News Column

Rousing concert a joy [Birmingham Mail (UK)]

October 12, 2013


WHEN the first sound of the evening came from a Theremin you know it's not going to be your average concert.

Indeed, not much about composer Danny Elfman - or his cohort artist and director Tim Burton - is average.

He has composed soundtracks for more than 80 films plus hit TV theme tunes including The Simpsons and Desperate Housewives.

The concert at the NIA took us through the scores of Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Beetlejuice, Batman, Mars Attacks, Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland and more, with the BBC Concert Orchestra and a 45-piece choir.

The musical performance accompanied giant projections of Burton's sketches for each film, giving a rare behindthe- Danny Elfman's Music from the films of Tim Burton NIA, BIRMINGHAM REVIEW scenes view of how this off-the-wall artist develops his quirky productions with their trademark dark edge.

But the real joy came when all visual distractions were dispensed and the audience was allowed to lose itself in the music.

Elfman's genius is the kind that can take an orchestra through three wildly different styles in the space of 16 bars.

And the highlight came when the man himself took to the stage to sing an animated rendition of Jack Skellington's "What's this?" from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

A rare and rousing concert that sparked a well-deserved standing ovation from the entire NIA audience.

Verdict: ????? MARY GRIFF THEY say the old ones are the best and on this evidence there is no danger of Onslaught being withered by age.

The UK legends, who unleashed their bludgeoning metal madness in the mid-1980s, have enjoyed something of a renaissance since the Noughties with three rip-snorting albums.

It was therefore disappointing to see The Temple, the smallest of the Institute's three venues, far from full.

The air raid siren intro acted as a warning to the aural onslaught to come - and it did - the threepronged battery of Chaos Is King, Killing Peace and Born For War setting the bar (and decibel level) high from the get-go.

Vocalist Sy Keeler and his bandmates looked lean, mean and hungry as heads banged and fists pumped to the rampaging riffs of powerhouse axemen Nige Rockett and Andy Rosser-Davies.


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