While the United States was celebrating its Independence Day on July 4, Beck was in London liberating his Song Reader material from a format with a much longer history. He performed his sheet-music album live in full for the first time, joined for a concert at the Barbican by Jarvis Cocker, Franz Ferdinand, and Beth Orton. Also on hand were Charlotte Gainsbourg, Joan as Police Woman, Villagers' Conor J O'Brien, the Staves, the Guillemots, Michael Kiwanuka, James Yorkston, and the Pictish Trail. Ed Harcourt and David Coulter provided musical direction. Fireworks!
Watch the full ensemble perform finger-snapping, playfully sinister finale "Rough on Rats" above, and check out several other clips below. For more, visit video uploader LondonRocks2008's YouTube page.
Beck has recently unveiled two new non-album singles, "Defriended" and "I Won't Be Long." Although the London gig marked the sheet-music album's first full live performance, Beck performed Song Reader's "Sorry" and "Heaven's Ladder" earlier this year in Santa Cruz, California. There's a Beck acoustic record on the way, and also reportedly an official studio follow-up to 2008's Danger Mouse-produced Modern Guilt.
"Don't Act Like Your Heart Isn't Hard"
"Do We? We Do" (feat. Joan Wasser, Conor J. O'Brien)
"Why Did You Make Me Care?" (feat. Jarvis Cocker)
"Just Noise" (feat. Charlotte Gainsbourg)
"Rough on Rats" (feat. full ensemble)