http://www.digitaljournal.com/a-and-e/entertainment/review-quirky-sounds-and-space-age-music-of-the-radiophonic-workshop/article/431073

Review: Electrifying London, Radiophonic Workshop's spring gig Special

Posted Apr 18, 2015 by Tim Sandle
The Radiophonic Workshop played a rare concert on London's southbank. The former BBC employees played a range of music and sounds from 40 years, and added some new compositions are well.
The Radiophonic Workshop in action  blending classic sound making devices with an array of instrumen...
The Radiophonic Workshop in action, blending classic sound making devices with an array of instruments.
Before discussing the concert, an introduction to the Radiophinic Workshop and how the former BBC sound effects department have come to playing concerts and be still making a mash-up of progressive rock and electronica. Not bad for a group of people mostly in their 70s.
The current logo of the Radiophonic Workshop. This picture was taken of a tote bag.
The current logo of the Radiophonic Workshop. This picture was taken of a tote bag.
Beginning as the "The BBC Radiophonic Workshop," the organization was one of the primary sound effects units at the BBC, specializing in science fiction and productions needing modern sounds (such as those where newfangled items of equipment like computers are used.) The workshop was set-up in 1958 and it was at the BBC Maida Vale Studios in Delaware Road.
The workshop was tasked with creating new music and experimental sounds. One of the most evocative of the era was the production Quatermass and the Pit, a chilling tale set in London about an alien invasion. Perhaps the most familiar composition was their working of the Doctor Who theme tune.
Over its original existence the workshop issued a number of recordings, from sound effects to challenging musical compositions. The workshop closed down in 1998, mainly as a result of BBC budget cuts.
The front of a BBC Radiophonics Workshop album. This vinyl is one that Digital Journalist Tim Sandle...
The front of a BBC Radiophonics Workshop album. This vinyl is one that Digital Journalist Tim Sandle owned in the 1980s.
In 2009, many of the original members, spearheaded by Dr. Dick Mills, got back together and played a live concert in London. This sold out and the troop, of core members Mills, Roger Limb, Paddy Kingsland, Peter Howell, and Mark Ayres began making new music and playing various gigs (including playing at Glastonbury!) The popularity also led to a series of remastered BBC Radiophonic Music and BBC Radiophonic Workshop vinyl albums being reissued.
The stage is prepared for arrival of the Workshop. Note the fix of old and new equipment.
The stage is prepared for arrival of the Workshop. Note the fix of old and new equipment.
This year the Radiophonic Workshop are back in action and they played a superb concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London's southbank.
Queen Elizabeth Hall on London s southbank. In this area there are lots of theaters and music venues...
Queen Elizabeth Hall on London's southbank. In this area there are lots of theaters and music venues.
Most of the set consisted of television music reformatted and some new compositions. There was also an array of sound effects and background theme music. These were accompanied by some archival footage, including Doctor Who and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
A poster in the foyer introducing the Radiophonic Workshop.
A poster in the foyer introducing the Radiophonic Workshop.
The "instruments" used on stage ranged from vintage synthesisers and tape machines, to drums and a sitar. At one stage an electronic violin was used to good effect. Assisting the Workshop on drums was former The Prodigy band member Kieron Pepper. While old equipment was mixed with some more modern instruments, the entire collection was boosted in superb 3D surround sound augmented using special spacial technology.
The Radiophonic Workshop in action. Images of Doctor Who can be seen in the background.
The Radiophonic Workshop in action. Images of Doctor Who can be seen in the background.
Some of the new songs, accompanied by some impressive visuals beamed onto a screen behind the musicians, were well structured and entertaining. These included Incubus and Electricity Language and Me .The latter featured a spoke poem read by DJ Andrew Weatherall over a "sonic soundscape." At one point, the Workshop assisted Pink Floyd with a recording and there are connections embedded in some of their music with progressive rock, as well as electronic music.
The concert closed, appropriately, with a 10-minute version of the Doctor Who theme tune, starting with a version of the 1963 original, taking it through to then 1980s versions, with a new interpretation bridging the different eras.
The crowd rose to their feet to acknowledge a different and impressive gig. A Digital Journal rating of 5 out 5 and long may they continue.