BBC Big Band’s The Music of James Bond and Beyond

Band. Big Band

Okay, so massive nerd alert. I grew up on the James Bond films. They taught me that cars can also be submarines, that the British had an inferiority complex post World War Two and that Russia wasn’t always the bad guy. Just 9 times out of 10. They had a massive influence on me growing up, and the 007 title sequences burned all those famous theme tunes deep inside my brain.

So alongside doing other Bond-like activities this week, like going to a private island just off the North East coast (they exist) and repeatedly throwing a bowler hat at the coat stand until Victoria slapped me, we ended the week on a barrage of Jazz fuelled cinematic (literal) high notes courtesy of the BBC’s Big Bond Band.With the last Daniel Craig film coming out this year, the BBC’s orchestra took us through the magical movie melodies of Commander Bonds past and present and chucked in some songs that influenced the legendary Bond composer, John Barry. He composed and orchestrated pretty much all the important themes, from the original theme from Dr. No, all the way to A-HA’s Living Daylights.

This was the first time we actually sat down to see an orchestra perform (usually they are hidden in a pit below the stage) and it literally had it all. We laughed (because I couldn’t hide my geekiness-induced excitement), applauded at the two singers (who perfectly pulled off everyone from Tom Jones to the Shirley Bassenator herself) and totally chilled out and relaxed at the smooth sounds of brass instruments resonating around the Music Hall.

Seeing as no-one is asking, I better tell. The best James Bond theme song is as follows – Licence to Kill. It is so “overproduced 80’s” that it makes my insides smile an awful lot.