Last year, during James Lavelle’s curation of the Meltdown series of events at London’s Southbank Centre, one of the highlights was Goldie’s collaboration with the Heritage Orchestra. The drum n bass hero worked with Jules Buckley and his supremely talented group of musicians to recreate his seminal body of work ‘Timeless’. We missed out on that occasion but fortunately it was so successful that the Southbank invited them all to return this year for two more dates.
It was an absolutely superb night, with Goldie clearly bursting with excitement at being back on stage with an orchestra recreating his album once again – something we guess he could never have imagined happening over 20 odd years ago when he was in the studio beavering away on the album with Movin Shadow boss Rob Playford. From ‘Jah’ and ‘Angel’, two of our personal faves, through to ‘Kemistry’ and ‘Sea Drift’, it was a wonderful demonstration of just how special the album really is. We have to give a special mention to Cleveland Watkiss for his appearance – an absolutely serene and effortless rendition of ‘State Of Mind’.
To begin with, most of those seated in the Southbank Centre’s auditorium stayed sat down, while the beats (provided by two absolutely incredible drummers) slowly but surely permeated into their bodies. As time went by you could see small pockets of energy pooling around the more animated members of the audience. Some were slapping the thighs in time to the music, others nodded their heads… Midway through the show a few people got to their feet, but the majority remained surprisingly inhibited. By the end though, there was no holding back as everyone jumped out of their seats for ‘Inner City Life’ and several minutes of fevered, ravey vibes ensued. People gathered at the front of the stage, bouncing around while Goldie bounded up and down the stage, full of pride and joy as his pièce de résistance was recreated by the infallible Heritage Orchestra with singer Vanessa Haynes and the audience singing along to the words we all know and love.
It’s an album that changed our lives, and no doubt the lives of many people around the world, a body of work that caused a seismic shift in the drum n bass world taking it above ground in the most credible way possible. To witness ‘Timeless’ performed in such a beautiful way in such a prestigious venue was profound, a night we’ll never forget.