Dance legends including M People's Heather Small, Livin’ Joy star Janice Robinson, Happy Mondays own Rowetta, Groove Armada’s Andy Cato and MC M.A.D. will perform live at this summer's The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics in Millennium Square, Leeds.
The date for your diary is Saturday, July 27.
The epic open-air club night will reunite Leeds’ own ‘Purveyor of Good Times’ Dave Beer with the Orchestra of Opera North for another set of dance anthems specially expanded and rearranged for the 60-piece ensemble, with vocals from the original artists.
This year’s concert is part of the Opera North in the City weekend, which opens with 80s Classical, on Friday, July 26 - featuring original guest vocalists including Jimmy Somerville and Nik Kershaw.
A live soundtrack screening of Jurassic Park will close the weekend on Sunday, July 28.
BUY TICKETS: A limited number of Early Bird tickets for The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics are available priced at £29.50, with a VIP bar upgrade on offer for an additional £7.00. Anyone booking both 80s Classical and The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics can save £7.50 on the combined ticket price. For more information and to book, visit www.millsqleeds.com or www.operanorth.co.uk or call Box Office on 0113 2233600 / 0113 376 0318.
The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics will feature Heather Small’s incredible run of M People hits - such as How Can I Love You More?, One Night in Heaven and Moving on Up - treated to new arrangements, putting a unique symphonic spin on their trademark blend of house, classic soul and R&B.
Heather said: “We celebrated the 25th anniversary of these songs last year, and people still want to hear them and sing along – and performing them still brings me so much joy. It’s that connection with the band and the audience that’s always so emotional for me, so taking the stage at Millennium Square to perform these amazing new arrangements with the full Orchestra of Opera North is going to be unforgettable!”
One of the highlights of the first Symphonic Sounds event, Groove Armada vocalist MC M.A.D. will be joined by founder member Andy Cato to perform their Grammy-nominated big beat/house/dancehall crossover, Superstylin’ and massive sleeper hit I See You Baby.
Andy grew up near Pontefract and played trombone in the Grimethorpe Colliery Band in his teens, and his brass chops can be heard in the trombone solo on Groove Armada’s At the River.
The chill out classic will also get an orchestral overhaul for the Back to Basics show, which will be something of a homecoming for Andy, who now makes his living as an organic farmer in France.
American vocalist and co-writer and singer of Livin’ Joy’s Italo-house classic Dreamer, Janice Robinson floored Robbie Williams, Simon Cowell and the X Factor panel when she returned to the stage with the song in 2018. She performs a new arrangement of her number 1 hit, plus Robin S’s Show Me Love.
Also joining the bill, Happy Mondays vocalist Rowetta found a new audience through another legendary X Factor audition, and became the only female to reach the final four in 2004. She recently announced that she will be rejoining the seminal Manchester band for an epic Greatest Hits tour this winter.
Rowetta said: “Last year I came to the party and it was so beautiful, it will be a real honour for me to be up on stage this year, performing with the wonderful Orchestra of Opera North curated my good friend, the one & only Dave Beer of legendary Back to Basics, alongside so much great talent”
Returning from last year’s concert, British gospel and house singer Rachel McFarlane will be performing Let The Music Lift You Up, which she took into the UK charts with Loveland, and her self-penned Lover, which was mashed up with Paul Van Dyk’s For an Angel as a late-90s white label sensation.
A long-time Back to Basics associate, also known for her work with Nightmares on Wax, jazz and broken beat vocalist Sara Garvey is back for her third Symphonic Sounds.
A trio of talented vocalists, Adetoun Rattenbury, Sabrina Ramikie and The Voice’s Jaz Ellington, will take centre stage for more club and electronica anthems. The musical masterminds behind the event, composer and arranger Cliff Masterson and musical director Steve Anderson boast credits including Kylie Minogue, Emeli Sandé and Leona Lewis.
Dave Beer said: “I am really honoured once again to be working alongside the brilliant Orchestra of Opera North and Leeds City Council on the 3rd edition of Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics. This year's show is set to be another amazing spectacle and I am so excited to be able to collaborate with my good friends Andy Cato and Mikey (MC M.A.D.) from electronic dance legends Groove Armada, Rowetta from Happy Mondays, and of course the amazingly talented and the one and only voice of M People Heather Small. And once again incorporating my favourite part of the show the voices of Leeds Community Choir led by our very own Cleve Freckleton and also bringing in some extra performing arts from the young people of Leeds”
For the past two years the Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics concerts have offered a new way to experience clubbing, filling Millennium Square’s stunning open-air arena with the good vibes that Beer’s Leeds institution is famed for.
Doors for the event will open from 6.30pm with the main Orchestral performances starting from approx 8.15pm.
A number of street food catering concessions together with a fully licensed multi-pour festival style bar in partnership with HEINEKEN will be available within the specially created outdoor arena.
The venue is also fully accessible with a raised viewing platform, disabled toilets and a Changing Places high dependency unit. Full accessibility information and companion ticket details are available from the venue website or by calling the City Centre Box office.
Web site: www.millsqleeds.com