Simon Bisson (sbisson) wrote,
Simon Bisson

Flat Earth, Circumnavigated

Sunday night saw marypcb and me in a queue outside the Union Chapel, ready for a gig I thought I'd never see - as the last time the band that were about to perform had been together had been the mid 80s.

The Union Chapel was the right place for the gig, an intimate venue, in a part converted church. The audience were all fans, and the band knew it - the banter flew backwards and forwards to friends they knew in the crowd - and members of a tribute band ended up on stage, playing alongside the musicians they emulated.

Circumnavigating The Flat Earth

Thomas Dolby had had a "let's get the band back together" moment, and had brought together the musicians that had recorded and toured his second album, The Flat Earth, for a one off. With no rehearsal they'd reconstruct (and update) the songs, turning a reunion into a story about the album and the dynamics in the group that had built the songs. Dolby may be best known as a solo musician, but the process of recording and performing an album is much more complex...

The result was something rather wonderful, with rough edges that polished up into a gem of a gig.

Circumnavigating The Flat Earth
Dolby at the piano

Then there were the special guests, who came from different periods in Dolby's career. Martin McAloon and Wendy Smith from the wonderful Prefab Sprout (another band I though I'd never see any of live) joined on bass and vocals for some songs, while Trevor Horn and Bruce Woolley (from the first band Dolby had been in, Woolley's early synth-pop construction The Camera Club) added vocals, bass and theremin to Dolby's song Airwaves.

Circumnavigating The Flat Earth
Dolby with Wendy Smith and Martin McAloon

Best gig of 2010? Definitely a candidate!
Tags: concert, music, photography, thomas dolby
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