Latest news

Spiro - Pole Star (Out 8th Sep)


Spiro first met on the Bristol music scene and have been together, their line-up unchanged, for over 20 years. Since their formation, it was clear these were not your average acoustic instrumentalists. They’ve been likened by The Word to “Detroit techno played by a travelling band out of a Hardy novel – or Steve Reich playing the cider-scented backroom of a village pub" and as “cinematic, breathtaking and beautiful” by Songlines magazine. 

This lost gem of an album, released independently by the band in 1997, is a wonderful addition to the Spiro collection, showing how their fascinating sound began and how fresh it remains even today.

Pre order Pole Star (Out 8th Sep): Real World  / iTunes / Amazon

Published 26th Aug 2014, 12:11pm »

New Society of Sound release: Roddy Woomble - Live at King's Place

This month’s Society of Sound release is the first of an occasional series of live recordings from London’s Kings Place. Roddy Woomble (Idlewild) and his band make the most of the bespoke acoustics playing a beautifully balanced set of songs mixing folk, Americana and Scottish influenced tunes. Roddy’s intimate vocals are backed by Hannah Fisher - fiddle & vocals, Sorren Maclean - ccoustic guitar & vocals, Luciano Rossi - Piano and Craig Ainslie - electric bass.

Recorded live at King’s Place by Dave Wells and mixed by Patrick Phillips at Real World Studios.

Since 2010 and the Idlewild hiatus, Roddy Woomble and his solo band have toured consistently playing hundreds of concerts in theatres, folk clubs, village halls and arts centres the length and breadth of the UK. Together they have released three albums ‘The Impossible song & other songs’ (2011). 'Listen to Keep’ (2013) and 'Live in the Inner Hebrides’ (2014). The show at Kings Place comes at the end of his solo band touring for a while as Idlewild gear up to release a new album and tour in 2015.

Subscribe to Bowers and Wilkins Society of Sound and listen to this as a high quality digital download

Learn more about King’s place

Published 22nd Aug 2014, 5:50pm 1 notes on Tumblr »

Aurelio's new album 'Lándini' out 15th September


The new album, Landini, from Honduran songwriter, singer, and guitarist Aurelio is set for release on the 15th September.

The songs on Lándini are about Aurelio, his feelings, his family, and Garifuna life in general. There’s a sadness, a melancholy throughout, but the rhythms remain really lively. It affects the body, the brain, and the soul in a way that is very unique to Garifuna music. It always has a purpose, whether it’s dancing or documenting a tragedy or just poking fun at someone; there is never a notion of “I’m going to make a song because I need to make a record” - such a concept does not even exist in Garifuna culture.

Pre order Lándini

Published 8th Aug 2014, 3:17pm »

Peter Gabriel in Discussion at WOMAD 2014

The Shed at WOMAD #158 (01.08.2014) by Mark Coles on Mixcloud

Peter Gabriel joined Mark Coles (Radio 4/ The Shed) at the Society of Sound Stage at WOMAD Festival, on Saturday morning, to chat about sound systems, audio quality and 25 years of Real World Records. As part of the discussion there’s a very special opportunity to hear, for the first time ever, the studio version of one of Peter’s new songs “Show Yourself”.

As well as that, Mark takes us on a tour of some of the musical and spoken highlights of the festival:

“The Shed downsizes to a tent this week to bring you highlights from this year's WOMAD Festival. Join me live on stage with Peter Gabriel and backstage with Welsh band 9Bach, Namibia’s Elemotho and - conjuring up music to scare off poisonous spiders - the Italian pizzica star Anna Cinzia Villani.”

Available to listen to now on, on Mixcloud and on radio on Sunday lunchtime on World Radio Switzerland and on Tuesday evening on Radio New Zealand

The PG interview starts at 11:54 in.

Find out more about Real World 25

Published 1st Aug 2014, 6:12pm »

Curios 'Captive' available on Society of Sound

The new album available on Society of Sound is Captive by Tom Cawley’s band Curios. 

Curios, Tom Cawley on piano, Joshua Blackmore on drums and Sam Burgess on double bass, were described by Time Out Magazine as “state-of-the-art piano trio music” and since their formation in 2006 have been garnering rave reviews for music that draws on romantic classical music as much as modern jazz. Cawley’s compositions are melodic, fiery, serene and intense.

“most formidable piano trio in the UK” and “triumphant” - Mojo Magazine.

“spellbinding” - The Independent 

“dazzling” - Jazz UK

“pioneering” - Musician magazine

Their album ‘Hidden’ from 2007 was nominated in the BBC Jazz Awards, and reached the top 5 in both the HMV and the Radio 3 Jazz Charts. 

Discover more about the new Curios album ‘Captive’ 

Find out more about the Society of Sound

Published 31st Jul 2014, 5:32pm 1 notes on Tumblr »

9Bach Perform at the Commonwealth Connections Final Concert - BBC at the Quay

From BBC at the Quay in Glasgow, the culmination of World on 3’s 35 part Commonwealth Connections series. Lopa Kothari presents with a concert of bands from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. 9Bach, are representing Wales.  You can also hear Edinburgh-based Shooglenifty, originators of ‘acid-croft’ who mix contemporary styles with Celtic folk; uilleann pipes player Jarlath Henderson from Dungannon, County Tyrone who will perform with Scottish bagpiper Ross Ainslie; alongside England’s Bellowhead.

Catch the show on 31 Friday at 23.00 on BBC Radio 3

Published 31st Jul 2014, 10:33am »

Real World 25 Pre-order Live


Real World 25, the 3CD Box Set celebrating 25 years of Real World Records is now available to pre-order.

The clamshell box includes three individually sleeved CDs, a 28 page booklet featuring extended liner notes on the history of the label plus a selection of great photos and additional notes on every track, as well as a fold out insert featuring reminiscences on the label from the likes of Sheila Chandra, Joseph Arthur, Joji Hirota, Michael Brook and more. It’s a beautifully put together package and a fitting commemoration of the label’s anniversary year.

To quote Peter from his recent discussion about Real World Records at WOMAD2014; “We wouldn’t have got involved with any of the artists if we didn’t love what they did. I don’t think we had any idea when we set out that we’d be here 25 years later. But it’s great. I think we’ve worked with extraordinary artists, so I think we’ve been very lucky” 

Real World 25 is a celebration of the music and the artists we’ve had the privilege to work with over the last 25 years and we hope this collection sparks as many happy memories for you as it does for us.

View a full tracklisting on

A limited number of Real World 25 orders made via the Real World Shop will come with a selection of Real World removable tattoos, stickers and postcards. Available on a first come, first served basis.

Pre order: Real World / Amazon / iTunes

Published 29th Jul 2014, 1:47pm »

WOMAD2014 gets underway officially today!

Across the weekend we’ll be lucky enough to see a selection of artists who have worked with Real World over our 25 year history - The Gloaming, Iarla O’Lionaird, 9Bach, Adrian Sherwood, Justin Adams and Amjad Ali Khan.  We are also launching the brand new Society of Sound stage, in association with Bowers and Wilkins.

Hope some of you will be there to join us.  

See the full run down on who’s playing

Published 24th Jul 2014, 12:03pm »

Real World 25 release confirmed


We are very pleased to officially announce the release of Real World 25 on 29 September 2014, a celebratory 3CD set boasting big names, hidden gems and tracks chosen by listeners. 

To represent a record label that blazed trails, opened doors and introduced a whole new world of music was never going to be easy, or definitive. But we’re giving it a go.

“We’ve always been vibrant, alive and kicking,” says Peter Gabriel of Real World Records, the label he launched in 1989, a few years after establishing the WOMAD (World of Music Arts and Dance) Festival. “We worked hard to create an environment where the artists felt respected and supported, so that they were able to deliver extraordinary performances.”

The magic was there from the off: an old mill building, transformed into state-of-the-art studios, on the edge of a pond fringed with bulrushes, in landscaped gardens bordered by a river, in the village of Box in the southwest of England.

Armed with a philosophy that variously involved openness, interconnectedness and the right to fail, Real World Records was born. There was no agenda: perhaps the closest it came to a template was the maverick aesthetic of BBC DJ John Peel, who would follow a track by The Fall with a song by a Siberian throat singer – along with that of its unconventional elder sibling, the WOMAD Festival.

Condensing 25 years of history onto three CDs was always going to be an impossible task; we knew we would only ever skim the surface of the extensive range of wonderful music we have been so lucky to encounter.

CD1 brings together tracks that have been significant highlights or ‘classic’ points in the label’s history.

CD2 delves deeper into the catalogue, shining a light on some tracks that beg rediscovery; the buried treasures.

CD3 is the listeners’ choice – we asked people to choose their favourite Real World track.

To find out more about Real World 25 go to:

In addition, if you are lucky enough to be at WOMAD Charlton Park this weekend, why not visit the Society of Sound Stage on Saturday (26th) morning at 11:30am. Peter Gabriel will be in discussion with Mark Coles (BBC Radio 4, The Shed) about two long-running projects he’s been involved with: Real World Records and Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound.  

The discussion on Real World Records, which Peter founded in 1989, aims to delve into his initial motivations for starting the label, offer some first-hand insight into the history of the label and it’s diverse roster of artists as well as explore the affect that his involvement in the label has had on him personally as a song-writer.

Society of Sound is the Bowers & Wilkins online community, a meeting place for people who are passionate about sound. It includes a member’s album subscription featuring two studio-quality downloads each month picked by Peter Gabriel & Real World. Peter will discuss his thoughts on the collaboration with Society of Sound and their shared passion for supporting and nurturing new music. 

Published 23rd Jul 2014, 5:28pm 1 notes on Tumblr »

Be part of 'One Album Per Hour', with Beardyman


Real World and Bowers & Wilkins are presenting the Society of Sound stage at WOMAD 2014. Over the weekend the stage will feature an eclectic array of sound pioneers and musical adventurers celebrating the art of listening through live performances, DJ sets and interactive events.

One such pioneer is world famous beatboxer/musician Beardyman; described by BBC1 as the ‘King of Sound and Ruler of Beats’, he has taken what’s possible with the human voice to unchartered territories. Pushing the boundaries of his art ever further, Beardyman has also developed the world’s most advanced live music production system, aptly named the BEARDYTRON_5000mkII - which debuted at the global TED conference last year - to allow him to improvise cutting edge, studio quality music in real-time. 

Beardyman will now be premiering the BEARDYTRON_5000mkIII - the full BEARDYTRON experience! - at the Society of Sound stage on Saturday 26 July and he needs your help!  For his main performance, Beardyman will be putting himself and the BEARDYTRON to the test by making a brand-new album live, based entirely on your song title suggestions. Very special WOMAD guests will help select and curate an album’s worth of song titles from audience suggestions that will be given to Beardyman at the start of his set. 

We’d love you to be part of it by suggesting song titles in advance - please make up your own and get creative!

Suggest your song titles for Beardyman

It promises to be incredible, interactive fun and you could be part of a little bit of sound history in the making… so get entering those song title suggestions!

Published 10th Jul 2014, 12:43pm 2 notes on Tumblr »

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