Culture Corner

‘Earth, Wind and Fire Live’ © 2009 Craig O’Neal. Used under a Creative Commons license (

‘Earth, Wind and Fire Live’ © 2009 Craig O’Neal. Used under a Creative Commons license (

Whenever the prom season rolls around, I always become excited. Not only because business in my hotel in Kensington begins to boom, but also because there is always at least one performance in every BBC Proms card that I am excited about seeing. This year is no different – except they outdid themselves.

In fact, the 2014 Proms line-up includes one show that I will do my very best not to miss. Curiously enough, this performance is not a part of the ‘proper’ Proms (the ones taking place at the Royal Albert Hall), but rather are included in ‘Proms in the Park’, a side-festival which runs simultaneously with the ‘real’ Proms and features concerts in Hyde Park. Much like the main event, this secondary line-up usually has a few moments of interest for lovers of classical music, but this year the organisers seem to be aiming for the pop market as well, because they invited Earth, Wind and Fire.

Now this is a performance that may well make me take a day off from my concierge duties at my hotel in Kensington and travel the short distance to Hyde Park. As a young man, I absolutely loved Earth, Wind and Fire, and I’m excited to see that they are still around and presumably as good as ever.

Now that I have just dated myself beyond all redemption, allow me to tell you a little bit more about this event, just in case you other 1970s teenagers want to join me. The concert will be on September 13, and in addition to Earth, Wind and Fire, there will be special appearances by Rufus Wainwright and the soprano singer, Pumeza Matzikisa. This group of fantastic voices will be supported by some of the best classical musicians in Britain in the form of the BBC Concert Orchestra, and those who arrive early will also be able to see a couple of supporting acts. Tickets are priced on the BBC website at £38. And if you need a top-shelf place to stay, my hotel in Kensington may still have vacancies if you book early.