A box set of Chris Difford’s last three studio albums is to be released in March by Demon Music. I Didn’t Get Where I Am, The Last Temptaion of Chris and Cashmere If You Can, all with sleeves designed by Stylorouge, are bundled with previously unreleased tracks in a set called Chris To The Mill, which again features a Stylorouge front cover. Chris is currently working on a new Squeeze album with Glenn Tilbrook and is planning to release a single album version of his project Fancy Pants.
The vinyl re-issue of The Cure’s Greatest Hits album has given Stylorouge the opportunity to expand upon the original packaging of the album designed by the company back in 2001. Using photographs of Robert Smith taken by Rob O’Connor, the album and it’s acoustic counterpart are both making a reapppearance as gatefold double disc sets, either on black vinyl or picture disc. The picture disc versions are to be made available for Record store day on 22 April 2017.
Among the 50 nominated album sleeves in this year’s Art Vinyl Awards were two designed by Stylorouge; Kula Shaker’s K2.0 and Jake Bugg’s On My One. The award event took place on 5th January at a reception in the Hari Hotel, London SW1. Stylorouge creative director Rob O’Connor hooked up there with collaborators Kate Baylay, illustrator of the beautiful image for the Kula Shaker album, and Liverpool-based artist Nathan Pendlebury, whose work adorned Jake’s album and singles.
The sleeve for The Last Shadow Puppets’ Everything You’ve Come To Expect was voted the winner, which featured a vintage image of Tina Turner. Our congratulations to the sleeve’s designer Matthew Cooper.
Stylorouge creative director Rob O’Connor accepted invitations to give talks at two universities during January; on 18th he spoke about our creative process to a student body of graphic design students at Middlesex University and a week later to the MA Graphics course at Kingston University. Constructing talks such as this gives us the chance to look at our own work objectively and makes us realise that we’re not very nostalgic about the work we’ve done previously – it’s always more relevant and exciting to talk about our latest or current work.
Many thanks to course-leaders Andy Vella at Middlesex and Paul Postle at Kingston for the invitations.
Prog keyboard legend and much loved Grumpy Old Man Rick Wakeman has gone back to his roots for a new album of cover versions. Piano Portraits is a journey through Rick’s musical past – beautiful solo piano interpretations of some of the favourite timeless classics he learned as a young pianist growing up.
Apart from the seminal part he played in the emergence of Yes as one of the biggest prog rock bands in the world, he played keyboards on David Bowie’s breakthrough Hunky Dory album, and it is his solo piano version of Life On Mars that was the catalyst for this album, having played it on a tribute concert to Bowie after his death.
The design is by Mark Higenbottam at Stylorouge and photographs of Rick are by Rob O’Connor.
It is with huge sadness that we add our own tribute to the millions of others following the news of George Michael’s untimely death. We had the pleasure of working with George on several occasions; memorably on covers for the early Wham singles and later on his phenomenal Faith album.
He was a remarkably generous and creative, gentle man. During our time working on a charity auction in recent years we asked him to sign a printers proof of a design to add value to the piece – he did so willingly and in addition he made the most generous donation to the charity himself.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.
Almost a year after the release of the single Infinite Sun from the album K2.0, Kula Shaker take to the road to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their phenomenally successful debut, K. Stylorouge were commissioned to deliver a number of video clips to be used as projection material for the December dates, including venues in Japan.
One of our favourite clips from the set was to accompany the live favourite Hollow Man Part 1.
The band also prepare for 2017 by releasing another single from the album – Holy Flame is a live performance in a Richmond studio stolen from the full Infinite Sun video shoot day – ‘shot from-the-hip’, raw, spontaneous(ish) and black and white…
December sees the release of the first album by the three reunited founder members of UB40, Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue. Unplugged features up-close-and-personal reworkings of some of UB40’s classic hits, including Red Red Wine, Rat In Mi Kitchen and One In Ten. For good measure, the set also includes the previously unrecorded Many Rivers To Cross and Purple Rain.
Stylorouge were commissioned to produce the album packaging and marketing tools for the campaign; TV commercial, performance video clips and print. Filmed and photographed in a single day at RAK studios in London where the band were recording the album, photos are by Rob O’Connor, and design by Mark Higenbottam. Jamie Gibson edited the video assets in-house at Stylorouge.
Now officially the UK’s fastest selling UK country artists, The Shires choose A Thousand Hallelujahs as the third single to be released from their chart album My Universe, and Stylorouge again are behind the design for the sleeve and the on-screen marketing. The TV commercial, created in-house at Stylorouge by Jamie Gibson, is given the social network updates following the album’s launch, which saw it nestle in comfortably at No.3 in the UK Album Chart.
Another collaboration between Imelda May drummer Steve Rushton and British jazz chanteuse Louise Cookman, this time requiring a sleeve that evoked the pioneering be-bop spirit of the 1960’s. Cool Heat, Burnin Beat was recorded by Nick Taylor at
Porcupine Studios, London in August 2016.
Photography by Rob O’Connor, design for Stylorouge by Matt Shurben.
As 2016 comes to a close, Show Of Hands will be ending a busy year on a UK tour, knowing that 2017 will be even busier. In Easter they will be filling the Royal Albert Hall for the fifth time in their 25 year career together (2017 is the anniversary of the best-loved folk/roots three-piece duo in the land! – Anyone who has experience a show by Steve Knightley, Phil Beer and Miranda Sykes will understand what we’re on about).
A commemorative hardback book is planned for a simultaneous release which will document their achievements in words and images. Stylorouge have been appointed to co-curate and design this 200ish page tome. More news on that soon… in the meantime, they will launch a new website in January, by which time tickets for their Royal Albert Hall will probably be sold out. Visit showofhands.co.uk for details of how to order new Stylorouge-designed merch.
Hailing from Gibraltar, but based in London since 2001, Stephanie Rodriguez studied music and Italian at Anglia Ruskin University, and took her masters at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff – again specialising in Jazz voice. She discovered a love of music composition when she came to London and continues to evolve her own styling, marrying Jazz, Blues, Middle Eastern music, Latin Soul and Dance music. Her first EP ‘Crazy Game’ was recorded with producers TNR Productions and asked Stylorouge to set her up with a visual identity and a web presence to showcase her songs.
Check her music out at http://stephanierodriguezmusic.com
As Kula Shaker embark on a month of dates to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of their debut album K, the ultimate K experience gets a fan-only release; a boxed vinyl set of three albums – the original K, 2016’s studio triumph K2.0 and Kula Shaker Live In The East (End). Stylorouge have designed the collected package – titled Kompendium, the box is being launched exclusively through the band’s website in a strictly limited edition of 500. It doesn’t get much more kollectable than that…
You couldn’t make it up – an album of music written and recorded specifically for cats, and in it’s first week it keeps Michael Ball and Alfie Boe off the top spot in the classical album charts. This is a project that has completely captured the imagination of the (presumably cat-owning) public.
The brainchild of American classical composer and cellist David Teie, Music For Cats presented Stylorouge with an unique challenge; to produce a campaign to promote an eccentric musical proposition – no specific musical fan base, and in general, unknown territory – without losing its integrity (too much!). Fortunately, the project comes with the support of a well-researched background. Tests have shown that cats really do respond positively to the music, and cat-lovers do tend to be active online. We made TV commercials that were aimed at both the daytime televison viewer and social networks, and promotional video clips that presented some of the music in a more immersive form by extended the visual branding that we had devised for the album.
Ireland’s legendary TV chat show The Late Late Show, hosted for the past 10 years or so by Ryan Tubridy is to release a double CD for Christmas in support of the charity SVP (Society of St. Vincent dePaul). The show has had guest performances by a host of musical artists over the years, so editing the final track list was something of a mission. Artists finally appearing on the album include Ed Sheeran, U2, Ellie Goulding, The Script and Michael Bublé.
Stylorouge were commissioned to create a sleeve for the charitable project.