The Summer Concert Guide


It’s summer, and while there are still serious symphonies and operas on cultural calendars everywhere, we like to spend the hotter months focused on the straight-up fun stuff, like festivals, one-off concerts, and full-on throwback tours.

D’Angelo at The Roundhouse

July 13 | Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Rd. | +

For anyone whose heart goes a flutter at the very mention of his name, D'Angelo's upcoming show at The Roundhouse is not to be missed. After all, his song (and music video) "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" is forever ingrained in our minds as one of the sexiest ever written. It's not just the early 2000's nostalgia that appeals, though: 15 years later, with Black Messiah, D'Angelo is still just as soulful. Of course it won't hurt if Lauryn Hill shows up to sing "Nothing Even Matters," but that's really just wishful thinking.

Public Enemy at the Roundhouse

June 27 | Chalk Farm Rd. | +44.30.0678.9222

Almost 30 years after their first game-changing album, Chuck D, Flavor Flav, and the rest of the crew have, in their own words, "still got game." This summer, they're playing as part of Mogwai's selection of the bands that influenced them the most, along with RZA and the Jesus and Mary Chain. It's a pretty solid choice, seeing as though this band is one of the—if not the—most influential hip-hop groups in history. Expect all the hits from their prolific career.

Calling Festival

July 4 | Windmill Dr.

Ok, so Richie Samboa was one of the headliners last year, and it's known as London's Classic Rock Festival—which doesn't sound wildly appealing. But the lineup this year is actually pretty great, with Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds (their new album is solid) Modest Mouse, The Hives, and Echo & The Bunnymen as the main events. Plus, as far as English festivals go, this one requires little commitment as it lasts one day only and is right in Clapham Common.

Belle & Sebastian at Somerset House’s Summer Series

July 18 | Strand | +44.20.7845.4600

This Scottish indie band will be playing their trademark soft pop with the grandeur of the Somerset House as a backdrop. Their mellow concerts, where the multi-talented members hop from one instrument to the next, are always nice and low-key, whether they’re playing songs from their early albums Tigermilk and The Boy with the Arab Strap, or their most recent release, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance.

The Specials at Kew The Music

July 12 | Kew, Richmond, Surrey | +44.20.8332.5655

At this civilized summer festival set in the botanical gardens, you can order a picnic hamper to accompany this legendary ska band's show—though it's unlikely you'll stay seated. It's not often The Specials get together, and their raucous hits from the late '70s and '80s, like "Ghost Town" and "Too Much Too Young," will get the crowd dancing, or shall we say skanking, to use the proper term.