Liverpool Wondrous Place – Philharmonic Hall
Another great night at the Phil with Vasily and the Orchestra hosting The Scaffold, Pagoda Chinese Youth Orchestra, 6ix Toys, OMD, Yu LeFu on dai-hu and Liao Zi Lan on guzheng. A real east meets west, old meets new spectacular.
The purpose of this concert is to showcase the musical city of Liverpool on Liverpool day at World Expo in Shanghai later this month. It was a really good attempt at those opening and closing ceremony shows you see at sports events like the Commonwealth Games or the Olympics and it worked well.
The orchestra held the whole show together basically providing the backing track for OMD, the Scaffold and the excellent Pagoda Chinese Youth Orchestra. A real stand out for me though was 6ix Toys. These are a contemporary Liverpool pop group playing what I would describe as acid jazz inspired instrumental music. Good to dance to or just listen. They played their composition which is the Liverpool Expo Anthem. Watch out for these guys.
Good to see Andy and Paul from OMD back together. Playing their hits from the 70’s and 80’s with backing from the orchestra reminded me not only how good they were but how synth pop can be adapted and what a future it has. Is it time for synth pop to make a comeback as a soundtrack for the 21st century?
A contemporary Chinese piece called Oxbow finished the first half of the show. A bit inaccessible for me but I’m sure will impress in Shanghai. Interesting that the piece was written by Ian Stephens, an Englishman from Devon now living in West Kirby. Based upon the Devon folk song ‘The Forsaken Maiden’ it really does encapsulate what Liverpool is all about, anything is possible in music.
The Phil played some old favourites, Nutcracker Excerpts by Tchaikovsky, Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra and the show opened with a Beatles Medley arranged by Jeff Tyzik.
The evening ended with Vasily and the Phil playing Twist and Shout!! Vasily dancing on the podium!!!
Don’t give up your day job Vasily!
Standing ovation at the end proved what a great evening it had been. These things can be dour but the evening moved along at a good pace with plenty of laughs and sing along tunes. Well held together by the orchestra.
Just one note of caution…..a dangerous nutter got onto the stage at one stage. Yes, John Gorman!!!! The Chinese have obviously not seen Tiswas or they would not give him a visa!
I hope the British Consulate in Shanghai have been warned!!!!
My verdict – 4/5