Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1089

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The Roots: Somerset House, London 12/7/18

Little Simz: Somerset House, London 12/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com
Little Simz: Somerset House, London 12/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com The Roots: Somerset House, London 12/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com The Roots: Somerset House, London 12/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com Quest Love - The Roots: Somerset House, London 12/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com The Roots: Somerset House, London 12/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com The Roots: Somerset House, London 12/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com Quest Love - The Roots: Somerset House, London 12/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com The Roots: Somerset House, London 12/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com Little Simz: Somerset House, London 12/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com The Roots: Somerset House, London 12/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com Quest Love - The Roots: Somerset House, London 12/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com The Roots: Somerset House, London 12/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com The Roots: Somerset House, London 12/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com The Roots: Somerset House, London 12/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com

For music fans in London, the summer shows at Somerset House have fast established themselves as essential dates in the calendar.

The historic stately home has hosted some huge names over the years, and it was little surprise that the 2018 line-up boasted some big hitters.

Among the highlights were Philly's finest, The Roots, one of the top hip-hop acts of the last two decades and a fine set of musicians.

To get proceedings underway, the brilliant Little Simz took to the stage and fired through a selection of tracks which got the crowd moving.

She's one of the most exciting young artists this country has at the moment, and "Wings", "Picture Perfect" and "Backseat" were among the highlights of her set.

Expect to see her name at the top of bills like this very soon.

There was a huge weight of expectation ahead of the main act, an eight-piece outfit with soul and funk flowing through their flames.

Drummer Questlove, as ever, look commanding at the drums while charismatic frontman Black Thought bounded onstage with enthusiasm.

A Roots show is never a straightforward hip hop show, with the act performing their greatest hits one after another.

It became a sprawling, jam-like ode to music, with nods to artists as diverse as Curtis Mayfield and Guns'N'Roses.

Performances of "The Seed 2.0", "You Got Me" and "The Next Movement" show that The Roots doing The Roots is still a fine thing to behold.

Guitarist "Captain" Kirk Douglas was lively as he launched into lengthy solos, and Damon "Tuba Gooding Jr" Bryson leapt around the stage with energy, despite the weight of the giant tuba he was carrying.

It is an iconic venue to see an iconic band, and demonstrated yet again that The Roots are a musical force who can always be depended on to entertain.

PHOTOS: DAVE BURKE
Words Dave Burke

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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