The independent London newspaper

GROOVES: Koko; GULZ; Absolute; Slowthai

25 February, 2021 — By Róisín Gadelrab

Welcome home GULZ

SPRING is on its way and small green shoots are emerging, many, in the form of gig dates in the near-ish distance landing in my inbox. Koko’s Instagram has images of the venue as it slowly takes shape in time for its reopening in 2022 and there are signs of hope all over the place. At the same time, the creative beings that form our music scene continue to be as prolific as ever. There is hope, keep your eyes open, new things are coming and we’ll be enjoying the sound of live music some time soon.

Koko’s Kokocamden Instagram account only has nine posts. They appeared a few days ago, nine black and white photos showing details of the historic building taking shape as the works progress, accompanied by two words – Spring 2022. But look a little closer at the most recent post – the famous glitterball – it’s actually a video showing the whole site from the air, there’s still a lot of work to do but it’s taking shape and I’m feeling spring 2022 is going to be a good time.

• Archway medical student GULZ splits his time between helping in the ITU and working the wards at the Whittington hospital and his other life as a singer-songwriter / producer. Working away in his DIY bedroom studio in his Archway student flat, he wrote, produced and released indie track Welcome Home – an ode to good times shared and taken for granted in pre-Covid days – on Spotify. Not only do the lyrics speak of simpler times, but the vocals and instrumentals have captured a welcome, cheeky familiar vibe – think The View’s Same Jeans / generally sounds of The Kooks – an element of lightness that is much needed right now.
Hear it on YouTube at

Producer Absolute (aka Anthony McGinley) releases debut mixtape Wonderland – named after the now-obsolete east London rave space, which is now converted into apartments where McGinley lives – on April 23, ahead of his headline show at Islington Assembly Hall on May 8.

• In a sign of solidarity with the places that gave our favourite acts their early starts, rapper Slowthai stops off at Underworld on Sept 9 as part of his “Something To Look Forward To” tour of small UK venues. “I miss you all so much and we need something to look forward to, so I’m taking it back to the smaller venues that need our support more than ever. Love you, can’t wait to see you in those sweaty box rooms, let’s get it,” he said of the tour. Second album Tyron is out now.


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