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Musical Outings: The 2017 Somerset House Summer Sessions

By Anjida Sripongworakul

Wednesday 10 May 2017 Student journalists

Feeling like dancing outside? The annual Somerset House Sessions’ 2017 line-up for 6-16 July has just been announced. Recommended highlights include Norah Jones, Jr Gong Marley, Birdy, and Foster The People.

On 6 July, nine-time Grammy winner Norah Jones takes the stage to debut beloved classical tracks and new, original ones from her sixth album, Day Breaks, a mix of piano and jazz, featuring performances from the likes of Wayne Shorter.

The following day sees Bob Marley’s youngest son, Damian “Junior Gong” Marley exhibiting his unique spin on dancehall, reggae and hip-hop through lyrics doubling as Jamaican poverty, politics, crime and prejudice commentary, lines which landed him his first Best Reggae Grammy in the Best Urban/Alternative Performance category.

Jasmine “Birdy” van den Bogaerde takes the stage on 12 July. A singer who took the world by surprise with her Bon Iver’s Skinny Love cover at 14, Birdy has since released three albums and captured with her idiosyncratic voice a Brit award nomination for British Female Solo Artist, soundtracks of hit films The Hunger Games and The Fault in Our Stars, and the 2012 London Paralympics Opening Ceremony.

The popular Los Angeles-based band named after its founder, singer-songwriter Mark Foster, Foster the People, plays on 13 July. Expect to hear the iconic Pumped Up Kicks and tracks from Grammy nominated the debut album, Torches, along with its follow-up, Supermodel in this debut at the Summer Series.

During the Series, drinks will be offered throughout evenings, and a Pop-Up Food Stall will be set up at Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court. Those favoring Spanish food can seek out Fernandez & Wells café and bar at the House’s East Wing, for hummus, flatbreads, chorizo and gremolata hot dogs, and more. Other food and drink restaurants within Somerset House are Tom’s Kitchen’s British Food, Spring’s organic three-course Scratch menu, and Pennethorne’s bite-sized cheeses and sharing boards.

While you’re at Somerset House, feel free to take in the attraction’s other offerings, including Gallery and Exhibition Spaces. Admission to Somerset House is free of charge, while Courtuald Gallery charges fees for exhibitions and events. Current exhibitions include Sony World Photography Award and Martin Parr, on display from April 21 to May 7,  and Perfume: A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent, on from June 21 to September 17. Students attend Courtauld Gallery for free, so don’t forget to explore world-renowned pieces of art, from van Gogh’s Self-Portrait With Bandaged Ear, Cezanne’s Mount Sainte-Victoire With A Large Pine, to Botticelli’s The Trinity With Saints.

Whether you’re seeking live music or an art viewing to stir up inspiration, stop by Somerset House some time this spring.

Somerset House is located at Strand, London WC2R 1LA, open all year around daily except December 25. Be sure to check current opening and closing times before your visit. Somerset House runs free guided tours three days per week.


Anjida Sri

I'm a Management Science (Decision Science Stream) Master's candidate at London School of Economics and Political Science. Originally from Thailand, I'm as passionate about the science, psychology, and statistics behind decision making as I am about film and writing. I enjoy opportunities to combine my passions in reviewing, discussing, and analysing films. My major influences include the New Yorker's James Wood, classic Russian literature, and Richard Siken's poetry. I've written film reviews, celebrity profiles, and news and technology coverage for my undergraduate engineering newspaper, the University of Waterloo's Iron Warrior. I'm also a guest blogger and Student Blog Editor for LSE's Department of Management. I believe pop culture, current affairs, and critical, world-changing ideas are integral to student lifestyle, and I'm committed to representing students' reality outside the classroom to society and the world. I hope to continue investigating this theme through NUS' platform for student voices.