Tubular Bells For Two
It’s been over 40 years since Mike Oldfield redefined instrumental prog rock – and helped launch Richard Branson’s Virgin empire – with his album Tubular Bells. For those four decades, nobody except Oldfield’s full ensemble ever dared to recreate the album’s 49 minutes of twisting and turning music.
Until two Aussies came along.
With hands, feet, and a welter of instruments, Daniel Holdsworth and Aidan Roberts bravely accept the challenge in Tubular Bells For Two.
The results are absolutely staggering.
They’ve been touring worldwide for six years, but the 2015 Fringe sees the boys visit Adelaide for only the second time. Introduced with a witty reference to the original album’s sleeve notes, they take stations behind keyboards and guitars, and proceed to play a pretty much note-for-note-perfect rendition of the album.
It’s visually epic as well – with the two musicians dashing around the stage, swapping instruments, ringing the enormous centrepiece tubular bells, and getting rather excited about the whole thing (particularly through Holdsworth’s animalistic turn on the drum kit). Quite rightly they are applauded with a standing ovation.
What is there to say? The show does exactly what it says on the tin, and you won’t get it anywhere else.
The level of musicianship is astounding, all the album’s psychedelic production effects are conjured live and wash beautifully over the instruments, and it’s arranged with such precision that the two lads almost make it look easy.
You don’t even need to have heard Tubular Bells on record before. You just need to see this show.
Tubular Bells For Two continues at The Garden of Unearthly Delights – The Factory until March 15.
Words by Nicholas Pipe