January 10, 2012

Tubular Bells For Two; Seymour Centre, Sydney, Australia

Today we had the enormous pleasure to experience Tubular Bells For Two in person at the Seymour Centre in Sydney.

If the name, "Tubular Bells" (For Two) sounds familiar, it should.

The original version by legendary musician Mike Oldfield has been used in many movies and is often referenced in media, and is also understood to be the breakthrough artist signing of Richard Branson's Virgin Records back in 1973.

Daniel Holdsworth and Aidan Roberts did a superb job of entertaining and informing media types who witnessed their magic early today at the Seymour Centre.

It was two artists (bordering on musical genius we think), and 22 instruments, as they performed both 'Tubular Bells' and the somewhat less famous, 'Caveman'. On conclusion numerous media introduced themselves and complimented them on their ultra impressive contribution to the Sydney Festival.

Aidan explained "We started 10 years ago on trumpet and just kept adding instruments".

Media Blurb

Where: The Reginald, Seymour Centre. Corner City Road and Cleveland Street, Chippendale

One album. Two men. Too many instruments. A marathon of multi-instrumentalism.  Two ambitious musicians take up more than 20 instruments to present Mike Oldfield’s classic hit Tubular Bells in a unique musical – and acrobatic – performance. Oldfield’s beautiful and sprawling progressive Celtic-folk-rock opus shot to number one in charts around the world in 1973-74. 

Now Sydney multi-instrumentalists Daniel Holdsworth and Aidan Roberts have arranged the entire score of Tubular Bells to be played live by just two blokes, bringing the influential masterpiece to life in all its multi-layered madness and subtle 

Bios (provided)

Aiden Roberts...

Acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, glockenspiel, organ, drums, percussion, vocals, loops, bass guitar, a second slightly distorted guitar, taped motor-drive organ chord, tubular bells.

Aidan is the principal songwriter and multi-instrumentalist for the folk-rock band The Maple Trail (Broken Stone Records). He has toured Australia and the United States and released the albums Dirty Echo Spark (2007), Radio Twilight Lost (2008). Aidan is also a contributing songwriter and guitarist for popular psychedelic rock outfit Belles Will Ring (Remote Control Records), who have released the albums Mood Patterns (2007) and Broader Than Broadway (2008), and have toured Australia regularly, performing at festivals such as The Big Day Out. Aidan has also written and performed scores for theatre, including King Lear (2006, Harlos Productions), Titus! The Ultimate Murder Ballad Musical (2006, Gumption Ubertheatre), Hamlet (2009 and 2010, Harlos Productions), and Tattoo (2009, Griffin Theatre). Other current projects include a 9-part spoken word and experimental music project The Dead City Lullabies, and the highly experimental rock project The Blizzards, with Liam Judson (Belles Will Ring). Aidan and Daniel have been performing together for many years, Daniel having produced Aidan’s first solo album in 2000, Sounds of Planes as well as playing drums in The Maple Trail since 2006.

Daniel Holdsworth...

Acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitar, piano, organ, synthesizer, drums, percussion, loops, vocals, double-speed guitar, one slightly distorted guitar, tubular bells. Daniel is a composer and multi-instrumentalist. A graduate in Composition and Music Technology, he has toured in many Australian bands and has composed music for film, theatre and dance. He is the guitarist/singer/songwriter of The Saturns, who won the 2006 BMMA Award for Best Rock Band. He is a member of Sydney based folk-psych-country outfit The Maple Trail, and plays lead guitar in the acoustic trio Ten Thumb Tom. As a session musician, Daniel has recorded and performed with the likes of Yothu Yindi, and recorded for TV productions such as Blue Heelers. Since 2008, Daniel has been the musician for William Yang’s My Generation, a theatrical piece that explores life within the Sydney arts community in the 1970s and 1980s. During 2009, Holdsworth was composer and musical director for the Acting Factory’s children’s production of Hansel and Gretel. Other theatrical/dance work include compositions for the productions Big Girls Don’t Cry (2004), Hanging by a Thread (2003) and Reinvent Your Name (2002). In film, Daniel has worked with AndrĂ©e Greenwell and T.Malfroy, co-composing music for the American feature documentary Refugio (2004). He has composed soundtracks to the short films Shilo Saves the Day (2010), The Gelatinous Drool of Ignorance (2007), and Organ Delivery (2005), and sound design on Entropy Day (2004).


Tubular Bells is the debut record album of English musician Mike Oldfield, released in 1973. It was the first album released by Virgin Records and an early cornerstone of the company's success. Vivian Stanshall provided the voice of the "Master of Ceremonies" who reads off the list of instruments at the end of the first movement. The opening piano solo was used as a soundtrack to the blockbuster William Friedkin film The Exorcist (released the same year) and gained considerable airplay because of this.

The piece was later orchestrated by David Bedford for The Orchestral Tubular Bells version and it had three sequels in the 1990s, Tubular Bells II (1992), Tubular Bells III (1998) and The Millennium Bell (1999). Finally, the album was fully re-recorded as Tubular Bells 2003 at its 30th anniversary in 2003. A newly mastered and mixed re-issue of the original album appeared in June 2009 on Mercury Records, with bonus material. On 6 June there were international bell-ringing ceremonies to promote the release.

Tubular Bells in Movies and TV...

The opening theme, which was eventually chosen for the 1973 film The Exorcist, gained the record considerable publicity and introduced the work to a broader audience. Along with a number of other Oldfield pieces it was used in the 1979 NASA movie, The Space Movie. The opening theme has been sampled by many other artists such as Janet Jackson on her song "The Velvet Rope". The opening theme has also gained cultural significance as a 'haunting theme'; partly due to the association with The Exorcist.

In television it was also used in several episodes of the Dutch children's series Bassie en Adriaan, an episode ("Ghosts") of the BBC series My Family and an episode ("Poltergeist III - Dipesto Nothing") of Moonlighting. It was also used in a television advertisement for the Volkswagen Golf Diesel in 2002.[23] It has also been used in other films such as 1974's Black Christmas, 1985's Weird Science, 2001's Scary Movie 2, 2002's The Master of Disguise and 2004's Saved!. The album is also referenced in the Only Fools and Horses episode "Fatal Extraction", although the cover of Tubular Bells II is shown on screen.


Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells 'For Two'

Seymour Centre

Sydney Festival

Sydney Festival - Tubular Bells For Two

Mike Oldfield official website

Music News Australia

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Media Man News