‘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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September 12, 2018 § Leave a comment
Greetings! we are very happy to announce that our next single is almost here!
ABTB, 4 letters for 4 words. To be revealed and to be unleashed as the days shorten … we are very excited!
And we are taking shows up and down the country, road testing some new pieces along the way. Raf and O and The Kick Inside are about to embark on a few gigs, crossing paths at times, like ships in the night! Kicking off at The Water Rats, London celebrating Pennyblackmusic magazine 20th Anniversary!
Tickets are on sale now, all details here below!
RAF AND O
15th September – London, The Water Rats – TICKETS
22nd September – Sedgefield, Manor House – TICKETS
13th October – Lowestoft, The Seagull Theatre – TICKETS
20th October – Ealing, House Concert
There’s an article on The Northern Echo for the upcoming show in County Durham and in view of this Saturday’s celebration, here’s an interview we did for Pennyblackmusic 2 years ago. And big thank you to The Pheasantry (Pizza Express Live) for hosting us last June, loved the Steinway!
Last month, it was very sad to learn about the passing of Lindsay Kemp. I feel very honoured to have met him two years ago and in chatting to him amongst other things how I spent a big part of my life in England just like he spent a good length of his time in Italy. A wonderful unique artist full of poetry and charm, also mentor to some of the best …David Bowie, Kate Bush… He’ll be sorely missed. (See on FB).
We’re both very much looking forward to perform and to bring you our latest efforts throughout the next few months!
See you at the shows!
Raf and O X
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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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The Man Who Fell To Earth Returns to Space, Starman at Union Chapel, Overground Festival and Pennyblack Shows, Interview + Portal View
February 26, 2016 § Leave a comment
Two months into 2016, it’s time for a blog. It seems respectful to start with Bowie.
David Bowie, fell off our Earth on January 10th and the Earth was mourning. It was all so sudden two days after the release of his brilliant new album, he was gone, leaving us with Blackstar, an outstanding piece of work, daring and unafraid, revealing more than its fair share of brilliancy and courage in the aftermath of his death. Later, O and I went to Beckenham, we laid flowers on the bandstand, everything was flickering as clouds raced across greying skies. Those who have been following us know that Raf and O, a few years ago had been reworking Bowie’ s Lady Grinning Soul, included in our album ‘Time Machine’, celebrating our long-standing love for Bowie alongside our original material. We performed it at Memory Of A Free Festival (MOAFF) on the bandstand and received praise from the wonderful Mike Garson and David Bowie Official.
A week after his passing, we celebrated the Starman at the stunning Union Chapel, performing before an audience unified, together alongside many other artists including the Magic Numbers and David McAlmont. It was an honour tinged with great sadness. The event was broadcasted live. More photos of our performance can be found HERE courtesy of Ange LM photography.
And Garson just returned to the UK to pay tribute to David with Lorde and his old band, a beautiful surprise.
I was recently asked to describe my feelings on Bowie’s legacy and his passing. Here is a transcript from an interview I did with Dominic Simpson for Pennyblackmusic Magazine, as we are about to play Pennyblack first show of 2016. Find the full interview on the photo below.
PB: You’ve covered Bowie songs in the past live. Do you have any comments about his legacy on your music (and in life generally), and how you felt when he died recently?
RM: Okay, I’ll be honest with you, it felt like a great big punch in the stomach, I cried a lot and I was a mess. Many people felt a great deal of grief. One could say, is this an over-reaction? When you have felt empathy, an affinity since almost as early as you can remember towards someone you feel has been the catalyst that shaped your artistic perception, someone who was your biggest inspiration and a general obsession in the nicest possible connotation of the word, then you feel something has blown apart. I never tried to emulate Bowie, but in a sense, I feel like he has given me access to an approach and never fear to dare or to experiment. The way he worked harmonic progressions, for example, directly influenced me as a songwriter, he concocted the element of surprise and excitement, which I crave in music and then served it on a stage through performance, drama, allure and damn good singing. As I said, we performed last Sunday at the Starman celebrations at Union Chapel; it was an honour, but it felt unreal, unreal that he had gone. The man who fell to Earth returns to space but his music is everywhere.
2016 will see our follow-up to ‘Time Machine’, we are excited to soon be presenting our latest work. Raf and O‘s new album will be called ‘Portal’ featuring Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet 62’ which we’ve set music to; a special edit preview was aired last Saturday on the Dexter Bentley show, Resonance FM. The album will also feature ‘Win’ our new take on Bowie’s classic from ‘Young Americans’. We recorded drum takes on January 10th…My heart sinks now when I think about the lyrics. As well as this, we will unveil some of the work stemmed by our collaboration with electronicist and Grace Jones’ s collaborator, Robert Logan. This will be part of a split EP released between ourselves and our collaboration ahead of the album. Lots more to come on these fronts, we will keep you updated, but watch out for latest news on our Facebook page.
On the live front, as well as Union Chapel, we recently guested at a private party, having previously played at Whisper and Hurricanes and Kaparte Oxjam.
“They had the room literally transfixed’ Miss Gish Blog
Recently DJ and journalist Joe Muggs from the Boiler Room has been spinning some early Raf and O album tracks and Mary Finnigan talks about our performance in her new book about Bowie, the time with him in 69, the Arts Lab, Beckenham Free Festival and Memory Of A Free Festival (its reprise in 2013 and 2014)
“Most impressive were Raf and O, a talented avant-garde duo influenced by David Bowie but no copycat.” Psychedelic Suburbia, Mary Finnigan.
Here is a video of Raf and O’s ending show of 2015 at Whisper and Hurricanes. Thanks to the Chaos Theory team. Continues below
Coming up shortly …some great gigs! Very much looking forward to March 12th, first Pennyblackmusic gig of 2016. Do join us, Raf and O support Nick Garrie, sixties British singer songwriter, at Sebright Arms, London. More details and TICKETS available HERE.
And then March 18th, Crystal Palace Overground Festival presents this festival fund-raising concert at Anerley Town Hall, a specially curated sonic line up including the great Metamono, who we shared a bill with last year, Raf and O, Sculpture, Brother G and the Trouble plus Junkshop Disco. An excellent audio visual event not to be missed! Strictly TICKETS advance only available HERE
Raf and O x
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Raf and O setting up at Starman, a celebration of David Bowie, Union Chapel. Photo taken by David McAlmont