HOME is Manchester’s new £25 million arts centre which combines the strength of two previous institutions, the Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre, into a cutting-edge new arts complex containing two theatre spaces, an art gallery, five cinema screens, a restaurant and three bars.
From Thursday 21st to Monday 25th of May, the venue was officially launched with a packed programme of speeches, fireworks, dance, film previews and artist Q&As, plus performances from a carefully selected mix of local musicians and DJs. BIMM Manchester singer-songwriter Ione was amongst the acts invited to perform during the weekend’s festivities, which attracted 28,000 visitors during the long weekend.
The HOME centre is a close neighbour to the BIMM Manchester college so a collaboration seemed like a terrific neighbourly gesture! The production team at HOME were originally searching for a singer who could perform well-known covers and standards to tie-in with the theme of romance and heart-ache covered by their opening gallery exhibition. When they listened to Manchester-girl Ione’s Soundcloud page they were so smitten with her work and her voice that they insisted the singer should perform her own compositions too.
For her performance on Friday 22nd May, Ione was backed by a talented live pianist and bassist duo. She played to a full and bustling first floor restaurant and her vocals attracted a huge response. The accompanying musicians provided a smooth and sophisticated backing sound for a mix of Ione’s own compositions and some well-loved covers. The huge performance space perfectly captured the scope of Ione’s astonishing vocals.
Ione’s work is rapidly becoming known for its impact and has already landed the singer musical collaboration work with the likes of GORILLAZ, Errol Brown, Ruby Turner, Jamelia, Heather Small and folk singer Adam Green. Ione also recently took part in the Brighter Sound mentoring programme with Beth Orton, encouraging access for talented women musicians into the industry. Ione’s mix of soul and sophisticated pop is the perfect vehicle for her remarkable voice – a voice you will you will almost certainly be hearing much more of very soon.