Originally released on 25th May 1973, the Tubular Bells The 50th Anniversary Celebration tour will feature an expansive live group, arranged by Mike Oldfield’s long-term collaborator Robin A Smith. It will see Tubular Bells performed in full, along with further Oldfield compositions, touring across the UK.
Robin is thrilled to be performing a work he’s loved since he first heard it in 1973. He collaborated with Mike Oldfield on Tubular Bells 2 and 3 including live performances at Edinburgh Castle, Horseguards Parade, The Millennium Bell in Berlin and the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony – when he first talked to Mike about his idea for this re-imagined version.
“The show was premiered at the Royal Festival Hall in August 2021 to great acclaim as an early celebration of and tribute to Mike – who in my view is one of England’s greatest composers in the last century. Along with the musicians, it’s a real privilege to be performing this extraordinary work. It’s as fresh today as it was when Mike created it in 1971 – and I love having the chance to bring it to new audiences as well as those who, like me, are still captivated by it whenever they hear it.
The wonderful thing about Tubular Bells is that it never seems to age. It takes you on a journey through progressive rock and electronica, blues, folk, jazz and classical and along the way evokes such melodic beauty and drama. We’ve had plenty of tears from the audience and so many wonderful stories of their first experience with Tubular Bells.”
The performance also features other works by Mike Oldfield including Moonlight Shadow, Summit Day, Family Man and Ommadawn.
Tubular Bells, created in 1971 and released in 1973, was the debut studio album by English multi-instrumentalist, composer, and songwriter Mike Oldfield. At just 17 years old when he started composing the music, Oldfield recorded and played almost all the instruments on the album, which gained worldwide recognition when the opening theme was used for the soundtrack of the horror film, The Exorcist and went on to become the highest-selling instrumental album of all time.
The first part of the 2023 tour came with much critical acclaim, Newcastle Chronicle calling it: ‘… A magnificent performance of a piece that’s now part of the fabric of popular culture’, and the Brighton & Hove News commenting: ‘’Tubular Bells deserves to last forever and with strong performances like this, with or without Mike Oldfield up front, it will. Stunning.’
Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells – The 50th Anniversary Celebration at Milton Keynes Theatre
Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells – The 50th Anniversary Celebration is at Milton Keynes Theatre on Thursday 14th September, 2023.
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