Orlando Weeks, frontman of the Ivor Novello Award-winning band The Maccabees, will join us onstage to perform recent work, including material from his illustrated music-book The Gritterman, which gained widespread critical acclaim in 2017; it’s a bittersweet story about stoicism, dignity and an elderly man leaving behind the work that he loves – themes explored in this concert. Weeks will also perform a new music, prepared especially for the choir and this show.
“We’re thrilled to host our own concert at Southbank Centre for the first time – Queen Elizabeth Hall is one of our favourite venues in London and the new multi-million pound refurbishment means the acoustics are absolutely excellent! We’re very excited!” says London Contemporary Voices co-founder and director Anil Sebastian (himself recently awarded the prestigious PRS Momentum Fund). “This is a serious show, addressing some powerful themes in relation to mental health, wellbeing and the human condition. The Living Words project in particular highlights the absolute fragility of everything we think we know- as part of an Arts Council funded project I have been working in care homes in Kent talking to elderly people who are suffering from a dementia. As part of an established scheme, new poetic works are being written from the accounts of these people and I am working with LCV singers to turn these words into new music. The voices of an underrepresented and potentially isolated group of people will be heard in a new context by a large audience. The working has been challenging and extremely humbling.”
“We are also thrilled to be working with Orlando Weeks again after such a successful show at the Union Chapel last year for The Gritterman Live. Themes of dignity in older age run throughout his book – it’s an important subject and one that the world needs to think about more seriously as the global population ages.”
Over 500 tickets for the concert have already been sold and the show is expected to sell out! Get tickets now!
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LONDON CONTEMPORARY VOICES
London Contemporary Voices is renowned for its work with pioneering artists - including 17 Grammy winners and nominees - and is regularly seen at festivals across the UK, as well as TV and Radio. The choir has worked with diverse artists including U2 (BBC TV Special Live From Abbey Road), Andrea Bocelli, Alt-J, Basement Jaxx, Laura Mvula, James Bay and Eska. The choir is in high demand after a string of recent successes which include featuring on Elbow’s UK No. 1 album Little Fictions and Deaf Havana’s top ten album Rituals; performing on the Main Stage at Bestival; soundtracking Burberry’s Feb 17 campaign; and releasing a cover “Praise You” by Fatboy Slim, recorded with artist Hannah Grace at Metropolios Studios (as featured on the current filmic TV ad for Lloyds Bank). This year the choir has worked a variety of artists, from the biggest-selling classical singer of all time Andrea Bocelli to rock band Deaf Havana for a live BBC broadcast from Reading Festival’s Radio 1 stage. The choir has also been working with singer-songwriter Roo Panes and producer Chris Bond (Ben Howard) for Panes’ latest album and a show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
Orlando Weeks is best known as the lead singer of indie band The Maccabees. At the height of their fame The Maccabees played The O2 Arena, had a top 4 album, won an Ivor Novello and were also nominated for the Mercury Prize. When the band split in 2017 they sold out three dates at Alexandra Palace.
In 2017 Weeks released a self-illustrated book called The Gritterman, with an accompanying audio version and beautiful soundtrack (narrated by comedian Paul Whitehouse, of Harry Enfield fame). A group of LCV singers sang at The Gritterman live show with Orlando at Union Chapel in December 2017 - the show sold out in one day and received glowing reviews from The Telegraph, The Times and Drowned In Sound.
This stylish new art-pop duo are winning support from the likes of Clash Magazine and The 405. The London-based Karl Zine and Nai Jannson started releasing music last year and quickly started to pick up steam with support from Spotify’s coveted New Music Friday playlist, Apple Music’s New Fire playlist and a heap of radio play from BBC Introducing and Soho Radio. Through the handful of singles they’ve released to date the pair have already cultivated a reputation as creators of expressive and enlivening electronic pop music. LCV singers filmed a beautiful session video with RINNGS earlier this year and three singers also joined the band at Abbey Road Studios to record with the band. June saw the release of their debut EP Glorious, a collection of enigmatic and soulful tracks that caught the eye of the BBC once again, including Phil Taggart on Radio 1 and a spree of air-time across BBC 6 Music. RINNGS are currently a featured act in the current M-Magazine, from PRS For Music.
Living Words is an art and literature charity established in Folkestone, Kent, in 2007. The organisation conducts residencies in care and nursing homes, community settings, arts centres, day centres, libraries, theatres and hospitals. Living Words writers and artists receive training which allows them to work co-creatively and one-to-one with people experiencing a dementia and isolated and disempowered people; enabling participants’ ‘in-the-moment’ experience to be heard by others. The charity runs bespoke staff workshops to support their creative expression and embed use of the Living Words books. Living Words has received Arts Council Funding for a group of singers from London Contemporary Voices to be trained in the specialist methodology and turn some of its poems into original choral music under LCV’s Director Anil Sebastian.