The Kick Inside – The Songs Of Kate Bush

 

THE KICK INSIDE

A Celebratory Tribute to

THE SONGS OF KATE BUSH

BY ACCLAIMED ART-POP DUO RAF AND O

focused on Kate’s early career and core essence as a pianist singer songwriter


Raf and O as The Kick Inside, Canterbury. Photo by P. Morgan

Raf Mantelli – Vocals and Piano
O Richard Smith – Double Bass

BOOKINGS

Available for concerts, theatre shows, festivals, functions, weddings, corporate events and private parties.
FOR BOOKING ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT:

info@thekickinside.co.uk

FreeVector.com

THE SHOW

Kate has given music lovers something to treasure: a great musician and producer, a brilliant composer and an amazing, most unique voice. Doing justice to her music is no light undertaking, The Kick Inside (named after her debut album) relish the challenge and excitement in performing these gems. Upon her bespoke piano, Raf stunningly captures the detail. The intimacy and ferocity she conveys musically, vocally and visually, skillfully accompanied by O Richard on double bass, transports the listener into the beautiful close-up world of Kate’s early songs as if invited into her front room to witness the start of that journey. When lost in the power of these songs it’s quite easy to forget that this is just two performers!

Creative crossover artists such as David Bowie and Kate Bush broke the mould showing the oddball can sometimes get through and give inspiration and confidence to believe in following ones own creative voice.

“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

BIO

South-East London duo Raf and O AKA Raf Mantelli and O Richard Smith have marked out their widely acclaimed song and sound world over the last decade. Praised for their unique and compelling avant-theatre pop, press includes The Quietus, FACT and Electronic Sound, their freshly released 4th album ‘The Space Between Nothing And Desire’ features ‘A Bow To Bowie’ a heartfelt song dedicated to the artist himself. Praised also by Mike Garson, David Bowie’s pianist and long term collaborator for their unique interpretation of Bowie’s Lady Grinning Soul, amongst their explorations, Raf and O have set music to Shakespeare, composed for theatre, contributed tracks to releases including Mitra Music For Nepal alongside Ryuichi Sakamoto and Nick Cave, they perform acoustic interpretations of early Kate Bush under the alter-ego The Kick Inside – The Songs Of Kate Bush and with special collaborations under their belt, they’ve played venues such as The Queen Elizabeth Hall and The Union Chapel.


Raf and O as The Kick Inside, West Kirby Arts Centre. Footage M.S. Baker

 

DATES

For upcoming dates check the Raf and O LIVE PAGE

 

TKI PRESS AND TESTIMONIALS

“Strikingly individual”
KATE BUSH NEWS

“Utterly fantastic!”
DEXTER BENTLEY, LONDON RESONANCE FM

“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

Raf & O as ‘The Kick Inside’ perform the songs of Kate Bush (Temple Pier). This is no simple tribute, but a particularly gifted, insightful and empathetic band completely re-imagining the way one of our most distinctive artists could sound.
ADRIAN SPECS – FAVOURITE LIVE MUSIC OF 2018

“Kate Bush followed a very individual path into reclusive stardom. But what if she amassed that astonishing body of work while gigging in the clubs? The matchless Raf and O bring this idea lovingly to life with the sublime The Kick Inside project.
When I heard that Raf and O were creating a Kate Bush side-project, it already felt like a perfect fit – in particular, who better than Raf to negotiate the swoons and swoops of those highwire melodies? Tunes like ‘Them Heavy People’, ‘Hammer Horror’ or ‘Babooshka’ have all the bounce and snap of the originals thanks to ‘O’s agile, percussive basslines snaking their way around Raf’s rhythmic piano. It’s a testament to both Raf and ‘O’s musicianship in finding the exact pieces of the jigsaw to ensure nothing is missing – and to the indestructibility of the songs themselves. ‘Breathing’, a song imagining a poisonous nuclear winter, originally featured an ambient, eerie middle section, which here, the duo tackle with an abstract instrumental passage that fits the bill perfectly. And after a breather, they were back, and a short while into the second set, conjured up some next-level magic. ‘Sat in Your Lap’, from ‘The Dreaming’. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The twisted ‘Take 5’ riff, the noisy, jerky, stop-start rhythm – it was all there. Immediately after this, we were treated to ‘Running up That Hill’, with ‘O’ strumming the bass strings to suggest the thunderous drums, Raf somehow providing almost robotic chiming chords to fill in the sound and deliver an astounding vocal. As an overall performance, it was one of the most carefully and effectively put together sets I have seen for a long time.”
ADRIAN SPECS, live review 25 02 18
Full review here

“Raf’s voice and piano delivered something very exciting to all those of us lucky enough to be there and experience it. She’s a huge admirer of Bowie and the approached isn’t a million miles form the way he used to play characters onstage at gigs. 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. More please!
Richard with whom she’s developed an extraordinary musical rapport over the years, didn’t just play accompaniment, he pulled off the unenviable task of being everything about these songs that made them work when Kate performed/recorded them in addition to herself. All in all, this was an amazing evening and I feel privileged to have been there.”
JEREMY CLARKE REVIEWS, live review 25 02 18
Full review here

“Raf Mantelli one half of our favourite avant-garde and frayed experimentalist duo Raf and O adds her idiosyncratic, enchanting signature to the music of Kate Bush on her latest project, The Kick Inside, an acoustic tribute to Kate Bush that almost spookily capture’s the doyen’s phrasings and deft piano skills perfectly.”
MONOLITH COCKTAIL

“I’ve just seen the video of Raf’s live performance as Kate! Having promoted two glorious album launches amongst other shows of her own band Raf and O, I knew that this tribute to Kate Bush would be nothing short of fantastic. The inspiration, commitment and professional focus I associate with all of Raf’s work is fully evident here.
A quality, stylish and authentically passionate interpretation which if Kate herself ever gets to see I’m sure would meet her approval.”
KAPARTE PROMOTIONS

“Speaking as a long term Kate Bush fan, this show that Raf has developed is certainly going to get noticed. Having seen her performing a short showcase just threw me right back to the moment Kate first hit the scene.
I was just mesmerised by Raf being ‘ Kate’ for her incredible voice and how she has captured the very spirit of a Kate Bush performance. Intimate, intense both visually and sonically, the body language, detailed piano work and those fabulous vocals. Kate fans and newcomers alike will be enthralled with Raf’s thoroughly engaging and expressive performance. Just fabulous!”
OIL 54 EVENTS

“Raf and O have created a novel, pared-down tribute to Kate Bush: The Kick Inside – The Songs of Kate Bush. Focusing on the 70s albums The Kick Inside and Lionheart, its beauty lies in the minimalist approach which highlights Raf’s enigmatic stage presence and her dramatic soprano vocals.”
CHARLIE FOWLER, DAVID LIVE

“I was blessed to attend the premiere of a performance of Kate Bush’s songs by Raf and O an experimental music duo who fuse acoustic instruments with electronica”
PETER COOK, HUMAN DYNAMICS

“Raf has a voice you must hear to believe, unreal!!!!!! Fantastic performance from The Kick Inside, worthy of the standing ovation from the great audience in attendance, well done to the guys we will see them again soon”
FLETCHERS BAR, KINGS HEATH, BIRMINGHAM

“I highly recommend The Kick inside the songs of Kate Bush.
Highly professional duo with a beautiful and unique interpretation of the songs of Kate Bush.
A thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by all who came to the show.”
THE PENNY THEATRE, CANTERBURY

“We loved the gig by Raf and O at The Manor House. I’m always looking for something a bit different – a bit special to bring to Sedgefield and we certainly got that with Raf and O. The first half of the show they performed their own stuff – the sound was unique and the arrangements were great so we knew we were in for something special for the second set – and sure enough their performance of early Kate Bush songs was amazing. We had a knowledgeable audience including many Kate Bush fans and they went home very happy. Based on the performance they put on for us I can see why Raf and O are building a great following.”
MANOR HOUSE, SEDGEFIELD, COUNTY DURHAM

 

VIDEO

 

 
 

 

  • The Kick Inside - The Songs of Kate Bush
  • Archives

  • THE SPACE BETWEEN
    NOTHING AND DESIRE

    BUY CD Album HERE

    BUY DIGITAL HERE

    “The intensity is off the scale. It begins with ‘A Bow To Bowie’ an enthralling tribute to one of Raf & O’s main inspirations.. while the charming ‘Underwater Blue’ will go down in pop history as the track that launched the snorkelectro scene..From the poignant to the provocative to the playful ‘The Space Between Nothing And Desire’ is wonderfully theatrical and, unless you’re made of stone, quite irresistible.”

    ELECTRONIC SOUND

    “Stark and otherworldly, a haunting ode, subtle swelling bricolage of ghostly synths, tumbling acoustic notes and a bass drum that thuds like a heartbeat throughout. While Raf’s almost otherworldly almost jazz-like vocals spiral across the upper register with echoes of Kate Bush at her most avant-garde”

    GOD IS IN THE TV ZINE

    “This is a strange and luscious album”

    JOE MUGGS

    “A defiantly original act, one which one can listen to time over and still find something new, and with ‘The Space Between Nothing and Desire’ they have created an album that is as daring as it is compelling”

    PENNYBLACKMUSIC

    “Sublime in execution, subtle but with a real depth and levity, TSBNAD is an astonishing piece of new romantic, avant-theater pop and electronica that dares to unlock the mind and fathom emotion..a masterclass of pulchritude magnificence. Imbued by both the musicality and spirit of David Bowie, Scott Walker, David Sylvian (both as a solo artist and with the fey romantics Japan), Kate Bush and in their most avant-garde mode, Bjork, the South London based duo of Raf (Raf Mantelli) and O (Richard Smith) occupy the perimeters of alternative art-rock and experimental electronica as the true inheritors of those cerebral inspirations”

    MONOLITH COCKTAIL

    “An audio voyage that seems to bridge the gap between cosmos and earth as the record develops.’A Bow to Bowie’ gazes explicitly heavenward, combining respectful, open sincerity with sheer intelligence and wit, absorbing musical and lyrical references to the song’s subject into a structure all their own. The title track is almost a battery-operated torch song, Raf’s sensual, almost swinging vocal conjuring up a kind of electronic chanson.

    ADRIAN SPECS

  • BUY PORTAL CD Album HERE

    PORTAL ALBUM LAUNCH is PENNYBLACK MUSIC GIG OF THE YEAR 2016 picked by John Clarkson

    “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

    “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

    “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

    “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

    “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 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

    “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

    “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

  • BUY SONNET 62/ INK EP – OUT NOW

    ‘Seductive and alien…Aboard a haunted freighter in the deepest reaches of deep space…soothes and coos like a cross between Beth Gibbons and a female David Sylvian…It is both equally seductive and alien, a machine driven twitchy gallop into the ether. Creeping into the dense hallucinatory environment of ‘A Reason To Try’, the trio stir untethered in a strange soup of churned up beats and solar tidal waves’

    MONOLITH COCKTAIL

  • BUY TIME MACHINE CD Album HERE

    FACT magazine Top 10 album of 2014 picked by Joe Muggs

    “The excellent Time Machine represents the very antithesis of EDM ..There is a butterfly, acoustic delicacy about tracks like ‘Mad And Brilliant’, and yet also the deceptive, steel strength of spider silk in their complex weaving – Raf’s vocal ranges far and wide in her emotional and lyrical foragings…Freeze-frame any given second of this album and it’ll reveal a hive of pixellated, analogue activity…As with Time Machine as a whole, it’s an approach you’d do well to take up, if you know what’s good for you.”

    DAVID STUBBS, THE QUIETUS

    “One of the more memorable events of the Beckenham Festival in September 2013 was RAF AND O’s haunting performance of David Bowie’s Lady Grinning Soul”

    DAVID BOWIE OFFICIAL

    “A beguiling slice of noir-pop…a total treat”

    THE GIRLS ARE

    “Tripped-out hypnotic Raf and O embody the exploratory art school/mime period Bowie. Their sound springs from a conjuncture of Aladdin Sane and The Man Who Fell To Earth, but with an added allure of trip-hop…Tender and diaphanous, from bent out of shape Air meets folkloric avant-noir to ESG and Radiohead’s Hail To The Thief”

    MONOLITH COCKTAIL

    “Whispering their song like tomorrow’s cautionary lullabies sent backward to today as an omen of intrigue.”

    IMPOSE MAGAZINE

  • BUY TIME MACHINE EP HERE

    “Interstellar spaciousness”

    EXCLAIM MAGAZINE

    “Four versions of the leading ‘Time Machine’ journey beyond the stratosphere, kooky, mysterious and breathy, attracting an impressive trio of sonic cosmonauts”

    MONOLITH COCKTAIL

  • BUY LADY GRINNING SOUL/ THE FOG HERE

    “Very creative. I enjoyed it a lot”

    MIKE GARSON

    “Raf and O caress Bowie”

    BOWIE WONDERWORLD

    “A moving Avant – Bizarre version of Lady Grinning Soul”

    GOD IS IN THE TV ZINE

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