Posts Tagged ‘vocalorchestra’

pics and video: vocal orchestra on greenbelt mainstage

This was our last festival show of an amazing summer


Was lovely to play on the mainstage


The Vocal Orchestra smashed it!


Here’s a little video of us in our masterclass earlier that afternoon

Shlomo and The Vocal Orchestra from Greenbelt Festival on Vimeo.

Shlomo’s Glasto Diary ’09 – part 1 – the Vocal Orchestra

Part one of Shlomo’s Glastonbury diary featuring his beatbox choir THE VOCAL ORCHESTRA, plus JARVIS COCKER, IMOGEN HEAP, DJ YODA and MARCUS BRIGSTOCKE.

Part two is out next week!

Video by

New commission: Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra

I’m so excited to announce that Southbank Centre have commissioned Anna Meredith and myself to write a new classical work entitled Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra.

Anna Meredith (who you might have seen recently on TV teaching Goldie how to write orchestral music) is one of the UK’s hottest up and coming composers – she has written two BBC Proms and last year was commissioned for the Last Night of the Proms.

Our new piece will be performed on February 19th and 20th 2010 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall with a specially created 20-piece orchestra, plus the Vocal Orchestra (my 8-piece beatbox choir) embedded within the ensemble.

This will be a challenging modern classical work recognising the human voicebox as a musical instrument in its own right, and also a chance to create the first full notation for beatboxers.

I’ll be blogging and tweeting throughout the whole process, and all the latest info, photo, video, blog posts and links to buy tickets can be found on the Concerto’s project page.


Womad festival at Charlton Park was INSANE this year.

Malmesbury Beatbox Allstars
The Malmesbury Beatbox Allstars: We opened the festival mainstage on the Thursday night with a group of 20 local schoolkids who had been learning beatboxing.

Womad 09 - Shlomo and the Vocal Orchestra

quite a big crowd had gathered for our ‘workshop’ on Saturday afternoon but we still got some kids up to learn some beatboxing

Shlomo and the Vocal Orchestra
Saturday night and the VO gather their wits before the headline slot in the Siam tent

Womad 09 - Shlomo and the Vocal Orchestra

the crowd was scarily big before we went out.. they were tripping because Peter Gabriel overran on the mainstage and we had to wait for him to finish… they were chanting and slow clapping.. adrenaline fest!!
Womad 09 - Shlomo and the Vocal Orchestra
The VO were on ridiculous form…

Womad 09 - Shlomo and the Vocal Orchestra
It was amazing, easily show of the year so far!!!!

very end of our set

bacon and scrambled eggs!!
shlomo the chef… bacon and scrambled egg sarnies all round at the campsite… rock and freakin roll.. cannot wait for next year… but next up it’s the big chill festival….. yay!

Latitude 2009

On the way to latitude, we stopped off at Skyfest to perform with the newly formed Sky Choir. This was their first gig (at a festival for 7000 soaking wet sky employees!) and they were great.

Next morning, we were up early to record for BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends with Clive Anderson. It was Eerie walking round the Latitude festival site at 9am when not a soul was around.

Latitude Festival
We were playing on the tiny Outdoor Theatre Stage in the woods. It was rammed – the stage manager told us it was the biggest crowd the stage had ever had!

Latitude Festival

Latitude Festival
The Vocal Orchestra get their Superman on

Latitude Festival


Latitude Festival
Jestar* is down with the kids

Latitude Festival
The next day it was over to the Film and Music stage where I was doing a show with Cape Farewell alongside my fellow Arctic explorers David Buckland, Marcus Brigstocke and Jarvis Cocker.

Latitude Festival
Me and Jarvis onstage

We ended with a version of Purple Haze. Latitude was great, next stop Womad!

my glastonbury

This year’s Glasto was one of the best yet. I ended up doing three shows and saw some incredible live music. My favourite bits were getting lost on random all night adventures and watching the sun come up over the site. We have video and podcast coming soon but in the meantime here are some pics from the weekend…. love from SHLO x


For our Saturday show on the Park Stage we had some special guests, completely unrehearsed as usual. We had a quick run-through up in the campsite because it was too noisy by the stage.


Park Stage was rammed... 10,000 people?? I've played there every year since it started three years back, really feels like home :)


First guest was supremely talented Imogen Heap who joined the Vocal Orchestra in an improvised circle jam


next up DJ Yoda battled the Vocal Orchestra whilst rocking some gangsta wellies


Then radio 4's Marcus Brigstocke did his best to strip Bellatrix of her crown (she recently became World Beatbox Champion). His beatbox donald duck was quite impressive but no match for her crazy "chicken drumming".


Last but not least was the legend that is Jarvis Cocker.. i can't believe i introduced him with 'his name starts with cock'.... someone shoot me


Jarvis was a last minute addition to the show after another guest had to pull out. He agreed to sing 'Fat Children' with us on condition that 3 of the vocal orchestra girls sang backing vocals for his headline set that night. Fair deal!


that night i did another show in the early hours... it was called Africa Express Soundsystem, where African musicians jammed with Europeans... it was amazing...

My highlights were dueting with Bashy, and jamming with an amazing fiddler whose solo was incredible until i accidentally stood on his lead, which pulled it out and it all ended with a painful crunch


Me and Imogen at sunrise


Sunday night was one of the biggest highlights for me... watching the prodigy headline the other stage... INCREDIBLE!

After the prodigy i got a call saying that Foreign Beggars were about to play in the Bassline Circus and did i want to jump up… it was a lot of fun being up with the beggars again as i’ve not played with them for years… then we raved out to some drum and bass in Shangri La until the sun came up and it was time to go home. Ah well only one more year till the next one!


Shlo gets 3D

‘slick theatrics’ in a purple cow

We had a fantastic (sold out!) three-night run at Udderbelly, the upside down purple cow theatre venue that seats 400 people. It was so much fun.

Standing ovation!

Standing ovation!

Shlomo & VO Udderbelly 04

We were trying out a new aspect to the Vocal Orchestra show, with a more theatrical style to it.. Over the next couple of years I’m planning to create a full theatre show, along the lines of something like Stomp, but using only the voice.

Shlomo & VO Udderbelly 02

The Evening Standard described the show as ‘slick theatrics’ which is amazing considering how little time we had to throw it together, with no budget whatsoever, just a lot of goodwill and talent! so big thanks to all who have been involved, and to those that came down to support. Cannot wait for phase 2!!!

Shlomo & VO Udderbelly 26

Shlomo & VO Udderbelly 27

Next stop GLASTO!

Shlo and Billy in front of the Cow

Shlo and Billy in front of the Cow

Shlomo and the Vocal Orchestra hit the festivals

In Summer 2009, Shlomo will be taking his collaborative performance series Music Through Unconventional Means to a UK festival near you.

He will appear with his incredible beatbox troupe the Vocal Orchestra at Glastonbury, WOMAD, Latitude and Greenbelt festivals.

Plus at both Glastonbury and WOMAD, they will perform specially extended collaborative sets, with top-secret superstar guests from across the musical spectrum.

MTUM @ Glasto 2008

More information about this summer’s festival appearances can be found on the events page.

Vocal Orchestra at the Big Chill

Homecut – I Don't Even Know ft Corinne Bailey Rae and Soweto Kinch out today on iTunes

Homecut is the project of a talented hip hop artist from the North, of England, Testament… he is also an indispensable member of our beatbox troupe ‘Shlomo and the Vocal Orchestra’.

Today is a big day is the first single is finally out! Features Grammy winner Corinne Bailey Ray and Mobo winner Soweto Kinch…… You can get it on iTunes for 79p or check out this taster!!

More info:

Shlomo and the Vocal Orchestra feature on Tweaker online magazine

Tweaker V 2.1.08 – Shlomo and the Vocal Orchestra
Shlomo and the Vocal Orchestra

Videos from the ‘Concert Against Knife Crime’ in HD

Jarvis and the Vocal Orchestra rehearse

Videos from Shlomo’s recent ‘Concert Against Knife Crime‘ are now online in HD. You can see Shlomo and the Vocal Orchestra collaborate with loads of stars including Jarvis Cocker, Teddy Thompson, Ashley Walters, Mutya Buena, Martina Topley-Bird, Cleveland Watkiss and Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, plus a hilarious beatbox battle between Bellatrix and comedian Marcus Brigstocke.

Here’s Jarvis singing ‘Fat Children’ with the Vocal Orchestra (with Bellatrix on bass!)…

Ashley Walters, Mutya Buena, Shlo and the VO:

Our group finale – wait for Jarvis’s skipdance!!!

Cleveland Watkiss – this guy smashed it… this was the FIRST TIME WE’D MET! ONSTAGE!!

Marcus Brigstocke vs Bellatrix – Beatbox BAttle

Vanessa Carlton:

Teddy Thompson and Shlo:

Behind the scenes

Big shout to Matt Wainwright for shooting and editing the videos!

BBC 6 Music – Jarvis and the beatboxers

BBC – 6 Music – Jarvis and the beatboxers.


hey.. what a crazy week.. the benefit show was incredible.. amazing end to the year.. my personal highlight was Jarvis’ scat-dance…we video’d the whole thing and will post up a full account with pics and youtube videos soon!

in the meantime here’s a pic of us performing at covent garden with the stunning xmas light installation by United Visual Artists.

Shlomo and the Vocal Orchestra at Covent Garden
photo by RJ Fernandez

Spitting distance – a photographic study

Nathan Gallagher says:

Here I get up close and personal with the eight members of Shlomo’s beatbox choir ‘the Vocal Orchestra’ who perform on Saturday 13 December at 7.30pm in Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Beatboxers’ technique often requires the musician to cover their mouth with their hand, both for technical reasons (it creates an air chamber when using a mic) and social ones (it avoids expectorating upon innocent bystanders).

On a visual level however, half the face is lost, an area used substantially in human communication. We hear these incredible sounds but have no idea how they’re produced leaving us with a sense of mystery and misunderstanding. By removing this barrier, the process is demystified, and, in turn, allows us to identify better with the musicians.

This has an underlying metaphor with youth culture relations in general – much understanding is lost through poor communication.

















Sold out QEH gig to be projected into foyer for FREE

Although the Concert Against Knife Crime is sold out, Southbank Centre will be projecting the concert live onto the big screens in the Front Room, with FREE ENTRY. Starts at 7.30pm this Saturday 13th December.

There’s another chance to see Shlomo and the Vocal Orchestra for FREE this Thursday as they perform at Covent Garden in a special performance interacting with United Visual Artists’ Xmas Installation. Check out a teaser here!

Guest artists at the Concert Against Knife Crime

We are pleased to announce some of the special guests at Shlomo’s benefit concert at the QEH on December 13th.

MUSIC THROUGH UNCONVENTIONAL MEANS: A CONCERT AGAINST KNIFE CRIME will feature beatbox artist SHLOMO and his VOCAL ORCHESTRA collaborating with over 13 diverse artists including JARVIS COCKER, MARTINA TOPLEY-BIRD, MARCUS BRIGSTOCKE, SEB ROCHFORD, VANESSA CARLTON and GET CAPE.WEAR CAPE.FLY plus young performers from local youth forum SE1 United and the BAC Beatbox Academy.


Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is supporting the performance saying: “Music and other creative activities can provide the much needed opportunities and motivation for young people to reach their potential and stay on the right track.  I am pleased to be able to support Shlomo’s event and I wish him well with his future outreach projects.”

There are only a few tickets left so get in quick! More information on the event page.

pics from birthday gig at qeh


We played at the QEH (sold out!) on Friday.. my birthday was on the Monday so I got to celebrate twice!

the new members of the vocal orchestra getting ready to go on

Fyfe and Shlo
I did a duet with Fyfe Dangerfield of the Guillemots.

I’ll stick up some audio on the podcast from the Fyfe collaboration soon (i’m currently going through all the audio from the arctic – got SO much quality stuff!!

Zani and Shlo duet
also did a duet with MC Zani (current national beatbox champion)

the new Vocal Orchestra on stage at QEH

Beatboxing out the candles
they brought me a birthday cake and made me ‘beatbox’ out the candles!!

taking a bow

Shlomo is a DJ
me DJing afterwards

It was my first ever DJ set, which i decided to do to celebrate my birthday and as an excuse to play a whole load of 90s classics. my mixing is awful though, so it was simultaneously the best and the worst dj set ever done.

BBC Radio studios

We went to the BBC for Radio 4’s Loose Ends.

Recording in the studio

A mini- Vocal Orchestra – Neo, Bellatrix, me and Billy

Afterwards we went to the pub with Clive Anderson and Bill Bailey. Loving it.

Listen again to Shlomo on Loose Ends

You can listen again to Shlomo’s appearance on Loose Ends on BBC Radio 4 on Saturday October 11th, 6.15pm – 7pm. The show is hosted by Clive Anderson, and also features Glen Cambell and Bill Bailey.

Shlo talks about beatboxing in the Arctic, the Vocal Orchestra gig on Friday 17 October, and performs live in the studio with a few of the choir.

last few qeh tickets!

only a few tickets left for brand new vocal orchestra at QEH… get in quick if you still want to come!! Also you’ll get to see my DJing debut in the foyer afterwards… will be bringing out some 90s classics!!!!

Buy tickets:

Shlomo and the Vocal Orchestra

Vocal Orchestra UK Tour announced

Shlomo and the Vocal Orchestra are the UK’s only beatbox choir.

After a festival run that included a two hour show at Glastonbury, the Vocal Orchestra hit the road in October for their first ever UK tour, kicking off at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on October 17th.

For full dates and ticket info please check out the events page.

Latest podcast episode out now – Glasto special

Episode 3 of Shlomo’s Babelbox Podcast is out now, and it’s a Glastonbury special.

The podcast includes a backstage audio diary following Shlomo’s performances on the main stage in front of tens of thousands of people, plus highlights from the two-hour show on Park Stage. Features music and interviews from DJ Yoda, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, Martha Wainwright, Martina Topley-Bird, Ed Harcourt and loads more.



Glastonbury diary – part 3

It’s 3pm. The show starts at 6. Emily Eavis has given us free reign of the Park Stage for two hours.

I’ve got the Vocal Orchestra and a heap of guest collaborators and I need to rehearse. We find a bar backstage with a decent soundsystem and get to it. Before I know it we are ready to go on, Park Stage is totally rammed!

The sun has come out and the people are smiling. Pavan from Foreign Beggars is helping me host the stage. I hear him saying my name followed by a cheer and next thing I know I am beatboxing to about 10,000 Glastonbury punters.

I kick it off with a short solo set to introduce the crowd to what I do. As I power up my looping setup, there is a loud popping noise followed by silence. I’m told that I have blown the generator for the entire Park Area. Oops. Now I am freaking out – so much work has gone into this show. This can’t be the end of it! The audience aren’t having any of it… they remain enthusiastic, singing and cheering until the power eventually comes back on. Phew!

No time to lose now, I skip straight to my drum n bass looping song to get everyone moving again, and then bring out the Vocal Orchestra. They are on fire today.

The Vocal Orchestra

What follows is a unique mish-mash of guest stars performing spontaneously. The music ranges from folk to jazz to hip hop to tabla to scratch battles to raucous sing-a-longs. If you would like to hear some of the music you will have to wait for the podcast – we did an audio diary of the whole weekend which will be out soon. There are some pics below, mostly taken by RJ Fernandez, more to come.

Martha Wainwright sang a version of ‘In the Middle of the Night’ with me on beats

Martina Topley-Bird sang ‘Police and Thieves’ by Junior Mervin with the Vocal Orchestra as backing band

DJ Yoda survived a scratch battle with Bellatrix!

Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly performed ‘Ghost Town’ by the Specials with the Vocal Orchestra

Ed Harcourt presented me with a fake diamond encrusted golden microphone onstage… I think he wanted me to look as bling as Jay-Z! Then he sang ’50 ways to leave your lover’

Me, Ed Harcourt, Pavan and Reverend from the Makers (these pics courtesy of BBC)

The other guests were Portico Quartet, Pete Lockett and Lemn Sissay.

It was a moving experience, I came off stage exhausted but happy – I felt like all the collaborations and musical experiences from the past year as resident at Southbank have armed me with all the tools I needed to rock a two hour improvised show. It was probably the best show I’ve ever done, certainly the most fun show I have been a part of. I can’t wait to do it again. Watch this space!

Vocal Orchestra T-Shirts onsale now

There are new ‘Shlomo and the Vocal Orchestra’ t-shirts available to buy now from the AFTM Shop, featuring specially commissioned artwork from illustrator/spy Eleanor Meredith.

Vocal Orchestra T shirt