‘A Bow To Bowie’ Is Here and ‘The Space Between Nothing And Desire’ Launches 26052019 + More Live Outings
April 2, 2019 § Leave a comment
He sang himself to Earth…
A Bow To Bowie Is here!
Truly excited to share this with you!
‘A Bow To Bowie’ and ‘A Mechanical Ride’ are available now together with pre-orders of The Space Between Nothing And Desire on Telephone Records.
Pre-Order Digital Album on iTunes
Pre-Order CD Album on Bandcamp
The Album Launch will be on Sunday 26th May in the intimate and elegant space of SJQ, Servant Jazz Quarters, London, promoted by long time dear friend Klarita from Kaparte Promotions. We’re incredibly excited to be able to bring ’The Space Between Nothing And Desire’ live to you!
Tickets are on sale now!
Over the years Raf and O have expressed their affinity with Bowie and took on the task to reinterpret some of his songs, including ‘The London Boys’ which is part of the new album.
September saw the announcement of ABTB and on January 8th it was revealed to be ‘A Bow To Bowie’, written in December 2016.
“I really wanted to write a song for David after his passing, but it took me a few months before I felt I could tackle it” Raf Mantelli
With ‘The Space Between Nothing And Desire’ Raf and O go in search of a new quest: where, or, what is the space between nothing and desire? The primal concept that makes the world go round, desire, is abstract and yet so tangible, juxtaposed to nothing, equally as baffling, as to truly imagine it, it is impossible. With these parameters forming their chart, the latest album captures the duo navigating a journey into the senses, into the longing and the belonging.
Below the album tracklist:
1. A Bow To Bowie
2. The Space Between Nothing And Desire
3. Underwater Blue
5. Your Gazing Stare
6. A Mechanical Ride
7. Such A Small Love
8. With Fatzer
9. The Windmill
10. The London Boys
‘Such A Small Love’ is a cover of Scott Walker recorded in September 2016.
Raf and O paid tribute to Walker last week as the news broke of his departure. Read here
Lovingly mastered at Trace. Big thanks to Mark Beazley.
Raf and O live, Pennyblackmusic 20th anniversary at The Water Rats. Photo © Peter Tainsh
In February we were celebrating the latest live achievements which saw Raf and O in the latter part of 2018 alongside our other selves The Kick Inside, performing selective shows along the East Coast of England and surroundings including Manor House and theatre shows, as well as live appearances at the Klinker, Bethnal Green Working Mens Club and at the mighty PennyblackMusic 20th Anniversary held in the Water Rats quarters; the latter was John Clarkson’ s favourite show of 2018 whilst Raf and O as The Kick Inside – The Songs Of Kate Bush is in Adrian Ainsworth round-up of favourite live music of 2018.
“…An entrancing set of slanted, left-field songs that work their hazy magic on a drunken summer day. Comparisons to Broadcast, Stereolab, and even – yes – Kate Bush might help, but in reality Raf and O exist in their own, idiosyncratic universe, with a deeply unique sound that everyone should fall into for a while” Dominic Simpson, Pennyblackmusic.
Live performances will also bring us to Birmingham on 7th April at Fletchers Bar with TKI and at West Kirby Arts Centre where we will perform both as TKI and Raf and O on Saturday 18th May. More info and events on Raf and O and The Kick Inside FB pages.
Join us for the launch, it will be a very special night in London!
‘The Space Between Nothing And Desire’… don’t miss!
Raf and O xx
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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
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
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 page. There 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.
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
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
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 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
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.
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.
Raf and O Live at Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity aka Memory Of A Free Festival © Gaz De Vere
A Starman in the sky. picture by O.
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.
Raf and O X
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August 10, 2016 § Leave a comment
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”
“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”
“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”
“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”
GET THE NEW ALBUM HERE!
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
See you there!
Raf and O xx
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Commencing Countdown © Gaz de Vere, All rights Reserved
July 1, 2016 § Leave a comment
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
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
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!
Raf and O xxx
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Above. Photo taken at ‘Animals In The Wall’ William S Burroughs exhibition, 2014. Thanks to James Elphick and Yuri Zupančič
October 19, 2015 § Leave a comment
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.
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!
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!
Raf and O x
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