Sunday, April 17, 2022

Sunday Fun: Standby for Action! (Standing By....)

On Wednesday I scribbled a piece about a (then) upcoming special concert in Birmingham, England -- a concert I may have attended had there been more lead time. While there I could visit relatives, and see a heritage country I've not been to in years. To be honest, especially with myself, the Isles' Covid restrictions are so poor that I probably would not have made the trip.

Nostalgia may have won out, however.

It was a busy week for me, and as soon as I posted Barry Gray Tunes in Birmingham This Weekend, I forgot about the 'upcoming' performance. Well, Sunday morning comes, and time arrives to let me treat the subject further....

From the BBC's website, posted four days ago:

Live orchestra Thunderbirds concert held in Birmingham
By Phil Mackie
Midlands Correspondent

For the first time ever, fans of Thunderbirds and Stingray will get the chance to enjoy the music from classic series - played live by an orchestra.

The iconic puppets have been brought to Symphony Hall in Birmingham for a unique concert.

Attendees can look forward to hearing every piece of music composed for Gerry Anderson's shows, from the earliest - the Adventures of Twizzle - all the way through to Terrahawks.

The show takes place on Saturday.

Anderson and his wife Sylvia created some of the best-loved television series of the 1960s and 70s.

I love how Brits define "television" in terms of their own product. We can't do that here in Canada, for obvious reasons. Sylvia and Gerry Anderson definitely produced television programmes that were part of my childhood: Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, and UFO were the big ones. Thank you, CKVR and CFTO (and CTV).

Some of the themes are regarded as classics - especially the Stingray theme and the Thunderbirds March. There were also songs, like the theme to Fireball XL5 which will be performed too.

Composer Barry Gray was a talent. His themes were not only "catchy", an almost prerequisite for telefantasy shows, certainly ones of that time, but the maestro's background scoring was often full of rocketship excitement: Witness the aural strains of brilliant brass played presto to a shot of a taxiing futuristic jetliner. And this was a childrens' programme. Unbelievable.

I'm guessing last night's concert went over well, and to the countdown of: "Five!... Four!...  Three!... Two!... One... Thunderbirds Are Go!"

Bloody brilliant!

Gerry Anderson and friends.

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