Los Van Van, The Roundhouse, 20 March 2010

Neither Janie nor I remember very much about this concert, other than attending it.

I can see some e-mail correspondence with The Roundhouse, as I had booked a package to include VIP bar (whatever that might have meant), but they decided not to have a VIP bar that night so refunded some of my money.

Quite right – the idea of a VIP bar is not very Castro-Cuban, is it?

We heard recordings of and bought some Los Van Van music while we were on holiday in Cuba in 2007 (which I shall Ogblog in the fullness of time).

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I can’t really recall why, but the concert at The Roundhouse didn’t quite send us. I think we expected something a bit livelier and Janie had such wonderful memories of dancing at Casa de la Trova etc. when in Cuba…

…of course it wasn’t going to feel like that…

…although this write up from 2009 and enticing video promised plenty – click here.

(If the above link doesn’t work, the text at least is scraped to here).

So I’m not entirely sure why this wasn’t more memorable for us…but it wasn’t. Just as well there is a vid from the previous year’s concert, then.

The Beggar’s Opera: Reborn, Reverb: Roundhouse, 25 January 2010

This was the second Reverb: Roundhouse concert we went to over a long weekend in January – we took that Monday off work.

This one didn’t wow us quite as much as the Joanna MacGregor one on the Saturday, but still we really enjoyed it.

In many ways this one was more star-studded, with Charles Hazlewood, Adrian Utley from Portishead, Charlie Jones from Goldfrapp and both of the Unthank sisters to thank.

It was an interesting idea to set The Beggar’s Opera with folk tunes and baroque music from Purcell and Handel. It succeeded in its own way, but perhaps, to my mind, Brecht/Weill have taken that work as far as it can go down the fusion line.

We were thirsty for more of this sort of thing at the Roundhouse, but have not since (writing in 2017) seen quite such inspired-looking programmes at that venue. Which is a shame, as we really like the place.

Still, this evening rounded off a long weekend well, at the Roundhouse

Joanna MacGregor and Britten Sinfonia, Reverb: Roundhouse, 23 January 2010

We went to two classical concerts with early music leanings at the Roundhouse in the space of three days as part of the Reverb series; we loved both.

This was the first of the two, on the Saturday.

We hadn’t seen Joanna MacGregor before, although we had heard of her. I was aware that she had been a Gresham professor of music.

There was real flare and excitement to this concert; a really interesting blend of early music, south american music and contemporary and jazz themes.

In the moment, I bought a couple of Joanna MacGregor albums on the night:

We’ve listened to these albums a lot and had a lot of enjoyment from them, although they bear little resemblance to the music we heard that night.

Subsequently I bought another one, Play, which reflected at least a couple of the items we heard in the concert.

Here is an interesting video interview with MacGregor on the Telegraph website, made just before this concert.

Anyway, the concert was lovely and left us very excited ahead of the next one, a mere two days away.