The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is delighted to announce the full line-up of artists, headliners, and support for Kew the Music 2018. The eclectic billing will collectively create musical magic in the historic gardens.
Tickets are now on sale and music-lovers can book ahead for the unmissable evenings at the iconic, atmospheric venue.
Steps – Tuesday 10 July
Super-charged dance-pop sensation Steps have had a phenomenal comeback. They return to the epicentre of British pop with iTunes chart-toppers; a sold-out arena tour and a #2 album with Tears On The Dancefloor that achieved Silver status in just three weeks. Opening Kew the Music 2018, expect all the hits, nineties nostalgia and dancefloor anthems but also a boisterous, high energy, up-to-the minute, end-to-end pop extravaganza.
Steps will be supported by very special guests, Björn Again. The internationally acclaimed, Björn Again, was created in 1988 in Melbourne as a rocked-up, light-hearted satirical ABBA spoof. This much-loved Australian ABBA show rapidly achieved world-wide cult status and helped initiate the ABBA revival which brought about ABBA Gold, Muriel’s Wedding and MAMMA MIA!
Opening the first night of Kew the Music is Saara Aalto. Showgirl and songwriter. Pop star and pianist. There’s no-one quite like Saara Aalto. She is firmly established as one of Finland’s major talents thanks to her anthemic release “No Fear” and she represented Finland this year at the Eurovision Song Contest. Europe can’t get enough of her and nor can the UK, as we voted for her week after week on X Factor – she came second.
The Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes and Tonnino Baliardo – Wednesday 11 July
The legendary Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes and Tonnino Baliardo achieved world-wide recognition in 1988 with the release of their eponymous album which featured the global smash hits Bamboleo, Un Amor and Djoba Djoba. They won a Grammy in 2014 for their album Savor Flamenco. The band are all members of two related families from France and are credited for pioneering the sound of progressive flamenco worldwide
The Gipsy Kings will be supported by The Americans who summon up the spirit of old blues and country, creating something brand new, leaving behind nostalgia. Their debut album in 2017 caused a stir with Greg Vandy (American Standard Time) calling it “distinctly American rock ‘n’ roll. Throaty, firin’ on all cylinders, road-trip rock”. The Americans songs are miniature biographies, magical stories, intimate portraits that leave much unsaid. Musically, they trail-blaze along a road less travelled.
2CELLOS – Thursday 12 July
Having forged a signature style that breaks down the boundaries between music genres, 2CELLOS bounce from classical and film music to pop and rock and everything in between. The blockbuster Croatian cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser rocked the world of music with their unique 2011 YouTube hit reworking Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” and since then they just haven’t looked back. Their distinctive sound and high-energy performance has made them an international sensation. Fearlessly playing with true virtuosity, they know no limits when performing live.
Supporting the 2CELLOS is straight talking singer/songwriter Nerina Pallot, telling it as it is. A prolific writer and producer, the elegant, heartfelt, soul-deep songs on her latest album Stay Lucky reflect an unhurried expansiveness. It is undoubtedly her most personal, most warmly emotional album yet.
Opening the night will be the internet’s favourite cover girls, The Lounge Kittens. The saucy songstresses, a London-based trio, deliver popular songs and tongue-in-cheek covers with an irreverent twist. Watch out for their acerbic wit and ability to swear in three-part harmony.
The Human League – Friday 13 July
Electro-pioneers and influential ground-breakers, The Human League are so credible it’s incredible. In fact they’re probably more highly regarded now than they were in 1981 when they released their landmark album Dare. With four Top 10 albums and eight Top 10 singles in the UK as well as two US Number 1 singles and over 30 million records sold worldwide; they are a sublimely peculiar and heady cocktail of pop, dance, glamour and electronics.
Supporting The Human League, will be Blancmange. The British electronic band mix synthesizers and surrealism to create epic synthpop. They first broke in the early 80s with ground-breaking singles “I Can’t Explain”, “Feel Me”, “Living on the Ceiling”, “Blind Vision” and “Don’t Tell Me”. Always willing to change and adapt, their sound has evolved sometimes sharp and minimalist, sometimes lighter and ambient, sometimes flickering between bleak and crazy – always free and experimental.
Opening on Friday night is Luna. Intoxicated by the charisma and the raw authenticity of artists like Janis Joplin and Debbie Harry, Luna was hooked by the glamour and power of music from an early age. Now, a fully-fledged singer/songwriter she takes to the stage with her own outrageously gifted band.
Boyzone: ‘Thank you and Goodnight – The Farewell Tour’ – Saturday 14 July
Twenty-five million record sales, seven hit studio albums, six #1 singles; Ronan, Keith, Mikey and Shane are still going strong. With a landmark 25th anniversary in 2018 the band has taken a moment to stop and reflect on their amazing achievement in the ephemeral world of pop. Having fun working together as much as when they are busy with solo projects; their 25 years in the spotlight have been filled with crushing tragedy, reinvention and phenomenal success. Kew the Music marks the first show in their recently announced ‘Thank you and Goodnight – The Farewell Tour.’ Expect a rollercoaster of a show from a superstar band proud of where they are.
Supporting the pop stars is another pop sensation, Nadine Coyle. As one fifth of chart-topping, expectation-shattering girl band Girls Aloud, Nadine Coyle has already taken the pop world by storm. Now embarking on a solo career, her powerhouse vocals belt out majestic pop songs thatrange from a glistening low-slung strut to sleek dance-lead future classics.
Opening the concert is Bristol-born, London-based, rising star Rothwell. Her debut single “Left Me at the Party” is a dreamy electropop summer smash that features her unmistakably soulful vocals.
Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra – Sunday 15 July
Jools Holland, whose musical credits are both countless and stellar, returns to Kew the Music with another crowd-pleasing show. A musical leviathan, Jools has been touring with his veritable musical army, the Rhythm & Blues Orchestra featuring Gilson Lavis for more than 20 years and, once again, he will be joined by regular guest vocalists Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall. Supporting the final concert evening will be Jazz Morley whose haunting vocals make a lasting impression. Her velvet-smooth, natural soulfulness embraces dazzling highs and down-beat lows – the technicoloured spectrum of pop.
Finally, opening for Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra is Ella Janes, a London based folk musician, whose stripped-back sound draws faithfully from 60s folk artists including Simon & Garfunkel and French songstress Françoise Hardy Kew the Music is a glorious week-long festival of summer picnic concerts set within the stunning grounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The 2018 concerts return from Tuesday 10 July – Sunday 15 July with a fantastic line up that offers something for everyone. Proving to be a hit amongst all generations of music lovers, the popular concerts are the perfect evening out for all the family to enjoy. Guests are welcome to bring their own food and drink, or to enjoy the open air bars and tasty street food stalls. Whether sizzling or drizzling, a sensational evening awaits. For an exclusive VIP Hospitality dining experience and a selection of ready-made picnic hampers, available to collect on the night.
Tickets and booking information: kewthemusic.org
Gates open at 6.00pm. Nearest tube: Kew Gardens – District Line
Tickets from £40.00, 24-hour ticket hotline: 0844 871 8803 or book online at kewthemusic.org
Discount for children aged 1-16 (inclusive) is £18, Under 12 months free entry and no ticket required, Disabled tickets: Carer goes free.