Belfast Telegraph

James Bond fans shaken and stirred musically

It was a tribute to the enduring legacy of agent 007 that the Ulster Orchestra could stage a full James Bond Film Night from the hero’s daredevil exploits.

This ‘blood and thunder’ music, with the occasional oasis of charm as in Moon River, provided an exciting background to the Bond dramas of car chases, helicopter swoops and assorted skullduggery.

The only things missing were the said cars, helicopters and the sauve Mr Bond himself, in various incarnations. The first half had some of the best music with the

James Bond theme and ageless standards like Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever. These were performed with aplomb by Mary Carewe who also has an impressive record as a classical singer.

Nearly all Bond music sounds the same, so the second half was much like the first, but rather less

attractive. Nevertheless there were sterling performances from all sections of the Ulster Orchestra under the direction of the distinguished Carl Davis.

Compere Joe Lindsay’s commentary, added to David Byers excellent programme notes, provided the academic background, and Bond fans no doubt loved it all. Others in the audience may have felt neither shaken nor stirred, either way, but it was good to share such enjoyment in a packed Waterfront Hall on a freezing winter night.

Alf McCreary

Belfast Telegraph

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