Review: Radiophonic Workshop at The Roundhouse, May 17th, 2009

Well, I promised this, so here we go, lol. Jo! and I have a natter about it in the first Flashing Blade podcast, but I thought I’d pop a few thoughts – and vids – here for folks.

In all fairness, I had no idea what to expect. All of the Workshop’s output was created, realised, bolted together in the Maida Vale studios. So how well would this transfer to a live stage setting? Well, not too badly. Yes, there were the odd fluffs, but it couldn’t be helped.

It started off with the start of the Generic Sci Fi Quarry, featuring a white coated Dick Mills torturing a poor, early noise making machine of some unknown name. After that, Peter Howell, Paddy Kingsland, Roger Limb and Mark Ayres popped onto stage – all dressed as the boffins they are, white coats flapping. Each musician had their time in the spotlight, playing some of the music for which they are possibly best known. Well, except for poor old Mark who, technically, isn’t a member of the Workshop – however, as official archivist and the guy who saved so much stuff, he should have some kind of honoury Boffin-hood bestowed upon him.

It was very nice to see that the guys covered the history of the Workshop, from Desmond Briscoe and Daphne Orme, through John Baker and Delia Derbyshire (Huge cheer there – especially for Ziwzih Zwizih oo oo oo ) Interestingly, the guys did add a little to some tracks, playing stuff either live or cued in from the now obligatory notebook. The John Baker track, New Worlds had a live jazz second verse added which led back into the radiophonic version…with a certain children’s news programme logo hitting the main screen just at the right moment. Cue cheer, LOL.

The band had a band…brass, percussion etc. This was usefull on some tracks though on others it did tend to jar with what one recalled tracks to sound like.

Other tracks included Roger Limb’s ‘Sea Trek’, Peter Howell’s Greenwhich Chrous and Paddy Kingsland’s ‘Southend Pier’ from the Hitchhiker’s Guide.

Of course, Doctor Who was covered. I mean, if that how the Queen knows the Workshop, it would be a huge ommision….

So, we ended up with a new version of the Derbyshire theme, done for the show, with added Tardis noises, Im assuming as marker points. Then the Tardis demat, something from The Wheel in Space, then the joy that is The Sea Devils. A bit of the Masque of Mandragora and then the guys went ‘live’. Well, as near as dammit. The Logopolis regenration, Nyssa’s theme, a suite from the Five Doctors – including the almighty fart of Rassilon. All with suitible graphics on the screens behind them. A bit later the Howell theme was played, with the main melody statement played live, as well as the middle eight and the odd chord. Unfortunetly, due to the tech and composer’s own skill, some of it didn’t work – playing against the sycopation in Space for Man/ The Case for the Ancient Astronauts, for eg, a bit similar to the middle eight of the Howell theme.

All in all, however, it was one hell of a night. A greatest hits compiliation from one of the most underated group of people in music. I’m so badly hoping they do more…

with thanks to all those who’ve shared on YouTube – beats my camera footage hands down, lol.

4 Responses to “Review: Radiophonic Workshop at The Roundhouse, May 17th, 2009”

  1. 1 lizaanne42
    June 9, 2009 at 2:46 am

    Wow! Thanks for sharing the videos!

  2. 2 Mike C
    June 9, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Great review Tony and many thanks for the videos. That “Arrgghh!!” sound you might have heard just then was me yelling at my laptop when Paddy Kingsland’s immortal “Logopolis” suite cut off right before the crescendo. Someone should release this whole show on CD.

  3. 3 macfadyan
    June 9, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    well, my phone footage does have the whole logopolis thing…just, but the sound is atrocious..you could always have a peek on youtube to see if theres a longer version?

  4. 4 Rumpio
    July 11, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    I’ve just acquired the soundtrack of the concert – if you could share your Logopolis video I could sync them together if you like?

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