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Grooves: Jazz Cafe; blackout; Tribes; Barbican

05 June, 2020 — By Róisín Gadelrab

FOR years, the Jazz Cafe has stood iconic on Parkway, its distinctive sign visible as you emerge from the Tube. But now, for the first time in 30 years, the revered music venue, like many others, risks never being able to reopen again. The Green Note and Dublin Castle, at the other end of Parkway are facing similar issues. It’s one thing being able to hear records of your favourite musicians but, if you have had the chance to witness these same tracks being brought to life in a live music venue, you know the value of these places. Sometimes a musician can sound flat on a studio-produced album, but when you see them away from the mix, their power can blow you away. Others may not be such not natural performers. And many times, we have witnessed something memorable and unpredictable (The Libertines’ outrageous last show at The Dublin Castle/Odd Future’s riotous performance at The Camden Crawl). These are the places where bands grow confidence and followings, make new contacts and gain notoriety in support slots. Without them, you won’t have half the depth in recorded music, or the lasting memories they create (Amy Winehouse – every time). We need them. Music Venue Trust’s #SaveOurVenues campaign, has been raising awareness and assisting music venues struggling during the coronavirus crisis, while supporting them to launch crowdfunding bids. But they’re not safe yet. Jazz Cafe ( and Green Note ( have launched appeals – help them by buying future experiences – from a pint to a show and more, while many others are doing the same. Our music venues are struggling – and it’s up to us to help save them.

• You may have noticed a music blackout on Tuesday. This was the industry’s way of showing support for family of George Floyd – a call for change. The Roundhouse, Soho Radio and many others joined the black out with the Roundhouse saying: “Recent events have proved more than ever that it is not enough for creative output to just reflect the world, we must actively try and change it. That is why … we are joining the music industry black out to support black communities – our staff, artists, young creatives and audiences. #TheShowMustBePaused”

• Barbican has announced rescheduled 2021 dates for a selection of concerts that were due to take place this year. These include: Shabaka & the Ancestors (Jan 24); Aoife O’Donovan (Jan 28); Damon Albarn’s new project The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows (March 30) and many more. In the meantime, the venue has made a whole lot of cultural content available online. Visit the Barbican website for listings and links.

• Since we last reported, Camden band Tribes’ reunion gig at Lafayette on December 19 sold out. So they announced a second date – also sold out – but there’s a waiting list so all is not lost. They have promised more announcements soon so if you missed out this time, follow their socials.


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