Somerset House Summer Series kicks off this month with The Internet, Doves, Gossip and more
Somerset House Summer Series with American Express returns to the capital this month, promising an unforgettable experience with 11 nights of gigs. Each evening, the magnificent Somerset House is transformed into the ultimate open-air destination, bringing a vibrant festival atmosphere right to the heart of London.
Renowned for collaborating with groundbreaking musicians such as Björk, Gaika and PJ Harvey on innovative events, the venue continues to champion trailblazing acts with another stand-out line-up for this year’s Summer Series. For 2019, a carefully curated selection of artists from across the globe will take to the stage, performing a broad range of genres, from avant-jazz and boundary-pushing electronic R&B to retro-pop and futuristic flamenco. Summer Series offers music fans the rare chance to see these critically acclaimed acts in a beautifully intimate setting for a live music experience unlike any other.
This year’s Somerset House Summer Series launches with intoxicating sounds of The Internet (Thursday 11th July), the Grammy-nominated five-piece who bring neo-soul music to London, closing their huge world tour. The weekend kicks off with a night of lusciously leftfield soul-pop from East London’s MOBO and Brit Award-nominee Nao (Friday 12th July) followed by British outfit Sons of Kemet (Saturday 13th July) who, fresh from their Mercury Prize-shortlisted album release, bring irresistible polyrhythms and restless melodies infused with political fervour to the courtyard crowd. British R&B singer/songwriter Jacob Banks returns to Somerset House as a headline act, six years on from his 2013 support performance, with a soulful and mesmerising Sunday session to set people up for the week ahead.
The following week opens with BBC Sound of 2019 nominee Rosalía, who has gained global attention with her distinctive fusion flamenco, pop and R&B. Recently heralded as The Guardian’s “One to Watch” with her game-changing Latin pop, the Spanish star joins the line-up for her biggest UK show to date. Further unmissable performances come from legendary trio Doves, who return to the capital for a summer festival exclusive (Tuesday 16th July) while modernist supergroup The Good The Bad and the Queen, from the formidable talents of Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz), Paul Simonon (The Clash), Simon Tong (The Verve), and renowned drummer Tony Allen, headline the midweek bill (Wednesday 17th July).
As the weekend approaches, Australian artists dominate the stage with retro-pop, Berlin-based Parcels, who have collaborated with musicians such as Daft Punk, sharing hits from their debut album (Thursday 18th July) whilst Melbourne’s Cut Copy bring their acclaimed mix of effervescent new wave and synth-pop to the city for a London festival exclusive (Friday 19th July). In a special extended set, LA collective Soulection bring West Coast vibes to the Somerset House courtyard, where guests can soak up the Summer sun from afternoon to night with DJ sets from Sango, Joe Kay, Andre Power and Shaka Lion, plus live performances from Xavier Omar, Tay Iwar and Zilo (Saturday 20th July).
This year’s Summer Series ends with the ultimate closing night party from Gossip. With their signature garage punk sound, the band reunite for an unforgettable and dynamic set (Sunday 21st July).
Summer Series forms part of Somerset House’s summer programme celebrating the rich contribution of different cultures to Britain. Visitors who purchase tickets for Summer Series can enjoy an exclusive discount for Get Up, Stand Up Now, a major new exhibition which celebrates 50 years of Black creativity in Britain and beyond, spanning art, film, photography, music, literature, design and fashion. A free photography exhibition, Kaleidoscope, is also open throughout the summer, exploring identity and immigration in modern Britain.
The editorial unit
Photo: James Bryant
Summer Series is at Somerset House from 11th July until 21st July 2019. For further information or to book visit their website here.