Beck had a big July 4. The Los Angeles-based boho rocker headed to London for the first full live performance of his 2012 album-as-sheet-music, Song Reader. And he recruited a few pals for the occasion, including Jarvis Cocker, Franz Ferdinand, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Beth Orton, comedy troupe the Mighty Boosh and many more. Check out YouTube footage of select tracks above and below.
The show, held at the Barbican, also featured guests Joan Wasser (of Joan as Police Woman), Villagers' Conor J O'Brien, the Staves, Guillemots, Michael Kiwanuka, James Yorkston, the Pictish Trail and even more. The big, brass- and strings-laden band backed up Beck, strumming an acoustic guitar on the old timey tunes while wearing a black cowboy hat.
Beck has only played a few Song Reader tracks live before, during solo gigs in California. When Song Reader dropped, Beck told fans that "bringing the [songs] to life depends on you... The Song Reader is an experiment in what an album can be at the end of 2012." Plenty YouTube covers popped up, but the London gig is Beck's first and (so far) only performance of the collection. Enjoy!