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Oh Wonder - Ultralife World Tour

Sa 09/12/2017 19:00
Club Hollywood
Past event
Ultralife World Tour

Live in Tallinn @ Club Hollywood

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.”

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.

“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.

“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.”
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Event Date / Time Venue  
Oh Wonder - Ultralife World Tour Sa 09/12/2017 19:00 Club Hollywood
Past event
Good to know

Age limit to the event: from 18 years old persons. Persons under age of 18 years may attend event ONLY with their parents (ticket is required for EACH visitor)!
Doors open: at 18:00
Event length: ~2h30min

Vana-Posti 8 Tallinn Estonia
Live Nation Estonia OÜ
Live Nation Estonia OÜ
Estonia pst 9 Tallinn 10143 Harju