Adelaide Town Hall, Thu Mar 12
This showcase of music from four Michael Caine films features pieces made famous by Sonny Rollins (Alfie), Quincy Jones (The Italian Job), John Barry (The Ipcress File) and Roy Budd (Get Carter).
Musical Director Terry Edwards and his musicians are capturing the “London swagger” of the original soundtrack recording of Alfie, explains narrator Trevor Nichols. There’s a big screen introduction; Caine speaks directly to the audience. Alfie only gets a brief airing however, and soon it is on to the pick of the first half of the show – The Ipcress File. The haunting main theme, driven by hammered dulcimer, folds its way through the pieces. The flutes, percussion, the Zephyr Quartet and Edwards’ muted trumpet add to the impressive soundscape.
The Italian Job closes the first half and, like the film, is a much less-serious adventure. There’s more narration, more big-screen footage, and some quirky selections. Darren Percival sings lead on On Days Like These while Tracie Hunter and Maggie Ronson lead the band in a pleasantly chaotic version of The Self Preservation Society.
Permission to show footage from Get Carter has been denied, so Nichols reads from the screenplay and novel between pieces. While the visuals from the earlier films added an extra dimension, they were a little lengthy, and didn’t add much context. This way of linking the pieces is ultimately preferable. There’s more dulcimer used in the fabulous main theme, along with some great bass. A ‘60s gospel theme prevails in Looking For Someone, and a masterly Hammond Organ piece (courtesy of Seamus Beaghen) is accompanied by some big rock drumming; elsewhere there’s some fascinating guitar, delightful tabla and even crazy kazoo.
At the conclusion of the evening, Edwards and his band receive lengthy and warm applause. It’s been a good evening, and the audience has enjoyed the coolest music on offer in Adelaide tonight.
Cover image: David Bailey’s 1965 portrait of Michael Caine, in Panic Music rehearsal studios. Courtesy of www.Phaidon.com