Beck: Song Reader Live

A stellar cast of artists performs Beck's unique album Song Reader

4 July 2013 / 20:00

£20 - 35

£2 online booking fee, £3.50 telephone booking fee per transaction - click here for more information on booking fees

This event is now sold out - please come and queue for returns at the Ticket Desk this evening

Please note that this event will now start at 8pm. Interval is 9.15-9.35pm and the concert is due to end at approximately 11pm.

An eclectic mix of high profile musicians comes together for a very special night of live music, in which they perform Beck Hansen’s unique album Song Reader.

The star-studded line-up of artists taking turns on stage includes: Beck himself; Pulp frontman and solo artist Jarvis Cocker, Glasgow’s finest Franz Ferdinand, singer-songwriter Beth Orton, French icon Charlotte Gainsbourg, Joan Wasser aka Joan As Police Woman, Villagers front man Conor J O’Brien, acoustic indie trio The Staves, indie mavericks Guillemots, soul stylist Michael Kiwanuka and singer-songwriters James Yorkston and The Pictish Trail, with more to be announced.

At the heart of the evening will be a specially-assembled house band featuring Seb Rochford (drums), Tom Herbert (bass), Dave Okumu (guitar), with music direction by Ed Harcourt and David Coulter.

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 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.

In the lead up to, and at the event, the Barbican and Faber Social will celebrate the life of Beck’s Song Reader so far, with an exhibition of the artwork and a presentation of a selection of some the very best amateur interpretations of the songs.

FreeStage, 6.45pm

Come down early and see some of the best interpretations of Beck's songs by local artists.

Presented by London-based songwriter Sam Mumford and Bellatrix from the Boxettes, the FreeStage acts will include poetry, dancehall, dub step and Gambian folk music, representing the sound of London - all performances inspired by Song Reader from local community members of all ages.

Plus special guest Olivia Chaney, Fofoulah & Andrew Plummer. To hear other people's interpretations of Beck's Song Reader or upload your own visit

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This event is part of:
Contemporary Music concerts

Produced by the Barbican in association with Faber Social and Glenn Max Events

Barbican Contemporary Music
London’s home to the boldest new jazz, world, folk, contemporary classical, rock, pop & electronic music from across the globe.


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