Stupendous, is the best word to describe the opening concert of the Brighton Festival. Although the promise of saws, bellows, bottles, kettles, pipes and dustbins replacing musical instruments initially filled me with foreboding, I little imagined my feet would be tapping throughout the performance.
Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas created the now world famous Stomp in 1991 and the following year it won the award for the most outstanding contribution to the Brighton Festival so it is more than appropriate their latest creation, should celebrate the Festival’s 40th anniversary.
A pianissimo opening with a double bass case being rubbed in rhythm soon to be followed by plastic piping of various lengths creating sounds not unlike a bassoon backed by a chorus of hosepipes and if you thought a dustpan and brush merely got rid of the dust, it makes a delightful ‘shushing’ sound.
The musical saw is a must adding a tuneful accompaniment to the various rhythms but the highlight of this performance has to be the metal tubes hanging high above the stage with six performers also suspended from above striking them in turn in perfect rhythm as they swing to and fro.
Cresswell participates as well as conducts the ensemble, ending with a tremendous climax which had a packed concert hall on its feet. A well deserved standing ovation for a foot tapping performance with great attention to dynamics and sounds that are a sheer delight.