‘We Played Our Songs And Felt The London Sky …’ Memories Of Memory Of A Free Festival

September 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Raf and O at Memory Of A Free Festival a  photo by Dave Flynn Photography
Raf and O at Memory Of A Free Festival b photo by Luigi Altilia

‘Tons of aliens came down, did you not recognise them?’ #rain Raf and O tweet. So the rain machine came down this time, but the crowd was not afraid.
Umbrella heaven in Croydon Road Recreation Ground and we all had a fabulous time!!!
‘Memory Of A Free Festival managed to recreate the magic of the original event’ – a local newspaper reports. The Beckenham Free Festival remake to save the iconic bandstand has been supported by David Bowie who donated signed items that were auctioned on the day. Media coverage includes the Independent, Daily Telegraph, NME, several others got behind the Festival. BBC news and radio also covered the event.
Raf and O had the pleasure to play a live session/ interview for BBC Radio Kent Breakfast Show prior to the Festival.

‘We played our songs and felt the London sky …’Raf and O at Memory Of A Free Festival c photo by Dave Flynn Photography

We also had the privilege to open up proceedings on the Beckenham bandstand. After initial speeches from festival organiser Natasha Ryzhova Lau and Mary Finnigan who organised the original one with David, we took the stage; it had just started to pour down…the wind was sweeping the rain onto the bandstand, but we did not care, the audience was great, we opened with a micro rendition of ‘Memory Of A Free Festival’ then we played the rest of our set and ended with ‘Lady Grinning Soul’. I felt David’s energy up there.

It was a pleasure to share the stage with all who performed, we met some great people, performers, technicians, the audience, volunteers, people from present, past and future; Bill Liesegang, Amory Kane and Mary sharing their memories from 1969. All together at the end for a jam session joining in a longer version of ‘Memory Of A Free Festival’ – Darcy Debrett brought and played an harmonium for the occasion. This was the closure to the second chapter on the bandstand.
Then the auction …
Thanks to Mark Sparkler who compered on the day, Val on sound, big thanks to Natasha who’s done a fab job, Luigi Altilia for filming, all who took photographs, all who shared this moment. A live video from the event will be posted up soon.

Next we will be playing at the ever wonderful Kaparte Oxjam Festival – please check our LIVE PAGE for details and tickets.
Back to RAF AND O’S BLOG/ NEWS PAGE

Raf and O at Memory Of A Free Festival - Newspaper clipping

Time Machine And The Sun Machine – Memory Of A Free Festival 2013

August 7, 2013 § 1 Comment

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Raf and O announce the new album ‘Time Machine’ will be out in the autumn.  We are extremely pleased to say that our album will be out before the year’s over; July called for some splendid sun, we’ve been walking and replenishing! We’re now making plans for our new release and will keep you posted.

On the gigging front, we’ve been playing some fresh material. Performing on the carpet where Bob Dylan stood and played London for the first time, Scaledown 90 at The King and Queen was our recent live outing. On the night also a powerful solo performance by the brilliant Charles Hayward. Thanks Scaledown for hosting us, it was a great night!

Returning back to South East side of London, Beckenham is our next destination…In the summer of 1969 David Bowie and the Beckenham’s Arts Lab organised a Free Festival in Beckenham Recreation Ground. Bowie played and compered at the event, immortalised in the song ‘Memory Of A Free Festival’ for his album of the same year. Fourty-four years later, Memory Of A Free Festival 2013  is the homage festival to the original, raising funds to restore the historic victorian bandstand stage and Raf and O have been selected to play on the day: we will perform original material and our version of Bowie’s ‘Lady Grinning Soul’, which  is available as a single plus another surprise in store. Very very excited about this! Having been at the V&A exhibition earlier in the year, memories become realities, connections and stories come out of the pages – my treasured album of David Bowie 1969 stands the test of time. Past and present keep intermingling in the true spirit of Raf and Oupcoming album ‘Time Machine’. The Festival is in Croydon Road Recreation Ground, Beckenham on September 15th – details on the LIVE PAGE.

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Back to RAF AND O’S BLOG/ NEWS PAGE

Raf and O performing ‘Lady Grinning Soul’ December 2012 and Raf and O in the studioRaf and O performing 'Lady Grinning Soul' Raf and O in the studio

We’re playing ‘Schrödinger’ And It’s Scaledown!

June 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Hi folks,
our next live outing will be at Scaledown a regular and welcome monthly night from the promoters of The Orchestra Pit.
Raf and O are so looking forward to join this month’s line up which will also see the splendid Charles Hayward performing!

Bird Radio’s birthday also beckons this July, we shall be joining the cocktail of musical elements in celebration at Stoke The Fire – details will be posted on our Live page.
Thanks to Jude Cowan for hosting us at the Full Stop last month where we tested out our new song ‘Schrödinger’ and to those who were there to support the experiment.

First up, this Friday, Scaledown 90! Upstairs at the King and Queen, London, W1.
Details HERE and FB EVENT

Raf and O x

Scaledown 90 flyer

Full Stop Gig, Nedry Remix of ‘The Fog’, ‘Strange’ Live Video

May 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Hi all,

May greetings!
We have a gig coming up in the heart of Brick Lane, East London.
Raf and O will be joining the lovely Foulkestone on Sunday 26th May at The Full Stop Coffee Bar, thanks to Jude Cowan Montague, for a night of live music and poetry.
For this occasion, we thought about presenting a couple of different songs, one super fresh, written last week!
It won’t be the full set up, but not fully stripped down either!

Come join us this Sunday, see/ hear for yourself. Details on the LIVE PAGE.
Facebook event

Here is one more video courtesy of Luigi Altilia from our launch at Cafe OTO back in April.

Ditch the laptop speakers for this one! 😉 Enjoy!

LADY GRINNING SOUL / THE FOG OUT NOW
‘Very creative. I enjoyed it a lot’ Mike Garson (David Bowie’s pianist/ collaborator since 1972)
‘Awesomely bizarre’ God Is In The TV Zine
‘Raf and O caress Bowie’ Bowie Wonderworld

Raf and O x

Lady Grinning Soul / The Fog Out Now + News From Launch at Cafe OTO

April 8, 2013 § Leave a comment


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Lady Grinning Soul / The Fog

Hello!
our single is coming out today!! Very excited about it, it’s a self-release, please support us by getting yourself a copy HERE

It includes our version of David Bowie‘s Lady Grinning Soul (studio take)
The Fog’ and a remix of The Fog by electronic trio Nedry.
The  LIVE VIDEO has reached 1000 plays in just over a month and the feedback so far has been fantastic!

‘Very creative. I enjoyed it a lot’
Mike Garson (David Bowie’s pianist/ collaborator since 1972)

‘Awesomely bizarre’
God Is In The TV Zine

‘Raf and O caress Bowie’
Bowie Wonderworld

News from our recent Launch at Cafe OTO … it was a wicked night! You can watch a video HERE  and there’s more to come.
Thanks to all who came down to this brilliant venue; so many people and such an attentive audience! Promoted by our wonderful friend, the very excellent Klarita from Kaparte, we supported Larsen with Little Annie – they did a fantastic show.
And thanks to Angelique Le Marchand for these and other brilliant shots! (Below)

Get yourself a copy of our single, it’s going for a song, quite literally on iTunes!
LADY GRINNING SOUL / THE FOG – BUY HERE

Raf and O x

 

Raf and O Launch of Lady Grinning Soul : The Fog at Cafe OTO - 1

Raf and O Launch of Lady Grinning Soul / The Fog at Cafe OTO - 2 

Mike Garson And Bowie Wonderworld Praise Raf and O’s Version Of Lady Grinning Soul!

March 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Raf and O are thrilled to have received this endorsement from David Bowie’s creative collaborator since 1972 and stunning pianist on the original ‘Lady Grinning Soul‘!
‘Very creative. I enjoyed it a lot’  Mike Garson. Raf is buzzing, as this era of Bowie was central to her initial musical development.
Our live video has also been featured in the Bowie Wonderworld website and has been described as ‘Raf and O caress Bowie’.    

The upcoming single ‘Lady Grinning Soul/ The Fog will soon be available to pre-order.  To be updated on this, please join our mailing list; just send an email to info@rafando.com
By joining you will also be entitled to periodic freebies only available to this list.
We are really excited and your support is absolutely invaluable.

Tickets for the launch at Cafe OTO are still available HERE

Raf and O x

'Raf and O caress Bowie'  Bowie Wonderworld

Raf and O announce release for Bowie’s Lady Grinning Soul + The Fog + Remix by Nedry (Cafe OTO Launch)

February 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Hi folks!

Lots happening!!!

Having spent all of 2012 closing the live shows with our rework of David Bowies ‘Lady Grinning Soul from the seminal album ‘Aladdin Sane we are finally releasing it ahead of our new album. We’ve had some thoroughly excellent feedback from live audiences, so we are celebrating this as well as Bowie’s return!! Being long standing fans of his work and Raf a complete Bowie nut means we are buzzing!
It will be released as a package containing the studio version of ‘Lady Grinning Soul, ‘The Fog‘ and a wicked Remix of the latter courtesy of the brilliant three piece post-dubstep/ electronic band Nedry. More details on this soon.

In the meantime, here is a video of a live version of ‘Lady Grinning Soul’ from the Lewisham Arthouse show – massive thanks to Luigi Altilia for filming.

The launch is to be taking place at CAFE OTO on April 1st promoted by the wonderful Klarita from Kaparte Promotions – great venue and great bill!  
We will be opening for Larsen (15 years of avant/ experimental activity) on their European Tour feat. legendary dub-diva Little Annie (a.k.a. Annie Anxiety Bandez), who has recently released her autobiography.
You can get your  TICKETS HERE
FACEBOOK EVENT
We’ve also just started a TWITTER page – you can follows us HERE

Extremely excited 😀

Raf and O
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‘Saturated Dreams’ Live Video

January 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Happy New Year!

As promised …. first of a clutch of videos – from the Lewisham Arthouse Show, December 2012 .

ENJOY! 

 

From 12 12 And Back – A Year Of Live Reflections

December 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

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Thanks 2012 for making our yet unreleased new album come alive ‘live’!

raf and o lewisham arthouse 7

The Lewisham Arthouse show captured the whole essence of the year! We have for that to thank Charles Hayward who’s been making brilliant forward thinking music for decades; Charles curated the whole event – it was a special night. Brian did the beautiful winterland decor making the Lewisham Arthouse into a magical environment and even fetched for us the paper moon lamp that we planned to rig up but never quite found the time to implement. We plunged into a long set and so did the fabulous Snorkel after us – a great energy was shared by everybody in the room. It was all captured in photos (to be found HERE) and live video footage, which will be made available very soon. A big thanks goes to Luigi Altilia for filming us in action.

And thank you if you’ve come to our shows, offered us shows, fed back on material, bought our music and/ or supported us in some way, please spread the word, it’s fundamental for independent music!! 

Have a beautiful Xmas time.

Raf and O x

Lewisham Arthouse Show

November 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

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Hello!
As the end of the year approaches, we have one more gig lined up…. we’re very, very excited to be part of a night curated by the wonderful Charles Hayward (This Heat, Camberwell Now, Massacre etc),  Raf and O alongside once again the excellent Snorkel, this time in South East London, innit, on home territory and precisely at Lewisham Arthouse.
Put it in your diaries, 8th December 2012 – it’s great to draw the curtains on this year’s live endeavors in style!

Details HERE
FACEBOOK EVENT

Kaparte’s Oxjam last month saw a lovely turn out, a night in great company and a sonic/ visual treat, raising cash for goodness! Well done Klarita!

See you in Lewisham
x

  • Archives

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    “The intensity is off the scale. It begins with ‘A Bow To Bowie’ an enthralling tribute to one of Raf & O’s main inspirations.. while the charming ‘Underwater Blue’ will go down in pop history as the track that launched the snorkelectro scene..From the poignant to the provocative to the playful ‘The Space Between Nothing And Desire’ is wonderfully theatrical and, unless you’re made of stone, quite irresistible.”

    ELECTRONIC SOUND

    “Stark and otherworldly, a haunting ode, subtle swelling bricolage of ghostly synths, tumbling acoustic notes and a bass drum that thuds like a heartbeat throughout. While Raf’s almost otherworldly almost jazz-like vocals spiral across the upper register with echoes of Kate Bush at her most avant-garde”

    GOD IS IN THE TV ZINE

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    “Sublime in execution, subtle but with a real depth and levity, TSBNAD is an astonishing piece of new romantic, avant-theater pop and electronica that dares to unlock the mind and fathom emotion..a masterclass of pulchritude magnificence. Imbued by both the musicality and spirit of David Bowie, Scott Walker, David Sylvian (both as a solo artist and with the fey romantics Japan), Kate Bush and in their most avant-garde mode, Bjork, the South London based duo of Raf (Raf Mantelli) and O (Richard Smith) occupy the perimeters of alternative art-rock and experimental electronica as the true inheritors of those cerebral inspirations”

    MONOLITH COCKTAIL

    “An audio voyage that seems to bridge the gap between cosmos and earth as the record develops.’A Bow to Bowie’ gazes explicitly heavenward, combining respectful, open sincerity with sheer intelligence and wit, absorbing musical and lyrical references to the song’s subject into a structure all their own. The title track is almost a battery-operated torch song, Raf’s sensual, almost swinging vocal conjuring up a kind of electronic chanson.

    ADRIAN SPECS

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    PORTAL ALBUM LAUNCH is PENNYBLACK MUSIC GIG OF THE YEAR 2016 picked by John Clarkson

    “Raf and O specialise in floaty and delicate musical paintings. Raf’s dreamy vocals leading the way but more often than not melting into the instrumentation. The highlights include a track based on the words of Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet 62’ and a version of David Bowie’s ‘Win’ which is almost unrecognisable and utterly charming. All in all, this is beautiful stuff.”

    Push, ELECTRONIC SOUND

    “Raf and O are a band of kaleidoscopic, unusual ideas, and, with ‘Portal’, they have created a remarkable record. There is a celestial, otherworldly element to them…they are totally unique”

    PENNYBLACKMUSIC MAGAZINE

    “A further voyage into their adventurous musical dreams, spliced with the literary influences of William Seward Burroughs and Shakespeare.”

    GOD IS IN THE TV ZINE

    “The sublime new album by Raf and O is called ‘Portal’.
    It’s very difficult to choose highlights from such a consistently winning record”

    ADRIAN SPECS

    “Raf and O’s gothic and magical references are twisted to conjure up ominous visions, to a backing track of free-spirited avant-jazz drumming, trip-hop and contorted machine music …from esoteric Italian to plague originated nursery rhyme English, on ‘Drunk’, to channeling a smoky bar room Scott Walker vibe, on ‘Neurons’… Paying homage once again to their biggest inspiration, David Bowie, the duo transforms the original into a beautifully melting, strung-out plucked love recital. Brilliantly shimmering with an affectionate, ruminating and heart-aching vocal … the album cementing the partnership’s unique narratives and poetic views of a machine age and cybernetic world”

    MONOLITH COCKTAIL

    “I was at the QEH for a Burroughs night, where I saw Raf Mantelli and O Richard Smith, aka Raf and O, deliver a superb if too short set to the large and appreciative audience they really deserve.”

    DAVID STUBBS

    “If you are looking for instant gratification in a busy world, try listening to “The Deadliest Flower” or “Magic” to give you an insight into just one window pane of their diverse work”

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    ‘Seductive and alien…Aboard a haunted freighter in the deepest reaches of deep space…soothes and coos like a cross between Beth Gibbons and a female David Sylvian…It is both equally seductive and alien, a machine driven twitchy gallop into the ether. Creeping into the dense hallucinatory environment of ‘A Reason To Try’, the trio stir untethered in a strange soup of churned up beats and solar tidal waves’

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    FACT magazine Top 10 album of 2014 picked by Joe Muggs

    “The excellent Time Machine represents the very antithesis of EDM ..There is a butterfly, acoustic delicacy about tracks like ‘Mad And Brilliant’, and yet also the deceptive, steel strength of spider silk in their complex weaving – Raf’s vocal ranges far and wide in her emotional and lyrical foragings…Freeze-frame any given second of this album and it’ll reveal a hive of pixellated, analogue activity…As with Time Machine as a whole, it’s an approach you’d do well to take up, if you know what’s good for you.”

    DAVID STUBBS, THE QUIETUS

    “One of the more memorable events of the Beckenham Festival in September 2013 was RAF AND O’s haunting performance of David Bowie’s Lady Grinning Soul”

    DAVID BOWIE OFFICIAL

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    THE GIRLS ARE

    “Tripped-out hypnotic Raf and O embody the exploratory art school/mime period Bowie. Their sound springs from a conjuncture of Aladdin Sane and The Man Who Fell To Earth, but with an added allure of trip-hop…Tender and diaphanous, from bent out of shape Air meets folkloric avant-noir to ESG and Radiohead’s Hail To The Thief”

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    “Very creative. I enjoyed it a lot”

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    “Raf and O caress Bowie”

    BOWIE WONDERWORLD

    “A moving Avant – Bizarre version of Lady Grinning Soul”

    GOD IS IN THE TV ZINE