Wow. This was one of the most astonishing live events I have ever been to. the late Martyn Bennett’s masterpiece Grit recreated and, to an extent, re-imagined for orchestra and other players; I counted around 80 people on stage, including 3 pipers.
I’ve often read of electronica’s debt to the music of Philip Glass. This performance turned that full circle, with Bennett’s propulsive, sometimes explosive, beats recreated by the orchestra. The result was an exhilarating, joyous noise. The many samples (even the repetitive, distorted ones )were recreated by singers, including Rab Noakes.
The presence of Mr Noakes, lent an added poignancy to the final number, as he sang the lyrics of his old friend Gerry Rafferty [stay that impulse; there’s a time and a place]. Essentially, this was intended to be the final track on the album but was left off for legal reasons. The Rafferty lyric “To each and everyone of you, I say goodbye, farewell, adieu ” would have made a fine and fitting end to Grit. Ringleader/conductor Greg Lawson had the audience singing the lyric as the players left the stage. Really quite moving.
Despite the underlying sadness of Bennett’s early death, this was a vibrant, life-affirming event. A celebration, not a commemoration.
What a talent Martyn Bennett was.
Very mixed age range. All united in a standing ovation though.
It made me think..
I’m glad to be alive.