Nitin Sawhney: London Undersound
Town Hall, Birmingham
Tuesday 28 October

Issued: 13 October

Event info

Acclaimed British musician, producer and composer Nitin Sawhney brings stunning musical narrative from his latest album London Undersound to Town Hall, Birmingham on 28 October 2008.

An outstanding series of thoughts, ideas and sentiments on the collective feeling in the capital post 7/7 bombings, London Undersound again establishes Nitin Sawhney as a leading artist and musical conduit of his generation.

With a staggering cast of co-conspirators including Natty, Reena Bhardwaj, Ojos de Brujo, Anoushka Shankar, Rox, Tina Grace, Aruba Red, Imogen Heap, Faheem Mazhar and Paul McCartney, the album embraces a vast array of sounds from swirling flamenco guitar, funk-fuelled drum and bass rhythms and Indian vocals layered over tabla and strings.

Expect vivid interpretations live at Town Hall, with a pre-show DJ set from underground music pioneer Manga (Shaanti, Funkshaan) and a post-show conversation with BBC Asian Network presenter Adil Ray.

As a critically acclaimed observer and critic of current social, political and media commentary Nitin Sawhney has written about many topical issues: nuclear proliferation, Britain?s multicultural identity, war, religion and spirituality.

Of the inspirations behind London Undersound, he writes:

“On 7/7/2005 a bomb exploded on a London bus. A singer and friend of mine, Natty, was there. Two weeks later he was present at the shooting of a Brazilian man – Jean Charles De Menezes.

Last year we wrote a song together.

Natty, like myself, feels something indefinable has shifted.

London’s heartbeat has changed.

Within that heartbeat lies a feeling, a collective unconsciousness, the uniting hum of disparate voices waiting to be heard…

A sound.”

London Undersound is released today (Monday 13 October) on Cooking Vinyl Records.

Renowned British artist Anthony Gormley, famous for the Angel of the North sculpture in Gateshead and the Iron Man statue outside Town Hall, Birmingham contributed to the album artwork.

“A gentle, powerful and personal lament for London.” Robin Denselow, The Guardian
“Nitin’s a supreme musician… the highlights are plenty” Chris Jones, BBC Desi Review
“One of the most personal and soulful records Sawhney has ever made.” Joe Shooman, Record Collector



Note to Editors

This concert is supported by sampad and Shaanti.

Nitin Sawhney is a producer, remixer, acclaimed flamenco guitarist and classical/jazz pianist having entered the professional world of recorded music approximately ten years ago, and has since released 7 studio albums, each one garnering critical acclaim. He has worked with the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Sinead O’Connor and Sting.

Nitin Sawhney performed a commissioned score to the 1929 film Prapandcha Pash (A Throw Of Dice) at Symphony Hall last year with guest soloists and the Northern Sinfonia.

In February 1999, in the backstreets of Birmingham, a club night exploded and SHAANTI was born. Spearheaded by Manga, Shaanti has developed from a small underground movement into an international, pioneering, innovative brand, based at Concrete Bar in Birmingham welcoming artists such as Bishi, Raju Mali, Bloc Party, Utah Saints, DJ Vadim amongst others.

Adil Ray presents the Adil Ray Show on BBC Asian Network on weekdays between 3pm-7pm, is a regular panellist on Radio Five Live’s Fighting Talk, and has presented across commercial radio and TV since 1995. A talented broadcast journalist, Adil also presents BBC 2’s music, fashion and lifestyle show Desi DNA.

Since 1990, sampad has been a leading cultural organisation that has helped to establish South Asian arts within mainstream culture in Birmingham across the UK. Through production, promotion, performances, advocacy, education and outreach activity using the diverse artforms originating from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Town Hall and Symphony Hall are managed together by Performances Birmingham Limited, a registered charity. Between them, the two halls present an exciting and varied programme of over 600 concerts and events a year, designed to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. Over 500,000 people visit Town Hall and Symphony Hall annually, and a thriving education/community department reaches a further 20,000 people of all ages.

Town Hall Birmingham re-opened in October 2007 following a £35m renovation funded by Birmingham City Council (£18.3m), Heritage Lottery Fund (£13.7m), European Regional Development Fund (£3m).