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Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival

Cult Fiction Live! Sounds from the Small Screen

Saturday 17 March 2018

Colston Hall, Bristol

Conductor William Goodchild led a specially commissioned 30-piece orchestra through a jukebox smorgasboord of famous and best-loved tv themes and incidental music from the ‘60s to the 80’s.

The Players

William Goodchild – conductor |  Simon Gardner – trumpet  | Jonny Bruce – trumpet  | Andy Hague – trumpet  | Nick Malcolm – trumpet  | Ian | Bateman – trombone  |  Jon Hopes – trombone  |  Liam Treasure – trombone  |  Justin Pavey – trombone  |  Laura Tanner – french horn  | Ben Waghorn – alto saxophone/ flute  |  Kevin Figes – alto saxophone/ flute | Jake McMurchie – tenor saxophone | Andy Williamson – tenor saxophone | Ruth Hammond – baritone saxophone/ flute | Denny Ilett – guitar | Dan Moore – piano | Andy Crowdy – bass | Martin France – drums  |  Andy Tween – percussion | Mark Whitlam – percussion | and a 12-piece string ensemble

Some of the pieces performed

Star Trek, Mission Impossible, The Avengers, Parkinson, Vision On, The Persuaders, Tomorrow’s World, Hawaii Five-O, This Is Your Life, Grandstand, Batman, Charlie’s Angels, Starsky and Hutch, The Two Ronnies, The Professionals...

Below: a little film snippet taken on an iPhone of Batman.

“…music so sexy and cool, the stage should be sealed off with police incident tape!” Bristol 24/7 ​"We were boldly plunged into the cosmic world and mildly cheesy tuneage of the original Star Trek TV series, and from then on the themes came thick and fast. Mission: Impossible, Randall and Hopkirk Deceased and The Persuaders rubbed sonic shoulders with UFO, The Professionals, Starsky and Hutch, and Hawaii 5-0. But the fusion of wah-wah guitars, wailing trumpets and foot-stomping percussion rhythms also occasionally side-stepped the serious shows of the era in favour of more light-hearted, jovial fare such as the comically high-pitched, jittering piccolos of Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, Are You Being Served (complete with narration from one of the instrumentalists) and the original Adam West-starring, KERPOW!-packed Batman ("Da-da-da-da-da-da-daaaaa. Bat-maaaan!") Nods of wistful recognition and nostalgic-induced sighs accompanied renditions of the signature theme from Parkinson and a magnificently punchy, spot-on performance of the unforgettable, legendary title music from Grandstand, as did a few selections from Vision On, particularly the instantly recognisable mellow, vibraphone-led incidental theme. Even the sensual, slithering saxophone seductiveness of the immortal Milk Tray advert got a look in. The cheeky, jestful title cue from The Two Ronnies ("And it's goodnight from me and it's goodnight from them," quipped Goodchild, gesturing to the orchestra) rounded things off. Well, almost - until the enthusiastic, ebullient hollers and cheers from the exuberant crowd enticed them to perform the theme from The Avengers as an encore; a ballsy, hummable and unequivocally fitting barnstormer of a finale if ever there was one. When it comes to transporting us back in time through the annals of some of the most iconic, jazz and funk-heavy TV themes ever written, this specially put together ensemble of performers had it well and truly nailed. Dynamics and nuances were impeccable and performances utterly faultless (the brass section provided several stunning, knock-out highlights) seguing effortlessly from theme to theme with raw, infectious intensity and audacious, electrifying gutsiness which perfectly recreated the magic of the music and the nostalgia of the period. A cool, sexy, trippy time machine of classic TV tuneage that was enough to make you want to slip on those flares and long-collared shirt and groove it on down to the nearest disco." Review, by Jamie Caddick


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