The first time the British Embassy had a history-making musical performance was when the Beatles performed at the height of Beatlemania in the ’60s. Since then, the embassy has helped expose British arts and culture to the States, and Thursday was no exception. In collaboration with BBC Music and Live Nation, the embassy hosted the British Music Embassy, a showcase of top UK talent in the United States.
The event opened with greetings from BBC Radio 1 broadcaster, Huw Stephens, followed by welcome remarks from the Deputy Head of Mission to the USA, Patrick Davies. Speaking to a modest crowd comprised mostly of embassy staffers, Davies recounted the infamous tale of when an alleged embassy staffer cut a lock of Ringo Starr’s hair during the Beatles’ visit to the embassy, and gave credit to top UK artists Adele and Bastille for representing the region in the US mainstream. It wasn’t long before the first act took the stage.
Starting the evening’s musical act was Sundara Karma, an indie band from Reading. Filling the room with infectious rock tunes, the band performed material from its upcoming album, Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect, including singles “Flame” and “She Said.” Before closing its five song set, the band got the crowd moving to the 2016 hit, “Loveblood.”
Next was soul and pop singer, Izzy Bizu, who recently released her first studio album, A Moment of Madness. Performing hits like “Skinny” and “Lost in Paradise,” Bizu quickly shifted the crowd from easy grooving to complete dancing. Spirits were high as Bizu introduced her DC-based relatives to the rest of the crowd and adding remarks of her time in DC, before concluding her set with her charted single, “White Tiger.”
Concluding the evening’s event was Manchester-based alternative rock band, Spring King. The band, also celebrating the release of its debut album, Tell Me If You Like To, brought high energy to the room with tracks from the album, including the single, “City,” which was recently re-released with a new video.
With Sundara Karma and Bizu joining the crowd for Spring King’s set, the evening concluded with a room filled with dancing artists, staffers, and guests, marking one more event the embassy can add to its history of bringing British culture to the States.