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In pictures: Once makes history

Published 11 November 2013

On Wednesday 4 December theatre fans can watch hit London musical Once make history as its Spotify session, the first recorded by a stage musical, is aired. We were there for the recording.

As gigs go, Once’s exclusive Spotify session was about as intimate as it gets. The stage took up almost as much room as the space the select audience was crammed into to experience the supreme musical talents of the show’s instrument-playing cast at close quarters.

The trendy offices of music streaming site Spotify – they had a fridge full of Diet Coke and ‘help yourself’ beers, that counts as trendy to us – more usually play host to recording artists such as Mumford And Sons, Haim, Editors and Once’s own co-writer Glen Hansard. For the tuney tech giant to host a musical was a coup.

The film-turned-stage-show about an Irish busker whose life is given a boost when he meets a Czech woman with a love of music was a perfect choice for such a session. All its talented performers play their own instruments, while its songs, written by Hansard and Markéta Irglová range from rousing Irish folk numbers to heartfelt, bittersweet ballads.

You can see the session, which includes songs Falling Slowly, Gold, Raglan Road, and Chandler’s Wife, streamed on the Once website on 4 December. Until then, enjoy these images of the recording taking place.

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