Barry Gray Concert Does Composer Proud

11 November 2008

The official Barry Gray Concert Logo

Fans of Gerry Anderson converged on the Royal Festival Hall on Saturday 8th November to attend a special concert celebrating the centenary of Barry Gray, the inimitable film and television composer.

In what will go down as a truly memorable event, the London Philharmonia Orchestra performed pieces from throughout Barry's career, running from Four Feather Falls to Space: 1999, his last involvement in a Gerry Anderson production. Among the many highlights were spellbinding renditions of the Zero-X theme from the feature film Thunderbirds Are Go and Dangerous Game (Thunderbirds, The Cham-Cham), both energetically conducted by Francois Evans. Clips from ITV's Blu-Ray Thunderbirds release were also used to complement a suite of music from the episode Terror in New York City.

The Barry Gray Concert was held in the salubrious surroundings of the Royal Festival Hall on London's Southbank

Solo pianist Crispin Merrell excelled in performances of International Concerto and the Doppelganger Main Title, while Pascale Rousse Lacordaire was masterful on the Ondes Martenot, her contribution making White As Snow (Captain Scarlet) and other pieces both authentic and unforgettable.

Hammond organist Pete Whittingham nailed the unique coolness of Barry's UFO theme and Christos Parlapas on the harmonica brought out the unique jauntiness of Four Feather Falls. Vocal group Voces 8 almost stole the show with Robot Man, a commercial single release from the 1960s, which saw one of the group serenading a mechanical man on stage. The group also thrilled the audience with Aqua Marina, the Captain Scarlet theme song and a highly faithful rendition of The Secret Service opening and closing titles.

The night was compered by larger larger-than-life actor Brian Blessed and the immense appeal of Barry's music was reflected in the diverse audience, with a number of people travelling from overseas to attend. Gerry Anderson was present as guest of honour. Those who came were also able to take away a lavish programme packed with memories, messages and a Barry Gray biography.

The night climaxed with a poignant montage of film footage from Barry's life and an encore of his most famous creation, the Thunderbirds March. It was a fitting end to a wonderful tribute.

If you would like to share your own memories of the event with other fans, you can: