iTunes Festival line-up: who's playing?

Free music, anyone? Check out the massive bill for Apple's annual gratis gigs

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Every year the lovely people at iTunes treat us Londoners to a seriously good series of free gigs, and in 2014 they’ve gone and done it again. The ever-popular iTunes Festival rolls into town for its eighth run this September and is set to bring 30 nights of superb music to the Roundhouse. It’s a fantastic venue to catch international pop gods like Pharrell and Kylie, rising stars such as Kiesza and leftfield legends such as Beck.

Tickets are won on a ballot basis: enter your details at itunesfestival.com to be in with a chance. iTunes will be adding acts to line-up the festival right up until its opening in September, which is when exact show times will also be confirmed.

Check out who's playing iTunes Festival 2014

Deadmau5

  • Critics choice

You might think that wearing a huge mouse mask would make you more suitable for a job at Disneyland than becoming a globe-conquering DJ, but Canadian EDM superstar Joel Zimmerman has done pretty damn well out of it with his Deadmau5 project. Initially known for his club-smashing trance-y hits and glittery electro bangers that have had countless hours of play around the world's more commercially focused nightclubs, Zimmerman has recently taken to sounds of a deeper, more techno-shaped nature, playing DJ sets that are more suited  to underground basement clubs than the arenas he's known for. Whether he retains that darker vibe for tonight's show at the iTunes Festival or goes down the fist-pumping, neon-lightshow-EDM-extravaganza route once again remains to be seen, but either way it seems likely to be a talking point of the festival, particularly as it's the opening show of the whole event.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Mon Sep 1
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Beck + Jenny Lewis

  • Critics choice

A giant of alt rock, twisted hip hop and anti-folk since the early ’90s, Bek David Campbell comes to London to play from his enormous discography at the iTunes Festival. Recent career moves have included releasing a play-it-yourself album of sheet music, writing songs for a fictional band called 'Sex Bob-omb' and remixing Philip Glass, but Beck made a stunning return to more traditional ways this year with his first recorded album since 2008: 'Morning Phase'. Two (!) more records are still due this year, so you can look forward to plenty of newies at this gig, where former Rilo Kiley singer Jenny Lewis plays second fiddle on the line-up.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Tue Sep 2
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David Guetta + Clean Bandit + Robin Schulz

  • Critics choice

Electro-house hit machine Guetta returns, armed with a sackful of chart-topping AutoTune anthems. There'll be mass sing-alongs, maniacal screaming, manufactured euphoria and plenty of heart signs in the air from the glossy-haired superstar DJ – plus, to his credit, a hot-damn impressive stage show with intergalactic dancers and an explosion of LED lights across his four decks ’n’ FX set-up. It's pure cheese – but, as you'd hope from a Frenchman, pretty tasty cheese. Support comes from classical/electronic chartbusters Clean Bandit, plus Robin Schulz.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Wed Sep 3
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5 Seconds Of Summer + Charlie Simpson

A young boy band who formed in Sydney in 2012, 5SOS toured with One Direction for six months but (unlike the 1D boys) play their own instruments and write their own songs: think Busted, but from Down Under. This slot at the iTunes Festival (ahead of a Wembley Arena gig in 2015) hints at bigger things to come. At the opposite end of the boyband career trajectory, former Busted singer Charlie Simpson plays a support set.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Thu Sep 4
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Kasabian

  • Critics choice

Leicester's enormously popular, Glastonbury-headlining, swaggering good-time rockers show everyone what they're made of. Essentially that's baggy revivalism with a fixation on the Mondays, Primal Scream and Oasis, but with more epic, experimental, psych-rock flavourings and (just occasionally) some interesting electronic excursions. As ever, massive chant-along choruses, sweaty jumping about and spilt beer should be the order of the day at tonight's show – and despite the naysayers, everyone present will have a reet good time.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Fri Sep 5
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Tony Bennett

  • Critics choice

The veteran jazz-pop crooner, who has sung with everyone from Sinatra to Gaga, heads to the Roundhouse to finish a short run of rare London shows. He may be an octogenarian, but Bennett's pipes are still in cracking shape, and his gigs are whistle-stop tours of jazz standards and showtunes: Bennett rarely spends more than two or three minutes on each song and leaves little time for any schmaltz.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Sat Sep 6
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Calvin Harris + Kiesza

  • Critics choice

Hugely popular jet-setting Scottish producer Calvin Harris brings his banging, bouncy brand of glittery, pop-focused house and EDM to north London as part of the iTunes Festival. Expect to hear plenty of the charted hit tracks that have assured his status as a superstar DJ, such as 'Feel So Close', 'Summer' and a few older crowd-pleasers, including 'Acceptable in the '80s.' Supporting is white-hot electro-pop artist and singer Kiesza, who played her first London headline show earlier this year off the back of her hit single 'Hideaway'.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Sun Sep 7
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Robert Plant + Luke Sital-Singh

  • Critics choice

The ringlet-haired singer-songwriter formerly of impossibly influential '70s heavy rock gods Led Zeppelin – also a literate and highly articulate solo interpreter of the blues and an enthusiastic and wide-ranging collaborator – performs as part of the iTunes Festival. So far, it seems like this will be a solo performance (as opposed to a show with his West African and trip hop-influenced band, the Sensational Space Shifters) which should mean a whole lotta blues and possibly, if you're lucky, some timeless Zep classics. Probably not 'Stairway to Heaven', though. Plant will be supported here by rising singer-songwriter Luke Sital-Singh.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Mon Sep 8
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Sam Smith + Sohn

  • Critics choice

Not to be confused with the independent pub chain, Smith is a young singer-songwriter who's made some canny guest appearances on high-charting songs including Disclosure's 'Latch' and Naughty Boy's 'La La La'. They've provided him with a platform from which to launch his own career. With ambition like that he'd be bound to go far even if he weren't a deft contemporary songwriter with a wonderfully smooth and delicate voice, which on his debut album 'In the Lonely Hour' he turns more often to melancholy balladry than to the dance-pop that made his name. Similarly sad singer-songwriter Sohn supports.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Tue Sep 9
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Pharrell Williams + Jungle

  • Critics choice

Eighteen months-ish since he rebooted his career with a Vaseline-smooth vocal on Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’, and almost a year since he followed through with the smash hit follow-up ‘Happy’, age-defying R&B dude Pharrell Williams returns to London. His recent live performances have set songs from his latest album ‘GIRL’ alongside material from throughout an incredible 15-year career as a singer and producer: he’s scored hits with Snoop Dogg, Robin Thicke, NERD, Kelis, Nelly, Gwen Stefani and loads more, so even though Williams has been criticised for his live vocals (or lack thereof) there’s no shortage of potential crowd-pleasers in his arsenal.

Supporting Pharrell are cryptic London duo Jungle, who’ve quickly become one of 2014’s hype sensations. They’ve released a series of steamy, grooving, disco-edged neo-soul tracks, sold out several London gigs this year and just released their impressive, self-titled debut album, despite the fact that we still don’t even know their full names. See if you can penetrate the mystery tonight.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Wed Sep 10
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Maroon 5 + Matthew Koma

These funky soft-rockers from LA may tout bland, middle-of-the-road fare but they're unbelievably popular, as evidenced by the success of their three high-charting albums and consistently sold out shows, despite VIP tickets costing a couple of nifties. They must be doing something right. To find out what, catch their show tonight as part of the iTunes Festival. US pop gremlin Koma plays a support slot.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Thu Sep 11
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Elbow

  • Critics choice

Bury's finest have long since broken through the stadium barrier, bringing their warm, richly expressive, bear-hearted, thoroughly northern orchestral soul to some of the world's biggest rooms, but now they're back in a more manageable space for an intimate set at iTunes Festival. They've proven themselves more than capable of making the translation from record to vast stage, and this free show should be a typically affecting set from Guy Garvey and his lovable alt rock grumps.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Fri Sep 12
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Paolo Nutini + Rae Morris

  • Critics choice

Full-lipped, gravel-voiced, baby-faced Scots crooner Nutini has raced up the charts and devastated hearts once more with his more mature third album 'Caustic Love' (working title: 'Numpty', apparently). He's also grown into a solid live act with a belting voice and some angsty soul numbers that bristle when set against with his older material. Supporting at tonight's show is young pianist and singer-songwriter Rae Morris, who seems to be capitalising rather well on a guest vocal spot on the latest Bombay Bicycle Club album and a bit of modelling for Burberry.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Sat Sep 13
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David Gray + Lisa Hannigan

The enormous success of his 'White Ladder' album in 1998 meant that throaty, head-wobbling singer-songwriter Gray was the man to blame for the early-noughties 'new acoustic movement'. That's all water under the bridge now, though – 16 years on from 'Babylon', he's here performing from his hefty back catalogue and his new album, 'Mutineers'. Support comes from Irish singer-songwriter and Mercury Prize-nominee Lisa Hannigan. Though she's perhaps best known for her work with Damien Rice, Hannigan's own strand of hand-knitted folk has won her a lot of fans, and she'll no doubt get a great reception at tonight's show.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Sun Sep 14
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The Script + Foxes

The Dublin trio, who took several steps up the fame ladder when their frontman Danny  O'Donoghue and his weird pouty face appeared in a judge's chair on 'The Voice', return to the stage. They tread a middle-of-the-road pop-rock path that's similar to One Republic, and proclaim themselves to be 'U2 versus Timbaland' (yeah, whatever). Here they're playing a free gig at iTunes Festival with support from young chart-botherer Foxes, alias Louisa Rose Allen.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Mon Sep 15
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Blondie + Chrissie Hynde

  • Critics choice

New York punk icon Deborah Harry – she of the distinctive, glass-like voice – and her ageing lads deliver their perfect pop classics: 'Heart of Glass', 'Atomic', 'Rapture', 'Call Me' and more. They're still copied by bands from Hoxton to Hull and appeal to a huge range of generations and tastebuds. Supporting is Pretenders’ frontwoman Chrissie Hynde, who purveys a blend of gently bluesy pop-rock that has stood her in good stead since the ‘70s and which is thoroughly intact on her new album 'Stockholm'.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Tue Sep 16
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Gregory Porter + Eric Whitacre

  • Critics choice

US soul-jazz singer Gregory Porter got critics, fans and musicians raving with his stunning Grammy-nominated debut 'Water', and he's the real deal live too. He returns to London with his third album, 'Liquid Spirit', and combines the deep soulfulness of John Lucien, the hipness of Kurt Elling and the streetwise lyrical style of Gil Scott-Heron in his prime, bringing an earthy emotional power to all that he sings. Composer, conductor and lecturer Eric Whitacre performs a support set.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Wed Sep 17
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Jessie Ware + Little Dragon

  • Critics choice

A silky-voiced London singer who's tapped straight into the UK bass scene, Ware has collaborated with some of the smartest cats out there including Sampha, Joker, SBTRKT and Julio Bashmore. Her smooth R&B debut, 'Devotion', was one of Time Out's top ten albums of 2012, and the follow-up 'Tough Love' is sounding pretty special too. If you didn't get tickets to her intimate church launch shows for the new album, then enter now for your chance to catch her playing in Camden. As a rather hefty bonus, you can also enjoy haunting and esoteric Swedish electro-pop four-piece Little Dragon as a support act.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Thu Sep 18
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Rudimental + Jess Glynne

  • Critics choice

Back in 2012, this four-strong Hackney outfit came out of nowhere grabbed the Number One spot on the singles chart with 'Feel the Love': a euphoric smasher featuring vocalist John Newman, which fused jazzy, old-school soul with dubstep. Rudimental went on to produce one of the best albums of 2013, 'Home', and blow the roof of several major London venues with their all-out, full-band, brass-heavy live incarnation. Now they return to preview new tracks from a second album and drop the hits at iTunes Festival. Rising, chart-topping house-pop vocalist Jess Glynne sings in support.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Sat Sep 20
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Ryan Adams + First Aid Kit

  • Critics choice

Once the boy wonder of country-rock, now 39 but no less prolific and volatile, Adams returns to London to play songs from his self-titled new album, and a few from 'Ashes and Fire' (recorded with legendary Led Zep and Who producer Glyn Johns) alongside the old favourites. This free iTunes Festival show, with support from David Cameron-tipped Swedish folk sisters First Aid Kit, is intimate gig for the man who sold out the Albert Hall only last year.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Sun Sep 21
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Jessie J + James Bay

  • Critics choice

Talent show judge, motormouth, songwriter and all-round vocal acrobat Jessica Cornish – aka Jessie J – arrives in London with a bang to perform her high-energy dance pop and soulful, electronic R&B as part of the iTunes Festival. She is, undeniably, a top performer with a huge pair of lungs and the confidence to match, and will no doubt be performing songs from second album 'Alive', released in October of last year. Supporting Double J is James Bay, a young, acoustic guitar-toting, hat-loving troubadour. Bay sings slow and steady folk numbers like Damien Rice and is a hot tip at the moment. Having sold out his smaller shows, he's on course to make a good impression at this big show.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Mon Sep 22
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Placebo

  • Critics choice

Two whole decades after they formed, Brian Molko and his glam-grunge-pop troupe are still churning out the tunes. They now have seven albums to pick from when they play live, and tend to go for fan favourites rather than indulging those who've just come along to hear the hits, but are still known to drop 'Nancy Boy' and 'Every You Every Me' when the fancy takes them. Tonight they perform as part of the iTunes Festival.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Tue Sep 23
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Ben Howard + Hozier

The chirpy singer-songwriter who surprised everyone by bagging two trophies at last year's BRIT Awards steps up to headline a big show as part of the iTunes Festival. Expect acoustic treats from his debut LP 'Every Kingdom' and 2012 follow-up EP 'The Burgh Island', but also a fair few teasers from upcoming album 'I Forget Where We Are', which won't quite be out yet when tonight's show rolls around (the album is scheduled for release on October 20). Supporting is rising Dublin singer Hozier, who juggles folk, soul and blues and has been selling out venues astonishingly quickly.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Wed Sep 24
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Mary J Blige

  • Critics choice

Arguably the queen of hip-hop soul – much loved for the intensely confessional, highly personal nature of her lyrics – Mary J Blige performs a rare London date as part of the iTunes Festival. She'll likely be breaking out all kind of hits and bits from her impressive and extensive back catalogue, though probably not from 2013 Xmas-themed album 'A Mary Christmas'. But hey, Christmas seems to come earlier each year these days, so who knows? She also released a soundtrack album earlier this year to kooky US comedy 'Think Like a Man Too', which contained some new MJB material, such as the sugary, slick R&B number 'Suitcase', so don't be surprised to hear a few of those tracks make an appearance. To win tickets, enter at itunes.com/festival.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Thu Sep 25
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Lenny Kravitz

You know what they say about Lenny Kravitz's career: it ain't over till it's over. To the haters, he's a ’90s relic, a mega-sized tub of pastiched cobblers in shockingly bad clobber. But there are also plenty of people who look on ol' Len as the living embodiment of freaked-out and loved-up sex 'n' roll, hence this pretty major iTunes Festival date more than two decades on from 'Are You Gonna Go My Way?'.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Fri Sep 26
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Kylie + MNEK

  • Critics choice

Ms Minogue returns in all her ever-smiling, costume-changing, high-gloss pop glory, drawing on a hefty back catalogue that runs the gamut from the genuinely great ('Can't Get You Out of My Head') to the frankly rather grisly ('The Locomotion'), but chiefly promoting her poptastic new record 'Kiss Me Once'. Considering the enormodomes that she normally performs in these days, Kylie's show tonight at the Roundhouse represents a rare opportunity to see an uberstar perform in a relatively intimate setting, so make sure you take advantage. Party-starting pop prince MNEK backs her up in the support slot.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Sat Sep 27
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Nicola Benedetti

Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti adds a generous dose of highbrow culture and classical class the iTunes Festival. She'll likely be performing works from her latest album 'Homecoming – A Scottish Fantasy', though she has an extensive repertoire to dip into throughout the night – a selection of violin concertos from Tchaikovsky and Bruch released in 2008 has been a firm live favourite. Also performing tonight are guitarist Miloš and trumpeter Alison Balsom.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Sun Sep 28
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Ed Sheeran + Foy Vance

The hugely popular carrot-topped pop-folk maestro returns for a show at the iTunes Festival, continuing to mix up loop-pedalled acoustica and hip hop beats for a swooning, shrieking audience. His tearjerking single 'The A-Team' catapulted him into the mainstream, his chart-busting 2011 debut album '+' has kept him lodged there, and the follow-up – due this year and produced by Rick Rubin – should bring him right back up on top. Supporting is Foy Vance, a bluesy, gospel-infused songwriter from Northern Ireland who's previously supported Sheran, as well as Pete Townshend. This show – in which you can expect to hear tracks from his debut album 'Joy of Nothing' – should further raise his profile and give him another big shove towards the limelight. He probably owes Mr Sheeran a pint or two.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Mon Sep 29
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3 comments
Luke Burns
Luke Burns

Looks a great line-line-up. There are some pretty good support acts. Is there more support acts names to be posted . Luke

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