demo

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Monqui presents

Oh Wonder

Ultralife Tour

7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show

$25 advance

All ages welcome

Oh Wonder

Oh Wonder

In an era in which pop careers require careful planning, Oh Wonder are an anomaly. They're a band formed by accident not design, a duo who didn't intend to play live but spent more than a year touring the world, and a major label act who never saw this being anything other than a DIY project.

Ultralife is both Oh Wonder's extraordinary second album and their debut proper. Its eponymously-titled predecessor, released in late 2015, was a collection of songs they had posted online at the rate of one a month, which millions of listeners fell in love with, turning London-based Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West into reluctant pop stars.

"We've never pushed this project," says Josephine. "It has always felt like it's pulling us along. We initially put our songs on Soundcloud hoping to pitch them to other artists. What happened next surprised us as much as anyone. Almost from the moment we began, we felt a connection with fans. We had both put out music before, but never had such a rapid response. We were anonymous at the time. Not even our friends knew what we were doing."

Classically-trained pianist and violinist Josephine was about to begin a career in law when she met Anthony, a producer and former member of a rock band, in a south London studio. He offered to produce some of her songs, but the moment they started working together, something clicked. Or as Anthony recalls it, "stars collided."

His background in arranging and production -- no less than the legendary Gil Norton had advised him to become a producer -- complimented her classical training and songwriting skills. Their voices in unison were spellbinding. They were better at writing lyrics together than they had been apart.

Three months in to their song-a-month challenge, they had established an international audience who were attentively awaiting new music on the first of each month. As their success snowballed, labels came calling, but they refused to sign. By the time some of their songs had racked up tens of millions of plays, the pair finally conceded that they were a band.

After self-releasing 15 of their songs as an album, Oh Wonder bowed to pressure to play live, booking just four shows -- in London, Paris, New York and L.A. -- planning to head straight back to the studio they'd built in a room at the bottom of Josephine's parents' garden. When all four gigs sold out within a week they were inspired to tour, ending up crossing the States several times, finding fans as far afield as South America, Australia, Russia and Asia. It culminated in 162 shows in 14 months across 112 cities, and a mighty 83,000 tickets sold. A connection.

Along the way, Oh Wonder's songs became soundtrack staples, featuring everywhere from Scream, Elementary and Made In Chelsea to Catfish, Collide and Coronation Street. The dreamy 'Drive' was used in the pilot for the BBC's hit show Doctor Foster. 'All We Do' was the spectral theme tune for Unforgotten, ITV's recent, acclaimed detective series.

"This band has shown us how powerful music can be," says Josephine. "It has given us opportunities we couldn't have imagined and taken us to places we never dreamed of. We receive messages from fans telling us how our music has helped them and changed their lives. That none of this was planned just makes it more special."

The perennial underdog might just be about to become the odds-on favourite. Written in New York and London and entirely composed, produced and mixed by the duo, Ultralife takes the hallmarks of the band's experimental debut -- its hypnotic dual vocals, its exposed, emotional lyrics, its bewitching, ethereal beauty -- and adds the weight of experience, the confidence of success and the coherence that comes from forward planning.

"Last time, we had no idea what we were doing," laughs Anthony. "We didn't even have a specific sound in mind. Every aspect of Oh Wonder we learnt on the job, from how to sing together to how to play the songs live. What was great about making this second album is that we got to put all of that new knowledge to good use."

Ultralife's luminescent lead single and title track sums up Oh Wonder's new-found self-assurance and vaulting ambition. Easily the most up-tempo song they've ever released, it's a slinky, sensual, piano and beats-driven burst of pure joy itching to soundtrack the start of summer.

"What we didn't realise as we were writing the album," acknowledges Josephine, "is that it has strong narrative arc. It's about needing other people, but at the same time needing time for yourself. 'Solo,' the opening song, is an ode to the freedom of being alone. The closing track, 'Waste,' is about how pointless life feels when you have no one to share experiences with.

"We wrote both of those songs early on, during a month out from touring when we moved to an Airbnb in Brooklyn with just a piano. The rest of the album is us filling in the gaps between those extremes.

"Being on tour is an incredibly isolating experience. You can be in a room of 3000 people screaming your name and still feel lonely. It's perverse. You desperately miss friends and family back home, but you also long for downtime to nurture yourself. Ultralife strives to find a balance between the two."

"A big influence on the album was Jon Krakauer's book Into The Wild," adds Anthony. "It's a true story about a suburban guy who was headed to Harvard and decided instead to escape the pressures of society by moving to the wilderness. On his death bed in Alaska, he etches six words in to a wall -- 'Happiness is only real when shared.' He realises that life isn't as good on your own. We both read the book and, after a year on the road, it resonated."

During the few months that Oh Wonder spent writing the album, James Blake, Bon Iver, D. D. Dumbo, Frank Ocean and Beyonce all released albums. The duo immersed themselves in them all and emerged eager to make an album as life-affirming as their debut was melancholic. They wrote the summery 'Heart Strings' listening to the Beach Boys and The Beatles and the happy, honeyed, hip hop-influenced 'Lifetimes' after going to see Drake in concert.

Back in London last autumn, they wrote 'Ultralife,' the shimmering, spine-tingling 'Bigger Than Love' and the joyous, electronica-driven surefire future hit 'High On Humans,' inspired by Josephine's empowering encounters with strangers on a tube trip home from Heathrow.

"One was with two women who worked at Sunglasses Hut, with whom I had a half hour discussion about hot sauce," she says. "It was wonderful. I didn't know them and they didn't know me but we bonded out of the blue over food.

"When I changed to the overground I met a guy covered in blood, who'd had his teeth knocked out. I told him the same thing had happened to me and suddenly the whole carriage started offering up stories of their injuries and operations. I watched people get off that train energised by the interaction. I immediately called Anthony and sang him the chorus and we wrote the rest of the song that night."

Rather than rely on computers, Ultralife boasts lots of live instrumentation, including drums and bass, as well as Anthony's collection of analogue synths, which are central to the songs' warm, sensual sound. Some of the album, including the strings, was recorded at The Pool in Bermondsey, but most of it was made in the pair's home studio, where they had to work around TFL's bus timetable.

"Our studio is on a busy main road, on the corner of two bus routes," explains Anthony. "Whenever we'd start recording, another bus would go by. We couldn't do vocals before 10pm."

"But some buses do sneak in," reveals Josephine. "The album opens with a bus, an ode to the fact that the entire album was compromised by London transport. There's also a police siren from New York, where we had the same problem with traffic.

"We could have made our lives easier by going to a studio with soundproofing, but that isn't us. Our lives are in these songs and it didn't feel fair to leave the night buses out."

 

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/ohwondermusic

Events

The Crystal Ballroom

1332 W. Burnside
Portland OR 97209

(503) 225-0047
Contact us

Where On Any Night, Anything Can Happen!!

In these walls...

The historic Crystal Ballroom -- now over a century old -- is one of those rare concert halls that can point to a proud, diverse history while also laying claim to an ongoing musical legacy. Every time you enter this majestic ballroom, let your imagination sense the tremors resonating from a century's worth of gatherings, and realize that you are joining a thriving, generations-long procession of show-goers. Welcome!

Looking for your Crystal Ballroom Passport Stamps?

Crystal Ballroom, Lola’s Room & Crystal Brewery Tour occurs daily at 2 p.m. - meet at Ringlers Pub (street level below the Crystal Ballroom.) The tour takes about half an hour to complete. Any questions may be directed to the Crystal box office, 503-225-0047.

Stamps for the Crystal Ballroom and Lola’s Room are also available when you see a show – ticketed or free – in either venue.

Please note: Due to private events, concert setup needs and brewers’ schedules, not all spaces are guaranteed to be available to tour daily, but our staff will give it our best shot and show you the spaces that we can.

Tech Specs

Floor and stage plan
PDF download

Lighting diagram 
PDF download

Sound manifest
Crystal:
PDF download
Lola's Room: 
PDF download

Technical and logistical packet
For Crystal Ballroom & Lola's Room
PDF download

Ballroom height and beam-to-beam dimensions
16' 11" from beam to floor
19' 11" from floor to ceiling
14' 6" in between beams

Promoter Info

Rental Expenses To Outside Promoters

RENT VARIES, PLEASE CONTACT A BOOKING COORDINATOR
$850  SOUND & LIGHTS
$365  PRODUCTION MANAGER ($54.75/hr OT)
$255  STAGE MANAGER ($38.32/hr OT)
$255  FOH TECHNICIAN ($38.32/hr OT)
$255  MONITOR ENGINEER ($38.32/hr OT)
$255  LIGHTING DIRECTOR ($38.32/hr OT)
$150  HOSPITALITY ($20/hr OT) [mileage is 33 cents per mile]
$1,000*  SECURITY ($100/hr OT)
$100  BOX OFFICE STAFF ($20/hr OT)
$200  ADMINISTRATION FEE
$ ----  PARKING HOODS
$ ----  CHAIR RENTAL ($2 per chair)
$ ----  ADVERTISING
$500  PIPE AND DRAPE/BARRICADE
$175  STAGEHANDS
$ ----  BOX OFFICE CREDIT CARD FEE (3% of Box Credit Card Sales)

* Security cost is an estimate. Additional security may be required depending on the nature of the event. 

Overtime: All expenses incurred by the Crystal Ballroom for Catering, Advertising, requested stagehands, overtime (anything over 10 hours), backline, barricade, risers, etc. will be added to total rental rate.

Deposits: A non-refundable 50% room deposit and a $2,500 'untenured promoter fee' (UPF) is due immediately in order to secure the room. If ticket sales exceed 500 the 'UPF' will be refunded; if ticket sales are below 500 the room keeps the entire $2,500 to make up for less than 1/3 capacity and corresponding lack of sales. The 'UPF' will not be refunded if the event cancels within 60 days of the event.

Settlement: Venue will pay renter with a company check at the immediate conclusion of door sales. Venue will not provide any cash at settlement.

Late Night Fee: There is a $1,000/hour additional fee for any events after 3 a.m. We may also require additional security for events of that nature.

Merchandise: Merch rate is 20% they sell. We can provide a seller with advance notice and will keep 30% of sales. The outside promoter will receive no revenue from the merchandise as that is the prerogative of the house. House keeps a percentage of all transactions.

Tickets: All tickets must be placed through the venue onto the Cascade Tickets system. All comps, label buys, and holds must be approved by the venue. There is a $1/ticket venue fee at the Box Office.

Refunds: All refunds will be directed to the outside promoter. In the absence of an outside promoter representative, the venue shall use its own discretion regarding refunds and all refunds shall be deducted from settlement.

Insurance and Licenses: Renter must provide liability insurance not less than $1,000,000 for any single occurrence naming McMenamins Inc. d.b.a. Crystal Ballroom as additionally insured. Tickets will not be placed on sale until binder is received. Promoter is responsible for all ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC fees.

Production Advance: Performers or their representative must contact venue's production manager 5 days prior to the event in order to advance production needs, otherwise runner will arrive at 6 p.m. and all rider items/requests will be greatly limited if provided at all.

Layout: The Crystal Ballroom is located on the 3rd floor. The first floor is Ringlers Restaurant and the 2nd floor is Lola's Room, both of which may have a public or private event simultaneously with the Crystal.

Cancellation/Postponement: The contract covers the specified event for the specified date. No substitution will be accepted for a cancellation. If the event is postponed the room deposit will be transferred to the date of the new event but the $2,500 'UPF' will be applied toward the date of the originally scheduled show and an additional $2,500 will be required in order to reschedule.

Capacity: The venue's capacity is 1500*. All artist and promoter guests and comps will be deducted from sellable. Comp and guest space must be reserved in advance. House is entitled to 20 guests. House guests will not effect sellable. Promoter must have guest list to house no later than 2 hours prior to doors. VIP cap is 25.

* Seated capacity is 850. Seated shows must be 21 and over. There is a $2/chair rental fee.

Venue and corporate sponsor banners may be present during event.

Marketing your event at the Crystal Ballroom

Please contact Mike Walker for information about marketing your event through McMenamins resources.

Box Office

Please note! Both the Crystal Ballroom and Lola's Room specialize in open-floor shows with a very limited amount of seats. The rare seated events will be clearly denoted as such, within the event description on our schedule page.

Box Office Information

Tickets for all McMenamins shows are ticketed by Cascade Tickets, and may be purchased at the Crystal box office (located under the Crystal's awning) and McMenamins Edgefield, by phone at 1-855-CAS-TIXX, or by clicking the "Buy Tickets" link located at the event listing on our schedules.

Tickets bought directly at the Crystal box office or any of our four ticket outlets will only incur a $1 facility charge. (Please note! Tickets to Edgefield Concerts on the Lawn will incur additional service fees.)

Crystal Ballroom Box Office Hours 
Daily, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The box office is open later on nights when there is a performance.
Tickets may also be purchased in Ringlers Pub, Monday through Friday from 6 to 11 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The box office accepts cash, VISA, MasterCard, American Express and DiscoverCard.

Will Call

Will call is located at the box office.

Refunds

All ticket purchases are non-refundable.

Parking

There are three pay lots nearby, and street parking is available.

Accessibility

Those with disabilities may call (503 225 0047) or email in advance to arrange early admittance.

There is an elevator located in the lobby.

Hold your Private Event at Crystal Ballroom

Weddings  Meetings  Social Events

The Crystal Ballroom is a truly awe-inspiring venue with its vaulted ceilings, grand chandeliers, giant wallscapes and famous "floating" dance floor. Accommodating groups from 100 to 1000 people, this 7,500-square-foot space includes access to the Ballroom's classic corner stage, floor-to-ceiling windows, swooping balcony, and full bar service.

Tucked in the Crystal’s second story is Lola’s Room accommodating events of up to 200 guests.  Lola’s comes with a handsome fully stocked bar, original artwork, and a floating dance floor all it’s own.

For overnight accommodations, our Crystal Hotel is just a block away!

Art

Artwork plays an important role in the character of McMenamins locations throughout Oregon and Washington. We believe art makes life richer and more enjoyable. So, you'll often find paintings covering our walls, ceilings doors, overhead pipes, and equipment -- works as diverse and entertaining as our places for family and friends. Many artists have contributed to this vast variety of delightful eye candy. Jump in and enjoy some now!

History

 

 

Explore the Crystal Blocks

Our Crystal Hotel and legendary Crystal Ballroom are just across the street from each other, each offering their own unique spaces for live music, Northwest style fare and McMenamins hand crafted beverages.  Explore these properties and all they have to offer. 

Crystal Ballroom Property

Crystal Ballroom  Lola's Room  Ringlers Pub  Crystal Brewery

Crystal Hotel Property

Crystal Hotel  Al's Den  Ringlers Annex  Zeus Cafe

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