16 September 2015
Reviewed by Trevor Jay
Well that was a different way to spend an evening! This was billed as just two people playing the whole of Mike Oldfield’s seminal Tubular Bells album. How could they possibly do that? With a lot of talent and even more energy is the answer.
The auditorium wasn’t full, but I still noticed quite a few Mike Oldfield tour T-shirts; the show is aimed at fans of the album. The stage was set with the tubular bells themselves in the spotlights. As the lights dimmed, the two barefoot Aussies (they did seem to control and switch a lot of things with their feet) came on stage to a hushed and expectant audience and without further ado started to play. Twenty five frantic minutes and twenty expertly played instruments later, the first side of the LP was finished and they went off to ‘turn the record over’.
The second half started with the guys having a bit of a chat with the audience and finding the only person who hadn’t heard the album beforehand. This brought them to life and I think they should have introduced the whole show in a similar manner. The second side was just as energetic as the first. One of the guys, just managed to grab some water after a particularly aggressive drum set, before playing his next instrument. They finished to a standing ovation and then somehow found the energy for another ten minute piece.
I enjoyed the experience, but am sure the aficionados got more out of it than I did. The show does exactly what it says on the tin – two guys play the Tubular Bells album. This does mean it only takes 50 minutes, which is a lot shorter than most concerts.
The Spa Centre was a good venue. We were able to park right outside, which on a miserable evening was welcome. The staff were friendly and helpful, even putting our drinks into plastic cups, so that we could take them in to the performance.
For more details abour Tubular Bells for Two and tour dates visit www.tubularbellsfortwo.com.
For other shows at the Royal Spa Centre visit www.warwickdc.gov.uk/royalspacentre.
Royal Spa Centre, Newbold Terrace, Leamington Spa, CV32 4HN | 01926 334418