Spacing Out

Richmond-based music label Spacebomb hosts its own revue in London.

Back in the 1960s, Soul music revues were hours-long extravaganzas that brought the genre’s biggest stars together on one stage, often supported by the same backing band. Motown did it, Stax did it, and James Brown built a revue around his own show, exclusively featuring the talent that he nurtured.

Decades later, Richmond-based Spacebomb Records has picked up this same performance model. On Friday, Oct. 6, the label—headed by songwriter, singer and producer Matthew E. White—will introduce a full roster of its stars to the audience at London’s Barbican Center for a one-night-only revue at one of England’s most renowned concert halls and home of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

“It’s a tremendous honor for Spacebomb to be invited by the Barbican to put together a show like this,” says White, who will host and perform at the event. “On this very rarest of occasions, we get an opportunity to step back and catch a glimpse of the work we’ve done—to think about it, to celebrate it, to have fun with it and to share it.”    

The Spacebomb Revue will feature the label’s house band accompanied by a horn section and London based musicians playing arrangements by Spacebomb’s own Trey Pollard, a Richmond musician. 

Charlie Fink

Photo courtesy of Dean Christesen

Initially conceived by White as a group for his own projects, the Spacebomb band has built a reputation as a reliable musical force in recording studios and on live stages worldwide.

As the event’s host, White will welcome to the stage a slew of guests that have come through the Spacebomb doors over the last year, including Natalie Prass, Slow Club, Foxygen, Bedouine, Cocoon, Georgie, Mike Scott of The Waterboys, Charlie Fink of Noah and Whale, and Howard Ivans of The Rosebuds.

“It’s the biggest show Spacebomb has ever put on,” says Dean Christesen, the label’s co-director.

Since its inception in 2012, Spacebomb has released over a dozen records and produced many more that were licensed to other record companies. Spacebomb is owned and operated by nine friends out of a former cigar factory-turned-apartment complex in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom that houses the label, studio and production company all under one roof.

For White, who has built a loyal international following with his two solo albums, it’s not the first show before a British audience, but it may be his most important one to date.

“For me, as a host, performer and Spacebomber, it’s not like any other [show] I will have had in this business for certain,” he says. “It’s a completely one-of-a-kind show, and I really can’t wait to be there to watch it happen.” Tickets £23 – £33. SpacebombRecords.com, Barbican.org.uk

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