Experience Daylight Music now:
Film by Geoff Wilson
DAYLIGHT MUSIC AT THE UNION CHAPEL:
A lazy Saturday afternoon with music, tea and cake
The new season runs every Saturday from January 16 until March 26, at the Union Chapel from midday.
Entrance is free (£5 donation suggested)
The most magical concerts in London are back, easing you into the weekend with live music, bacon sandwiches and a cup of tea. Enjoy three excellent bands each Saturday lunchtime in a fabulous setting; the Union Chapel is frequently voted one of London’s best music venues with its outstanding Gothic architecture and superb acoustics. Daylight Music has been building a loyal following over the past 6 years, thanks to its friendly, inclusive atmosphere, and its eclectic programme of intriguing and inspiring musicians.
It’s all woven together by curator Ben Eshmade, who picks his highlights from the forthcoming season:
“We had a record breaking season in 2015, and we’re delighted to be back. This season brings you shows bound with even more ideas, surprises and themes, like our time travel special and a celebration of all things Cornish. The Hangover Lounge are returning, after their hugely successful shows in the past, and they’ll be taking over Daylight Music at the end of January for a special gig, including an album launch from The Wave Pictures. Another first this season will a live set generated on an ipad app, thanks to the artist Ok Bertie!.
“There’s plenty of cinematic thrills this season; we kick off with a tribute to H.P. Lovecraft, featuring an actor from the Human Centipede series. And what links Downton Abbey and Avengers: Age of Ultron? It’s the fantastic Alex Mendham & His Orchestra, who’ve featured in both of them, and we’re thrilled they’re returning to Daylight Music. In fact, we have a particularly Fabulous February with all sorts of musical treats and silliness that will be extra special. As well as new acts, we’re welcoming old friends back to the Union Chapel’s stage, including what will be a surreal and fantastic set by J-pop heroes NO CARS. Finally, I still can’t quite believe that the wonderful Benni Hemm Hemm are coming all the way from Iceland to play for us.”
TIMETABLE FOR THIS SEASON:
January 16 – Strangelight: Strange Boy, Partikel + The Duke St Workshop with Laurence R. Harvey
January 23 – Time Travel: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Experience Ensemble, Roger Doyle + Ok Bertie!
January 30 – Hangover Lounge presents…: The Wave Pictures, The Leaf Library + Citizen Helene
February 6 – Arcadio, Michael Price and Peter Gregson + Dakota Suite
February 13 – Paperface, Jim Ghedi & Toby Hay + Dearbhla Minogue
February 20 – Alex Mendham & His Orchestra, Ben See + tbc
February 27 – Stick in the Wheel, NO CARS, + Alabaster de Plume
March 5 – Kernow In The Chapel: a Cornish celebration
March 12 – King Capisce + Jam Tarts Choir + tbc
March 19 – Arctic Circle 10th Anniversary Special: Benni Hemm Hemm , The Second Hand Marching Band + tbc
March 26 – Piano Day
FULL LISTINGS FOR THIS SEASON:
“Strangelight”: The Duke St Workshop with Laurence R. Harvey, Partikel + Strange Boy
Strangeness abounds at Daylight Music this week, with a splendidly unsettling start to the season.
Championed by Gideon Coe and Stuart Maconie, The Duke St Workshop are an electronic duo From Wigan making imaginary soundtracks primarily to cold cases from the late 1960’s to the present time. Taking in influences from Electronic Horror Scores, Krautrock, EBM, Library Music & Industrial Music the group explore the nature of Horror soundtracks and their relationship with reality. Their new album, “Tales Of H.P. Lovecraft” is a spoken word collaboration with established horror actor Laurence R. Harvey.
Partikel are regarded as one of the most forward looking groups on the European jazz scene. They’re three London-based musicians led by saxophonist Duncan Eagles, combining their various favourite musical elements to create a very particular sound of their own. Eagles is acclaimed as “one of the most exciting tenor saxophonists to appear on the UK scene since Denys Baptiste first emerged”, and Partikel’s music puts an interesting twist on the standard jazz format, whilst still honouring the tradition of deep harmony and creative improvisation. You may have seen Partikel’s latest album on the 2015 “Best Jazz Album” lists from the Telegraph and Marlbank; now hear them live at Daylight Music.
Rounding off the wondrous weirdness is Strange Boy, a fresh electronic act based in London. Melding the beautiful songwriting of Kieran Brunt with the intricate soundscapes of Matt Huxley, expect delicate melodic lines and crisp electronic textures wrapped up in soaring string arrangements.
“Time Travel”: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Experience Ensemble, Roger Doyle + Ok Bertie!
Prepare for a journey through space and time this week! The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Experience Ensemble are returning following their fabulous set last year. The Ann and Peter Law Experience Scheme gives talented young musicians a chance to perform with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and receive ongoing mentoring from OAE players. The scheme runs for one year, and begins with the OAE Academy – three days of intensive period instrument training. In this concert the musicians on the scheme perform together, by themselves, for the first time, just a few weeks after finishing the OAE Academy.
A Daylight first this week as Ok Bertie! performs his set using an ipad app, which you can also play with yourself and remix at home! Robert is a singer-songwriter, composer, and visual artist living in London. His eclectic style brings together pop with classical, jazz and world music. Since 2013 has been engaged on the London Symphony Orchestra’s Soundhub scheme and a range of other projects, with regular performances of his work at LSO St Luke’s in Old Street.
Roger Doyle’s album “Time Machine” has cemented his reputation as the godfather of Irish electronic music. He has worked extensively in theatre, film and dance, in particular with the musictheatre company Operating Theatre, which he cofounded. Recent work includes a series of soundtracks for imaginary films for the National Symphony Orchestra and The Crash Ensemble.
“Hangover Lounge presents…” The Wave Pictures, The Leaf Library and Citizen Helene
The Hangover Lounge return for another Daylight takeover, following the phenomenal success of their previous shows. This week, the wonderful The Wave Pictures are going to be launching their brand new, vinyl only album, “A Season in Hull”. The album was recorded on acoustic guitars in one room, with a bunch of their friends, live into one microphone on singer Dave Tattersall’s birthday, January 28th, 2015. The songs were written as quickly as possible and the recording captures that specific moment in all its spontaneous, thrilling and immediate glory. As Tattersall elaborates: “That’s what this is – a one-microphone happy birthday recording.”
The Leaf Library have just released their debut full-length album, “Daylight Versions”. The record is full of wonderfully woozy, drone-pop tunes about meteorology, the seasons and the incoming sea; from songs about the ghostly Suffolk coastline to the slowly rising waters of London marshes, these ten tracks channel the warm fuzz of Yo La Tengo, the spacious repetition of Talk Talk and Movietone’s seaside melancholy to beautiful effect.
Citizen Helene is a singer, songwriter and guitarist from London, hailed as “the love child of Karen Carpenter and Brian Wilson” by Word Magazine. Her blend of sunshine pop, psychedelic folk and jazz takes influence from the matrons of 60s pop, and combines plaintive guitar with lush harmonies. No Ripcord also loved her music, claiming she has “a wonderful voice and a real talent has been discovered’.
Arcadio, Michael Price and Peter Gregson + Dakota Suite
Electro-Salsa meets free improvisation; led by composer-improviser Andy Hall, Arcadio brings together London’s finest improvisers and percussionists to create a nomadic exploration of rhythm and movement. The result is a hypnotic music which blends the fierce energy of Salsa and Cumbia, the delicate unpredictability of improvisation and the cut of modern synths.
There’s also the intriguing combination of Michael Price and Peter Gregson. Michael is one of the UK’s most sought after composers, and his debut album Entanglement was described as ‘gorgeous’ by Rolling Stone, as ‘a neo-classical treat’ by Uncut, and Clash remarked that ‘the emotional clout of this music is quite staggering’. Peter Gregson is a cellist and composer who works at the forefront of the new music scene, and collaborates with many of the world’s leading technologists, including Microsoft Labs, UnitedVisualArtists, Reactify and the MIT Media Lab.
Dakota Suite create vast cinematic soundscapes, all of which sound like scenes from films. That’s no accident, as Chris explains: “I never pick up a guitar to consciously write a song, I only ever pick it up because something inside tells me if I don’t in response to a feeling I have or something have seen, that I will go mad.”. Inspired by a diet of Kiss, Bill Evans, Lee Morgan, David Darling and Arvo Pärt, Dakota Suite’s music has been internationally acclaimed. They only play a handful of shows each year, so make sure you see them at Daylight Music.
Paperface, Jim Ghedi & Toby Hay + Dearbhla Minogue
Paperface mostly works alone, in his lighthouse studio, where he has built up an analogue haven in the old lightroom. Lauren Laverne often played Paperface’s song “A Bigger Man” on her BBC6 Music show, describing it as “…beguiling… clever, sad, and really funny at the same time… I love this!”. The Big Issue and BBC Radio Wales have showered his debut album with praise, with the former calling it “a gorgeously rich slice of crystalline pop that evokes classic records”.
There’s glorious guitar music for 6 and 12 string guitar from Jim Ghedi & Toby Ray, playing solo and together. Highly respected guitarist Jim Ghedi has a focused, signature sound with a wide range of influences from African music, jazz and eastern European folklore. He’s appearing at Daylight Music with Toby Hay; a guitarist and composer from near Rhayader in Mid Wales who makes music inspired by the landscape, people and history of the area.
There’s also singer and guitarist Dearbhla Minogue, who plays with both The Drink and The Wharves. You might have seen some the amazing press that The Drink have been getting for their new album “Capital”; the Guardian praised Dearbhla’s “fingerpicking guitar lines contorting into gnarled shapes that echo Tom Verlaine and Richard Thompson”, and how her “airy voice spans a wide melodic range, her blank delivery drenched in reverb-heavy harmonies.”. Alexis Petridis also singled out “Capital” as the one album to hear this week, and The Drink have previously done a superb BBC 6 Music session.
Alex Mendham & His Orchestra, Ben See + tbc
Alex Mendham’s 13-piece Orchestra is a truly authentic Golden Age 1920s and 1930s British Dance Band. Formed in 2010, these young musicians have been stunning audiences all across Europe, performing with boundless passion and energy. They pay impeccable attention to period detail, not only in their music and vocals, but in everything from their original instruments to their hair and attire.
After holding a residency at the prestigious Savoy Hotel, Alex Mendham & His Orchestra follow in the footsteps of such hallowed Dance Band names as Carroll Gibbons and his Savoy Hotel Orpheans, and the Savoy Havana Band.
Ben See is a singer and composer from London, specialising in contemporary a cappella. His influences range from the scores of Benjamin Britten to Björk, via Brian Wilson and Bobby McFerrin. You might have heard his music on BBC Radio 3, BBC London and BBC 6 Music, where Tom Robinson hailed him as “definitely a man to watch… towers head and shoulders above everything else for sheer freshness and downright originality”.
No Cars, Stick in the Wheel + Alabaster de Plume
No Cars is a Japanese pop band formed and based in Hackney, London UK. The band consists of four Japanese girls (allegedly 17 years old, including a racoon). The themes of the songs include: TfL (Northern Line, 308), Filter Coffee, Sellotape, and Where is David Bowie?. No Cars’ gigs involve theatrical elements, and while they were a real sweetie band when they started, they’re now out of control. A mixture of rock, garage, gipsy, swing, jazz, calypso, punk, Punjabi… etc. with a Japanese pop twist.
Stick in the Wheel are a folk band from East London. Championed by John Kennedy (Radio X/Mercury judge) and fresh from winning fRoots Magazine’s 2015 Album of the Year, they’re “ripping apart the preconceptions surrounding folk music to retrieve the tender, beating heart at the centre of traditional English culture” (CLASH Music).
Alabaster DePlume (Gus Fairbairn), is a performer, writer and musician. Since 2011 he has produced three albums on Manchester label Debt Records, toured Europe as a solo performer, produced short films, and written/performed a play with circus-aerial in Dublin. He has also presented a series of combined-arts events, and his recordings are played on national radio, most recently described as “cheerfully uneasy” on Radio 3.
“Kernow In The Chapel”: a Cornish celebration
We have a Cornish themed Daylight on 5 March, featuring Cornish music and comedy, and even delicious pasties. This is the sister event to a big yearly celebration with Rich Mix
King Capisce, Jam Tarts Choir + tbc
King Capisce play a unique mix of Jazz and Cinematic/Alternative Rock music that takes in everything from Tortoise & Mogwai to Polar Bear and Jaga Jazzist. This five piece from Sheffield have been moving from strength to strength in recent years, gathering praise from The Guardian and Drowned in Sound. Tom Robinson, BBC 6Music, claims they’re “an exciting cross-genre talent, fusing jazz with other influences to create a sound that is unmistakably their own”, while they’re acclaimed as “absorbing, powerful, distinctive and beautiful” by Now Then Magazine.
Jam Tarts Choir will be making a riotous return to the Union Chapel stage. Starting out as a small group of enthusiastic amateurs a decade ago, the 60-piece, Brighton-based indie choir now pack venues out wherever they appear. The choir’s musically tight and emotionally powerful sound showcases director Li Mills’ unique and shimmering arrangements of songs.
“Arctic Circle 10th Anniversary Special”: Benni Hemm Hemm , The Second Hand Marching Band + tbc
This is the first of many epic celebrations for Arctic Circle’s 10th Anniversary; Benni Hemm Hemm are even coming all the way from Iceland to join the party! An afternoon of collaboration and joy, as they perform pieces from their recent album made with Glasgow’s The Second Hand Marching Band.
Sprawling anywhere between 15 and 22 people, The Second Hand Marching Band aim to create something that can’t be created by four of five people – a mixture of cacophony and beauty, dancing and stillness.
Daylight Music is delighted to join in the celebrations for this year’s Piano Day; watch out for plenty of piano highlights and delights, including lots of artists playing on a baby grand on the Union Chapel stage and piano duets. Launched in 2015, it’s a day for musical unity, as founder Nils Frahm explains: “Why does the world need a Piano Day? For many reasons, but mostly, because it doesn’t hurt to celebrate the piano and everything around it: performers, composers, piano builders, tuners, movers and most important, the listener.”
Daylight Music is for everyone, from babies through to grandparents. It’s very family friendly, with a buggy park and a drawing area for anyone – regardless of age – to enjoy expressing themselves. It’s the perfect place to introduce kids to live music, and you’ll often see toddlers boogying in the aisles.
Another gem is Daylight Music’s setting. The Union Chapel is an award-winning venue, frequently voted as one of London’s best loved places, with stunning architecture and superb sound. Cosy into a pew with a cup of tea, and grab a bacon roll, slice of quiche or homemade cake from the café; it’s run by the Margins Project so you’ll be supporting their valuable work helping the homeless while you enjoy your lunch.
The attention to detail is one of the things that makes Daylight so special, and even the intervals sound great. Perhaps you’ll hear a talented organist playing something out of the ordinary on the Chapel’s historic Henry Willis organ, which was built in 1877, or maybe there’ll be cinematic soundscapes on the piano, or a rising star of the music scene improvising something lovely on the guitar.
Daylight Music brings together amazing music, a magical, friendly atmosphere and handmade treats in one of London’s finest venues; it all adds up to the perfect way to spend a Saturday lunchtime.
Daylight Music takes place at the Union Chapel, Islington, from Midday.
Photo: Paul Hudson