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Guestlist | Playlist: Submotion Orchestra

House | Friday 21st February 2020 | Arren

We’ve got a cracking ‘On The Road’ playlist of tunes from the incredible Submotion Orchestra.

The genre defying group are prepping up to head across the UK on a big tour. They’ll be dropping in many big venues across the country including Manchester, Bristol and of course London. As part of their preparations they’ve fixed a big playlist of tunes that’ll keep them going as they head out on the road, and they’ve decided to share it with you lucky lot!

Their new tour follows a mental 2019 for the group. They played everywhere from Glastonbury to Outlook. They sold out the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican Theatre and The Forum as part of London’s Jazz Festival - each time perplexing audience with their unique blend of electronica, jazz, dub and soul.

The group are renowned for their mind blowing performances meandering between tracks from their 5 albums and 3 EPs. In this new tour they’ll be doing this as well as showcasing their new unheard music and give some makeovers to fan’s previous favourites. Guaranteed to get the floor moving.

Giving a glimpse of their new material, the 6-piece group recently released a spine tingling version of ‘Show Me Love’. A stripped back, pure and wholesome edit of a classic dance tune. It’s a mesmerizing piece and it’s just the beginning of a new load of tracks from the group. A new load of tracks that’ll be hammered on their upcoming tour, and we can wait!

Ahead of the tour, we grabbed the Submotion Orchestra to see what tracks they’ll be listening to whilst on the road. They’ve came back to us with an amazing selection of tracks, perfect for heading out on the road or just a cheeky music sesh on a Friday!


'Brother Rapp / Ain’t It Funky Now (live)' - James Brown

From the essential ‘Love Power Peace’ live album with Bootsy and the original JBs, no post-gig, rider-draining drive back to the Travelodge is complete without cranking this at full volume. The segue from 'Brother Rapp' into 'Ain’t It Funky Now’ is probably the funkiest thing human beings have ever done.

'Can You Feel It' - Mr. Fingers

Seminal mid-80s house tune which works equally well to get you in the mood for a show or to wind you down afterwards. Also works well when you’re driving during the day or during the night. In fact it works well whenever you listen to it, wherever you are.

'Cristo Redentor' - Donald Byrd

Most of us were jazz students, and started by playing jazz in small venues to smaller crowds for even smaller wages.

'Autobahn' - Kraftwerk

We’ve done some epic long drives across Germany, and there’s no way you can avoid this tune whilst on one of those.

'Rock ’n’ Roll McDonalds' - Wesley Willis

Some of us in the band are big fans of outsider music, and Wesley was one of the undoubted kings in this field. Works well when you’ve driven for 4 hours after a gig and you really need to get home but the Blackwall Tunnel is closed due to road works and you start to question the point of life.

'Music For 18 Musicians' - Steve Reich

Since we have a lot of gear, setting up for soundcheck takes a really long time. Usually if we put this on when we start, it finishes around the time we’re ready to start making noise. And it beats having to chat to in-house sound engineers with strange personalities and dubious personal hygiene.

'Quadrant Dub' - Basic Channel

Another late night driving classic, since it feels beautifully endless and helps the driver once everyone else has fallen asleep.

Jive Baby On A Saturday Night - The Jellies

Our trumpet player Bobby has a worrying obsession with this tune, which no-one can work out whether it’s insanely funky, or bizarre, or terrible, or all three. The only certainty is that if Bobby is in charge of the music, he’ll play this at least 4 times every hour until someone breaks his phone.

'Show Me Love' - Robin S

This evokes so many good memories for all of us, which is why we had to eventually cover the track and give it that Submotion sound.

'A Lonely Wank in a Travelodge' - Kunt and the Gang

Throughout the highs and lows of our career, one constant has been the emotional security and endless vibes provided by Travelodges throughout the country. They can always be relied on for cheap accommodation, low to middling standards of cleanliness, and a comforting inability to move with the times when it comes to carpets. Travelodge - we salute you!

Anything by Fela Kuti

We all have quite different music tastes, so sometimes it’s actually very hard to play something pre-show that gets everyone equally in the mood. Unless it’s Fela, in which case we can play literally anything by him and everyone is on the same page. That could be because every tune of his is basically exactly the same, but I don’t hear anyone complaining about that.


Submotion Orchestra tour dates
26th March: Oval Space, London
27th March: Concorde 2, Brighton
28th March: Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds
2nd April: The Trinity, Bristol
3rd April: O2 Institute, Birmingham
4th April: Gorilla, Manchester
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