Pizza Express Live approaching, Theatre Shows on the horizon and Raf and O Celebrate 20th Anniversary of Pennyblackmusic Live at The Water Rats

May 18, 2018 § Leave a comment

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We did it, we launched The Kick Inside – The Songs of Kate Bush project! Thank you to Kaparte Promotions! Here are the magical photos by Angelique Le Marchand capturing the night beautifully. We also had a wonderful time on the deXter Bentley Show, Resonance FM on the 40th anniversary of Kate Bush’s debut album. Listen to the podcast. Very grateful for the audience reception and the excellent reviews and blogs! 

After such a great response, we are playing in London again, this time appearing at the legendary Pheasantry in Chelsea, Pizza Express Live on 1st June.
If you’ve missed the launch or fancy another dose of stripped down Kate Bush material, come down and spread the word, we’ll be waiting for you! x

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The show has also been booked at The Seagull Theatre, Lowestoft, Suffolk, at The Penny Theatre in Canterbury in the autumn and more to be confirmed
dates and tickets here

Kate’s early songs performed like this make us want to be in some candlelit cabaret club in Paris or Berlin cosying up to a large glass of red in a plush velvet booth” Kate Bush News

“Alluring, atmospheric duo Raf and O launch their THE KICK INSIDE project – a beautifully realised, heartfelt re-imagining of a Kate Bush who kept on playing live…” Adrian Specs

“Utterly fantastic!” Dexter Bentley, London Resonance FM

“There’s a very real sense that Raf made these songs her own and created a Kate Bush persona in which to perform them. It takes a very special talent to bring this off: Raf possesses it and deployed it brilliantly last night” Jeremy Clarke Reviews

“I was blessed to attend the premiere of a performance of Kate Bush’s songs by Raf and O an experimental music duo” Peter Cook, Human Dynamics

In the meantime Raf and O “as themselves” shall also be playing live shows whilst putting finishing touches on the upcoming fourth album; we have been invited to be part of the excellent Pennyblackmusic Magazine 20th anniversary at The Water Rats, London (TICKETS); can’t wait to perform! And tonight, 18th May we are making a live appearance at Scaledown #139, The King and Queen, Fitzrovia, details on the Live pageThere will be more special shows in the latter part of the year as we gear up towards our latest releases …..!

Watch/ Listen to the live video montage of the night we put together (below) from The KIck Inside Launch and then get your tickets for the Pheasantry or other dates on the TKI Website! Big thanks to Peter Cook, Katya Fowler, Lee Winter for phone footage.

Love
Raf and O X
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Gazing Ahead to The Space Between Nothing And Desire + Celebrating Kate Bush with The Kick Inside Launch and a Live Session on the DeXter Bentley Show

February 11, 2018 § Leave a comment

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It’s 2018 and we’re kicking off with live activities again!

Kate Bush has given music lovers something to treasure: a great musician and producer, a brilliant composer and an amazing most unique voice. This year and month marks the 40th anniversary of Kate and her debut album. Adopting their name from this album,TKI or The Kick Inside, a tribute to Kate Bush by Raf and O (see previous blog), perform tracks from her early albums fully live, elegantly and stylishly capturing the energy, excitement and fragility of Kate’s music on vocals, piano and double bass. Celebrating Kate, The Kick Inside Launch, promoted by the always excellent Kaparte, is in London at Bar & Co, the club on a boat, Temple Pier, on Sunday 25th February. It is also O Richard’s birthday and Raf, will keep celebration on hold till then.

‘We’ll be playing a full show of Kate’s beautiful songs from the early part of her career. Triple celebration. Come!’

The launch is also featured on Kate Bush News and TKI has been described as:

’Strikingly individual’ Kate Bush News

 TICKETS
 FACEBOOK EVENT

And to kick start it all off, The Kick Inside will be playing live in session on the mighty deXter Bentley Show on London’s Resonance 104.4 FM, Saturday 17th February, 12pm which is the date marking Kate’s debut album 40 years ago!

We’re now gazing ahead to … and we’re very excited to introduce ‘The Space Between Nothing And Desire’. That is the title of Raf and O’s new album and it’s set to be released later this year!
A slice from the album was aired yesterday for the very first time on the  deXter Bentley Show: an edit preview of a brand new Raf and O song, ‘Your Gazing Stare’. The album will also include our version of David Bowie’s ’The London Boys’. We can’t say too much more at this stage, but keep your ears and eyes peeled, social media is always the quicker way to get fresh news!

Last November we even got to say thank you in person for the support Mike Garson had given to our version of Bowie’s Lady Grinning Soul back in 2013 after he played a magical show at the Camden Underworld!

Raf and O are now on Instagram too and we have unveiled a new logo, a moon-light reworking from our previous. Come and follow our new Instagram page here and here

See you down at THE KICK INSIDE LAUNCH. Come!

Raf and O Xx

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Electronic Sound Reviews Portal, Raf and O Cover Scott Walker, Bowie Reflections, Italian Summer, Live on Radio and Magic on Video, Halloween DJ’s and other outings.

December 18, 2016 § Leave a comment

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Well, this year is “almost” over and before the new one begins we thought we’d endeavour to bring you news, thoughts, collection and recollections of the last 4 months and this will include the playlist for a special dj set we did at this year’s Kaparte Oxjam. In July we launched our new album ‘PORTAL’ (available ‘HERE‘) at the wonderful St James The Less in Pimlico (see previous blog). It has now been reviewed on Electronic Sound Magazine!

“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
(See picture below for the whole review).

We also launched an EP containing two tracks from Portal and two tracks with Raf and O working alongside electronicist and Grace Jones’s collaborator Robert Logan (available HERE).

Now, the latest! Raf and O have covered the very beautiful Scott Walker’s ‘Such a Small Love’ as part of  ‘Plastic Palace People’, an exclusive streamable and downloadable album curated by God Is In The TV Zine! We’re thoroughly proud to offer this Seasonal gift, which we recorded in Florence for your festive digestive. Listen and free download below.


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The portal will lead us into 2017. 2016 has been a very strange year, a lot of crazy things happening and a lot of people left us David Bowie included. A very recent trip to the wonderful Lazarus Musical brought forward this consciousness, stirring up feelings and sadness, a shared feeling by Bowie fans across the world. But Lazarus is also a celebration of his artistry and alongside Blackstar, the inner workings of a man facing up to his own mortality. This summer we returned to Beckenham for Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity (formerly Memory Of A Free Festival and Beckenham Free Festival) and it was a complete joy/ honour to perform again as Raf and O. Huge love unified all performers musicians, organisers workers and the crowd, all celebrating the Starman. Lovely contributions by many, a real pleasure to share the stage with Maggi Ronson and the band  Jona Lewie, David Live, Clifford Slapper, Amory Kane and more. Thanks to all involved who contributed to make this day very special especially Wendy Faulkner who worked very hard in bringing this year’s festival together and it was brill catching up with Mary Finnigan again who organised the festival with Bowie in 1969. We’ve got some footage shot by the lovely Rhianna, that we’ll post soon, so watch out for that! Alongside new Raf and O material, our set included Bowie’s ‘Lady Grinning Soul’, ‘Win’ included in our last album ‘Portal’ and even a short rendition of ‘After All’.
This is us doing our thing captured beautifully by mister Gaz De Vere. Continues below.
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Raf and O Live at Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity aka Memory Of A Free Festival © Gaz De Vere
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A Starman in the sky. picture by O.

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Since the festival, we traveled to Italy to do some writing and recording including our Scott Walker cover, played a few parties and the excellent Frame Live Club In La Spezia (see press above) on the Ligurian Coast where we were warmly welcomed and throughly enjoyed playing the show to such a receptive audience. Thanks to Alan Pride for keeping things running smooth and on our return to the UK we were kept fairly busy supporting TE Morris from Her Name Is Calla at Chaos Theory’s Whispers and Hurricanes, putting together a special Dj Set (see above) for this year’s Kaparte Oxjam at the Slaughtered Lamb and we played a live session on the Dexter Bentley’s Hello Goodbye show on Resonance FM alongside The Monochrome Set.
In the words of Dexter Bentley “the original post-punk / arch-pop pioneers The Monochrome Set, plus ethereal, futuristic folk duo Raf & O”.
And Monolith Cocktail also featured ‘Portal’ in the top albums of 2016.
Here below is the podcast Raf and O live on Resonance FM and following that is our live performance of  ‘Magic’ from ‘Portal’ lovingly filmed and edited by Riff Underground and Peter Junge. Many thanks to them both and to Chaos Theory for this video.
And to bookend the year, Raf and O just performed at the Xmas edition of the one and only Scaledown in the heart of London. We have a few things brewing but for now wishing you all a peaceful, productive, engaging holiday and see you back in 2017.

Love

Raf and O X

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Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity, ‘Sonnet 62’ Official Video and Raf and O’s New Album ‘Portal’ is Out Now

August 10, 2016 § Leave a comment

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Raf and O Portal Launch Photos 1
Raf and O Portal Album Launch – soundcheck and performance. Photos 1 and 2 © Gaz De Vere, Photo 3 © Peter Tainsh

Raf and O’s new album ‘PORTAL‘ on Telephone Records is OUT NOW!!
Available on CD and Digital via Bandcamp, iTunes and all good digital stores.
Watch the Official Video for ‘Sonnet 62’ with lyrics by William Shakespeare which was premiered on God Is In The TV Zine (see above)

Latest press says:

“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

“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

“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

“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 (Win from ‘Young Americans’) 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

“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”
HUMAN DYNAMICS

GET THE NEW ALBUM HERE!
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Raf and O Portal Launch Photos 2

Raf and O Portal Album Launch. Photo © Peter Tainsh

The Launch at St James The less was a wonderful experience …. performing the album in its entirety, we were able to make the journey. Tons of thanks to the brilliant Klarita Kaparte for promoting a splendid night, Robert Logan for being the ‘special’ special guest and for his excellent set, Alan Pride for tons of support, thanks to the wonderful audience for being part of the journey, for the photos, the footage and for getting the album.The Portal leads somewhere ….
Ahead of the launch we did an extensive interview with Carya Gish exclusively for Kaparte Promotions. You can read the whole thing HERE:

In January we were all shaken by the news of David Bowie’s passing . Now that we had time to adjust, cannot think of a better way to honour him this summer than to return and join the line up for the Beckenham Bandstand renamed the Bowie Bandstand. The festival is and has always been in our hearts. Originally organised by Bowie and his friends from the Beckenham Arts Lab, The UK’s first Free Festival was on 16 August, 47 years ago and it coincided with the release of his first hit single Space Oddity. This Saturday, 13th August, we will all be celebrating him, the legacy of the Beckenham Arts lab and help to raise funds again at Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity AKA Memory of A Free Festival. The line up comprises of Malcolm Doherty, Daphne Guinness, Maggi Ronson, Raf and O, Phillip Rambow, Jona Lewie, Then Jerico, Amory Kane, Boe Huntress and a few others! 
Mary Finnigan who originally organised the festival with David, will be signing copies of her recently published book Psychedelic Suburbia  and we’re honoured to have a mention “Most impressive were Raf and O, a talented avant-garde duo influenced by David Bowie but no copycat.” Mary Finnigan, Psychedelic Suburbia.   The event organiser Wendy Faulkner  says “After the devastating news of David’s death in January we felt we had to do a tribute for him — and there’s no more fitting place to do this than the bandstand where he played in 1969”. The Bowie Archive has donated another item signed by him plus other items will be available at the auction. Generously supported by DavidBowie.com , Tony Visconti and Iggy Pop.

The festival starts at 1pm, Croydon Road Recreation Ground, Beckenham.
See the whole press release/ line up as featured on David Bowie Official on our LIVE PAGE
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See you there!

Raf and O xx

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Commencing Countdown © Gaz de Vere, All rights Reserved

Bowie's Beckenham Oddity - Commencing Countdown, engines on

 

 

 

Raf and O ‘Portal’ Album Launch + Split EP with Robert Logan ‘Sonnet 62/ Ink’ Out Now

July 1, 2016 § Leave a comment

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Raf and O - Portal Launch Flyer

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Weird times! Schrodinger’s door keeps us in suspense. In this climate and just three weeks away we open ours: we are celebrating with the Launch of our new album ‘Portal’ within the breathtaking space of St James The Less, a Gothic Revival church in the heart of Pimlico.

‘From the spiraling and climaxing  ‘Dream Machine’ which opens the album, inspired by the Flicker documentary and later performed at the Burroughs centenary, to the evocative landscape of ‘Sonnet 62’ where the pair have set music to Shakespeare, to the autumnal sound of ‘Drunk’; here Raf explores her Florentine roots within a narrative set by her auntie’s 1960’s poetry and memory. From ‘Win’, a new Raf and O interpretation of Bowie’s classic track on ‘Young Americans’ and the intense quasi-pop ‘Echoes‘ (live) taken from the 2014 Beckenham bandstand performance, to the textural landscape of ‘Mona Lisa Smiles II’ (born from the remoulding of source material by Blk Tag)  and the narcotic effect of ‘The Deadliest Flower’’.

Come! Don’t miss this unique event, it will be a once only opportunity to hear us playing the new album in its entirety!
Raf and O ‘Portal’ album launch
is on July 22nd, London, promoted by our dear friend Klarita of the excellent Kaparte.

A selection of ticket prices are available, including a strictly limited edition of Raf and O posters and cards, handwritten lyrics, the new album and more!
TICKETS AND BUNDLES
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Pre-orders for the  PORTAL CD ALBUM  are available now.

 

Delighted that Robert Logan will be the special guest joining us for this celebration! Robert is an electronic composer/ producer; he has collaborated with Grace Jones, Brigitte Fontaine, Steve Roach, Skye (Morcheeba) and Raf and O. As we’ve previously announced, a taste of the fruits from this collaboration is a SPLIT EP ‘SONNET 62/INK’–  freshly released on Telephone Records!
It features two tracks by Raf and O ‘Sonnet 62’ and ‘Worms’ and two tracks by Raf and O and Robert Logan, ‘Ink’ and ‘A Reason To Try’.
Get your copy ‘HERE!!’

Monolith cocktail reviews the EP and previews the album:‘Seductive and alien, a machine driven twitchy gallop into the ether…Raf, sounding at her most rich and mature vocally, soothes and coos like a cross between Beth Gibbons and a female David Sylvian…Imbued heavily with Bowie’s spirit … lingering traces of post-Krautrock, the Gamelan music of Java and Bali and Sheffield synth new wave… the trio stir untethered in a strange soup of churned up beats and solar tidal waves…Aboard a haunted freighter in the deepest reaches of deep space…’.
Dominic Valvona, MONOLITH COCKTAIL

 

Words on ‘Portal’ and the whole ‘Sonnet 62/ Ink’ review can be read here (double click on the picture to enlarge it). CONTINUES BELOW
Raf and O Portal launch + Sonnet 62: Ink Review Monolith Cocktail

Raf and O + Raf and O & Robert Logan - Sonnet 62: Ink Cover Artwork

In the midst of producing our new video which will be unveiled soon, we met with Lindsay Kemp at the Ace Hotel; he was bright, funny, moving, elegant, a true star! A treat and an absolute joy to listen to him in conversation with Marc Almond. Another wonderful meeting occurred with another legend, a sound shape shifter that influenced so many people’s music, we will wait for permission to publish images! Back in March we had a great time playing the Crystal Palace Overground Festival fundraiser at the Anerley Town Hall with Metamono and friends and Pennyblack Music London Show too. More in store, so that will be in the next blog.

Come join us on the 22nd of July for what will be a very special night, the chance to buy the album before its actual release and more surprises to be announced!
See you in church!

Love

Raf and O  xxx

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‪’Me, I hope that I’m crazy’ David Bowie’s ‘Win’ on Raf and O’s upcoming ‘Portal’. Alad & ladyn Sane. Photo by Wendy Woo‬.
Raf and O - Bowie 's Win - Alad and ladyn Sane

Raf and O - Portal - Dream Machine
Above. Photo taken at ‘Animals In The Wall’ William S Burroughs exhibition, 2014. Thanks to James Elphick and Yuri Zupančič

 

A wonderful Space-Time and South London’s Calling

October 19, 2015 § Leave a comment

Raf and O at the Apiary
Raf and O live at the Apiary, June 2015 Photo by Philip Seargeant.

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October greetings!
It was one year this month since Richard Strange staged ‘Language Is A Virus From Outer Space’, a multimedia celebration of William S Burroughs at Queen Elizabeth Hall on the Southbank.
Raf and O were invited as special guests alongside a stellar cast and we outed our latest version of  ‘Dream Machine’ to a full house! The whole event was extraordinary ending with a sea of Burroughs…; great memories, a wonderful space-time! (see last year’s blogs  here and here )

Mitra Music For Nepal is now released and as mentioned before Raf and O present a previously unreleased original track ‘With Fatzer’ (featuring piano/ vocals & electronics) alongside other artists and legends including, Sakamoto, Wolfang Flur, Scanner, The The, Nick Cave and Anni Hogan. Hogan, pianist extraordinaire and Marc Almond’s collaborator has painstakingly put together this wonderful project. Now you can get to hear it and if you haven’t bought the compilation yet, do it, you can get it here or many other digital outlets (all proceeds go to charity).

Talking about timings, this coming Saturday (October 24th) we’re once again sharing a bill with Anni Hogan, also Autorotation and Robinplayschords (who we’ve recently remixed for his 12″ release ). Full line up and details on the live page and on the flyer below. Really looking forward to join all and  return to the stylish settings of The Ivy House, a little gem on local ground, South London, a Kaparte  Oxjam and a charity event, don’t miss!
All details and tickets available here.
TICKETS
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Raf and O play Oxjam 2015
Photo of The Ivy House by Klarita Pandofi Carr

In summer we were commissioned to provide  sound design and music for a new play, a tribute to Cocteau. Premiered at Camden Fringe, ‘That Woman’s Voice’ was devised/  performed by Simona Continente and directed by Klarita Pandolfi Carr. O did the live tech and lights and together we wrote the music.
It was a priviledge to be a part of the play and to imagine and externalise the inner turmoil of Simona’s character through sound and music. A great experience!
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Raf and O sound for That Woman's Voice, a tribute to Cocteau b
Simona Continente at ‘That Woman’s Voice’. Photo by Raf Mantelli


Thanks to Scaledown for inviting us to perform last month, a really enjoyable night at the one and only King and Queen in the heart of London town.
“Aesthetically stunning and sonically astounding ….it’s Raf and O.” Scaledown aka The Orchestra Pit.
Londoners and South Londoners alike, get yourselves to The Ivy House this coming week-end! See you there!

Love
Raf and O x
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Raf and O at the Apiary b
Raf and O live at the Apiary, June 2015 Photo by Philip Seargeant.

Music For Nepal, Camden Fringe and a tribute to Cocteau, Records and Live News

June 28, 2015 § Leave a comment

Raf and O contribute to Music For Nepal

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As warmer days stretch ahead, the golden evening shadows linger…….. we’re very honoured to be part of an extraordinary compilation to help the people of Nepal. Last year at Queen Elizabeth Hall ‘s Burroughs celebration, we shared the stage with the wonderful Anni Hogan; with Cathy O’Dowd, she has worked incredibly hard in putting together ‘Mitra Music for Nepal’ (Mitra means friends in Nepalese). Raf and O alongside other artists and legends including Ryuichi Sakamoto, Scanner, Steven Severin (Siouxie and the Banshees) , Wolfgang Flür (Kraftwerk), Anni Hogan herself, Martin Attrition, Richard Strange, Marcella Detroit, Billie Ray Martin, D. Coulter + Seb Rochford (see photo above for full list ) have contributed material to this release. Distributed by Sub Culture Records, it will be available 7th July, (here’s the FB Page ) please buy this unique release, all proceeds are going to the people of Nepal who need help to rebuild their world.
The track we’ve chosen for the compilation, ‘With Fatzer’ (inspired by a WW1 unfinished play by Bertolt Brecht) is an early and previously unrealesed Raf and O song, performed last year, only for the second time ever on the grand piano at Shoreditch Church!

Few more releases this summer also include RobinPlaysChords 12″ vinyl for Teardrop Girl-Star on Tiergarten, it features a Raf and O remix of  ‘Mercurial Son, alongside Larsen’s Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo and it is out now plus, we have also been included in a new Ex Gratia Recordings live compilation ‘Beg Yr Pardon’.

Raf and O have been commissioned to create new musical work and sound design for this year’s Camden Fringe, a very exciting project!
The show is a tribute to Jean Cocteau and The Human Voice. Devised by Simona Continente and directed by Klarita Pandolfi-Carr, ‘That Human Voice’ will be premiered at Birkbeck Studio Theatre, running from the 5th to the 7th August. Tickets are already on sale; available HERE
FACEBOOK EVENT
Continues Below (live news)

Raf and O blog - That Woman's Voice, Camden Fringe 2015

On the live front, a big thanks to Klarita Kaparte, Metamono and David Stubbs (DJ). A superb analogue fest from Metamono and a brilliant set from DJ Stubbs that included Bowie, Eno, Faust, Kraftwerk; Raf and O had a smashing time airing a new song, ‘Neurons’ plus a latest David Bowie fix! Yes, our version of ‘Win’ from ‘Young Americans’. Very grateful for such buoyant support from the audience!

” Great night last night at Bar & Co/Ship Of Fools with customarily excellent gigs from Raf Mantelli and O Richard Smith aka Raf & O and metamono, with myself DJing under my street moniker of DJ David Stubbs. Thanks to all who turned up and made it possible.'” David Stubbs

And last…overcoming a bumpy start to the month of June that made it impossible to play (!) we are now back on track, in time to join Raagnagrok and the fine Rude Mechanicals who have invited us to take part at their ‘Child Be Strange II’ show at the Apiary Studios, London.
See LIVE PAGE for details
FACEBOOK EVENT
We’re very much looking forward to perform again, come celebrate with us all things summer, all things strange, all things and feeling renewed – at the Apiary.

Raf and O X
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