Sharon Jones Interview

Posted: July 16, 2014 in Interviews

Vega, Spring 2014.

Daptone records a retro sort of label who think that it’s rad to keep things old school and simple when it comes to the soul music that defines their way of thinking. At the centre of this mindset is Sharon Jones and her backing band, The Dap Kings, who have made it their mission over the years to keep the soul flag flying high, safe from the encroachment of music categories that threaten to redefine it as something that it is not. Sharon was the soul standard beared long before Amy Winehouse came along, conquered and tragically departed and, having fought her way out of a titanic battle with pancreatic cancer, Jones is stronger and more vocal than ever before. Initially delayed, her latest album ‘Give The People What They Want’ is a work borne of her struggles in this battle and is currently one of the driving forces behind her ongoing tour.

I caught up with the endearing songbird ahead of her show at Vega in Ma, for a chit-chat about her music, views on r & b, working with Lou Reed and the U.S healthcare system, which in case you forgot, is quite shit. She was chirpy, and talkative, ahead of her show, which went on to rake in widespread praise from various media and burst into song whenever afforded the slightest opportunity – her flowing locks replaced by an air of statuesque bald sophistication not unlike that of fellow diva-in-crime, Grace Jones.



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The Battle Against Cancer 



A: “Welcome back to Copenhagen Sharon. How are you feeling ahead of the show ?”

Sharon: “Im ready.” “ I mean, we’ve been going, we’ve been going, we’ve been going.” “Tonight is the third show in a row.” “We fly to Helsinki or somewhere like that tomorrow.” “It’s a lot, but i’m ready to go !”

A “ This year has been a big one for you – you’ve come out fighting from your battle with cancer.” “Congratulations on that.”

Sharon: “Thanks – it’s still a battle.” “ You know for the rest of my life I have to go every six months to check that none of it comes back, as a matter of fact i’m going for a check-up on the 9th of June.”

A “How has this battle shaped your views on music and what it is that you do as a performer ?”

Sharon: “I just want to do more and get my stuff out there.” “I want people to recognise soul music and recognise that what me and The Dap Kings are doing is true soul music.” I’m alive and my goal is to push for the music world to recognise the category of soul music.” “I think that’s why my life was saved – for me to continue to do what i’m doing.”

A “To keep battling, admirable.” “ It goes without saying that it’s nice for you to be back on stage again”

Sharon “ Oh yeah !” “For me, that’s my joy, that’s my energy, that’s my happiness – the stage and music.” “ When I couldn’t do it, when I couldn’t sing, I couldn’t even listen to anything anymore” “ It was frustrating.” “ From June to September I couldn’t bend over, that’s how bad it was”

A “ Ouch ! “ Here in Denmark, there’s a lot of talk about the medical system” “ In the U.S, they are trying to reform things right now.” “What is your experience with the system?”

Sharon: “Well thank God i’m in the band.” “ We have an insurance” “We pay so much for it though- almost 10’000 dollars a month !” “One of the doctors that did the operation in New York was from outside of my network so I had to pay.” “ He tried to work it into my plan but it wasn’t possible so after 2 or 3 months I had to pay him some 20’000 dollars or whatever it was.” “ I’ve been paying and paying and I wasn’t working so the little money i’d saved up was chewed up.” “I have to take enzymes for the rest of my life though – I just changed insurances so that’s gone up too and the medicine itself it probably also going to go up.”

A: “That’s crazy”

Sharon: “It is – I went to a med store sometime back and I hadn’t shown my insurance card so the guy behind the counter comes back with the medicine – he wouldn’t even tell me out loud how much it was – he wrote it on a piece of paper and pointed to it.” “ I was like have you lost your mind ?” “Five hundred and eighty something dollars !” “Of course when I showed the insurance card the price came down drastically but it got me thinking, if I didn’t have insurance, what would that mean ?” “ Would I just die if I couldn’t afford the medicine ?”

A : “Sadly that is a reality for many people in America”

Sharon: “Yeah, people are sick and can’t get medication – they are not insured” It’s scary, they are fighting Obamacare, trying to say it’s not working.” “ It is working, they just don’t want to give it a chance.” “ They are full of crap !” “It’s all about the pharmaceuticals and the money – you’ve got to keep the doctors and the doctors have to keep you on all your pills instead of telling you to go home and find more natural solutions that could also help you” “I don’t want to talk about natural drugs because the last time I talked to one of the news people in New York they misinterpreted it completely.” “That was not my intention at all – I wasn’t bragging about my experiences with weed , but they need to get it right, there are a lot of people that use it- cancer patients and so on”

A: “Well they have legitimized Marijuana in some parts of the states, Colorado for instance.”

Sharon: “Colorado is a different part of the country.” “Even if people don’t want to smoke it, they can take a pill prescribed by the doctors.”

A : “It’s quite stressful to contemplate a med system based on such rampant inequalities”

Sharon : “ I’m telling you- you see what it’s like ?” “ I figure that everyone has to do what they got to do- i’ve been eating kale, Spinach and carrots, ginger and so on, mixed as a drink sometimes”

A: “Sounds like a nutrient bomb”

Sharon “ Yeah, when I started taking it the doctors were amazed by how fast I was recovering.” “ That’s the power of the greens, the power of vegetables.” “That’s what you’ve got to do, stick to natural stuff.”


Give The People What They Want 


A: “ Indeed.” “Going back to a more positive topic, your music –your latest album Give the people what they want’ was also delayed by your illness.” “It’s out now and it’s got quite a lot of people baking it up.” “What was the inspiration behind it ?”

Sharon : “It took us a couple of years just to make the album because my mother was sick, Neil Sugarman’s brother was sick too.” “They both died afterwards- my mother died during the making of this album, Neil Sugarman’s brother died of cancer then the next year there I was diagnosed.”

A: “Was the album ready at that point ?”

Sharon “No actually the album was due to drop in August and in April-May I was diagnosed with cancer so everything got postponed to the year after, January.” “We put out ‘Retreat’ already because we thought the album was coming out so while I was in the hospital an animated video was made for it – which changed it to a tale about fighting cancer.” “We also did the video for ‘Stranger’ – I was very sick during that, on chemo.” “ I went in and we did the video over one day and I was in bed for the next four days after that because my white blood cell count had dropped and my immune system was down.” “It was happy though, but I was a stranger to it all.” ‘Get up and get out’ changed as well – first I had to learn it- the drummer wrote it and he didn’t tell me what the song was all about to start off with.” “ Later he told me it was about bed bugs – ‘I’ve been laying with you night after night, you leave before I see the morning light, I always say you’re not welcome no more but when you knock I open up the door and say Get up and get out !” (sings jubilantly ! )

A: “ Haha ! And there I was thinking that this song was about some lousy lover ! “

Sharon “Yeah, right ? (Laughs) “ And then the second verse ‘All my friends they ask me about you and I swear up and down that we are through.” “If only what I say is true, why can’t you find someone new ?” “Get up and get out !” “When I started singing it on stage, we changed the whole groove and I start the song off in a Tina Turner way.” “I don’t tell em about the bed bugs though” “At the end I scream ‘ Get up cancer, get out!’ “I shout the cancer out”


Proper R & B is not pop 


A : “ Your record label, Daptone, has a back to the old r & b school feel to it…”

Sharon “Yeah it’s r & b but we want to want to be recognised as soul – there is no label for soul music in the music categories.”

A “So what is the difference, for you, between the ‘r & b’ that we hear on the radio today and what you’ve been making throughout the years ?”

Sharon: “It’s just changed.” “The r & b of today isn’t the r & b of the old days because the r & b of the past was called soul.” “James Brown came up with funk and then you had different categories of funk” “ R & B took on a whole other value; I don’t even know what the hell they’re talking about when it comes to r & b today – it’s pop music.” “Anytime you take, and I keep using their names, Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake, and people keep on saying they’re r & b singers I think ‘Wait, that’s pop ! They are great pop singers, their music is great but it’s not r & b.” “I don’t consider it r & b.”

A “For me Amy Winehouse was a very good musician, all credit and respect to her, would you say that you have a similar sound ? “You’d been on the scene for some time before her singing that sort of sound.”

Sharon : “Yeah, we inspired her, I inspired her.” “That’s why Amy and Ronson came to our label, came to the Dap Kings and 6 of her songs on her album were produced.”

A : “ What is your philosophy behind music ?” “Why do you do what you do ?”

Sharon : “I’ve never really thought about it like that.” “I think of music as a bit of my life, it’s been part of my life since I was a child.” “When I did my first solo and realised I can sing in church, at that point, I was aware that it was a gift, a blessing.” “It’s something I have to do – it’s my happiness, my joy.” “I don’t have kids, i’m not married and i’ve been on the road for the last 20 years or so touring” “ To me, when I lose that joy, that happiness, or when I don’t feel that connection, when I lose the connection with my fan or with my band, it’s time to quit, to retire”

A: “Hopefully not anytime soon”

Sharon : “I don’t see it coming any time soon right now”

A: “It was difficult for you to make your big break, having been around on the scene for a while.” “When did you know for certain that making music was something you wanted to devote your life to ?”

Sharon: “It was in church one day.” “Back in the 80′s and 90′s I was trying to do that club stuff with all them beats – you’d go in the studio and they’d tell you ‘Sorry, but you just don’t have the look for this kind of stuff.’ “I knew I had a voice, a gift so to be told that in my youth was hurtful.” “I took many jobs and many of them weren’t for me.” “Everything comes back to my music, back to singing.” “I knew that it was part of my life and something that I had to do.” “ You’ve got to know where you’re going and what you’re doing.” “Some people want to be singers and musicians and it’s not for them. “In your heart you know you’re good and if you’re somewhere and fifty people tell you that you’re not or 100’000 people tell you that and you’re the only one who believes in you, maybe there’s something wrong.” “ However, when one person out of all those tells you something positive, you’ve got to search yourself and keep going- have faith in yourself and keep that one person in mind.” “That’s what carried me, I didn’t have to look though- my ex was out playing and the guys he was with were looking for a soul singer with a James Brown groove thing going.” “ I could do that easily, that was my break and I knew that it was the style of music that I was meant to do.” “I don’t want to go out and try to sound like Beyonce or some of the young girls out there today, that’s not what I do.”

A : “That’s the problem with the music industry, their reproduction of everything that’s already there …”

Sharon: “And people let them do it, they give you a bit of money and if you’re record doesn’t sell a few hundred thousand copies they drop you.” “With my music, whether I sell 500 or 5000, the record label is still going to go on supporting me”


R.I.P Lou Reed 

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credit: PaulMcGeiver


A : “You’ve worked with quite a few musicians over the years – Lou Reed being one of them.” “What was it like working with Lou?”

Sharon: “Honestly, I didn’t even know who Lou Reed was.” (chuckles) “Of course I remember ‘tu tu tu’ (hums ‘talk a walk on the wild side’ ) but it wasn’t my style – I wasn’t into the rock of the 80′s and 90′s.” “When they told me what he was doing and I listened to his ‘Berlin’ album I thought ‘Wow ! This is dark.” “At that first rehearsal in Brooklyn Anthony from Anthony and the Johnson’s was there too.” “ I didn’t know who this guy was but his style reminded me a lot of Tiny Tim who used to sing ‘tip toe to the garden’ (sings Tiny Tim’s iconic Tip Toe Through the Garden’ ) “ He had a very high pitched voice.” “ I went to Australia and he let me do a verse of ‘Sweet Jane’ with him on the first night.” “ He wasn’t going to ask me to sing”

A: Why not ?

Sharon : “That’s Lou for you – I stepped on his solos.” “It didn’t bother me at all – In Australia someone asked him what it was like to have such great backup singers and he said ‘Sharon, come here, I want you to take a verse of ‘Sweet Jane’ and we tried it out without success to start off with.” “ I told him ‘Lou if I have to sing this song the way you sing it then I don’t want to do it because that’s not who I am’

A: “Two very different styles”

Sharon “Exactly.” “So Lou goes ‘I tell you what, i’ve been singing this song for many years my way – let me see how you are going to do it.’ “I did my Tina Turner thing and at the end of the night Lou says ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, the magnificent, wonderful Sharon Jones !’ “We hugged in the dressing room afterwards and everything was cool.” “ He was happy to start off with but got mad afterwards because he wanted me to go on tour with him in Europe and I said yes, before cancelling 3 days before the tour because I had to do the movie with Denzel Washington , ‘The Great Debaters’- I chose to do the movie.”

A “How come ?”

Sharon: “Because it was Denzel and it was the great debaters (chuckles heartily)” “ It was an opportunity to be in a movie, who would turn that down ?” “I would have made more money with Lou but I turned down the tour.” “I had two short scenes but would you believe it they cut em out !” “ I sung a whole song as well which they also cut out” “So get the original and watch the director’s cut and you’ll see me in there and the parts that they took out.”

A : “ Any idea why they cut that out ?”

Sharon: “Length I guess.” “Movies are always too long and they have to nip it down from like 3 hours to an hour and a half so there are so many scenes they have to cut out.” “Of course my scenes were some of them” (laughs)

A : “I’ve got to see the movie then I guess”

Sharon: “From the beginning Al, It’s all at the beginning.”

A: “Any plans of acting again any time soon ?”

Sharon: “Oh I would love to !” “We are in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ too – the whole band.” “I would love it if Tyler Perry did something and got me in there.” “Singing is acting you know, you’ve got to act those stories out when you’re on the stage.”

A: “This is my last question, what’s next for you ?” “ You’re touring now but are the plans beyond ‘Give The People What They Want ?’

Sharon: “ No plan really, I just want to continue to get this album known and continue to have my health.” “I hope and pray that every show we do goes well, that nothing has to be cancelled.” “That’s important you know- cancellation hurts.”

Original article here :

The Local Denmark


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Pics: Bobby Anwar


The grounds at Roskilde Festival resembled an apocalyptic scene out of a futuristic dystopian fairytale as The local bid a fond farewell to this year’s event. Ripped tents, bulky heaps of air mattresses and cans of mackerel and tuna lay strewn like stardust across miles on end of now derelict camping areas patrolled by a niche section of die-hards riding the wave to its very end.

The story of 8 days of pure freedom- broken norms and mended souls summarized in a seemingly unappealing pile-up of junk.

Look beyond the veneer of all things apocalyptic and anarchic epitomized by this scene and you’ll find the success story of a festival that gathered over 100’000 people together for concerts by 166 bands from 30 different nations, generating an expected profit of between 200 and 270’000 Euros that will be donated to charity. Predominantly dry conditions that were interrupted by the odd shower every now and again made it all the more memorable, as did an astute band schedule that raked in every one from golden oldies for The Rolling Stones to tweak-obsessed kids for Major Lazo’s emblematic performance. Where some, like Danish deejay supremeo Trentemøller, failed to create a stir, there were others, such as Deftones, Darkside, Outkast, Stevie Wonder and not least of all Manu Chao, who all conjured up performances that charmed reviewers, established fans and new aficionados alike. Beyond music, the art scene around the Orange stage basked in the aura of its ever-increasing popularity and both Game city as well as Street city on Roskilde’s Western wing provided apt alternatives to the full-throttle party vibe. All in all Roskilde was well-organized and co-ordinated this year and there can be few complaints of poor concerts, a fact epitomized by the cancellation of Sunday’s Orange stage star act, Drake, who was replaced by the totally different Jack White. Whilst younger fans of r & b were left disappointed, for the omnivores and rock fans, Jack’s show was a sight to behold.



Original article here :

The Local Denmark, Roskilde coverage

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pics:  Bobby Anwar

The Orange feeling is back once again and despite the standard doom prophecies of local weather forecasters, come rain or shine, Roskilde Festival looks set to morph into the annual festive treat that it always is. 160’000 attendees, 32’000 volunteers, 8 days of merrymaking in conditions that range from World War One-esque mud baths to searing summer temperatures that banish the traumas of winter to mere memory. The 43-year old spectacle offers plenty and a dig beneath the surface reveals that, true to one of their slogans, Roskilde is about “more than just music.” The Local was at Roskilde yesterday to get a whiff of some of what to expect:

  • Street City: Picking up on the increasingly favorable sociopolitical strategy of using street culture and sport to generate cultural production, the Red Bull brand have laid claim to the skate park area in the West of the festival. BMX biking, Roller blading and of course, the usual flurry of rising electronic music talents under the Red Bull studios banner. Many Roskilde die-hards have voiced their concern over the increased collaboration between Roskilde and commercially-motivated multinationals such as Red Bull. For them, the skate scene was more “authentic” before it was handed over to Red Bull. For others, the talented lineup of deejays and the varied palette of urban sports on offer are a showcase of quality, irrespective of who’s behind them. These were but a few of many varied opinions at the skate scene yesterday evening, where the stage technicians seemed to have been caught off-guard by the sudden downpour shortly after nine. Despite this hiccough, one can expect some interesting cultural activities from Street city, which runs until Wednesday.

  • Game City: Another zone intent on harnessing the potential of sports as a catalyst for social activity, Game city features organisations such as Hummel, Play 31, Sensational Soccer and Game Denmark, all of whom play host to a plethora of tournaments in beach soccer, volleyball, 3 on 3 basketball, double dutch and other disciplines. For those who fancy running off their hangover, this zone is definitely worth checking out.

  • Art zone : Located near the indomitable Orange scene, this year’s art scene features 21 different projects involving 150 artists comprised of 9 different nationalities. The art cliche of breaking down the distances between performer and participant and of the standard thought provoking properties of art will be in abundance here, giving festival attendees the chance to immerse themselves in immersive interactive experiments. Watch out for the work of Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, Marcos Zotes and Maser. Separate from this, albeit not too far off from the art zone, the 1 kilometer of painted graffiti murals that Roskilde festival gives international street artists the opportunity to decorate are also a sight to behold. Free graffiti workshops are also available to all who wish to bring out their inner Banksy.

  • Camping : A back to basics experiment that often involves wet tents, canned mackrel for breakfast, sleeping next to a horde of party-crazed enthusiasts with a 24 hour sound system that will provide you with your best and most irritable festival experiences all at once. Of all the many elaborate camps, one that stands out is the ping pong camp in West, by the famous bridge between Roskilde West. This particular tribe of party animals have their own shaman-esque deejay, clad themselves in yellow and purple and are have been known to frequently douse each other in champagne, a commodity which they seem to have plenty of.

  • Rolling Stones: Yes Roskilde is more than just about music but, at the end of the day, the indelible experience of seeing a good band perform live to thousands of people is one that is well and truly irreplaceable. Where Roskilde’s bookers were lambasted for booking an overtly commercial lineup last year, this year, the general consensus is that they have done a good job. This also creates higher expectations, perilous vices in themselves, but let’s face it, can a band like The Stones end up being a catastrophe at an Orange stage that they had originally used on one of their European tours over 40 years ago ? On that note, Outkast, Manu Chao, Stevie wonder, Drake and The Arctic Monkeys are also surely going to perform impeccably on the orange stage and let’s not forget about the action on some of the smaller, often uncredited, stages – Cosmopol, Apollo, Arena. Fun for the family


original article here :

The Local Denmark


It’s that time of the year again ! The streets are filled with the tooting of trucks packed with hordes of newly graduated students in the mood for a party. With Northern Europe’s largest festival creeping over the dawn horizon, many of the newly graduated will be joined by thousands of others, young and old, for up to eight days of cathartic chaos that does away with the conformity and structure of the everyday. In its place, everything from naked runs to tears of ecstasy and indelible crowd surfing moments are sure to normalize that which one would otherwise consider bizarre and even unbecoming.

Roskilde started out as an early 70′s idealist experiment modeled on the ethos of marquee counterculture happenings such as Woodstock and Isle of Man. Since then it has evolved into one of Europe’s giants on the festival scene, joining the likes of the U.K’s Glastonbury festival as one of the world’s most revered gatherings, both due to the eclectic music profile it maintains and the fact that it is primarily volunteer-driven. Now a swank 43 year old, Roskilde shows few signs of entering into a mid-life crisis, beaming with the very same creativity and cultural sparkle that she aims to inspire amongst the 160’000 plus people that are part of her universe. Here are one or two things you may not know about this beast :

  1. Mogens Sandfær and Jesper Switzer Møller are the reason you’re reading this. High school students at the time, this dynamic duo aided by music promoter Carl Fischer organised the first Roskilde Festival back in 1971. 20 bands played over 2 days, at what was known as Sound Festival at the time.

  1. Orange: Roskilde’s official colour, inspired by the indomitable Orange stage. With space for 60’000, the Orange stage was originally purchased from England in 1978, where it had been used by the Rolling Stones as part of their European tour a couple of years before. 36 years later, The Rolling Stones are set to rock this stage again.

  2. Apollo: Inaugurated in 2012 to cater for the rising demand for electronic music in the modern-day, Apollo is the Orange stage’s humble country cousin, with space for a modest 5000. During the warm up days, this powerful little satellite has been known to wander around different camping areas creating havoc.

  3. Nudity: In addition to the famous naked run held every year, nudity is a common sight at every Roskilde festival, as conformity flies out the window. Dr Hook famously performed nude in 1976, at a festival whose future hang in the balance at the time, on account of some conservative loons who proposed putting an end to Roskilde.

  4. 32’000 volunteers, which is approximately equivalent to the population of Hillerød, rally to make the festival what it is every year. With only 50 paid employees, Roskilde is one of the world’s best examples of volunteer-driven initiatives. The majority of volunteers hail from cultural and sporting organisations from Roskilde and Copenhagen.

  5. We are the champions : As Denmark rejects the European union and its football team wins Euro 1992, word of their triumph reaches the festival, broadcasted in these iconic words at one of the main stages. Unsurprisingly, beer drinking records are broken and total pandemonium breaks lose as the nation celebrates.

  6. Safety pits: Inspired by the well-documented deaths during a Pearl Jam performance at Roskilde in 2000, festival security in Europe tightens. Crowd sections are now divided into pits, separated from each other by steel fences, in order to prevent surging and to aid the flow of people in and around stages.

  7. 100mm in 35 hours. The weather in Denmark is always a gamble, more so at a festival such as Roskilde. As the heavens broke, thousands of revelers were soaked to the skin creating scenes that resembled the trenches of world war one. Some went home defeated but many soldiered on in the muck.

  8. 25.4 million has been donated to charity organisations such as Doctors without Borders, Amnesty International, Support the Victims in Iraq, Save the Children and The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and many others. Who would have thought that dancing the night away for days on end could create global economic value of such proportions ?

  9. Dream city is the name of one of Roskilde’s biggest initiatives aimed at promoting co-creativity and sustainability into the ethos of the festival. This audience-propelled section of one of the camping areas gives people the opportunity to share the uniqueness of their festival abodes with other “dreamers,” in a sky-is-the-limit sort of way.


Featured on this year’s Hummel Orange Karma campaign.


Photo location: Game Copenhagen, 2450


Full collection available here




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Communication + co-created web design, Nordic Urban Challenge (Urban sports organisation, Scandinavia) (2014)




Street Soccer

Street basketball



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More Dusseldorf than Detroit

Rust; Fri 2 May, 01:00; 80kr


Daniel Plessow, a mix between soul and house (Photo: Stefan Braunbarth)

May 1, 2014

by Allan Mutuku-Kortbæk

Motor City Drum Ensemble

Rust; Fri 2 May, 01:00; 80kr

Motor City Drum Ensemble is a German DJ (Daniel Plessow) who stormed onto the global house scene back in 2008 with some a refreshingly new wave of productions that were aflame with occulted, retro references to the soulful side of house music.

Plessow’s musical ethos is anchored on a passionate intent to re-introduce soul into house and techno music, which, following its inception in the Detroit and Chicago of the ‘80s, has branched out into multiple directions, many of which are associated with a stereotype of beat monotony and uninterrupted drum kikcs.


Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings

Store Vega; Tue 20 May, 21:00; 350kr


Band members of the Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings (Photo: Kyle Dean Reinford)

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings 

Over the years Daptone records have provided the world with an indomitable stream of funk and soul that has often grounded its roots in a revivalist mindset intent on reliving the 1960s and 70s heydays of these genres.

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings are the flagship of this ethos and are back in the alley with a mammoth, soul-strewn album Give The People What They Want.

Those who are unfamiliar with Sharon Jones and her ageless classic southern soul persuasion are in for a concert that could easily end up being one of the best of the year.

For routine aficionados, Give the People What They Want is a work that reverberates with new energetic influences that cement Sharon Jones and The Dap King’s status as established gentry in the spectrum of soul and R & B.

The very same album also represents the struggle with pancreatic cancer that lead singer Jones has been through, a duel that led to the postponement of the initially planned album release and tour, which should have taken place a year or so ago.

Back in full force and nourished from the affection of fans, family and friends the world over, Jone’s and her troupe will surely bring a new lease of life to a Copenhagen audience looking to banish the traumas of the cold, dark winter to mere memory.



Manic Street Preachers

Store Vega; Mon 12 May, 20:00, 360kr


Manic Street Preachers return to Danish soil (Photo: Band’s facebook page)

Manic Street Preachers

Locally, they’ve appeared at festivals like Roskilde and had limited, albeit memorable outings at venues like Vega and Amagerbio. In the rest of Europe, few are unfamiliar with their status as musicians and confrontational revolutionaries.

Colloquially known as “The Manics,”  Welsh alternative rock stalwarts Manic street preachers have been around since the late 80’s, ‘preaching’ a leftist discourse of  heavily politicized statements through their music.

Vehement critics of socially-relevant themes such as alienation, boredom and despair aided by androgynous glam apparel and appearances, the status of the preachers in sociopolitical music folklore is by and large unrivaled in the modern era.

And whilst their latest material is a lot more acoustic than a lot of their previous work and there are no doubt many who would allege that the Welshmen are past their prime,  the preachers’ legendary status still casts an overwhelmingly powerful shadow over all that they do. 

Their return to Danish soil ought to help somewhat as far as them consolidating their reputation on the local venue circuit is concerned.

Joining the Manics on stage, London duo Public Service Broadcasting ought to provide the ideal warm up with their dystopian- themed samples from propaganda and television material; a futuristic musical narrative rooted in the now unfashionable mechanisms of state control and subversion.

Prepare for doses of alternative rock laced with traces of punk and post-punk. 

De dødelige

Rust; Sat 24 May, 21:00; 75kr


The De Dødelidge’s pop assault (Photo: De Dødelige)

De Dødelidge

Pop boys De Dødelige (The deathly) have been melting quite a few teenage hearts over the last year or so, following their ascension up the local mainstream ladder.

A lot of it is down to the vocal talents of lead singer Andreas Knudsen. Sony Records have been quick to capitalise on their potential and it’s safe to say that they will be around for sometime. 
Having warmed up for the cheesiest of all Danish bands, the unfathomably successful Nik & Jay, De Dødelige look poised to continue their pop assault on Denmark’s airwaves.

Sean Carey (Bon Iver) 

Vega; Wed 28 May, 21:00; 160kr

Sean Carey (Photo: Cameron Wittig)

One of the frontmen behind the critically acclaimed indie folk band Bon Iver, Sean Carey’s music is replete with chamber-pop persuasions and cinematic soundscapes that astound and inspire all at once.

Bo Saris

Lille Vega; Sat 31 May, 21:00; 170kr 

Boris Titulaer (Photo: Seginternational)

Motown-inspired pop rich in soulful influences that would do Amy Winehouse and Marvin Gaye proud. And Dutch soul singer Bo Saris (Boris Titulaer) hasn’t even got a debut album on the shelves yet.

The Fried Orka Band

Mojo’s Blues Bar; Fri 23 May, 20:00, 70kr 

The Fired Orka band (Photo:

The Fried Orka band are local purveyors of the more raw, acoustically-driven blues sound. Featuring multi-instrumental influences and lyrics themed on the city, they are a solid local act.




Calling News DJs #2

Culture Box; Fri 2 May, 21:00; 50kr 

If you’re looking for the sound of the latest undiscovered talent within electronic music, this is one party you’d do well to check out as Culture Box puts on another stellar line-up for the month of May.


Operaen Christiana; Fri 9 May, 21:00, 50kr


The smiling Larica band (Photo: Facebook)

Larica #100 

A precursor to rocksteady and reggae, ska music originated in the Jamaica of the 50’s and embedded itself in the annals of mod culture of the 60’s in Britain. Something of an unknown quantity locally, the genre is kept alive by the efforts of a few extraordinarily impassioned bands, the Næstved-founded Larica outfit being one such outfit.

Their centenary concert at one of the pearls of underground culture, Christiania’s Operaen could not have arrived at a more opportune time. Buckle up for a blast from the past.

Peter H Olsen + Mute Swimmer

Copenhagen Jazzhouse Thu 15 May, 20:00; 90kr

(Photo: NielsFabæk)

Musically-orientated poetry from local performer Peter Olsen and literary-oriented songwriting from the U.K’s Mute Swimmer is what’s on the bill for this particular evening at the jazz house.

Alain Apoloo

The Juke Joint at Mojo’s Blues Bar; Mon May 19 21:30; free adm


The weekly Juke Joint at Mojo’s is a solid fixture on the local Copenhagen blues scene. On May 19 it is spearheaded by the talented Alain Apoloo and open to anyone willing to play on the night.

Schoolboy Q

Rust; Fri 18 April, 20:00; 165kr

(Photo: Mikel Galicia)

The man responsible for seminal track ‘Man of the year’ will be in Copenhagen as part of his European tour, much to the delight of many a hip hop fan.