16 marzo 2017

Uno straordinario documento d'epoca restituisce, almeno in parte, la caotica ed elettrizzante euforia circense e multimediale di un'esibizione della Concert Band di Mike Westbrook di inizio anni Settanta, più o meno al tempo di Love Songs e del ciclo di concerti dal vivo denominato Earthrise TourThe Original Peter, concepito da Mike assieme a John Fox, ripreso e diretto da Tony Staveacre per il programma televisivo Review della BBC2. Favoloso.

During the March to April 1970 sessions for Mike Westbrook's Love Songs, The Mike Westbrook Concert Band, The Welfare State, Original Peter and a whole host of other long-forgotten performers and speciality acts including the esoterically named likes of The Amazing Mas-Kar, The Edmund Campion Gymnasts and, erm, 'Cherokee Indian Joe The Great Leaping Bison' (we can probably safely assume that he wasn't) took part in an ambitious small screen extravaganza somewhere between a progressive rock concert and a down-at-heel carnival, which was captured by the Review cameras in all of its chaotic glory. The film was first broadcast on Saturday 25th April 1970, as part of an edition that also featured a report on the Hayward Gallery's major retrospective on reclusive photographer Bill Brandt, and was subsequently selected for the highlights special Summer Review on 22nd August, where it appeared alongside a lively interview with William Hobbs, 'Fight Director' at the National Theatre. Shortly afterwards, the ensemble took the entire spectacle on the road as the centrepiece of their lengthy 'Earthrise Tour', which must have caused no little alarm for audiences in search of rock posturing, lengthy soloing and the usual hard and heavy 'serious' early seventies clichés.