Sean O’Hagan (The High Llamas, Stereolab), recently wrote and put on a musical narrative, featuring new music from The High Llamas and character monologues surrounding the Southern London area of Peckham. The end result was marvellous. The music blended in perfectly with the tales from the 6 characters and was followed up by a brief set from the Llamas playing a couple of new tunes and some old favourites.
The play was put on at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London’s West End. It ran from the 20th-25th of October. The quaint atmosphere and small crowd was a perfect setting for Sean to tell his stories through fantastic performances. If you were lucky enough to find the show in this well hidden theatre you were treated to an event fitting of Sean O’Hagan’s laid back, smooth folk sounds as put to stage play.
The monologues were well written and superbly acted as they portrayed a day around a couple of temp girls that come in contact with everyday residents in Peckham. Each delivered their piece about something lost, something to lament, yet still about the peacefulness that can still be found when looking backwards. All of them searching trying to find that peace. At the conclusion of each monologue was a song fit to tie in to the theme and narrative of each unique character. It’s now been two weeks and I still have the rattling trees stuck in my head. “Here come the rattling trees. Don’t mention my name. Don’t mention my name.”
Hope can be had that this will see a broader light of day either through radio plays or perhaps a digital recording of the whole narrative. If you don’t want to miss out, and I assure you, you do not, go to The High Llamas website and ask for it. It doesn’t have to live for a few short nights. Go forth and support this type of art however you can. You won’t regret it. Once you hear the music and the stories together it will further enhance the way you listen to the back catalogue of The High Llamas as well.