Dream Machine, Southbank and a Sea of Burroughs. ‘Mona Lisa Smiles’ is Released and the Thames is Calling
November 27, 2014 § Leave a comment
It’s been a while since our last blog and there’s so much to talk about! Firstly… we’re delighted to be special guests at the Xmas Boat Party by our dear friend Klarita of Kaparte Promotions, with the fabulous Ernesto Tomasini as a DJ and in the fine company of R in Parenthesis (Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo’s solo project) on the London leg of his Winter European tour. Fabrizio has worked with David Tibet, Little Annie, Matmos, Xiu Xiu and Ernesto himself to name a few!
Join us on December 7th for this very special date at the Ship of Fools Club and it’s set to be Raf and O’s last gig of this year!
Last month, O and I got to perform at the Queen Elizabeth Hall! Part of the Literature Festival on the Southbank, the ‘gonzo gala cut-up evening’ to celebrate 100 years of William S Burroughs was masterminded by the one and only musician/ actor Richard Strange. A tremendous event, we were incredibly honoured to perform alongside a brilliant cast of musicians, actors and writers including Bill Nelson, Sarah Jane Morris, The Doctors Of Madness, Anni Hogan, David Coulter with Seb Rochford, Rupert Thompson, the original Black Rider band and Gavin Bryars. All performed and/or presented new material. The spectacular ending saw “a procession of WSB guitarists descending from the audience” and a sea of Burroughs (UV fluorescent WSB masks, which were handed out to the audience in the break) loomed large.
In darkness we mounted a drum riser, which was rolled to the front of the stage. The lights came on and Raf and O performed ‘Dream Machine’, our Gysin/ Burroughs inspired piece to a packed, attentive, house!
A real thrill and a show to remember in so many ways, a massive thanks to Richard Strange for asking us to be part of it! And thanks to the people who took part, the crew, the audience and all who supported the event.
Another special thanks go to the brilliant journalist David Stubbs who has been regularly supporting us in the last few months. Very thankful for his words.
“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
Thanks to Christina Jansen photography (http://www.cjansenphotography.com) who captured splendidly the whole event. See photos below.
Futher thanks goes to Peter Cook who wrote “Simply superb Raf and O, a new talent which must be seen” and Steve Ash “The duo Raf and O followed with some more Burroughsian music entitled Dream Machine bringing the show back to its high quality musical base”. Very sadly, Steve passed away shortly after the show and more recently, Stoner, the bass player from The Doctors Of Madness (who had re-united for this show after 36 years) has also left this Earth.
RIP Steve and Stoner
Following on from the QEH, Richard invited us to return to the legendary Cabaret Futura and we’ve recently played a live set in the very lovely settings of Battersea Barge, supporting Robinplayschords who has just released his debut single. A 12″ version which also features a remix by Raf and O will be out early in the new year.
In the meantime we’re really happy to announce our latest musical work and contribution to this excellent release of remixes and reconstructions. ‘My God It’s Full Of Stairs’ on Mark Beazley’s beautiful own label Trace Recordings is OUT NOW! It features Raf and O’s ‘Mona Lisa Smiles’, a five and a half minutes rework and reconstruction (with added vocals and instrumentation) of BLK TAG’ s album ‘A Distilled + Debilitating Loneliness’. It also features works from Rothko, Gagarin, Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo, BLK w/BEAR and many others! You can now listen and grab yourself a copy HERE!
February 7, 2014 § Leave a comment
Hello! First blog of the year and 2014 starts with a bang!
Raf and O are playing Cabaret Futura in just over one week! Richard Strange‘s legendary monthly club, established in the 1980s was ‘the focus and meeting place for the energy, which fed the explosion in fashion, photography, filmmaking and music, serving the need for specific and not standardised tastes’. Re-opened four years ago, past guests have included Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, Michael Nyman and many others. Not to be missed!
This February celebrates Burroughs, who would have been 100 and after watching a documentary about friend and collaborator Brion Gysin, one winter day, a new song just flew out: it’s called ‘Dreamachine’ and we are really excited about playing this at Cabaret Futura for the first time! February is also both ‘Raf ‘and ‘O’s birthdays and what’s better than celebrating by performing?
So come down, Monday 17th, all details and FB event on the LIVE PAGE.
And here are the latest updates for ‘Time Machine’.
This March we are very excited to be releasing an eponymous EP ahead of our album: ‘Time Machine EP’ is scheduled for 24 03 2014. It contains the original Time Machine plus three fantastic reworkings from Merlin & legendary Charles Hayward of This Heat fame, Kumo AKA Jono Podmore collaborator of Irmin Schmidt from Can and part of collective Metamono and Robert Logan electronic composer who has also contributed to Grace Jones latest releases.
‘Time Machine’, Raf and O’s second album, will be officially released on 21 04 2014. So looking forward! We are celebrating with a special event, the Album Launch on 04 04 2014, promoted by wonderful Kaparte at the ancient parish St Leonard’s (Shoreditch Church). On the same night, the excellent poet, songwriter and actor Adam Donen will also be launching his new album and there will also be some amazing special guests. Watch this space!
There are still some EARLY BIRDS TICKETS left, so get them HERE while you can!
More details and FB event on the LIVE PAGE
Raf and O x
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December 4, 2013 § Leave a comment
Hello and December greetings!
2013 is now drawing to a closure. We look back at the highlights of the year: launching Lady Grinning Soul at Café OTO alongside Larsen & Little Annie and performing at Memory Of A Free Festival, (watch Live video), the remake of the iconic Bowie‘s Beckenham Free Festival to raise funds for the bandstand.
Kaparte Oxjam’s night, our last live outing at the Ivy House also felt special; fantastic feedback and lots of very receptive people from each side of the stage. Still cherishing some fabulous gigs.
Raf and O have taken the rest of this year off from live shows and shall return in 2014. Just been confirmed we will be playing at the fabulous Cabaret Futura in February; can’t wait! More dates will be announced soon. In the meantime, we’re working on all logistics for ‘Time Machine’. Our second album will be released in April 2014, a bit later than predicted, but the ‘Time Machine’ will be landing this time. Ahead of the album a new single in March too. We will keep you posted with details and development as they happen. Darkness finds its way in some new inspired tunes as the light reduces and the nights grow longer. New material is in process. Projecting ideas ahead, we hope to bring these fresh sounds to you in the not so distant future! This month we’re prepping something ...
And lastly, we leave you with the latest live pictures from the Kaparte Oxjam gig courtesy of Angelique Le Marchand. X
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