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July 18, 2014 5:47 pm
Staff Benda Bilili, 19 July, Larmer Tree Festival, Wessex; and 20 July, Union Chapel, London
Staff Benda Bilili, a gang of homeless paraplegics who played some of the grittiest soukous in Kinshasa, might have been invented for a film. When they actually found themselves in one, however, it led to the band falling apart amid financial recriminations.
This resurrection, albeit with a modified line-up, is one of the most welcome surprises of 2014. With luck, they will still, as they always boasted, play très, très fort. David Honigmann
staffbendabilili.com, 01725 552300 (Larmer)
020 7226 1686 (Union Chapel)
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Foxes, July 25, Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare
Discovered over the internet by dance music DJ Zedd, who invited her to sing on his 2013 hit single “Clarity”, Hampshire singer Louisa Rose Allen, aka Foxes, is taking her solo album Glorious to the seaside for a one-off show. A big-screen exercise in Florence and the Machine-style drama with hammering tribal drums, dramatic orchestrations and powerful singing, it makes for a welcome change from Zedd’s formulaic EDM. Ludovic Hunter-Tilney
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Burt Bacharach, July 23, 26, Royal Festival Hall, London, then touring
At 86, Burt Bacharach is still going strong. He’s over from Los Angeles for a UK tour, playing with a full orchestra on certain dates but just his band on others. Either way, it’s a chance to see one of the greatest of pop composers in action, the creator of “Walk On By”, “I Say A Little Prayer” and “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” among many others. LHT
southbankcentre.co.uk, 0844 875 0073
. . .
Tyler the Creator, July 23, Forum, London
Having underwhelmed with his band Odd Future supporting Eminem at Wembley Stadium, where he and his co-provocateurs were dwarfed by the scale, Tyler the Creator brings his shockrap to a more congenial setting with a solo show at the Forum. Expect a hot and boisterous evening. LHT
mamacolive.com, 0844 847 2405
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The Proms, To September 13, Royal Albert Hall, London
The first full week of the 2014 season includes the infamous Glyndebourne Rosenkavalier, plus David Zinman’s last concert as music director of the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra and a posthumous John Tavener world premiere, for which mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly joins the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Valery Gergiev appears twice – conducting the World Orchestra for Peace in Mahler’s Sixth Symphony and the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Janácek’s Glagolitic Mass. Andrew Clark
bbc.co.uk/proms, 0845 401 5040
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Adriana Lecouvreur, July 24-August 9, Opera Holland Park, London
It’s not so long ago that the Royal Opera had a hit with Cilea’s formulaic tale of passion, jealousy, revenge and death, albeit with a starry cast. But there’s no reason why plucky Opera Holland Park shouldn’t enjoy a similar success, especially with Cheryl Barker in the title role and Peter Auty as Maurizio. Manlio Benzi conducts a new staging by Martin Lloyd-Evans. AC
www.operahollandpark.com , 0300 999 1000
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Tête à Tête, July 19-August 10, Central Saint Martins and Kings Place, London
At London’s annual operatic free-for-all, risk and novelty are actively promoted: you win some and you lose some but the spirit of participation is infectious. This summer’s festival showcases four female composers – Helen Chadwick, Errollyn Wallen, Na’ama Zisser and Lucie Treacher – each of whom aims to reinterpret the genre in a distinctive way. AC
tete-a-tete.org.uk/festival-2014, 020 7520 1490
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35th Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, 19-27 July, various venues
The 10-day event ranges from the classic jazz of Jelly Roll Morton to a strand marking jazz’s influence on the contemporary underground. There’s an orchestral tribute to Oscar Peterson, pianist Enrico Pieranunzi jazzing the classics and the Bad Plus among the classy headliners. Trumpeter Christian Scott is recommended on Sunday 27, with former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings providing competition on the same night. Mike Hobart
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