Echoes and Dreams. From Beckenham Bowie to the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Raf and O join Richard Strange & the Doctors Of Madness to celebrate William S Burroughs
September 6, 2014 § Leave a comment
Photos from live footage by Ashley Jones AKA The Chaos Engineers and Matt Lloyd
Beckenham, 16th August 2014, 1.10pm
Raf and O get ready to play on the bandstand. No rain this year, a tentative sun breaks in and out. It’s pretty early and the people are slowly meandering in; an attentive, compact and special crowd watches as the action begins. To celebrate the return onto the bandstand we launch into a rendition of David Bowie’s ‘Cygnet Committee’. It’s the first time we’re playing it, but it ‘s the perfect place to do it. Then a new song of ours, ‘Echoes’; again a totally fresh track, followed by songs from our latest album Time Machine including ‘Lady Grinning Soul’.
Special thanks go to David Stubbs, author of the latest book on Krautrock ‘Future Days’, the legendary music journalist, who recently reviewed us in the Quietus, came down to watch and hear us play. He later wrote something quite beautiful:
“Earlier today at the Memory Of A Free Festival in Beckenham – Raf Mantelli and O Richard Smith, aka Raf And O, playing an excellent set of their tremulous, exquisitely detailed avant pop to an appreciative audience, many of whom were locals who’d never heard the like but very much liked the like. This site, this very bandstand was where David Bowie played at the Beckenham Free Festival 45 years ago to the day in 1969” David Stubbs.
It was a privilege to perform once again on the Beckenham bandstand. Big thanks to Natasha Ryzhova, Mary Finnigan, Amory & Bill, Roger Wootton of legendary Comus, thank you for your words, honoured to share the stage, along with all artists and folks helping and working hard toward the Festival. Thank you to David Bowie for donating once again to the auction, Tony Visconti, Woody Woodmansey, Holy Holy etc. Details were announced on David Bowie Official website.
And a big thank you goes to Ashley Jones AKA The Chaos Engineers and Matt Lloyd for filming us in action. Here is a live footage of ‘Echoes’. Continues below.
‘Eyes closed, wild walls, wild thoughts, visions… so that I can dream, with the dream machine’ (from ‘Dream Machine’ by Raf and O)
Shoreditch, 28th August 2014, evening time.
O and I have come down to ‘Animals In The Walls’, the latest William S Burroughs and Burroughs inspired artists exhibition of original artworks, ‘so that we can dream with the dream machine’. Having written a song about it earlier in the year, inspired by watching the ‘Flicker’ documentary, now it was the time for the direct experience. And so it was. Richard Strange came down too and took part in the ritual. Eyes were positively open as regards to the rest of the exhibition. Running till the 7th. Wonderful to discover us on the Burroughs page too (see picture below).
It’s now just over one month before Raf and O will be joining the amazing Richard Strange and the Doctors Of Madness (who will be reforming for a single one-off performance) with a bill of wonderful artists in another radical celebration of William S Burroughs ‘Language is A Virus From Outer Space’. The World Premiere will be at London’s prestigious Queen Elizabeth Hall on the Southbank on October 11th 2014, and will feature musical contributions from Richard Strange, Gavin Bryars, Doctors of Madness, Bill Nelson, Audrey Riley, Sarah-Jane Morris, Raf and O, Kate St John, Anni Hogan, David Coulter and Seb Rochford, Terry Edwards, Luca Silvestrini, the young musicians ensemble We Are Chidren. Gavin Turk, Haroon Mirza, Rupert Thomson and Jeremy Reed.
Raf and O X
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Memory of a Free Festival 2014, Fairywood + ‘Time Machine’ is one of this year’s Best Albums on FACT
July 25, 2014 § Leave a comment
It’s July and as the sun infuses its energy upon us,
may this spread positives among us all!
In our musical world it’s been a really good year so far and continues to be so.
Raf and O’s new album ‘Time Machine has been selected as one of the best album of 2014 in FACT Magazine alongside Neneh Cherry and Rocketnumbernine in the Joe Muggs’s Top 10 Album list!!
We’re wonderfully blown away and very proud of this. Get yourself a copy of the CD Album HERE. Digital available in all good stores.
Some other wonderful news – Memory Of A Free Festival returns!
Raf and O have been invited to perform again at the re-run of the legendary Beckenham Free Festival organised by David Bowie and The Beckenham Arts Lab in 1969. On Saturday 16th August, Natasha Ryzhova Lau, with the help of some generous volunteers, is staging the event for a second year in a row, 45 years from the day and the date. Mary Finnigan, a key figure of the original festival is also involved and Roger Wootton from legendary Comus (who were playing weekly at the Arts Lab and played the Festival in ’69 ) will also take the stage. We’re thrilled to join all the artists, some of whom we met in 2013, we are opening up proceedings, see the LIVE page for full line up/flyer, location and transport details. Last year saw an audience of over 1000 people and £7000 pounds were raised towards the restoration of the Beckenham Bandstand; it was just wonderful despite a rain machine in full action; may the sun machine return safely to the Croydon Road Recreation Ground. Get there early, gates open 12.30, it’s only a fiver and there’s a beer tent this year too; we’ll be in action just after 1pm, don’t miss!
As well as the Beckenham Festival we’re really looking forward to perform at a new Festival in Brentwood, precisely Fairywood at Kelvedon Hatch, which used to be home to the secret nuclear bunker. The festival with its fairytale and thematic settings promises to be a magical gathering running on the weekend of the 9th and 10th August.
We will take the stage on the Sunday 10th, as the evening starts to fall. More info and tickets for the whole weekend or for the one day can be found HERE
And to cap it off we’ve recently been invited by the amazing Richard Strange to partake in a unique and very special William Burroughs inspired project at the Queen Elizabeth Hall planned for October, which will also see the Doctors of Madness reforming for a one off performance after 36 years! We are delighted and very honoured!! More details will be posted here in the very near future.
Raf and O x
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Images: Beckenham Bandstand graphic courtesy of Memory Of A Free Festival.
Photos of Raf and O performing at Memory Of A Free Festival in 2013 and on ”Time Machine’ session by Luigi Altilia.