Returning to Manchester to release his third album Peach is Alabaster DePlume, the man described as ‘harrowingly funny’ (CityLife), ‘hypnotising’ (Simple Folk) and ‘quite unlike anything you’ll have heard before’ (Bristol Post). Long-time collaborators John Ellis and Paddy Steer join him in a theatrical performance of music likened to Leonard Cohen and Ethiopian Jazz. Their album was made using smart phones, analogue tape, a cabin in the highlands and a great banquet in the ex-Belgian embassy. Saxophone, percussion, lapsteel, keyboards, strings and spoken word deliver a project featured previously on Radio 3’s Late Junction and celebrated in Manchester and around the country as unique and genuine.
Main support comes from Avital Raz. A woman trained in classical and Indian Dhrupad singing whose lyrics unabashedly brandish sex, politics and the subject matter of her whim. Shrieking, grumbling or soothing, her disciplines never lose step behind sincerity. As unusual as her performance style may be, the emotion she puts into it, and the feelings she evokes, are very familiar indeed. The Herald in Scotland has said her work is ‘likely to be one of the most compelling things you hear all year’.
Opening the show is Pascal Makonese. The storied Zimbabwean multi-instrumentalist brings all kinds of trouble, generally from the bottom of his soul, wherever he goes. Either with his m’bira, or someone’s piano, maybe your guitar, or the corner of the bench. The trouble he brings is rarely easy, but it’s always true, and good, and tends to leave you feeling more yourself. If you’re really lucky, he’ll bring it with his singing, and this is what he’s agreed to do for us, tonight. ‘This is not broken English,’ he sings, ‘this is broken hearts, Lord.’
The Wonder Inn is a new venue and creative space within a listed building on Shudehill in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.