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Barbican announces The Magnetic Fields perform 69 Love Songs plus Oysterband and June Tabor

Magnetic Fields sit in a glowing red room

Photo by Marcelo Krasilcic

The Magnetic Fields

Beloved American pop band The Magnetic Fields return to the Barbican to perform their iconic triple-album 69 Love Songs in full over two nights this summer.  

Released in 1999, 69 Love Songs is, as the title suggests, a concept album of 69 songs about love, written by composer and singer Stephin Merritt. Conceived originally as a cabaret song cycle for the stage, Merritt set out to write 69 Love Songs using most of the known popular music styles, from punk to country to soul and jazz. At its release, the album earned top-10 kudos from most major publications, and in 2023 was listed as one of Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". For this special 25th anniversary concert, Merritt will be joined at the Barbican by musicians Sam Davol, Shirley Simms, Chris Ewen, and Anthony Kaczynski. Audiences will be treated to an intimate, orchestral-pop experience filled with Merritt's wit and humour, featuring cello, ukulele, guitars and keyboards.  

The Magnetic Fields are the music of songwriter-producer-instrumentalist Stephin Merritt, who lives and records in New York City. Adept at computer music programming and production, Merritt records his own albums and plays many instruments on them, along with help from his band mates. Merritt has released 12 Magnetic Fields albums to date, including the triple album 69 Love Songs and a 2017 autobiographical 5-LP recording, 50 Song Memoir. For more information on Stephin Merritt and The Magnetic Fields, visit 

Please note that 69 Love Songs will be performed over the course of two nights: 35 songs will be performed on Sat 31 Aug, and the remaining 34 songs on Sun 1 Sept. 

Produced by the Barbican in association with Bird on the Wire
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Oysterband and June Tabor

Oysterband, one of the UK’s foremost folk-rock bands, is joined by long-time collaborator English folk singer and songwriter June Tabor for one of their last performances together at the Barbican - before hanging up their travelling shoes and bringing their unique partnership to a worthy conclusion.  
Oysterband started out as a noisy, politicised Ceilidh band in the late 1970s and have never stopped evolving to soundtrack the changing times. This tour marks the culmination of 45 years on the road for the legendary Canterbury collective. As well as June Tabor, with whom they have collaborated on such critically acclaimed projects as 1990’s cult classic album Freedom and Rain (Cooking Vinyl) and 2011’s Ragged Kingdom (Topic Records), Oysterband include anarchist punks Chumbawamba and American folk duo The Handsome Family among their collaborators.   
The evening at the Barbican promises a tour de force of the group’s fiery, soulful sound, their exploratory spirit and close attention to craft. The show will feature John Jones (vocals, melodeon), Ian Telfer (violin, keyboard), Alan Prosser (guitars), Sean Randle (drums, percussion), Al Scott (bass, mandolin) and Adrian Oxaal (cello, guitars), with June Tabor (vocals).  
Produced by the Barbican  
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