50 years after the summer that defined the counterculture movement of the 1960s, the Royal Albert Hall is presenting Summer of Love: Revisited, a series of talks, screenings and performances in the Elgar Room celebrating this pivotal moment of cultural history.
Joining the likes of Arthur Brown, Michael Horovitz and Soft Machine on the series line-up, Laura Mvula, Billy Bragg, Jazzie B and The Zombies will all talk to presenter Colleen Murphy over four special Classic Album Sundays events.
The Classic Album Sundays format has become a hugely popular and respected music listening experience. It allows audiences to hear the intriguing stories behind era-defining albums or songs, before listening to the record together on a world-class audiophile hi-fi system, creating a transformative, shared experience.
Here’s founder Colleen Murphy talking about some of the CAS guests and events she presented at Camp Bestival:
Over the years the format has inspired satellites around the world and now has events on days other than Sundays! These sessions in the Hall’s Elgar Room will see the special guests, each masters in their own field, offer their insights on the variety of musical genres which made up the counterculture movement – from ska to skiffle – before presenting their vinyl choices:
Laura Mvula presents: The Women of ’60s Soul
The two-time Mercury Prize nominee’s session on Monday 8 May will see her discuss the victories and challenges of female musicians who broke down social and cultural barriers during the 60s.
Expect music from the likes of Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell, Dusty Springfield and Gladys Knight.
Jazzie B on Revolutionary Soul and Ska
Soul II Soul star Jazzie B will discuss how black musicians and producers of the era inspired new musical genres, and became entrepreneurs in the face of racial adversity at his Classic Album Sundays event on Tuesday 16 May.
Expect choice cuts from James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, Marvin Gaye, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and more.
Billy Bragg on Skiffle and Protest Music
On Tuesday 6 June, ‘The Bard of Barking’ discusses the history, impact and legacy of skiffle, Britain’s first indigenous pop movement, and how it inspired the British artists who would later steer Sixties counter-culture.
Expect vinyl picks of classics from the likes of Lonnie Donegan, Peggy Seeger, Lead Belly and Woody Guthrie.
Billy will also be signing his new book, Roots, Radicals and Rockers; How Skiffle Changed the World, which will be available to buy at the event.
The Zombies present Odessey and Oracle
Lastly on Monday 12 June, Rod Argent, Colin Blunstone and Chris White discuss their classic 1968 album Odessey and Oracle, considered one of the most significant British psychedelic records.
Featuring timeless classics including Care of Cell 44 and Time of the Season, the album is frequently included in ‘all-time greatest’ lists and remains a cult classic to this day.
The trio will also be signing copied of their new book, The Odessey: The Zombies in Words and Images, which will be available to purchase at the event.