Craig Beardsworth from the NZ Capital Times Review of Tubular Bells For Two at New Zealand Festival.
We would also like to note that everything is performed live each and every night.
Tubular Bells for Two, Telstraclear Festival Club, February 29, 2012
In the early 70’s Mike Oldfield celtic folk rock composition Tubular Bells was rejected by many labels as being not commercial enough. When it was finally accepted by Richard Branson it ended up on the British charts for 279 weeks, selling millions world wide and helped establish Branson’s Virgin label. The work, consisting of two 25 minute halves of continuous music, quickly reached cult status.
Oldfield played most of the instruments himself recording them individually and mixing them – a technique common now but not in 1973. It’s apt that this revival was played by only two people – Daniel Holdsworth and Aidan Roberts. They take the stage with 20 odd instruments including three keyboards, glockenspiel, mandolin electric/acoustic/bass/Spanish guitars, drums, percussion, tubular bells and of course, two kazoo whistles. Despite some looping and pre-programmed passages live it is a feat of logistics, timing and memory. This was the first time it was performed outside Australia and it warrants an international audience. They played each instrument with absolute conviction, a highlight being Holdsworth’s extended drum solo – he played like a demon.
Sadly the Festival Club was not the best venue. Few had a good view of the instrument juggling and general shenanigans going on. A venue with raked seating would have helped enhance the theatrical nature of the performance.