July Highlight: Summer Series Somerset House

As the month draws to a close I can't help but reflect on what a great month we have had. From the festival season which saw us check out both Wireless and Lovebox festival to a couple of shows that we hit up Eminem, Wiz Khalifa to name a few, July was a busy month. However one series of events we were excited to have attended was the Summer Series at Somerset House.

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From July 11th to the 13th we attended 3 days of incredible music curtsey of Somerset House. The festival did not disappoint, with good weather taking place throughout our visit (despite a couple of rain showers that fell on Friday.) as well as good music, good talent and the best vibes. 

Day 1

Wednesday the 11th saw Norweigan artist Sigrid take the stage and kick off our 3-day visit to the shows. Following the release of her debut EP Don't Kill My Vibe and the buzz that she has created since she came upon the scene as well as the release of her second EP Raw the day before Sigrid came out and brought a show that was full of energy and excitement.

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The show was one big dance party with the crowd embracing the British sunshine and summertime to busk and enjoy the energy of Sigrid's show. The songstress who took the stage with a 4 piece band also embraced the British warmth and summertime and brought a show that was filled with good energy and exactly what you needed on a British Summer evening.

The show consisted of a range of Sigrid's previous releases including some of her newer material from her second EP Raw. The crowd bounced and danced along to songs such as Plot Twist, Fake Friends, Dynamite, High Five, Schedules and of course her single 'Don't Kill My Vibe'. Having released her EP the day before and announced a UK tour for the autumn Sigrid treated fans to show that we can definitely look forward.

Overall the show was filled with high levels of excitement good energy and a show that kept dancing and singing along to each song throughout the show. 

Day 2

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Coming back for a second day on July 12th we saw artists/rapper/spoken word artist Little Simz take the stage opening for the Legendary group The Roots. Showcasing just how diverse the talent of the festival was in terms of talent and artistic style and ability.

Before the group took the stage the crowd was treated to a performance by Little Simz the wordsmith who has been killing it for the past 2 years. Ever since releasing her debut album A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons and it's 2016 follow up Stillness in Wonderland it seems as if Little Simz has not stopped performing. For the average person this may be exhausting but for Little Simz she is still going and killing it every time.

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Simz was anything but dull once again bringing good energy to Somerset House her set consisted of her tracks from both of her albums including her 2016 hit Good For What. Her ban also contributed to the great vibes as did the overall production of her set which was simple yet really brought the vibes getting the crowd hyped for the main act.

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Which brings us to The Roots. If you haven't heard of the Legendary Hip-Hop group The Roots chances are that you might have been living under a rock for the past 2 decades. Formed in 1987 The Roots have been jamming together and making music ever since. Known as Hip-hop's first legitimate band they certainly brought a show that was worth the excitement and legendary status.

The band which consists of more than just your drummer and guitars includes Questlove, Black Thought, Kamal Gray, Captain Kirk Douglas, Dam Bryson James Poyser  Mark Kelley and Stro Elliot included a live trumpet player and jazz section who brought added flavour to the stage.

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Whilst most performers have songs that last 3 minutes or so, such is not the case for the Roots whose tracks tend to last a good 5 or 6 minutes. This is due to the musical nature of their music which translates into various instruments being played letting people not just feel the lyrics but the music as well. Their Jazzy sounds give the group their touch and were very much present during their performance,

Day 3

The final day of our 3 day residency brought a different sound from the previous upbeat and uptempo sounds of The Roots and Little Simz for R&B/Pop artist Jorja Smith. Following the release of her debut album in June Jorja took the stage for the first time since and definitely brought forward those vibes that came through from the album. 

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Giving the audience a chilled performance that once again was filled with the smooth and subtle sounds of Jorja Smith we have come to love and whilst compared to the other performers we saw her production and set was much mroe chilled this once again showed off the diverse range of musical styles and talent that was present throughout the festival.

The setlist included tracks from Jorja's debut album including the songs Lost and Found, February 3rd as well as other tracks Blue Lights, Let Me Down and her 2017 track On My Mind. And even though the ran came down during her performance Jorja continued on playing and the crowd still came through and enjoyed those vibes on a Friday night.

Overall the festival brought out music and talent at it's finiest from the legendary The Roots to the emerging styles of Little Simz, Sigrid and Jorja Smith we really enjoyed ourselves as I'm sure did the fans that gathered outdoor for summer night filled with good music.


Words: Seneo Mwamba

Images: Isha Sha & Seneo Mwamaba