Above: Frank’s Jilted Lovers, performing at Dark Times Karaoke Club (photo by Chris Alton)

What does a song mean? It depends who’s singing it, how, and where.

I was invited to develop a live event for the Interruptions series at the Holden Gallery, in collaboration with students at Manchester School of Art. I proposed to the students that we’d put on an artist-karaoke night, which would involve transforming the meaning of existing songs and using them to sing about what matters to us. Over the course of several workshops, we discussed ideas, performed together, and planned the event.

Dark Times Karaoke Club was held at The Salutation, on 16 March 2022, with performances from; Birce Cennetoglu, Becks G. J. P., Patricia Gregory, Jamie Moran, Jazz Prisciandaro-Wood, Jamie Tyson, and Frank’s Jilted Lovers, as well as impromtu karaoke performances from members of the audience.

The project’s title is a reference to Bertolt Brecht’s poem Motto (1939).

Above: Becks G. J. P., Jamie Tyson, Jamie Moran, Patricia Gregory, Jazz Prisciandaro-Wood, and members of the audience performing at Dark Times Karaoke Club (photos by Chris Alton & Kris Bartosova)

With thanks to:
Zoe Watson, Curator, Holden Gallery, Manchester
Elly Lukoszevieze, Project Co-producer & Assistant Curator, Holden Gallery, Manchester

Contributing students:
Kris Bartosova
Birce Cennetoglu
Becks G. J. P.
Patricia Gregory
Jamie Moran
Jazz Prisciandaro-Wood
Jamie Tyson

Commissioned by:
Holden Gallery, Manchester