In Concert 50 on BBC Radio 2 celebrates 50 years of brilliant pop music performances on the BBC.
The network’s flagship live music season takes place each Autumn and this year, together with BBC Sounds, BBC Four, BBC iPlayer and Red Button, broadcasts some of the most memorable gigs once again – 50 years of incredible and powerful live pop music performances that could only have been produced by the BBC, from Sunday 1 to Monday 30 November.
From Fleetwood Mac and Bill Withers in the 70s to Craig David, Florence and the Machine and Sam Smith in the 21st Century, In Concert on the BBC in sound and vision has charted the history of popular music and this month of special archive shows and performances looks back across 50 years.
From Sunday 1 November, all 50 performances are on BBC Sounds, with a special 10 artist Box Set available to watch on BBC iPlayer (with all sets available for 30 days on both platforms). BBC Four broadcasts Dido (Friday 30 October) and Seal (Friday 13 November) as TV-first In Concert exclusives. Dido performs at the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios from 2019, featuring tracks from No Angel, Life For Rent and Still On My Mind. Seal is from the BBC Radio Theatre in 2015, performing tracks from his album 7 and hits including Kiss From A Rose and Crazy. And Radio 2 presenters are curating their own favourite tracks of all time from In Concert 50 to play during shows across the month and in special programming on the station.
In Concert presenter, Jo Whiley, says: “As the presenter of In Concert it’s been an absolute thrill to watch some incredible performances by the hugest of music legends in the tiniest of intimate venues. But there are many more that I’ve not yet seen and that is the joy of In Concert 50. Nowhere but the BBC has such a unique archive of music performances from some of the most important artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.”
Jeff Smith, Head of Music, Radio 2 and 6 Music, says: “We are all missing going to see live music at the moment so this November, even though we cannot stage a full scale In Concert season at Radio 2, we can celebrate 50 years of In Concert performances that we think audiences will love from the BBC’s In Concert vaults. It really is a unique collection from some of the world’s greatest musicians to hear on Radio 2 and BBC Sounds and watch on BBC iPlayer. I have so many special memories from these performances, I can’t wait for audiences to enjoy these performances once again.”
Artists on BBC Sounds and Radio 2 include:
Annie Lennox (Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, 2003), Beverley Knight (BBC Radio Theatre, 2011), Bill Withers (BBC Paris Theatre, 1973), Blur (Maida Vale Studios, 2012), Bon Jovi (BBC Radio Theatre, 2009), CHIC (BBC Radio Theatre, 2017), Coldplay (BBC Radio Theatre, 2014), Craig David (BBC Radio Theatre, 2019), David Bowie (Maida Vale, September 2002), Dido (Maida Vale Studios, 2019), Ed Sheeran (BBC Radio Theatre, 2018), Elbow (Abbey Road, 2009), Elton John (BBC Radio Theatre, 2013), Emile Sandé (BBC Radio Theatre, 2018), Fleetwood Mac (BBC Paris Theatre, 1970), Florence and the Machine (Rivoli Ballroom, 2012), Gregory Porter (Maida Vale Studios), James Taylor (Mermaid Theatre, 2003), Jeff Lynne’s ELO (BBC Radio Theatre, 2019), Joan Armatrading (Bristol Colston Hall, 2010), Joan Baez (Lyric Hammersmith, 1999), Kate Rusby (BBC Radio Theatre, 2012), Katie Melua (BBC Radio Theatre, 2011), Kylie Minogue (Maida Vale Studios, 2014), Luther Vandross (Hammersmith Odeon, 1987), Madness (BBC Radio Theatre, 2012), Michael Bublé (BBC Radio Theatre, 2009), Noel Gallagher (BBC Radio Theatre, 2011), Paloma Faith (BBC Radio Theatre, 2017), Paul Weller (BBC Radio Theatre, 2018), Radiohead (BBC Radio Theatre, 2008), Randy Crawford (Cheltenham Jazz Festival, 2018), REM (St James Church, 2004), Robbie Williams (Maida Vale Studios, 2016), Sam Smith (BBC Radio Theatre, 2015), Seal (BBC Radio Theatre, 2015), Simple Minds (Hackney Empire, 2016), Simply Red (02 Arena, London, 2010), Sheryl Crow (BBC Radio Theatre, 2010), Spandau Ballet (BBC Paris Theatre, London, 1982), Stereophonics (BBC Radio Theatre, 2019), Sting (BBC Radio Theatre, 2001), Take That (2014, BBC Radio Theatre), Tears For Fears (BBC Radio Theatre, 2017), Van Morrison (BBC Radio Theatre, 2016).
The 10 artist boxset on BBC iPlayer will include:
Dido (Maida Vale Studios, 2019)
Emile Sandé (BBC Radio Theatre, 2018)
Florence and the Machine (Rivoli Ballroom, 2012)
Kylie Minogue (Maida Vale, 2014)
Paloma Faith (BBC Radio Theatre, 2017)
Seal (BBC Radio Theatre, 2015) – from Friday 13 November, after its broadcast on BBC Four
Simple Minds (Hackney Empire, 2016)
Take That (2014, BBC Radio Theatre)
Recent music highlights on Radio 2 include The Killers on the roof of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Sheryl Crow at her Nashville Ranch, John Legend overlooking the Hollywood Hills, Gregory Porter on the roof of Capitol Tower Building in LA, Nile Rodgers in Central Park NYC with CHIC filmed in locations around the US all performed for Radio 2 Live at Home, joining Sir Tom Jones, The Pretenders, Craig David, Rebecca Ferguson, Erasure and McFly who performed in the UK.
And Radio 2 House Music, which launched in April, features music from artists wherever they are in the world with performances from James Blunt, Rumer, Nell Bryden, and Jason Mraz, Barry Manilow, Kelly Clarkson, , Richard Marx, Melanie C, Aloe Blacc, Roachford, Katie Melua, Lady A and more.
Programmes and series on Radio 2 include The Keith Urban Playlist featured a carefully curated selection from Keith of the best contemporary and classic music that’s moved and inspired him; Sounds of the 60s with Martha Reeves, Sounds of the 70s with Nile Rodgers, Sounds of the 80s with Toni Braxton and Sounds of the 90s with Neneh Cherry marked Radio 2’s I Have a Dream Day to commemorate the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s iconic speech; Bruce Springsteen: From My Home To Yours, with Bruce playing records from his own collection and sharing his thoughts about the times we’re living in, direct from his home in New Jersey; and
BBC Radio 2 is the UK’s most listened to radio station, with a weekly audience of 14.4 million (RAJAR Q1, 2020), delivering the broadest range of music presented by some of the UK’s best loved entertainers. Ken Bruce’s show has a weekly audience of 8.22m, making it the most listened to radio programme in the UK, and The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show is not far behind with a weekly reach of 8.11m. The network’s presenters include Zoe Ball, Michael Ball, Tony Blackburn, OJ Borg, Ken Bruce, Craig Charles, Rylan Clark-Neal, Fearne Cotton, Sara Cox, Jamie Cullum, Gary Davies, Vanessa Feltz, Paul Gambaccini, Bob Harris, Ana Matronic, Cerys Matthews, Huey Morgan, Trevor Nelson, Graham Norton, Paul O’Grady, Dermot O’Leary, Mark Radcliffe, Liza Tarbuck, Clare Teal, Jeremy Vine, Johnnie Walker, Jo Whiley, Claudia Winkleman and Steve Wright.