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Barbican announces Bonny Light Horseman, Hamza Namira, Herbie Hancock, Rampage and The Unthanks


Today the Barbican announces a sweep of new concerts for its rolling music programme as well as support acts for upcoming performances by Lankum (4 May) and Richard Dawson (5 May). Full details about each concert can be found below in chronological order.

  • Hamza Namira (Sat 17 Jun 2023, Barbican Hall, 7:30pm)
  • Rampage: Carnival Classics (Sat 1 July 2023, Barbican Hall, 8pm)
  • Herbie Hancock (Fri 28 and Sat 29 July 2023, Barbican Hall, 7:30pm)
  • The Unthanks All-Dayer (Sun 10 Sep 2023, Barbican Hall, 2pm)
  • Bonny Light Horseman + London Contemporary Orchestra (Fri 15 Sep 2023, Barbican Hall, 8:00pm)

Hamza Namira

Songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Hamza Namira comes to London for a special performance at the Barbican, joined by his Cairo-based ensemble.

Described as the ‘new Sayed Darwish’, Hamza Namira has become one of the leading figures in Egypt and the Middle East’s music scene. Through luminous expressions of resilience and ambition, Namira uses his work to explore and engage with the wider social issues of today. With his unique combination of Egyptian contemporary pop and traditional folk, rock and powerful ballads, Namira has sold out concerts in Alexandria, Cairo, and London, while also performing internationally and across the Arab World.

Alongside his ensemble of some of Egypt and the Middle East’s finest instrumentalists, Namira will perform his own pieces, as well as songs from his TV programme (Remix) which has found much success across the Arab world.


Rampage: Carnival Classics

+ the Jules Buckley Orchestra

The UK's most renowned Sound System, Rampage presents a special evening of Carnival Classics, - bringing the spirit of Notting Hill Carnival to the Barbican Hall this July.

The evening will showcase orchestral renditions of the most iconic songs from the past 30 years, with performances by Egypt, Damage, Donaeo, Gracious Kay, Kele Le Roc, Maxwell D, More Fire Crew, Mr Vegas, Omar and Terri Walker, alongside a 30-piece orchestra conducted by world renowned Jules Buckley.

Celebrating 30 years at the cutting edge of UK Black Music Culture, Rampage Sound are best known for their weekly residency on BBC Radio 1Xtra and their world-famous stage at Notting Hill Carnival, which sees over 150,000 people visit every year over the bank holiday weekend, as well as over a million people watching online. Rampage have hosted some of the biggest artists in the world including Stormzy, Koffee, Buju Banton, Sean Paul, AJ Tracey, Ms Dynamite & Katy B, and have created an unrivalled reputation as a crowd favourite – cementing their name as pioneers of black music in the UK.

Jules Buckley is a 2- x GRAMMY award winning conductor, arranger, curator, and composer, who has worked on over 70 albums with international acts including Quincy Jones, Stormzy, Little Simz, Wretch 32 and Pete Tong. He is the co-founder of the Heritage Orchestra; honorary conductor of the Metropole Orkest and in 2019 became the Creative Artist in association with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

The show will see Rampage and the Jules Buckley Orchestra curate an evening of classic throwbacks, with music ranging from R&B, Hip Hop, Dancehall, Soca through to Jungle and UK Garage Classics. 


Herbie Hancock

Legendary musical innovator Herbie Hancock returns to the Barbican for two unforgettable nights in July 2023. Back in the UK after shows at the Barbican and Glastonbury Festival in 2022, these will be the only UK performances given by Herbie Hancock, bringing his three-week European tour to a close. The concerts in the Barbican Hall promise to be an electric experience from a jazz icon who shows no signs of slowing down.

Hancock's previous Barbican show, part of the EFG London Jazz Festival Summer Series last year, was met with critical acclaim with the Evening Standard proclaiming “A fine ensemble supported the veteran jazz man, but he was the undisputed star” and the Financial Times describing it as “A gripping, crowd-raising gig”.

With an illustrious career spanning over six decades and 14 GRAMMY Awards, there are few artists in the music industry who have had more influence on acoustic and electronic jazz and R&B than Herbie Hancock. With his career now in its seventh decade, Herbie Hancock continues to thrill audiences across the globe. As a member of the Miles Davis Quintet that pioneered a ground-breaking sound in jazz, Hancock also developed new approaches on his own recordings in the 70s. From record-breaking albums like Headhunters, combining electronic jazz with funk and rock in an innovative style that continues to influence contemporary music, to Rockit and Future Shock which signalled Hancock's foray into electronic dance sounds, to continuing to work in an acoustic setting on V.S.O.P, Hancock’s breadth and prowess has been present throughout.


The Unthanks All-Dayer

One of just two opportunities nationwide, a very special all-day event with Northumbrian folk group The Unthanks takes place at the Barbican in September 2023. Across two concerts, a one-time only reformed Rachel Unthank & The Winterset will perform Mercury-nominated album The Bairns in the afternoon before The Unthanks perform their critically acclaimed albums Here’s The Tender Coming and Last in the evening.

This exclusive celebration will kick off at the Barbican on Level G with a public Big Sing, followed by performances throughout the day and a Q&A with the band. Support for the day comes from folk artists Lucy Farrell and Devon Sproule – musicians who both supported The Unthanks across the period that their three cherished records were originally released.

Also taking place at Sage Gateshead on Saturday 9 September, these special events mark the reissue of the three albums – the first time all three have been released on vinyl, plus a 24-page CD book including forewords from notable fans and friends of The Unthanks as well as exclusive new content.

Tickets are available for both concerts separately, or with a 20% multi-buy discount for both, giving audiences access to the events taking place in and around the afternoon and evening concerts.


Bonny Light Horseman with the London Contemporary Orchestra

Mixing transatlantic traditional folk music with a contemporary, collective brush, Bonny Light Horseman present work from across their catalogue, including orchestral arrangements by Bryce Dessner among others, in this UK Premiere performance at the Barbican in September 2023.

The exclusive UK concert see the astral folk trio – comprising Anaïs Mitchell, Eric D. Johnson, and Josh Kaufman – joined by the London Contemporary Orchestra conducted by Robert Ames to perform their lush and loving ode to the past, Bonny Light Horseman, as well as new material. Following concerts in Cincinnati in 2021 with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for whom some of the arrangements were commissioned by MusicNOW, and subsequent performances in Cork and Dublin, the Barbican concert will be the UK Premiere and only UK performance of these arrangements.

Bonny Light Horseman began their musical experiment together in 2018 and were, shortly after, invited to perform at the 2018 Eaux Claires festival by its co-founders, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Aaron Dessner (The National). Encouraged by the natural ease and intuitive bond they felt while writing together, each musician brought their own musical ideas to the rehearsals and the direction toward traditional songs from the British Isles emerged quickly - culminating in the self-titled Bonny Light Horseman and beyond.

Anaïs Mitchell says. “The songs feel like ours, but they’re not ours. We worked on them and they feel like an authentic expression of us, but we’re also reenacting ritual.”




+ Tara Clerkin Trio

Following a three-year hiatus, Dublin folk four-piece Lankum will perform at the Barbican on 4 May. The final stop in a series of special European concert dates, the band will perform material from their latest album The Livelong Day (Rough Trade, 2019).

Pat Benjamin, Sunny Joe Paradisos and Tara Clerkin AKA Tara Clerkin Trio comes to support Dublin four-piece, Lankum in this sold-out Barbican concert.


Richard Dawson

+ Me Lost Me

Celebrated Northumbrian song maker and one-of-a-kind live performer Richard Dawson returns to the Barbican on Friday 5 May 2023, playing tracks from his latest album The Ruby Cord — a sonic dive into the wonders and horrors of a future world rooted in augmented reality. 

Support comes from Me Lost Me – led by Newcastle-based artist Jayne Dent.