Corinne Bailey Rae
Corinne Bailey Rae, who will be performing at the Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics
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Corinne Bailey Rae latest artist announced for Back to Basics orchestral extravaganza

Leeds’ very own Corinne Bailey Rae is the latest star name to be added to the bill for The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics concert, which opens the Millennium Square Summer Series this Friday.

Corinne will join the 50-piece Orchestra of Opera North and more special guest artists for a collaboration with Leeds’ legendary Back to Basics club, performing expanded versions of dancefloor classics in an open-air extravaganza at the heart of the city.

Born and raised in Leeds, Corinne found her voice singing in church choirs as a child, before forming an indie band in her teens and learning her chops on Leeds’ renowned live music circuit. Her first solo album debuted at number one in 2006, and the following year brought three Grammy Award nominations, three Brit Awards, and two MOBO Award wins. In 2012 she won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance, and her most recent album, The Heart Speaks in Whispers, debuted at number two on Billboard‘s R&B chart last year.

Performing a brand new arrangement of a seminal disco classic, Corinne will join a stellar line-up of guest artists including Basement Jaxx’s founder member Felix Buxton, original vocalists Sharlene Hector and Vula Malinga, and Groove Armada’s long-time vocalist MC M.A.D. Iconic Republica vocalist Saffron will perform a unique mash-up of her UK Club Chart number one Ready to Go and her earlier cult hit with N-Joi, Anthem, and acid house pioneer Adamski will be bringing back memories of the heady summer of 1990 with his chart-topping Killer.

A talented trio of vocalists, Adetoun Rattenbury, Sabrina Ramikie and The Voice’s Jaz Ellington, has been assembled to perform more old school club classics including Such a Good Feeling, A Deeper Love, Music Sounds Better with You, and a special version of the late Robert Miles’ hit Children. There’ll also be a chance to relive one of Back to Basics’ greatest coups with an orchestral reboot of Daft Punk’s One More Time. Always ahead of the game, the club’s founder Dave Beer brought the then-unknown French duo to Leeds in the early 90s after seeing them play in a Paris bar.

Celebrating a quarter century of Back to Basics, Dave Beer will be hosting the event and taking to the decks alongside resident DJs Ralph Lawson, James Holroyd and Tristan Da Cunha.

Musical Director Steve Anderson commented:

“This concert is a must-see for the people of Leeds and anyone attending will be blown away by the power of what a live Orchestra brings to the table. I am so honoured and excited to be part of this special occasion for Leeds, and all the songs have been picked very carefully to make sure they work for both the Orchestra and the crowd with a bit of something in there for everybody”.

Back to Basics founder Dave Beer added:

“We’ve been rehearsing with Steve and the Orchestra of Opera North over the past couple of weeks and it’s sounding absolutely unbelievable. For a lad from a council estate in Pontefract, to be there in Millennium Square with the Back to Basics extended family, the Orchestra, and the golden owls looking down… it’s going to be very, very emotional!”

Gates open at 6.30pm with DJ sets starting from 7.15pm and the main performances from 8.30pm. The event is strictly by ticket only and for everyone’s safety, the organisers are encouraging everyone attending to make themselves aware of the following:

• Plan ahead and think about pick-up and drop-off points further away from the venue

• Check event and performance times and arrive as early as possible allowing plenty of time to clear security

• Intensive bag and body searches will be undertaken on all gates so please avoid bringing a bag with you unless absolutely necessary

• Be vigilant at all times and report any concerns or suspicious behaviour to event stewards

• Follow us on twitter @MillsqLeeds for any updated information

A limited number of tickets for The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics, priced at £28, are still available through the City Centre Box Office (0113 3760318), Opera North and at

Staged in a specially created outdoor arena on Millennium Square, venue facilities provided will include; a licensed bar and a variety of hot food and refreshment options, toilet facilities, a raised accessible viewing platform, disabled toilet provision together with a Changing Places high dependency unit.

The Back to Basics event will also be the first in a trio of summer collaborations between Leeds City Council and Opera North over the course of the same weekend, opening the annual Summer Series on Millennium Square.

A Night at the Opera will take place the following evening on Saturday July 29 and will feature the finest operatic arias and show-stopping songs from the musicals. On Sunday, July 30, a special screening of classic blockbuster Back to the Future will be accompanied by Opera North’s full symphony orchestra performing Alan Silvestri’s stunning musical score live.

The Millennium Square Summer Series also includes other live music offerings and film screenings. For further details, please visit

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