Presented by Adelaide Festival
Reviewed 12 March 2015
The Australian premiere of Blow the Bloody Doors Off promised “Swinging 60s groove. Anti hero grit. And a crack team of musicians”.
Showcasing the best tunes from four of Sir Michael Caine’s best early flicks. Musical director Terry Edwards chose, played and conducted his way through the music from Alfie (1966, Sonny Rollins), The Ipcress File (1965, John Barry), The Italian Job (1969, Quincy Jones) and Get Carter (1971, Roy Budd) interspersed with excerpts from all but the latter films, projected to a giant screen.
Some of cinema’s greatest scores were revived with outstanding highlights from Seamus Beaghen (keyboards, Hammond organ), Rose Moore (bassoon, hammer dulcimer, vocals and keyboards), Seb Rochford (drums and tabla), and, nearly stealing the show, Rosie Westbrook on double and electric bass.
Impassioned woodwind from Finn Peters and Jack Pinter, particularly the rarely heard alto flute, made for recognisable riffs from the iconic soundscapes; the unusual instrumentation a delight to see performed live.
Trevor Nichols narrated, informed and read beautifully, and thankfully spared us from an evening of Michael Caine impersonations. Out of sync audio with film visual, amateurish sound problems and a sense that the show was under-rehearsed, did not dampen the audience’s enthusiasm for the material.
Local favourites Zephyr Quartet and Darren Percival were dramatically underutilised but performed splendidly within their window. Percival’s rendition of “On Days Like These” demonstrated the smooth operator’s Italian language skills and ability to charm the crowd with his dulcet tones.
At the mention of the line everyone was waiting to hear, “You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!” the crowd cheered enthusiastically; a reflection of the entertaining tone of the evening. Edwards’ Blow the Bloody Doors Off proved his awesome incarnations of the tunes of the era, like the films, have lost no appeal over time.
Reviewed by Gordon Forester
Rating out of 5: 3.5
Venue: Adelaide Town Hall, King William Street, Adelaide
Season: 12 March 2015 (one show only)
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (including interval)
Bookings: Book through the Adelaide Festival online or through BASS online, phone 131 246 (booking fees apply)