Featuring live music from Sean O’Hagan, Seikou Susso, Bethany Kay, The Happy Couple and John Row! £5 on the door. Part of Digbeth First Friday. Albert‘s delicious South African Ubuntu Bakery & Foods on sale too, you lucky things.
Sean O’Hagan’s work with the High Llamas seems to channel something of the Beach Boys and Brazilian new wave. His comeuppance? To be invited to collaborate by Brian Wilson and Tropicalia, with all the concomitant obstacles and entanglements. Before High Llamas he brought his harmonic sophistication to Microdisney and Stereolab, and is in demand as an arranger for many and sundry, including Super Furry Animals. In Tokyo record shops there are racks dedicated to his work and for the global cognoscenti he is a cult.
The Happy Couple met on a replacement bus service in East London nearly twenty years ago and they honed their craft in nearby Epping Forest, preferring that ambience to the cloistered studio. In this seemingly gentle and harmonious forest is heard the sylvan sound of Judith Goodman’s tenor guitar’s melodious avian song, underpinned by the insect sturm und drang of the jew’s harp of David Ross, its rhythmic pressure and release lending unforeseen connotation to the evolving tune. Be not afeard, the forest is full of noises.
Bethany Kay, known for her work with The Nature Centre and Kate Goes, is joining us for a solo set, promising an exciting new experience for Beth’s fans.
Originally from Sukuta Nanie in the Gambia, Seikou Susso comes from a family of griots or jalibas who are experts on the West African harp, the kora, and keepers of Mandinka histories. Having performed extensively internationally, he has played for Nelson Mandela, awoken the fields of Glastonbury and festivalled with the folk of Moseley.
There will be an extra guest appearance by John Row, first storyteller in residence in a British prison, ready to perform some of his poetry for us.
Poster by Naomi Oppenheim