The majority of tickets for the Last Night of the Proms will be allocated by ballot to customers who have bought tickets to at least five other Proms concerts at the Royal Albert Hall. A further 200 tickets are allocated by the Open Ballot.

The Five-Concert Ballot closes on  26 May and you will be informed by 3rd of June whether or not you have been successful.

The Open Ballot

One hundred Centre Stalls seats  and 100 Front Circle seats for the Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall will be allocated by Open Ballot. The Open Ballot takes place on 1st July and successful applicants will be contacted by 9th July.

Any tickets not allocated by the Five-Concert Ballot or the Open Ballot will go on sale on 7th July. There is exceptionally high demand for Last Night tickets, but returns occasionally become available, so it is always worth checking with the Box Office.

Promming at the Last Night.

Day Prommers and Weekend Promming Pass-holders who have attended five or more other concerts (in either the Arena or the Gallery) are eligible to purchase one ticket each for the Last Night (priced £6.00) on presentation of their used tickets (which will be retained) at the Box Office.

On the Night A limited number of standing tickets are available on the Last Night itself (priced £6.00, one per person). No previous ticket purchases are necessary. Just join the queue on The Queen’s Steps, east side (Arena), or the top of Bremner Road, north side (Gallery), and you may well be lucky.

If you are not fortunate to secure Last Night of the Proms tickets  there are a number of celebrations at venues around the UK. Known generally as Proms in the Park the events are held in London, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Each show is centred around a live concert with its own high-profile artists, BBC orchestras and presenters. The evening culminates in a live big-screen link-up to the Royal Albert Hall for the traditional singalong.

If you want to find further information about the Proms or book tickets , visit the Proms website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

London’s ‘Tin Pan Ally’ – A Walk Down Denmark Street

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Denmark Street is a street on the edge of London’s West End near to Tottenham Court Road station. The street origins date from the 17th century and was named after Prince George of Denmark. Although historically it had a number of famous residents including the painter Johann Zoffany and Augustus Siebe, who pioneered the diving helmet, in the 20th century it became associated with British popular music.

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From the 1950s, the street became known as Britain’s “Tin Pan Alley” and housed a large number of music publishers’ offices. When this market declined in the 1960s it became home to music shops and recording studios. The Rolling Stones recorded at Regent Sound Studio and the Gioconda café became a well known meeting place for musicians that included David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix and the Small Faces.

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In the 1970s, Malcolm McLaren and The Sex Pistols rehearsed in the street and cult comic and science-fiction bookshop, Forbidden Planet opened their first shop in 1978 . Well respected music papers, the Melody Maker and the New Musical Express began from offices in the street.

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In the 1980s and 1990s, the street declined as a hotbed for new talent and became known for its instrument shops. Recent development of the area has led to the closure of the well loved 12 Bar Club and Enterprise Studios but a number of instrument shops  are still trading.

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London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Exhibition Review – Chris Stein/Negative: Me, Blondie, and The Advent of Punk at Somerset House – 5 Nov 2014 to 25 Jan 2015

ChrisStein_072-073`Chris Stein/Negative: Me, Blondie and The Advent of Punk´, Somerset House, London WC2, 5 November – 25 January;

On the occasion of Blondie’s 40th anniversary, Somerset House is holding an exhibition of  a series of previously unpublished photographs by Chris Stein, co-founder of Blondie. The exhibition features over 50 images, charting the rise of the band from its origins in the underground scene in New York  to achieving global acclaim.

Stein was a photographer before he was a musician and had his own ideas of the media, ” I  got the idea of photography as time travel, of moments frozen and stilled, of windows into the past.”

He developed his talents attending the School of Visual Arts in New York and in the early 1970s became involved in the New York music and art scene, it was within this scene that he met Debbie Harry who became his friend and ‘muse’ and started a music collaboration that led to the creation of ‘Blondie’.

Debbie credits Stein with her eventual ease in front of the camera, ” All the experiences I had with Chris as his subject in those early days gave me confidence  that made it possible for me to do photo sessions with some of the world’s most famous photographers.”

Within the exhibition we can see that process in action, the rather shy and reticent Debbie Harry of the early 70s is replaced by the confident Punk icon at the end of the decade.

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`Chris Stein/Negative: Me, Blondie and The Advent of Punk´, Somerset House, London WC2, 5 November – 25 January;

For the exhibition, Stein has selected some of his personal favourites from his  archive, including early live performances and private moments on tour.ChrisStein_p075

`Chris Stein/Negative: Me, Blondie and The Advent of Punk´, Somerset House, London WC2, 5 November – 25 January;

One of the more unusual photo’s is Debbie in an evening dress with a frying pan on fire in their 17th Street apartment. Whilst on tour, the apartment block they lived in went up in flames, after a bout of clearing up Chris and Debbie thought it would be fun to photograph Debbie ‘cooking’ in a dress that had been damaged in the fire that had been allegedly worn by Marilyn Monroe.

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`Chris Stein/Negative: Me, Blondie and The Advent of Punk´, Somerset House, London WC2, 5 November – 25 January;

Their time in New York bought Chris Stein and Debbie Harry in contact with Andy Warhol’s Factory and  rising New York bands which included  the New York Dolls, the Heartbreakers and the Ramones.

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`Chris Stein/Negative: Me, Blondie and The Advent of Punk´, Somerset House, London WC2, 5 November – 25 January;

When they started to tour in 1977, they quickly gained a reputation as a band to watch and some of their early fans were David Bowie and Iggy Pop.

Stein’s photographs range from the early New York days where he captures some of the rundown New York areas that were often the crucible for creative enterprises to life on the road where he often captures for posterity bands and singers at various stages of their success.

It is worth remembering that Blondie became one of the first video stars,  the photogenic, charismatic  Debbie Harry became  a global icon often in high demand for photoshoots , film roles and musicals such as John Water’s Polyester. For all the considerable interest in the other photographs,  ultimately it is Chris’ photographs of Debbie Harry  that are the most captivating in the exhibition. The photographs  reveal the many sides of her character that gives some insight into the real person behind the image.

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`Chris Stein/Negative: Me, Blondie and The Advent of Punk´, Somerset House, London WC2, 5 November – 25 January;

The exhibition is a testament to Chris Stein’s skill has a photographer, frequently overlooked due to his musical career but now acknowledged by many. His insider status allowed him access but his easy-going and relaxed style and technical skill allowed him to reveal plenty of the characters behind the images.

This Free exhibition in the attractive surroundings of Somerset House would appeal to the many Blondie fans but offers an intriguing view into Chris’ ‘windows of the past’ from the New York scene to the  new-wave and punk scene and global fame. It clearly illustrates that Chris Stein’s and Debbie Harry constant striving for something different that defined Blondie as a band  also applied to them as individuals . This in some ways explains how Blondie have stayed relevant over the last 40 years and their ability to maintain an influence on music and fashion over that time.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information about this free exhibition, visit the Somerset House website here

Accompanying the exhibition is a fully illustrated book  published by Rizzoli, you can  read the Visiting London Guide Review  here or buy a copy here

 London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here