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Enjoy free live music at the Royal Albert Hall this summer

25 March, 2011




In the summer of 2011 the Royal Albert Hall opens its doors to another free ignite series in the Café Consort. From 1920’s ballroom nostalgia to true country blues, the Royal Albert Hall’s latest ignite series gives you the opportunity to hear outstanding live music for free in the relaxed atmosphere of the Café Consort.

The contemporary, brasserie-style Café Consort is the ideal location to escape the busy surroundings and enjoy a hot drink and some live music. The new menu, provided by “rhubarb” offers a wide selection of delicious dishes, where hearty meals are served alongside lighter options in this bright and welcoming space. With the walls adorned with canvas prints of iconic heroes that have recently performed at the Hall including Grace Jones, Noel Gallagher and Sir Simon Rattle, the Café Consort reaches out to a wider audience to both devoted and new fans of tango, jazz, blues and folk.

ignite at the Royal Albert Hall’s Café Consort is the perfect chance to experience a series of free lunchtime music and intimate ambience set in a world-class venue.

Full listings: 

Benoit Viellefon & his Orchestra start off the Summer ignite series on Friday 13 May. Providing a striking and authentic wall of sound, Benoit and his orchestra provide 1920s - 1950s ballroom nostalgia with a distinctive French sound.

23 year old singer Alex Stewart takes to the Café Consort stage on Friday 20 May. With his judiciously off-beat choice of material and contemporary energy level, Alex is already creating a buzz as one of the most precociously talented vocalists of his generation.

Seasoned bluesman Rocky Lawrence makes a rare UK appearance on Friday 27 May. Rocky is the walking persona of country bluesman Robert Johnson and over the years has performed with legends including Keith Richards, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters.

Captivating acoustic quartet Matices Latinos explore the many folkloric and popular genres that characterise Latin American culture on Friday 3 June. Fronted by Luz Elena Caicedo, the group deliver an array of different musical styles from across South America.

Next is The Bohemianauts, with songs about vodka, David Icke and unrequited dread on Friday 10 June. The accordion-led band creates an engaging and uplifting sound with a wry lyrical sensibility and a selection of unlikely and often unfamiliar covers.

On Friday 17 June we welcome Violentango fresh off the back of a 50-date European tour. Their 4th album Rock de Nylon, which saw the group bringing a new approach and vision to the roots and soul of tango music, has sold 25,000 copies.

The London-based Darius Brubeck Quartet play ignite on Friday 15 July. The quartet’s recent release ‘For Lydia the Lion’ was well-reviewed and the group continue to play at sold-out London clubs and summer festivals.

Singer-songwriter Sumudu is an outstanding talent and comes to the Hall on Friday 22 July. The Londoner has performed with musical luminaries Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick and Elvis Costello and has just completed her first album, ‘Waiting For You’.

Rising stars of the nu-gypsy folk & beats scene, Chancery Blame & The Gadjo Club, perform on Friday 29 July. The band combine a dizzying array of influences to create a sound which sees Eastern European styles jostle for space with art rock Americana and Vaudiville swing.

The Stephen Steinhaus Quartet play the Café Consort on Friday 5 August. The band spin their way through a wide swing and jazz repertoire including everything from Rat Pack classics to the Great American Songbook by way of Ray Charles and Louis Jordan.

Some classical Cuban music arrives on Friday 12 August with vibrant trio Sugar Kings. Direct from Havana, the trio is comprised of classic Cuban, guitar, percussion and vocal harmonies.

The penultimate act in this series will be the 5-piece Kasaï Masaï on Friday 19 August. The London-based group perform the traditional sounds of the most remote equatorial villages with an urban twist and are regulars at the Womad Festival.

Concluding this varied ignite summer series on Friday 26 August will be Moscow Drug Club. Their music wonderfully defies definition: a bit of Berlin Cabaret, a touch of Gypsy, and a lively hip-swinging set including material ranging from Edith Piaf to Tom Waits.

Full dates & line up

Friday 13 May - Benoit Viellefon & His Orchestra
Friday 20 May - Alex Stewart
Friday 27 May - Rocky Lawrence
Friday 3 June - Matices Latinos
Friday 10 June - The Bohemianauts
Friday 17 June - Violentango
Friday 15 July - Darius Brubeck Quartet
Friday 22 July - Sumudu
Friday 29 July - Chancery Blame & The Gadjo Club
Friday 5 August - The Stephen Steinhaus Quartet
Friday 12 August - Sugar Kings
Friday 19 August - Kasaï Masaï
Friday 26 August - Moscow Drug Club

Listings Information:

Venue: Café Consort, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP (Door 12 - Grand Tier Level, 1st Floor)
Dates: 13, 20, 27 May; 3, 10, 17 June; 15, 22, 29 July; 5, 12, 19, 26 August
Times: Music from 12 noon to 1.30pm
Tickets: Free Entry
Contact: or 0845 401 5005

For more information please contact:
Ellen Morgan: or 020 7959 0500 ext. 3004


Notes to Editors:

Royal Albert Hall 
The Royal Albert Hall is one of the UK’s most treasured and magical buildings, recognisable the world over. It is a registered charity and operates without any public subsidy.  Since opening in 1871, the Royal Albert Hall has had an unparalleled history of exceptional performances by the world’s leading artists. Today over 350 events are held in the Hall’s auditorium each year which include performances of jazz, world music, rock and pop, dance, comedy, film premières and award ceremonies. Audiences of well over a million are entertained at the Hall each year and many millions more around the world enjoy the Hall experience through broadcasts, recordings and new media channels.
The Royal Albert Hall co-promotes productions and showcases talented world music and jazz artists through its lively lunchtime music series, ignite in the Café Consort. It has a strong heritage in rock and has hosted a diverse range of legendary artists and bands over the years. It hosted the only gig in history where The Beatles and The Rolling Stones played on the same bill, and has also played host to such luminaries as Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Oasis, Cream and Dame Shirley Bassey. It also offers tours of this iconic building, a free exhibition series entitled reflect and an extensive education programme for young people. 

Café Consort
The contemporary, brasserie-style Café Consort offers a wide selection of delicious dishes provided by ‘rhubarb’. Hearty meals are served alongside lighter options in this bright and welcoming space. Café Consort also offers a children's menu. With a lively atmosphere and award winning interiors, the Café Consort is located just above Door 12 on the Grand Tier (Level 1).

The Café Consort is also a wireless hotspot and open during the day, serving delicious coffee and snacks.

Contact Us

For press enquiries, please contact:

Press Executive

Rick Burin
020 7959 0531

Marketing Executive

Ellen Morgan
020 7959 0500 Ext 3004

Senior Marketing and Press Manager

Jessica Silvester
020 7959 0510

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