Moon landings musical celebration Inter Stellar was out of this world
Posted on the 21st Jul 2019 in the category sport

"The moon landings mate? Never happened!"

You know the type, the human race's greatest achievement which took £40 billion and 30,000 people did not happen, because Nigel from Stechford reckons the flag had a shadow.
The fact the Russians, who had greatest ever spying organisation ever created, the KGB, had infiltrated the US elite and never said it was fake, because they knew how close they were to putting Cosmonauts on the moon, is lost on him.

And that you can go to a huge telescope and look at the space litter NASA left on the moon WITH YOUR OWN EYES does not matter to Nigel, who is so thick he thinks every documentary he watches on YouTube is true.
Across the world last night there were celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of that biggest "small step" in history. Birmingham Cathedral hosted Inter Stellar, presented by the Secret Symphony, to mark the epoch-defining event. The 50 piece Limelight  Orchestra were performing "all things space, stars and inter stellar" and the cathedral was packed for the concert.

All day I avoided moon documentaries as I thought there would be some moon action. I was hoping for a screen with Neil and Buzz bopping around in the sea of tranquility or as there was a "3D hologram show" perhaps Chewbacca would turn up in his birthday suit. But if there were holograms I could not see them from my seat.

As it was, the entertainment was strictly musical in St Philips Cathedral as Limelight went through a space themed set list which boldly went where no orchestra has probably ever been before. David Bowie and Elton John's Starman and Rocket Man were successfully launched into a brave musical stratosphere and then testing the out there nature of exploration the orchestra went for a medelee of 2001 Space Odyssey (the drummer must have been looking forward to it all week), Walking on the Moon and maybe (according to my friend) a bit of Bergerac.
As Limelight, led by a wise-cracking conductor, went for an arrangement of "obscure" 1996 hit Spaceman (Space, man!) by Babylon Zoo it seemed anything was on the table; maybe an easy listening version of Prodigy's Out of Space or a bonkers bassoon reprise of Bad Moon Rising.

But instead of going down the obvious route of The Carpenters Top of the World (looking down on creation) and Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft they veered off down a galactic vortex of Muse and Jamiroquai. The arrangements for Starlight and Cosmic Girl were fantastic allowing everyone in the orchestra to put their rocket boosters on to increase the volume and intensity.

Singers took turns to sing their favourite space themed but the women really hit the high notes during a fantastic rendition of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and the fantastic lighting show really added to the atmospheric tune bathing the historic venue in blues, yellows and everything in between.  

Public Service Broadcasting's incredible masterpiece Go! uses the voices of Nasa controller Gene Kranz and his colleagues to incredible effect and as it was the 50th anniversary of the moon landings it was a shame they could not have been used in last night's brilliant live version as it would have been stratospheric.

However, I am being over-critical as I am a moon landings nut. As the two hour show culminated the audience were ready to blast off with the orchestra for the last few numbers and ELO'S Mr BlueSky and Simply Red's Star's got those in the church pews swaying.
The highlight of the show was an epic version of 1980's hair bear band Europe's The Final Countdown. The Limelight Orchestra truly went for it, the singer belted out, what are lets face it awful lyrics (who rhymes Venus with 'See us') and the guitarist shredded like he was playing to wake up Ozzy Osbourne from a slumber  instead of being in the stained glass majesty of a cathedral. I will never be able to listen to The Final Countdown the same again.

Men landed on the moon, it is a fact, and it was wonderful to mark the occasion with the "out there" Limelight Orchestra. 

You can catch Inter Stellar at Nottingham's Motorpoint Arena on July 27, Coventry Cathedral on August 23 and Lichfield Cathedral on August 31.



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