He blinded us with science - and magic ; EG Essential Guide nottinghampost.com/entertainment Daily Your daily guide to the county's entertainment scene, with Entertainment Editor Simon Wilson Follow @EG_Nottingham
THERE are several Thomas Dolbys. There''s the electro-pop star of the 1980s. The record producer behind acclaimed albums for the likes of Prefab Sprout and Joni Mitchell. The acclaimed sideman who led the band for David Bowie at Live Aid. The Silicon Valley businessman whose ringtone software is in half a billion mobile phones... Now there''s Dolby the film director and Dolby the raconteur. They joined the familiar musician at the Broadway this week for one of the most distinctive performances I''ve ever seen.
His film, The Invisible Lighthouse, is a reflective 45-minute work revolving around Dolby''s childhood on the Suffolk Coast, an area to which he has now moved back. Combining his haunting memories of the Orfordness Lighthouse, then renowned for its brightness and power, with ruminations on the slippery nature of memory, the film was shot on light, portable cameras, and obliquely follows the recent switching-off of the beacon, no longer needed in a sat-nav world which has passed it by.
Starting at an unusually early 6.30 to accommodate the cinema''s regular programme, Dolby provided the narration and soundtrack from behind a bank of electronic keyboards, with cleverly-used lighting effects.
Then he conducted a lively Q and A session, with fascinating anecdotes about Buzz Aldrin, Magnus Pyke and maverick film director Ken Russell, for whom Dolby scored Gothic (Russell''s magnificently foul-mouthed tirade against a recalcitrant orchestra cannot be repeated here - but it deservedly got the evening''s biggest laugh).
Most tantalisingly of all, he revealed that he had spent most of the previous day in conversation with Prefab Sprout pop genius Paddy McAloon dreaming up possible future plans.
Finally, Dolby''s blasted out fabulous versions of his hits Hyperactive and She Blinded Me With Science to send us all out into the still-bright evening air.
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