Behind the name The Tallest Man On Earth is Kristian Matsson (born 30 April 1983 in Dalarna, Sweden). His career as The Tallest Man On Earth started with the self-titled EP released in 2006, introducing to the world a singer with that familiar croak, a song-writer with a 'folk-revival' sensibility and a guitar player with an impressively agile finger-picking style.
In 2007, Shallow Grave, his first full album, was released and expanded upon the ideas of the EP, rounding them off and emphasising beautifully evocative songs. He is known for his bold vocal style and his intricate acoustic guitar work, and as such has drawn many comparisons to Bob Dylan. He himself has made a few specific nods to Dylan in his latest album The Wild Hunt, in songs such as King of Spain where he references boots of Spanish Leather.
While coming from Sweden, his influences lie in the folk and rock sounds of the American South. On a break from his duties as the front man of the Montezumas, Matsson has won rave reviews as The Tallest man On Earth as well as gaining exposure from touring with Bon Iver after the release of his first album.
Since the release of 2008's Ferndorf, Düsseldorf-based pianist Volker Bertelmann's career has blossomed. As Hauschka, he has developed a reputation as an entrancing live performer, playing at festivals from Ether to Roskilde and SXSW, plus hand-picked shows alongside Tortoise, The Necks and Michael Nyman. A prodigious collaborator, he has performed with musicians from Múm's Hildur Gudnadottir to classical violinist Hilary Hahn, and played six shows this year with James Blackshaw and Nancy Elizabeth, including London's Barbican Hall. This, alongside film soundtracks (Carl Dreyer's Vampyr), multimedia collaborations (Jeff Desom's Ghost Piano), arrangement duties (Frightened Rabbit), and theatre scores, gives you a sense of his restless creative impulses.
Hauschka's music can be microscopic in detail and quietly entrancing, or wide-screen and cinematic in scope and feel. A suite of songs can take you on a journey into the world of the piano and all it can conjure for the listener. Hauschka performs beautiful post-classical chamber works drawing on minimalism and laced with the spirit of Fluxus, bringing to mind the expansive open-endedness of The Necks, Nico Muhly's post-minimalist compositions or Eric Satie's sense of mischief.
Channelling the spirit of John Cage's prepared piano, Hauschka opens up his instrument and playfully performs public operations on its innards using guitar strings, gaffer tape and other bits of junk in search of new colours and textures. The melodic and harmonic properties of the piano, so often dominant in piano music, are set against the homespun clicks, scrapes and rattles of the internal mechanisms when certain keys are played. Harnessing the percussive potential of the instrument and wrapping this around his keen melodic ear makes Hauschka an auteur of the ebonies, as well as an alchemist of the wood, string and metal.
To coincide with the release of new album Foreign Landscapes on FatCat Records, OH Productions has organised a special intimate event in the lush surroundings of the Presidential Suite at Manchester's five-star Lowry Hotel. These two performances will be prefaced by a gathering in the hotel's private bar, followed by a trip up to the suite, with the evening skyline of Manchester providing the perfect backdrop for Hauschka's set.
Cowboy Junkies are a Canadian alt-country/alt-rock/blues band with a jazz twist, formed by three siblings from the Timmins entertainment family in Toronto in 1985. The band’s name was simply a random choice as they approached their first ever gig, but it has come to perfectly represent their sound. (Some sources may credit Townes Van Zandt’s song Cowboy Junkies Lament as the source of the band’s name, but that song was written specially for Cowboy Junkies several years after they coined the name.)
Their first two albums were recorded using an ambisonic microphone, with the first album Whites Off Earth Now!! being recorded in the family garage. Their fame spread with their second album The Trinity Session, which was recorded in one sitting at the Toronto Church of the Holy Trinity. Their unique blend of blues, country, folk, rock and jazz, as well as the fact that they again recorded with an ambisonic microphone, earned them both critical attention and a cult following. The Los Angeles Times named the recording as one of the ten best albums of 1988. The Trinity Session also included a unique cover version of the Velvet Underground’s Sweet Jane, which Lou Reed reportedly liked more than his own, and so began performing their version in concert. The band was nominated for Group of the Year at the Juno Awards in both 1990 and 1991, and in the early 1990s vocalist Margo Timmins was named one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world by People Magazine. With over 20 albums to their name, Cowboy Junkies have followed their own particular muse, resulting in songs that are outwardly pretty, but inwardly prickly.
The group has continued to tour North America, Europe, Japan and Australia with extensive North American and European tours following album releases in 2002 and 2004. In 2008, they released Trinity Revisited in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the original recording of The Trinity Session. Their latest album, this year's Renmin Park, is the first volume in the Nomad Series.
OH Productions is proud to present a rare Manchester appearance by Cowboy Junkies. This show takes places at Gorton Monastery, a 19th-century former Franciscan friary. In 1997, the Monastery was placed on the World Monuments Fund Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites in the World alongside Pompeii, the Taj Mahal and the Valley of the Kings.
Globe-trotting riot jazzers Youngblood Brass Band are focused on creating consistently progressive, raw, acoustic music. The nine-member ensemble, born in Wisconsin, now hails from across the United States.
They have been touring throughout Europe and the States for the past decade, performing in over twenty countries and featured at the biggest music festivals in the world including Roskilde, Glastonbury, North Sea Jazz, Blue Note and WOMAD. Their intense on-stage aesthetic secured their status as an incredible group to see live, whether in intimate club settings or on international festival stages.
YBB's debut album Unlearn was released in 2000 and featured collaborations with Talib Kweli, Mike Ladd, DJ Skooly and ex-Frank Zappa vocalist Ike Willis. This led to a record deal with New York City's Ozone Music, the revolutionary avant-hiphop label that introduced the poetic talents and radical aims of Company Flow (El-P), Mike Ladd, Antipop Consortium and Saul Williams, among others. Their 2003 follow-up, Center:Level:Roar, was released to international acclaim and had them trekking around the globe to nearly sold-out audiences everywhere. YoungBlood's latest album, Is That a Riot?, is their most groundbreaking, experimental music to date (and their first studio record in three years), featuring new players, all original compositions from multiple band members, and the music being taken to its dynamic, timbral and beat-driven extremes.
Guillaume Yann Tiersen, most famously known for composing the soundtrack the hit 2001 film Amélie, was born on the 23 June 1970. His musical style, particularly when using toy and folk instruments, combines folk-influenced tunes with waltzes and operatic themes and chansons. He moves easily from accordion to piano to violin, and on to more unusual instruments, sometimes employing two at once – while his more serious work is closer to that of people like Philip Glass, Frédéric Chopin, Erik Satie or Michael Nyman. His unique style stems from having received classical training at several musical academies as well as being influenced in the early 1980s by the post-punk culture of bands like Joy Division or the Stooges. Tiersen's music seems both traditional and new, familiar yet surprising. It seems to spring from folk music and popular song, with a sprinkling of French cafe or street music, and a touch of the avant-garde.
Being relatively unknown outside of France, Tiersen rose to fame with the release of his score for Le fabuluex destin d'Amélie Poulain (or Amélie for short) in 2001, which was a mixture of new and previously released material. Since then, he has composed a variety of other soundtracks, including the score for the recent film Good Bye Lenin!, which featured tracks reminiscent of Glass and Nyman. He has recorded background music for a number of plays and short films such as La Vie Rêvée des Anges (1998, Erick Zonca), Alice et Martin (1998, André Téchiné) and Qui Plume la Lune? (Christine Carrière, 1999).
His live performances vary greatly. Sometimes he is accompanied by an orchestra and several guest collaborators such as Dominique A. At others, he offers the more frequent minimalistic sessions, usually accompanied only by a drummer/bassist and a guitarist, with Tiersen switching seamlessly between piano, accordion, and violin for his lighter songs, and electric guitar for his louder pieces (where his avant-garde music meet some rock sonorities). Lately, he has almost banished piano, accordion and violin and focused more on his electric guitar instead.
OH Productions presents Yann Tiersen at Leeds' cavernous Cockpit and in Manchester's medieval cathedral, which dates back to 1421. Support on both dates comes from Berlin's Lonski and Classen.
Having spent years at the forefront of underground hip-hop, DOOM (previously MF Doom) will at last embark on a debut UK tour this October. The DOOMSDAY tour will feature DOOM’s first ever shows outside of London and are a rare chance to catch the mask-wearing maverick in action.
The tour follows a triumphant, one-off UK date at London’s Roundhouse venue this March. 3,000 tickets were sold in under three weeks and those lucky enough to attend the sold out show witnessed DOOM performing classics from his extensive arsenal of recorded material.
DOOM’s various and ongoing musical escapades include output as alter-egos King Geedorah, Metal Fingers and Viktor Vaughan, in addition to co-creations with Madlib (as ‘Madvillain’), Danger Mouse (as ‘DangerDOOM’), and a cameo on the Gorillaz multi-million selling Demon Days LP.
The rapper and producer’s most recent studio album, Born Like This, is a tour de force of thrillingly intricate, diabolically original songwriting and has been hailed as one of the essential hip-hop LPs of recent years.
The Manchester leg of the DOOMSDAY tour takes place at The Warehouse Project, the city's internationally acclaimed temporary music space under Piccadilly Station. The line-up includes DOOM, Hudson Mohawke, Jamie xx, Dels, Illum:Sphere and Hoya:Hoya DJs - sign up at DOOMS-DAY.COM for updates.
Joanna Newsom is an American harpist, pianist and singer-songwriter from Nevada City, California. Convincing her parents at a young age that she wanted to play the harp, she started learning and 'loved it from the first lesson onward'.
Newsom's first EPs, Walnut Whales and Yarn and Glue, recorded on a Fisher-Price tape recorder, were not intended for public distribution. At the suggestion of her boyfriend at the time, however, she burned several copies to sell at her early shows. One of her friends then passed on of these CDs on to Will Oldham (aka Bonnie 'Prince' Billy) at a show in her home town. Oldham was impressed and asked her to tour with him, and also gave a copy to his record label, Drag City, who later signed Newsom and released her debut album, The Milk-Eyed Mender, in 2004.
Newsom's early work was strongly influenced by polyrhythms, as heard in the second album Ys. After this album she began to lose interest in them, however, stating that they 'stopped being fascinating' and 'started feeling wanky'. Her music has sometimes been described as being prominent in the the modern psych-folk movement – but Newsom prefers to make no ties to any particular music scene. She has described her own voice as 'untrainable', with her vocal style incorporating shadings of folk and Appalachian shaped-note timbres.
In 2009 she appeared in the music video for the song Kids by the group MGMT, and she recently performed at Matt Groening's edition of All Tomorrow's Parties. She has also recently been the feature of a tribute book, Visions of Joanna Newsom, released by Roan Press.
OH Productions is proud to present a rare Manchester appearance by Newsom - her first since January 2007. Support comes from folk legend Roy Harper, who hails from Rusholme, Manchester.
Josh Ritter was born in Moscow, Idaho in 1976, to two neuroscientists. As a teenager, after hearing Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan’s Girl from the North Country on his parents' copy of Nashville Skyline, he attempted to write songs on a lute that his father had built, before abandoning it and buying his first guitar at K-Mart.
Ritter started following in the family footsteps by studying neuroscience at Oberlin College, but later changed to the self-created American History Through Narrative Folk Music. Throughout his music career Ritter has been compared to the likes of Bob Dylan, Brice Springsteen and Leonard Cohen, but with each new album release, it is becoming more pointless and lazy to make such comparisons. In 2006, Ritter was named one of Paste Magazine's '100 Greatest Living Songwriters'.
While not receiving the mainstream attention that others have seen, Ritter has been steadily rising, courting fans for the long haul by spending inordinate amounts of time with them. He has been playing for over a decade now, with songs built from simple folky patterns or sprawling Whitman-esque meditations, winning over many critics in the process. He hit a writers block for a while, but forced himself to find inspiration by exploring local museums – and finally succeeded in overcoming it, to the extent that one of his stories could not be contained within a song and has since been developed into a novel, Bright's Passage.
OH Productions presents Ritter, with his 'Royal City Band', in the intimate seated surroundings of the RNCM Theatre. Support comes from Dawn Landes & The Hounds.
Since their formation in 1992 in Staten Island and Brooklyn, the Wu-Tang Clan have gone on to completely revolutionise and hip-hop game, not only releasing the genre defning albums ‘Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)’, ‘Wu-Tang Forever’ and ‘The W’ but also building up the vast Wu- Tang empire, consisting of multi-platinum solo artists, multi-platinum record producers, Grammy winners, TV and flm stars, screenwriters, product spokespersons, business owners, major motion picture composers and an internationally iconic Wu-Tang clothing line.
One of the most critically and commercially successful hip-hop groups of all time, Wu-Tang Clan have maintained their position at the top through unprecedented dedication to their unique brand of hardcore rap music. Reunited here for the frst time in many years, these are two shows not to be missed.
OH Productions, One Inch Badge and Now Wave are proud to present three exclusive reunion shows for the most important hip-hop act of the past two decades.
Will Oldham, also known by the moniker of Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, needs little introduction. Born on Christmas Eve 1970 in Louisville, Kentucky, he wrote most of his albums from 1993 to 1997 under variations of the 'Palace' name, stating that he wanted listeners to recognise that these albums were of differeing styles, recorded with different musicians. For almost two decades Oldham has been a prominent artist within the underground folk scene, with inspiration coming from artists such as Leonard Cohen and Merle Haggard.
Mainly using the Bonnie 'Prince' Billy alter ego, in the last decade Oldham has collaborated with the likes of Johnny Cash, Björk, Soulsavers, Marquis de Tren, Matt Sweeny, Tortoise and Dawn McCarthy. He has recorded under labels such as Domino, Drag City and Galaxia, bringing to his cult following unforgettable performances and eerie yet mellifluous poetry time and time again.
The Cairo Gang (Emmet Kelly and Shahzad Ismaily) have performed with Bonnie 'Prince' Billy before on the albums Let It Go and Lie Down in the Light, although this time they have been fully credited in the headline of the new album The Wonder Show of the World. The Cairo Gang use the gentle instruments of British folk, throwing in some free-form composition, along with some emotionally provocative post-rock vibes, and finish off with the fidelity and humility of homespun indie rock. On the new album, the trio of Oldham, Kelly and Ismaily form a soft, wistful rock, reminiscent of early Neil Young and James Taylor. Oldham's previously trademark bleak poetry has given way to relative optimism - but the haunting melodies remain, along with superb three-part harmonies.
OH Productions is proud to present these rare headline shows in London and Manchester. Trembling Bells, signed to Damon Albarn's imprint Honest Jon's, support.
Recently inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, Dr John has been creating his famous style of idiosyncratic music since the 1960s. Born in New Orleans, he has inherited the rich musical traditions of the area, using a variety of styles throughout his career ranging from voodoo-style chants to R&B funk to psychedelic rock, with live performances that border on religious ceremonies, including elaborate costumes and head-dress. He has played and worked with artists including the Rolling Stones, Carly Simon, James Taylor, Neil Diamond, Van Morrison, Professor Longhair, Eric Clapton and B.B. King, and his movie credits include Martin Scorsese’s documentary The Last Waltz (in which he joins The Band for a performance of his song Such a Night) and Blues Brothers 2000 (in which he joins the fictional band The Louisiana Gator Boys to perform the song New Orleans).
Starting off as a session musician in the 1950s, his initial instrument was the guitar, but this changed when his left ring finger was almost shot off while defending his band mate, classmate, and long time friend Ronnie Barron. After this, he started playing bass (viewing it as the 'lowest time in his life'), and finally came to focus on the piano, with Professor Longhair's style being an important influence.
His debut album in 1968, Gris Gris, combined voodoo rhythms with the New Orleans tradition of music, and reached 143rd in Rolling Stone magazine's 500 greatest albums of all time. It was this style that resulted in the name Dr John, referencing a legendary Louisiana voodoo practitioner from the start of the 19th century. His most famous song, Right Place Wrong Time, which is still in heavy rotation on most classic rock stations, featured contributions from Bob Dylan, Bette Midler and Doug Sahm with lists of several instances of ironic bad luck and failure. The album The Sun, Moon and Herbs served as a transition from his days as the Night Tripper into a style more closely resembling the traditional New Orleans R&B and funk. His next album, Dr John's Gumbo, proved to be a landmark recording, and is one of his most popular to this day.
OH Productions presents Dr John's first Manchester appearance in over five years, backed by his band The Lower 911.
Formed in 2006, Noah and the Whale quickly gained a foothold on a London music scene, alongside like-minded souls such as Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons and Emmy the Great. Both Marling and Emmy were part-time members of the band at various points, while NawT's Charlie Fink produced Marling’s Mercury-nominated debut album, Alas I Cannot Swim. It was apparent immediately that something unorthodox and disturbing was going on in Noah and the Whale’s songs: that, beneath the surface appeal, they were working with much darker materials. This tension, between instant melodies with a sunny disposition, and lyrics that looked unblinkingly at the ambiguities contained in love, in words, in life and in death, made the band’s debut album, Peaceful the World Lays Me Down, a critical and commercial success, charting in the Top 5 and being certified Gold within just four months.
On The First Days of Spring, Noah and the Whale's second record, the darker sonic depths hinted at on their debut are investigated with a thoroughness and fearlessness that will first surprise, and then ensnare, people whose knowledge of the band is based chiefly on their Top 10 hit, Five Years Time. The First Days of Spring is an album of huge emotional power, complexity and impact; and songs that will stay with you, perplex you, haunt you, long after My Door is Always Open’s closing bars have faded into silence.
The Wave Pictures, who are signed to Moshi Moshi, support.
OH Productions is proud to present two special concerts with Philip Glass in Dublin and Edinburgh. Glass is arguably the most influential composer of the past century and is known for an elaborately structured and repetitive style that has been ironically dubbed 'minimalist'. He has been described by his biographer Tim Page as 'the first composer to win a wide, multi-generational audience in the opera house, the concert hall, the dance world, in film and in popular music — simultaneously', and to date, has scored over fifty films.
Glass gained national fame in the late 1970s and early 1980s, thanks to radical works like the four-record set and multimedia stage production Einstein on the Beach. He counts many artists, writers, musicians and directors among his friends, such as Richard Serra, Chuck Close, Doris Lessing, the late Allen Ginsberg, Robert Wilson, Godfrey Reggio, Ravi Shankar, David Bowie and the conductor Dennis Russell Davies, who have all collaborated with him.
In Dublin, Glass will perform solo. Simultaneously stirring and meditative, an evening of Glass’ solo piano is a rare opportunity to experience this influential composer’s work first-hand. Speaking from the piano bench, Glass personally introduces the programme. This evening provides a fond reacquaintance for Glass fans and a perfect introduction for new audiences.
In Edinburgh, Glass will perform with his ensemble, featuring cellist Wendy Sutter and percussionist Mick Rossi. This is Glass' first Scottish performance in several years, and is a rare chance to see a visionary at work, with the concert providing a glimpse into the intricacies of his music in its most elemental form.
The delicious dichotomy between darkness and light, the space between inspiration and the manifestation of thought, is where Hope Sandoval’s music and lyrics catch fire. Through The Devil Softly, her second album with Warm Inventions partner Colm Ó Cíosóig (My Bloody Valentine), is a rich brocade of pastoral meditations that resonate with the kind of restrained yet provocative intimacy that only these two artists can provide. Well known for their reticence in the media, they’ve once again chosen to pour out their hearts and minds on record.
It’s been eight years since the release of the critically acclaimed Bavarian Fruit Bread. In the meantime, however, neither artist has been creatively idle. Hope has collaborated with Devendra Banhart, Air, Bert Jansch, Death In Vegas, and she appears on Massive Attack’s latest album. And yes, a new Mazzy Star record is on the horizon. Meanwhile, 2009 saw the reunion of My Bloody Valentine for a select group of live shows.
Written and recorded over the previous two years in both northern California and the Wicklow Mountains of southeast Ireland, 2009's Through The Devil Softly sees Sandoval and Ó Cíosóig sharing production and engineering credits, with Dave Trumfio (Wilco, The Rentals) and Jim Putnam of the Radar Brothers assisting. Other guests of note include Mazzy Star keyboardist Suki Ewers and cellist Ji Young Moon., and Ireland’s Dirt Blue Gene, who tracked the recordings with Sandoval and Ó Cíosóig.
Anyone who's seen Sandoval perform live, either with Mazzy Star or the Warm Inventions, can attest to her intimacy. Often shrouded in low light, she rarely communicates with the crowd outside the boundaries of a song.
Animal Collective, who formed in Baltimore and are now based New York, are a collection of avant-garde musicians consisting of Avey Tare (David Portner), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), Deakin (Josh Dibb) and Geologist (Brian Weitz). The band met in school and started recording from an early age. With musical influences ranging from The Cure to the soundtracks of horror movies such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Shining, they soon began to experiment in their music, creating walls of drones with guitars and delay pedals and screaming into mics. Slowly, bit by bit, their music came closer to the sounds that we now recognise as the Animal Collective's.
When the experimental and psychedelic pop of Animal Collective collides with the vision of the Philadelphia-based video artist Danny Perez odd things happen. Since their first collaboration in 2004 (the single Who Could Win a Rabbit), Perez has seemed to have a knack for understanding the band's darker side - and never is this more prevalent than in this latest project. A project that has taken four years to come to fruition and has been creating a palpable susurration amongst the fans, this long awaited visual album is finally here in the UK.
Full of weird and wonderfully melancholic and trippy imagery, the film introduces the band in a new light, portraying the members as twisted doppleangers, along with a menagerie of haunting images and Stan Brakhage-esque fluttery edit work. There's an array of sad vampires, whirling balls of fire, killer marshamallows, flaming heads, glittered faces, all put to Animal Collective's glittering mix of pop rock, experimental noise and a horror movie soundtrack-style of music.
CocoRosie were formed in Paris in 2003 by half-Cherokee sisters Sierra Casady and Bianca Casady. Sierra, the older of the two, was born in Iowa, and Bianca was born in Hawaii. Their mother nicknamed them Rosie and Coco respectively, from which their musical act takes its name.
In 2003, Bianca was growing restless and decided it was time for a change. She left her apartment in Brooklyn to travel the world and, unexpectedly, showed up at Sierra’s apartment in Paris. Over the course of the next two months, the women spent nearly every waking hour in Sierra’s bathroom, chosen as the most acoustic and isolated room in the apartment. Soon, they had completed both an unreleased hip-hop recording called Word to the Crow and their debut album La Maison de Mon Rêve. Originally, La Maison de Mon Rêve was only intended to be distributed among a close circle of friends. However, by 2004 the album was released on independent label Touch and Go Records, who had obtained a copy and had pursued CocoRosie. Since the creation of their first album, the Casady sisters have been virtually inseparable.
CocoRosie released their second album, Noah's Ark, in 2005. The album includes collaborations with Antony Hegarty from Antony and the Johnsons, Devendra Banhart and French rapper Spleen. Its cover, a drawing by Bianca of three unicorns having sex while one of them vomits, was selected by the Guardian and Pitchfork Media as one of the worst album covers of all time. The sisters' third studio album, The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn, was produced by Valgeir Sigurðsson, Björk's longtime collaborator, and released in 2007.
Over the course of the last two years CocoRosie have recorded their new album, Grey Oceans, in various places all over the world. The new band member Gael Rakotondrabe, a jazz pianist from Reunion Island who grew up playing Creole music, became their kindred musical spirit and creative partner in many of the songs on this album. His willingness to try anything in the realm of sound has allowed for an explosive alchemy in collaborative song writing, leading to the completion of the new album - to be released in April - with little trace of the ocean disco from which CocoRosie embarked.
OH Productions is proud to present this short UK tour – the group's first since 2007.
Director Chris Cunningham’s work in music video, commercial and video art are well known and loved. Cunningham first made a name for himself in the early 1990s in the art departments of major motion pictures, designing robots and creatures for Clive Barker and David Fincher. His work on Judge Dredd propelled him, in the mid-1990s, to being head-hunted by the late Stanley Kubrick for his then-unfinished project A.I., which was picked up by Steven Spielberg.
While working with Kubrick, Cunningham directed his first music video, Autechre’s Second Bad Vilbel. Then, in 1997, Chris Cunningham directed the orgiastic mind-fuck known as Come to Daddy, a video that landed him squarely on the radar of every artist on the planet. Over the next two years he directed seven commercials and six more music videos - including Björk's All Is Full of Love and Madonna's Frozen.
In 2000 Cunningham directed two short films for the Anthony d’Offay Gallery titled flex and Monkey Drummer. Those works showed a very modern and hyper-realistic take on the world. In 2005 Cunningham released Rubber Johnny, a six-minute short that showed just how disturbing a vision Chris has. It came released with a book whose photos are definitely unsafe for work. Since then, the Englishman has helmed a video for garage rock band the Horrors. He also famously attempted an adaptation of William Gibson’s cyberpunk novel Neuromancer, as well as an adaptation of the comic RanXerox. He is reportedly currently working on one or more feature films.
OH Productions, Now Wave and The Warehouse Project are proud to present this special live show, which sees Chris combine his own and remixed music with brand new and unreleased videos to create a hugely anticipated multimedia experience.
One of the most important progenitors of rap music, Gil Scott-Heron's aggressive, no-nonsense street poetry inspired a legion of intelligent rappers while his engaging songwriting skills placed him square in the R&B charts later in his career, backed by increasingly contemporary production courtesy of Malcolm Cecil and Nile Rodgers (of Chic). Born on April Fool's Day 1949 in Chicago but transplanted to Tennessee for his early years, Scott-Heron spent most of his high-school years in the Bronx, where he learned many of the experiences that later made up his songwriting material. He had begun writing before reaching his teenage years, however, and completed his first volume of poetry at the age of 13. Though he attended college in Pennsylvania, he dropped out after one year to concentrate on his writing career and earned plaudits for his novel, The Vulture.
Encouraged at the end of the 1960s to begin recording by legendary jazz producer Bob Thiele - who had worked with every major jazz great, from Louis Armstrong to John Coltrane - Scott-Heron released his 1970 debut, Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, inspired by a volume of poetry of the same name. Most important on the album was The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, an aggressive polemic against the major media and white America's ignorance of increasingly deteriorating conditions in the inner cities. Scott-Heron's second LP, 1971's Pieces of a Man, expanded his range, featuring songs such as the title track and Lady Day and John Coltrane. With Thiele's Flying Dutchman Records until the mid-1970s, he signed to Arista soon after and found success on the R&B charts. Though his jazz-based work of the early 1970s was tempered by a slicker disco-inspired production, Scott-Heron's message was as clear as ever on the Top 30 single Johannesburg and the number 15 hit Angel Dust. Silent for almost a decade, after the release of his 1984 single Re-Ron, the proto-rapper returned to recording in the mid-1990s with a message for the gangsta rappers who had come in his wake; Scott-Heron's 1994 album Spirits began with Message to the Messengers, pointed squarely at the rappers whose influence - positive or negative - meant much to the children of the 1990s.
In 1978, long-time collaborator and the de facto leader of Scott-Heron's Midnight Band Brian Jackson departed, leaving the musical direction of Scott-Heron's career in the capable hands of producer Malcolm Cecil, a veteran producer who had midwifed the funkier direction of the Isley Brothers and Stevie Wonder earlier in the decade. The first single recorded with Cecil, The Bottle, became Scott-Heron's biggest hit yet, peaking at number 15 on the R&B charts. Producer Nile Rodgers of Chic also helped on production during the 1980s, when Scott-Heron's political attack grew even more fervent with a new target, President Ronald Reagan. (Several singles, including the R&B hits B Movie and Re-Ron, were specifically directed at the President's conservative policies.) By 1985, however, Scott-Heron was dropped by Arista, just after the release of The Best of Gil Scott-Heron. Though he continued to tour around the world, Scott-Heron chose to stop recording. He did return, however, in 1993 with a contract for TVT Records and the album Spirits.
Not since Johnny Cash bumped into Rick Rubin have we been so excited about a comeback record. In what will surely be regarded as one of this year's best albums, Gil Scott-Heron's I'm New Here is a project that's been four years in the making - ever since XL boss Richard Russell tracked him down at Rikers Island prison and offered to produce a new LP. The result is an album that touches on many genres, from hip hop and gospel to dubstep and blues. Above all, though, is the unmistakable sound of Gil Scott-Heron. His is a voice that suits age, be that on the feral blues of New York Is Killing Me or the redemptive, folk-flavoured title track.
OH Productions, Now Wave and Wotgodforgot are very proud to present this rare Manchester appearance.
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble are an eight-strong cohort of horn-playing brothers (plus one unrelated drummer) who take their stylistic cues from jazz, funk, hip-hop and strains of world music. They started out playing on the streets of America's cities, selling their self-released CDs and gradually building a loyal following and an international profile.
The youngest of some 23 children, the brothers are the offspring of different mothers, but are all sons of jazz trumpeter and composer Kelan Phil Cohran (a member of Sun Ra's Arkestra and co-founder of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians). They all grew up together in Chicago, watching their father rehearse with his band Circle of Sound, playing together in the Phil Cohran Youth Ensemble and later writing rhymes as the rap group Wolf Pak.
Following the death of one of their elder brothers, which shook the family and prompted some of its farther-flung members to return to their home town, the brothers, then mostly in their teens, began to coalesce into a more focused group. They started setting up on Chicago's streets and in El stations to perform their original, collectively developed compositions, which call to mind the sound of traditional New Orleans big-band jazz and nod to the avant-garde angularity of their father and his contemporaries, but are equally informed by the rhythmic drive and accessible simplicity of hip-hop. Later, they began recording and self-releasing CD-Rs, beginning with 2004's Flipside (aka Orange) and 2005's Jupiter (Green). The band's early releases all feature the same cover photograph and eponymous title, so they're referred to by the colour of their sleeves and the names of key tracks, which eventually sold hundreds of thousands of copies entirely through self-promotion.
After relocating to New York City, touring worldwide and gigging with the likes of Mos Def and Erykah Badu, they caught the ear of Honest Jon's Records' Alan Scholefield while playing on the street in London, thereby initiating a fruitful partnership that resulted in several single releases and a handful of live and recorded collaborations (including a session with Afro-beat legend Tony Allen and dates supporting Blur including one at their Hyde Park show last year). In 2009 Honest Jon's issued their first widely available full-length: yet another self-titled album, primarily featuring re-recordings of their earlier material, along with renditions of Moondog's Rabbit Hop and their father's Alyo. Last year also saw the band take to the stage at some of the UK's most high-profile festivals, including Glastonbury and The Big Chill, and make a breath-taking appearance on Later with Jools Holland.
Joining them for this short run of shows* will be The Souljazz Orchestra. When a band is so named, there is a certain expectation to uphold that name and to provide a sound that accompanies such a title; this band accomplishes just that and more. Hailing from Ottawa, The Souljazz Orchestra combine jazz, funk, African and Latin music while touching on politics and spirituality. Think James Brown meets up with Tito Puente and they all hook up to jam at Fela Kuti’s house.
The Souljazz Orchestra's versatile sound is in part due to the diverse musical backgrounds of the bands individual members: jazz, funk, blues, reggae, classical and traditional Cuban, Brazilian and West African percussion. The group are known for their captivating live shows and have collaborated with artists such as Beautiful Nubia and Mighty Popo, and have shared bills with Etta James, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and more.
* except Manchester
Playing a one-off UK performance at the intimate Dingwalls in London. Vieux Farka Touré is a Malian singer and guitarist - son of one of the African continent’s most internationally renowned musicians, Ali Farka Touré. Since his childhood, Vieux has been deeply inspired by the music of his father. Growing up in Mali - Vieux proved himself a precocious talent as a drummer and calabash player. Ali, however, grew concerned about his son’s future as he observed his son’s budding musical gifts. Having long suffered in the music industry himself, Ali did not want his son to have to have to face the same hardships. He forbade Vieux to play music and decided that Vieux should become a soldier instead.
In 1999, Vieux - now a young man - decided to take his destiny into his own hands. He enrolled in the National Arts Institute in Bamako, openly defying his father’s wishes. It was there that Vieux truly discovered his musical calling, picking up the guitar and beginning to compose his own music. By the time he left the Arts Institute, he was already a locally celebrated guitar virtuoso, able to emulate almost perfectly his father’s playing.
Vieux’s debut solo album, released in 2007, features Ali and Toumani Diabaté on several tracks. Fondo, Vieux's newest effort, is more than a stirring mix of traditional instruments and modern production. More than a world music artist embracing the sounds of rock, it is the sound of a young man coming into his own.
Born Michael James Owen Pallett-Plowright, Owen Pallett is a singer/violinist from Toronto best known for his solo recordings as Final Fantasy. Classically trained from an early age, at 15 he started playing solo violin shows. As his musical interests shifted to indie pop, Pallett collaborated with a multitude of indie artists, including Jim Guthrie, Royal City, the Hidden Cameras, the Vinyl Cafe, Gentleman Reg, and Arcade Fire. As well as touring in various string sections in the mid-2000s, he was an active composer, writing arrangements for Arcade Fire’s groundbreaking Funeral and Neon Bible, along with albums for Fucked Up, Beirut, and the Last Shadow Puppets.
Despite being the go-to violinist for other artists and an avid remixer, Pallett’s primary focus remained his own work as Final Fantasy. Final Fantasy's debut album, Has a Good Home, was released on Tomlab in 2005 to a favourable reception – and gained further attention when a track was featured on an Orange television advertisement. His second album, He Poos Clouds, is 'an eight-song cycle about the eight schools of magic in Dungeons & Dragons' and consists entirely of arrangements for string quartet. The album claimed the first Polaris Music Prize – Canada's equivalent of the Mercury Prize.
In 2009, Pallett announced that he would no longer be using Final Fantasy as his moniker, to avoid confusion with Square Enix’s popular video game series by the same name. Plans were made to repackage his Final Fantasy back catalogue, and in January 2010, Owen Pallett released Heartland under his own name.
Tindersticks are one of the most original and distinctive British acts, standing apart from the indie scene that dominated the UK charts. Where their contemporaries are often direct and to the point, Tindersticks are obtuse and leisurely, crafting dense, difficult songs layered with literary lyrics, intertwining melodies, mumbling vocals and gently melancholy orchestrations. Essentially, the group filtered the dark romanticism of Leonard Cohen, Ian Curtis and Scott Walker through the bizarre pop songcraft of Lee Hazlewood and the aesthetics of indie rock. Though their music is often far from casual listening, Tindersticks have picked up a dedicated cult following, beginning with their eponymous 1993 debut album.
The origins of Tindersticks lay in Asphalt Ribbons, a Nottingham-based band that featured vocalist Stuart Staples, keyboardist David Boulter and violinist Dickon Hinchcliffe. All three members formed Tindersticks in 1992; the remaining members included guitarist Neil Fraser, bassist Mark Colwill and drummer Al Macaulay. In November of 1992, the band released their first single, Patchwork, on their own label Tippy Toe. Marbles followed early in 1993, as did A Marriage Made in Heaven - a collaboration with Huggy Bear's Niki Sin that appeared on Rough Trade's Singles Club. Following the release of the Unwired EP on Tippy Toe, the fledgling This Way Up signed the band.
Tindersticks' eponymous debut appeared halfway through 1993, earning rave reviews from most sections of the British press. By the end of the year, the album had won over most of the UK critics, and Tindersticks was named Album of the Year by Melody Maker. In 1994, Tindersticks released a single of John Barry's James Bond theme We Have All the Time in the World (On Her Majesty's Secret Service), a live album entitled Amsterdam, and a cover of Pavement's Here. In the spring of 1995, the group released their untitled second album, which featured cameos from Gallon Drunk's Terry Edwards and the Walkabouts' Carla Torgerson. Like its predecessor, it received rave reviews and appeared on nearly every Top Ten list for 1995. he group released another live album, Bloomsbury Theatre, in November of the same year.
In 1996, Tindersticks released the soundtrack to the Claire Denis film Nénette et Boni. The album was comprised of old songs, new songs and rearranged older material. A new version of A Marriage Made in Heaven, featuring vocals from actress Isabella Rossellini, was released a few months after Nénette et Boni. Their fourth effort, Simple Pleasure (1999), marked the band's most open-hearted release since their inception. A new deal with Beggars Banquet surfaced in the new millennium, and a replenished unity within the band was found on 2001's Can Our Love.... Later that year, Tindersticks provided the soundtrack to another Claire Denis film, Trouble Every Day. The proper follow-up to Can Our Love..., Waiting for the Moon, was released in 2003, while Staples embarked on a solo project in 2005 and went on to produce two albums. Hinchcliffe, Colwill and Macaulay left the group in 2006 - but the remaining Tindersticks (Staples, Fraser and Boulter) were joined by long-time associate Terry Edwards and a host of musicians in their return to the studio in 2007. The resulting album, The Hungry Saw, was released in 2008. Its follow-up, Tindersticks' eighth album proper, will be released in late January this year. It is entitled Falling Down A Mountain.
Support comes from Conor J O'Brien, aka Domino Recording Company's Villagers.
A 10-year anniversary is a time to reflect. In a relationship, it's a chance to recount the first date; to remember the awkward pauses and the eventual connection. For musicians, a 10-year anniversary is a time to look back on their first album and see how far they've come from those earliest recordings. The new Album Leaf album A Chorus of Storytellers marks the first decade for the group led by Jimmy LaValle. In those 10 years, LaValle has gone from initial improvised home recordings to now five complete studio albums, from opening slots to leading an incredible world-touring band to headlining the Metamorphose festival in Japan and performing at the Hollywood Bowl with the Incredible String Band. LaValle’s well-earned reputation as a crafter of impeccable sonic imagery even led to a critically acclaimed show at the Seattle International Film Festival where The Album Leaf performed a live score for the 1927 silent film Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans.
The Album Leaf's debut, An Orchestrated Rise to Fall, was recorded by LaValle and a friend in his bedroom, and though it launched his ethereal dreamscape sound, the album recording quality is thin and rough. In contrast, A Chorus of Storytellers is the perfect showcase for LaValle's skill as a recording artist. The album's 11 tracks are crisp, clean, flowing and beautifully complex. That the completion of A Chorus of Storytellers coincides with the 10th birthday of the first Album Leaf album - over three years on from the release of the last album (the late-2006 release Into the Blue Again) - can be chalked up to two unrelated, but important, events: LaValle's wedding, and his conquering a bad case of writer's block. 'I took about a year off after everything was said and done with Into the Blue Again,' LaValle admits. 'It was the longest period I've been inactive since I was 15 or 16 years old.'
While he gives himself a pass for time spent on milestones in his personal life, LaValle feels guilt about his bout with writer's block. Under pressure to create a divergent record that still carried The Album Leaf's signature ambiance, LaValle grew frustrated, and the songs subsequently came to him very slowly. He wondered, 'How do I stay fresh, realising that The Album Leaf has been around for so long and that a lot of people wouldn't give a new record a chance?' First, he had to cleanse his musical palate, recording and touring with indie rock supergroup Magnetic Morning, which includes Sam Fogarino from Interpol and Swervedriver's Adam Franklin. When he felt he had enough material, he returned to Bear Creek Studios in Woodinville, WA, the same studio where he created Into the Blue Again.
Support for this short UK tour comes from Morr Music's The Go Find.
The Magnetic Fields is the project of studio wunderkind Stephin Merritt. Merritt writes, produces, and generally sings all of their material, as well as plays many of the instruments, concocting a sort of indie pop synth rock. While the Magnetic Fields may draw upon the electronic textures of vintage acts like ABBA, Kraftwerk, Roxy Music with Eno, Joy Division, and Gary Numan, Merritt's vision is far more pointed toward the alternative rock underground. His songs are also far warmer and more pure pop-oriented than these reference points might lead you to believe, sounding at times like late 20th-century equivalents to Phil Spector or Brian Wilson.
Merritt had been recording on his own four-track from a very young age, but didn't issue the first Magnetic Fields album until 1990, when he was well into his twenties. The first pair of discs featured the choirgirl vocals of Susan Amway. On subsequent releases, Merritt handled the vocals himself in a deep croon not far removed from his European influences. The synth-pop quotient also became heavier, although Merritt has always taken care to mix in quite a few natural instruments with the electronic ones, often with the help of Claudia Gonson (percussion) and Sam Davol (cello, flute). The emphasis has always remained on the pop hooks and eccentric, romantically reflective lyrics rather than the bedrock synthetic rhythms and textures.
In addition to his work with Magnetic Fields, Merritt has involved himself in several side projects, the most notable being the 6ths' 1995 album Wasps' Nests album. Merritt sang only one track himself on this disc, for which he acted as composer/producer/multi-instrumentalist, employing singers like Barbara Manning, Dean Wareham (Luna), Lou Barlow, Georgia Hubley (Yo La Tengo), Chris Knox, and Robert Scott (the Bats) to handle the lead vocals. After releasing 1997's New Despair as the Gothic Archies, Merritt finally returned to the Magnetic Fields aegis for 1999's 69 Love Songs, released as both a trio of separate discs as well as a limited edition three-CD box set. Merritt spent the next few years releasing more side projects, including records from the Gothic Archies, Future Bible Heroes, the 6ths, as well as numerous soundtracks.
It wasn't until 2004 that Merritt and his Magnetic Fields finally got around to making i, a collection of songs that begin with the aforementioned vowel. Distortion followed in early 2008; shortly thereafter, Merritt set to work on an acoustic folk-influenced album, Realism, which comes out in January 2010. Whereas Distortion was an album of power-pop songs with heavily distorted guitars, in homage to the Jesus and Mary Chain’s Psychocandy, Realism finds Merritt drawing inspiration from late-60s/early-70s orchestral and psychedelic folk. Realism’s all-acoustic recording line up featured no electronic instruments, and used untraditional percussion instruments, ranging from tabla to tree leaves.
OH Productions is proud to present the Magnetic Fields' only northern date, and their first visit to Manchester since 2006.
It's one of the lost classics of the '60s, a psychedelic masterpiece drenched in colour and inspired by life, love, poverty, rebellion. The album is Cold Fact, and what's more intriguing is that its maker - a shadowy figure known as Rodriguez - was, for many years, lost too. A decade ago, he was rediscovered working as a menial day labourer in Detroit, Michigan. He was unaware that his defining album had become not only a cult classic, but for the people of South Africa, a beacon of revolution. Rodriguez recorded Cold Fact - his debut album - in 1969, and released it in March 1970.
But the album sank without trace, thanks in part to some of Rodriguez's more idiosyncratic behaviour, like performing at an industry showcase with his back to the audience throughout. When the follow-up, 1972's Coming From Reality, also sold poorly, Rodriguez called an end to his recording career. He'd never even played a proper gig. And he got on with life. Over the years, he turned his hand to local politics, gaining a degree in philosophy, factory work and eventually, hard labour.
As his music career became a memory, Rodriguez's legend was growing - on the other side of the world. In South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Cold Fact had become a major word of mouth success, particularly among young people in the South African armed forces, who identified with its counter-cultural bent. But Rodriguez was an enigma - not even the label knew where to find him - and his demise became the subject of debate and conjecture. Some rumours said he'd died of a drug overdose or burned to death on stage; Q magazine incorrectly printed that he shot himself in prison. Others said he was in a mental institution after murdering his girlfriend. Barring a couple of sold-out Australian tours in 1979 and 1981, nothing had been heard of him for almost 30 years.
But the tide began to turn in 1996 when journalist Craig Bartholemew set out to get to the bottom of the mystery. After many dead ends, he found Rodriguez alive, well, free and perfectly sane in Detroit, ending years of speculation. Rodriguez himself had no idea about his fame in South Africa (the album had gone multi-platinum, but Rodriguez has received not so much as a Rand in royalties), but a triumphant South African tour soon followed, filling 5,000-capacity venues across the country. A documentary named Dead Men Don't Tour: Rodriguez in South Africa 1998 was screened on national TV.
Now, Light In The Attic is set to commit Cold Fact and Coming From Reality to CD for an entirely new audience to find out why - halfway across the world - Rodriguez is spoken of in the same reverent tones as The Doors, Love and Jimi Hendrix.
OH Productions is proud to present three rare appearances from this forgotten legend.
This is the one we have been waiting for.
This seated show in the spectacular surroundings of Manchester Cathedral will not be forgotten in a hurry.
New album Veckatimest has yielded an unexpected mix of material that feels more confident, mature, focused – and most of all, dynamic. From songs like “Dory” (a gracefully psychedelic, ever-evolving work),“Ready Able” (a synth-y opus, and one of four songs that boasts string arrangements by composer Nico Muhly) and “Foreground” (a plaintive, vocal-driven send-off, and one of two songs to feature choral arrangements also by Muhly) to more resounding pop songs like “Two Weeks” (an other-worldly doo wop featuring backing vocals from Beach House’s Victoria LeGrand), Veckatimest is an album of the highest highs and lowest lows – an unbelievably diverse collection of songs that celebrates the strength of each band member, and the power of the whole. It was well worth the wait.
This event has been changed to accomodate a standing audience. More information about that here
Daniel Johnston has spent the past 20 years exposing his heart-rending tales of unrequited love, cosmic mishaps, and existential torment to an ever-growing international audience. He began his prolific musical career in the early 1980s, recording albums including 'Songs of Pain' and 'Yip Jump Music' in his parent's basement and self-releasing them on tape. His status as a cult icon has seen continual resurgence through the acclaim of the late Kurt Cobain, collaboration with Butthole Surfers and Sonic Youth, and covers of his music by artists such as Tom Waits, M Ward, Eels, Bright Eyes and Flaming Lips. He was recently the subject of a documentary: 'The Devil and Daniel Johnston.'
We are excited to be using the Great Hall in Manchester Town Hall for the Manchester leg of this short tour. The venue, which is seldom used for concerts, really is something special - click here to view it.
After last year's all-star show at in The O2 Arena, Daniel returns to the intimate location of his critically acclaimed 2007 performance, Union Chapel in London. ( Now Sold Out - New show on sale )
We are delighted to welcome Mercury Prize nominee Laura Marling as special guest for these UK shows.
OH Productions is proud to present Final Fantasy. Toronto-based composition graduate Owen Pallett is the group's principal member, although for live performances he is often joined by a drummer and overhead projectionist. Pallett sings and plays violin into a sampler pedal, which then loops back musical phrases as he overlays additional parts simultaneously. The Guardian describes the resulting music as 'chamber folk'.
Final Fantasy's debut album, Has a Good Home, was released on Tomlab in 2005 to a favourable reception – and gained further attention when a track was featured on an Orange television advertisement. His second album, He Poos Clouds, is 'an eight-song cycle about the eight schools of magic in Dungeons & Dragons' and consists entirely of arrangements for string quartet. The album claimed the first Polaris Music Prize – Canada's equivalent of the Mercury Prize.
Pallett is also well known for his collaborations – including his orchestral arrangements for the Arcade Fire's Funeral and Neon Bible albums. He has also worked with The Pet Shop Boys, Mika, Great Lake Swimmers, The Last Shadow Puppets, Los Campesinos!, The Hidden Cameras, Fucked Up, Beirut and Grizzly Bear. Last year Pallett organised Maximum Black, a Europe-wide festival featuring Dirty Projectors, Frog Eyes, Alexander Tucker, Deerhoof and Six Organs of Admittance. In February this year, he performed with the Brooklyn Philharmonic at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Futuresonic and OH Productions proudly present Philip Glass. Simultaneously stirring and meditative, an evening of Philip Glass’ solo piano is a rare opportunity to experience this influential composer’s work firsthand. Debuting a program athat features his most recent Etudes for piano as well as classics in Glass’ repertoire, this concert provides a glimpse into the intricacies of the composer’s work in its most elemental form. Speaking from the piano bench, Glass personally introduces the program. An intimate and unique look at a visionary at work, this evening provides a fond reacquaintance for Glass fans and a perfect introduction for new audiences. This performance consists of original music composed for solo piano as well as a number of arrangements for organ or instrumental combinations. All the music comes from the period dating from 1976 to the present. “The most powerful composer of our time…what Glass is doing is changing the face of music for our time and all time.” The Daily Telegraph “No musician since Stravinsky has had so great an impact on the sound of music of his own time…his music remains as fresh and individual as ever…This program clearly demonstrated the reflective power of Glass’ music…The audience’s response was overwhelming." High Performance Presented in association with the Norfolk and Norwich Festival Academy of Music.