• Kingvention 2016: Dangerous Times

    By Chris Wells on June 13, 2016
    The 2016 edition of Kingvention, the first European convention dedicated entirely to pop legend Michael Jackson, will take place in London on September 10. Set within the Park Plaza Hotel directly opposite Victoria Station, the event will occupy the entire lower ground floor of the venue, this year paying tribute to MJ’s record-breaking Dangerous album, released 25 years ago. Special […]
  • Gabrielle – Greatest Live

    By Chris Wells on June 13, 2016
    Due, they are telling us, to high demand for tickets, UK pop-soul survivor Gabrielle has announced an additional London date to her UK tour in October and November 2016. The new show will take place at Islington Assembly Hall on Wednesday, November 16. The full list of dates is: Glasgow Theatre Royal [Oct 31]; Birmingham, Town Hall [Nov 2]; Warrington, Parr […]
  • On The Level

    By Chris Wells on May 26, 2016
    UK funk and pop stalwarts Level 42 have lined up a 20-date tour for the Autumn and plan to make their album, Sirens Tour Live available from the middle of next month. The full list of shows is as follows: Llandudno, Cymru Theatre [October 3]; Salford, Lowry [4]; Stoke-on-Trent, Victoria Hall [6]; Glasgow, O2 ABC [7]; Gateshead, Sage [8]; Liverpool, […]
  • Rebels With A Cause

    By Chris Wells on May 20, 2016
    Former Echoes staffer Stuart Cosgrove’s excellent new book, Young Soul Rebels: A Personal History Of Northern Soul, has just been published by Polygon Books. It tells the story of Stuart’s long-term relationship with and love for the music and its surrounding culture. Says the author: “This book is about the rare soul scene across a lifetime. Inevitably, it is a […]
  • Kiwanuka Shows & Album

    By Chris Wells on May 18, 2016
    With a brand new, long-awaited and altogether pretty bloody marvelous second album about to drop – Love & Hate is released early in June – Michael Kiwanuka has just announced a full tour of the UK and Ireland for the Autumn, his first home headline run for over four years. The [so far] baker’s dozen of dates will kick off […]
  • Henshaw: EP 2 & Summer Tour

    By Chris Wells on May 18, 2016
    London’s own Samm Henshaw will release his second EP of material – The Sound Experiment 2 – on July 15. The first single from it, Our Love, is already around online: Samm is currently in the middle of a headline UK Tour and has some European festivals also confirmed. The schedule currently looks like this: Brighton, Great Escape [May 20]; […]
  • Nao Is The Time

    By Chris Wells on May 6, 2016
    Chris Wells meets Nao Yoshioka. Supported by Debra Debs’ band, Nao Yoshioka’s UK stage debut at Streatham’s Hideaway club in the middle of last month suffered a little from lack of rehearsal time, but was certainly well-received by those present. It was another important step for an artist determined to break away from the all-conquering J-pop of her homeland – […]
  • Spin Doctor

    By Chris Wells on May 4, 2016
    Book Review SPINNING AROUND: A HISTORY OF THE SOUL LP – VOLUME 1: A-K BY JOHN LIAS [HARDBACK] One-time Echoes contributor [and soul fan since about the end of the sixties] John Lias has been promising himself to write a book like this for more than a couple of decades. Now retired, he has finally found the time. In short, […]
  • Billy Paul Dies

    By Chris Wells on April 25, 2016
    One of Philly soul’s best-known and most distinctive voices was stilled on April 24 when Billy Paul, the Me & Mrs Jones man, died as a result of pancreatic cancer. He was 81. Born in North Philadelphia in December 1934, Paul – born Paul Williams – was influenced mainly by female jazz singers such as Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday […]
  • Toussaint’s Final Album

    By Chris Wells on April 14, 2016
    American Tunes, the final studio album by legendary New Orleans musician Allen Toussaint, will be released by Nonesuch Records on June 10. Toussaint had just completed the album when he passed away in November of last year during a European tour. Recording took place at two sets of sessions with producer Joe Henry: solo piano at Toussaint’s New Orleans home studio in […]