THOMAS DOLBY AND FRIENDS: Circumnavigating ‘The Flat Earth.’
Union Chapel, Islington, London
Feb 28th, 2010
The other night I met up for a drink with my friends from the Flat Earth live band I took with me on my world tour in 1983-84–Justin Hildreth, Lyndon Connah, Matthew Seligman, and Lesley Fairbairn. We thought it would be fun to get back together and play for one night. It was great when Matthew and Kevin Armstrong joined me onstage at the Academy a couple of years ago, and this would be the full touring band. A quick email round to Chucho Merchan, Debra Barsha and Kevin confirmed that everyone was up for it.
But instead of a yet another 80s reunion, I thought we could do something a little more contemporary, a little more Reality TV. So here’s the plan. We won’t rehearse the show at all. Instead, we’ll meet up onstage, completely unrehearsed. We’ll re-learn songs like ‘Hyperactive’, ‘Windpower’, ‘I Scare Myself’ and ‘One Of Our Submarines’, chatting and telling stories as we go. It’ll be very interactive and the audience can chime in with questions, comments and requests, like a cross between a masterclass and a talk show. And I’ll try to arrange some cameo walk-on appearances from celebrated musicians I’ve worked with over the years. At the end of the evening we’ll play a short set of the songs we’ve practiced, back-to-back.
With the help of promoter Adrian Gibson, I have booked the Union Chapel in Islington for the evening of February 28th 2010. This is a lovely venue with seating for around 700 and a somewhat wrap-around stage which I feel will give a warm atmosphere for the show. It’ll be quite an early start, with 2 to 2.5 hrs for rehearsing and chat, followed by a break and then a short concert set.
The Union Chapel ‘gig’ will round out an exciting weekend for Dolby afficionados: the previous night, Feb 27th, there will be a show in Aldermaston by excellent duo The Pirate Twins, who could loosely be regarded as a ‘tribute band.’ I saw these guys play once before at a semi-secret 50th birthday bash, but since then they’ve expanded their repertoire and they will be performing The Golden Age Of Wireless in its entirety. They do an amazing job of re-creating my sounds and production, but many of their arrangements go beyond that as they explore ideas that my originals only hinted at. I decided to make my show the same weekend as theirs, because I know that a lot of fans and Forum members will be traveling specially for that show. Between the GAOW performance on Saturday and ‘Circumnavigating The Flat Earth’ on Sunday, it’ll be quite an action-packed 48 hrs. There’s more info about The Pirate Twins gig here.
I’m wide open to ideas for the show, so feel free to post your comments below!