Pop: It's raining on Mike's parade
MIKE OLDFIELD TUBULAR BELLS 3 HORSE GUARDS PARADE LONDON
Monday 07 September 1998
The record that launched the Virgin label 25 years and 18 million copies ago has gone from hippie-must-listen to coffee-table status, and its minimalist Erik Satie-like motifs still send a shiver down the spine of Exorcist aficionados, when they aren't cropping up on curious dance mixes.
Perhaps prompted by Rob Dickins, the head honcho of his label WEA, who engineered a makeover for Rod Stewart, Oldfield, the godfather of the ambient and new age movement, has upped sticks and gone to Ibiza to absorb some of the techno and hedonistic aspects of the club scene there. Rather than looking up Kevin Ayers, the quirky British singer-songwriter - now a Majorca resident - with whom he first secured gainful employment as a teenager, Mike has ended up following the trance-dance route his old cohort Steve Hillage started exploring at the beginning of the Nineties. A rave, Balearic Tubular Bells, then? Not quite, but there are some dance rhythms and loops behind the opening and closing sections of the new work, which followed a shortened reprise of the original.
Tinkle tinkle went the famous piano and xylophone phrase, and the event took on messianic proportions as blankets of rain fell in front of the stage. Fittingly enough, Tubular Bells 3's central song and forthcoming single is called "Man In The Rain", and the thunderous effects of the intro detracted from its obvious similarity to the 1983 hit "Moonlight Shadow".
Backed by a 10-piece ensemble, including three percussionists (such as the in-demand Jody Linscott) and three vocalists, the bleached-blond, tanned, healthy-looking Oldfield doodled away and bent the notes like a virtuoso, soothing the corporate audience. When the trademark bells came, bang on 10pm, they provided a giant emotional release for the soaked spectators. However, it wasn't quite up to the regal setting of central London. Mike, next time, please, hold the waterworks and make it Notre- Dame de Paris in July!
A version of this review appeared in some editions of Saturday's paper
Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigourfilm
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
- 2 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’