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Song Reader Live : Beck + Jarvis Cocker + Franz Ferdinand + Beth Orton + Charlotte Gainsbourg + Joan As Police Woman + Conor J O’Brien (Villagers) + Michael Kiwanuka + The Staves + Guillemots + Pictish Trail + James Yorkston + The Mighty Boosh + Jamie McDermott + Sam Amidon + Kate Tempest + Luke Wright + Simon Armitage + Sam Mumford + Bellatrix
A stellar-line up of artists bring Beck’s critically acclaimed catalogue of sheet music to life.
Beck has always been one of music’s great pioneers and Song Reader is an experiment in what an album might look like in the digital age: 20 songs, including two instrumentals, existing only as a book of individual pieces of sheet music, never before released or recorded. The songs are meant to come to life in a new golden age of home performance, leaving the listener, essentially, to be the performer
Please note that the artists appearing may be subject to change.
This event takes place at Barbican Centre, which has achieved Silver Status for disabled access from Attitude Is Everything.
Beck's rambling collage of sound is built up from cryptic Dylanesque lyrics, Delta blues, hiphop and rock'n'roll. Blended in a carefree, lo-fi style, his sound is original and has earned huge critical acclaim. Beck continues to produce innovative material and looks set to become one of his generation's great singer-songwriters.
Beck tour dates
Jarvis Cocker was at the heart of the 90s Britpop scene as frontman of Pulp, who released four albums during the decade, most notably 'His 'n' Hers' and 'Different Classes'. One of the 'common people', Jarvis' wry observations on sex, drugs and love and the famous stage invasion during Michael Jackson's performance at the 1996 Brit Awards has safely assured his place in pop's hall of fame.
Beyond Pulp, he has directed music videos for Aphex Twin and Nightmares On Wax, and performed under the name Darren Spooner. He released two solo albums for the Rough Trade label. released a book of Pulp lyrics called 'Mother, Brother, Lover', recorded and performed with pianist Chilly Gonzales and for several years was the soundtrack to Sunday afternoons on BBC 6Music.
Jarvis Cocker tour dates
Cheeky and charismatic four-piece from Scotland, pedalling angular, arty and knowing indie-pop. In 2004 they won the hearts of the music press and public alike - their best-selling, eponymously-named debut album scooping the much-coverted Mercury Music Prize. With choppy, catchy hooks, bohemian tongue-in-cheek lyrics and a fantastic live show, they're a breath of fresh air into the world of the beautiful indie people.
Franz Ferdinand tour dates
BRIT award winning Norwich singer-songwriter Beth Orton has built a career delivering quiet, slow dreamy songs blended with trip-hop breaks, folky guitar and haunting vocals. After initial work in the 90s with the likes of William Orbit and the Chemical Brothers, she soon achieved success on her own, including two UK top 20 albums in the shape of 'Central Reservation' and 'Daybreaker'. After a hiatus following the birth of her daughter, Beth returned to the limelight with 2016's well-received 'Kidsticks', offering a more electronic sound than her previous releases.
Beth Orton tour dates
Daughter of British actress and singer Jane Birkin and French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, Charlotte has gone on to achieve a successful solo career blending elements of acoustic folk, pop and electronica.
Charlotte Gainsbourg tour dates
Solo project of indie rock icon Joan Wasser of Antony & The Johnsons and The Rufus Wainwright Band. The self-styled 'punk-rock RnB' or 'American Soul Music' comes as much from singers such as Al Green and Isaac Hayes as it does The Smiths and Siouxsie Sioux. Her music is intended to reflect day-to-day life, the problems people face and the genuine depth behind them.
Joan As Police Woman tour dates
A British soul artist artist who brings to mind Otis Redding, Kiwanuka's soul has a new rootsy-folk direction, drawing influences from John Martyn and Bill Withers.
Michael Kiwanuka tour dates
The Staves are three English sisters whose soaring harmonies hark back to the sweet sounds of Crosby, Stills and Nash. They mould their love of Americana and folk into finely crafted tales of love and loss with gently finger-picked guitar and ukulele, and, at the forefront - their three unique voices.
The Staves tour dates
Epic, tuneful music, as bizarre as it is beautiful, Guillemots take the audience on a journey through a melting pot of synth, strings and jazz breaks with an overlying melody that breaks your heart and rouses, all at the same time. As odd as the Flaming Lips, but as sweet as Elbow, gUiLLeMoTs are quirky, experimental and vastly entertaining to watch.
Guillemots tour dates
Experimental folk-pop from one-man band Pictish Trail, aka Johnny Lynch. Fusing home-made electronica with DIY instrumentation, Pictish Trail's music is simple, sweet and instantly seductive. '… this is the sound of Scotland quietly floating far, far out to some deep enchanting waters. And never dreaming of floating back.' - Domino
Pictish Trail tour dates
'A thousand times more haunting than anything the New Acoustic Movement ever dreamed of' said the NME. Indeed Scottish musician James Yorkston's music is haunting, but there is something else in his music which lifts him above the average acoustic singer/songwriter. At times he sounds like a rat-pack crooner, the next like a scottish balladeer, and just when he's got down to his quietest, most fragile moment he'll break into one of the loudest acoustic guitar intervals you're likely to hear. James Yorkston is diversity at it's best, with all the quality of tradition and excitement of the new.
James Yorkston tour dates
Barratt and Fielding created the characters of Vince Noir and Howard Moon in the upstairs room of a North London pub back in the '90s. Their Edinburgh Festival debut in 1998 won them the much coveted Perrier Award for Best Newcomer and they have since gone on to take BBC TV by storm, whilst picking up more awards for live shows along the way. 'A big bouffant-haired corker of a show' (The Times)
The Mighty Boosh tour dates
Indie-influenced songwriter playing sexy emotive alternative rock in the style of Pixies, Bowie and Buckley.
Jamie McDermott tour dates
Young Vermont-born folk singer Sam Amidon sings, plays fiddle, banjo, guitar, and can count in binary code on his hands really fast.
Sam Amidon tour dates
Kate Tempest is a published playwright, poet and recording artist. Her playwriting credits include Wasted (Paines Plough) Brand New Ancients (BAC) and Glasshouse (Cardboard Citizens). She has written poetry for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Barnado’s, Channel 4 and the BBC. She has worked with Amnesty International to create a schools pack helping secondary school children write their own protest songs.
Kate is two times slam winner at the prestigious Nu-Yorican poetry cafe in New York and she has played all the major UK and European music festivals either solo or with her band Sound Of Rum. Her poetry book/CD/DVD package Everything Speaks In Its Own Way was published on her own imprint Zingaro in 2012.
Kate's Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize nominated debut album, ‘Everybody Down’, was recorded in London and released in May 2014 on Big Dada. Each track on the album correlates with a chapter in her forthcoming debut novel, ‘The Bricks That Built The Houses’.
Kate Tempest tour dates
A Glastonbury Festival Slam Poet Champion, with some very funny poems. Winner of the Spirit of the Fringe Award for innovation, using a mixture of sharp, humorous verse and anecdotal stand-up.
Luke Wright tour dates
The Millennium poet, who has published numerous collections of poetry, produced several novels, and written extensively for television and radio. In 2010 he received the CBE for services to poetry.
Simon Armitage tour dates