Phil Hopkins, Arts & Travel Editor

The Sound’s Bond…..James Bond

James Bond Concert Spectacular
James Bond Concert Spectacular
You know you are in esteemed company when the man to your right is in his white tux and has all the look of Sean Connery at the height of his Bond career…..only we are in Bradford and the gent in question has long hair and an emerging beer belly!

But, without doubt, the Bond movies have an army of followers in the same way that Captain James T Kirk of the Starship Enterprise, has thousands of diehard ‘Trekkies’ who would follow him to the ends of the earth.

But, this time, it was the ‘Bondites’ who turned out in number at St George’s Hall for the first appearance there by Q The Music, a 13 piece orchestra whose 15 year existence has been to pay homage to the music of John Barry, David Arnold, and all those before and after them who have had a hand in bringing Ian Fleming’s iconic spy to the silver screen.

Caroline Bliss joins Kerry Schultz and Matt Walker on stage
Caroline Bliss joins Kerry Schultz and Matt Walker on stage
Under the baton of Warren Ringham and with the assistance of compere, Caroline ‘Miss Moneypenny’ Bliss – she appeared in two Bond movies during the reign of Timothy Dalton – the 12 musicians and vocalist Kerry Schultz, took an enthusiastic audience on a musical journey spanning more than half a century.

Reflecting the sartorial elegance of the films, the orchestra was as slick as Bond himself, well-rehearsed, tight, crisp and smarter than the chairman of a London club in their elegant evening wear.

A View To A Kill, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice…..the iconic numbers kept coming until well after 10pm, and the crowd loved it.

As a Bond fan in my early days – not a diehard I would add – the music was excellent but the format will struggle to achieve wider appeal beyond diehard lovers of the movies.

Kerry Schultz was a great vocalist, slicker, perhaps, than her male counterpart Matt Walker who moved between vocals and percussion, but lacked that Je ne said quoi to be a fully convincing front man…..unlike Schultz who gave it her all for over two hours.

In some ways the whole event reminded me of the Simon & Garfunkel story, another form of musical tribute which I saw at St George’s before it moved to London’s West End, which achieved something more convincing by running archive film of the iconic duo throughout the evening, as the two protagonists sang their way through the S&G song book.

It would take a mammoth effort to do the same with this show – and there may be copyright constraints – however, were producer Ringham able to achieve this, then I feel sure the James Bond Concert Spectacular would reach new heights and achieve wider appeal beyond lovers of the Cubby Broccoli franchise.

James Bond Concert Spectacular - Q The Music Show
St George’s Hall, Bradford
Next Northern Appearance – Longfield Suite, Manchester October 12th