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FIREWORKS NIGHT – When We Fell Through The Ice/Echo’s Swing (Organ Grinder)

Posted: June 10th, 2006, by Alex McChesney

Anyone watching the new series of Doctor Who, then? If so, then maybe you’ve been tempted on more than one occasion to just mute the TV and turn on the subtitles, so you can make out what’s going on without being deafened by Murray Gold’s incidental music. I know I have. It doesn’t seem to matter whether the Cybermen are about to take over the planet, or someone’s making a cup of tea, every scene is smothered by thick dollops of synth-strings that believe themselves to be accompanying the final action scenes of a big Hollywood blockbuster rather than a knockabout family adventure series shown at tea-time on the BBC.

I quite like Gold’s arrangement of the theme tune, but when music is used to tell a story then it is very much like an extra actor. When approached with subtlety and sensitivity, a well-judged piece of incidental music can bring out the best in a scene. Doctor Who, unfortunately, is lumbered with the musical equivelant of BRIAN BLESSED, SHOUTING all the time and CHEWING THE SCENERY.

Not that I’m suggesting that Fireworks Night should be soundtracking shots of Daleks exterminating folk, but my (admittedly strained) point is that with this single they prove themselves most capable of telling a story through the mutual interaction of words and music, knowing when to back one off and let the other have center stage, and that the banjo is a much-underrated and powerful tool for good.

A little too polite for some tastes, this might be music for wannabe doomed poets who imagine their lives to be far more tragic and romantic than they really are. But then, I think that’s why I like it.

Fireworks Night

Alex McChesney

Alex was brought up by a family of stupid looking monkeys after being lost in the deep jungles of Paisley. Teaching him all their secret conga skills (as well as how to throw barrels at plumbers), Alex was able to leave for the bright lights of Glasgow where adventure struck him and he needed all his conga skills to save the world and earn the hand of a lovely Texan princess. He now keeps a low profile alphabeticising his record collection and making sock monkeys in the likenesses of his long lost family.


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