Artist News Media

BBC Radio 2 announces the return of Piano Room Month

By | Published on Tuesday 17 January 2023

BBC Radio 2

BBC Radio 2 has announced the return of its Piano Room Month, with a whole range of artists performing live cover versions with the backing of the BBC Concert Orchestra at Maida Vale Studios. Specifically in the Piano Room at Maida Vale Studios, hence the name of the series. Among the artists taking part are Pink, Simply Red, Suzanne Vega, Jessie Ware, Suede and Sophie Ellis Bextor.

Starting on 30 Jan and running through to 24 Feb, a new performance will be broadcast live every week day on Ken Bruce’s morning show and on BBC Sounds. You will also be able to watch each performance on the iPlayer too, and an hour long highlights show will be aired on Radio 2 each Sunday of the month.

“With over 16,000 different songs played every year, music continues to be at the core of Radio 2, so I’m excited for the return of our biggest ever celebration of live music – Piano Room Month”, says Radio 2’s Head Of Music Jeff Smith. “20 days of live performances from a glittering line up of artists is just what we need to get us through these winter months!”

Bill Chandler, Director of the BBC Concert Orchestra, adds: “The BBC Concert Orchestra is delighted to collaborate with Radio 2 for Piano Room Month and to perform alongside this star-studded line up of singers and musicians. Our versatility as an orchestra means we can bring inspiring musical experiences to everyone, everywhere, and we relish the opportunity of working with such world-class artists for BBC audiences”.

Meanwhile, Ken Bruce comments: “Piano Room in 2022 featured so many simply breath-taking performances and I can’t wait to return to Maida Vale for a month of Piano Room sessions featuring a truly stellar line-up of artists”.

Quite a lot of the performers involved have commented as well. Too many to include their full quotes here in fact. Instead, I’ve categorised them for you…

“THRILLED”: Louise, Jessie Ware, Lady Blackbird, Sophie Ellis-Bextor
“Looking forward” to it: Belinda Carlisle, Suzanne Vega, Pink, Haircut 100
“Honoured”: Sugababes
“Delighted”: Tom Chaplin, Brett Anderson
“Excited”: Lemar
“Happy”: Mick Hucknall
“Over the moon”: Jake Shears

Right, that’s out of the way. Now I’d better tell you when each artist is performing and who they’re covering. Here’s the info:

30 Jan: Richard Marx, covering Hall & Oates

31 Jan: Louise, covering Justin Timberlake
1 Feb: Belinda Carlisle, covering The Carpenters
2 Feb: Michael Ball, covering Elvis
3 Feb: Sugababes, haven’t announced who they’re covering yet
6 Feb: Ellie Goulding, covering Cara Dillon
7 Feb: Tom Chaplin, covering Taylor Swift
8 Feb: Raye, covering Bill Withers
9 Feb: Suzanne Vega, covering Blondie
10 Feb: Lemar, covering Michael Kiwanuka
13 Feb: Freya Ridings, covering Cyndi Lauper
14 Feb: Simply Red, covering Paul McCartney
15 Feb: Pink, with another mystery cover
16 Feb: Haircut 100, covering Harry Styles
17 Feb: Lady Blackbird, who also hasn’t announced what she’ll be covering
20 Feb: Jessie Ware, covering Cher
21 Feb: Suede, covering Patti Smith
22 Feb: Sophie Ellis Bextor, covering Madonna
23 Feb: Jake Shears, covering Pet Shop Boys
24 Feb: Stormzy, covering Oleta Adams