LIVE REVIEW: The Cinematic Orchestra @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead (20.09.23) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Images by Victoria Wai

Taking to the stage to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their seminal album Man With A Movie Camera, The Cinematic Orchestra live up to the title of their ensemble with a performance that combines a unique sound and visual experience.  

Originally conceived as a soundtrack to Dziga Vertov’s film, the newly re-imagined stage show sits somewhere between the smoky chin-stroking effects of a DJ Shadow live event and the visual cinematic overload of the Pet Shop Boys’ Battleship Potemkin, combining to build two separate artistic mediums which can be enjoyed individually or as a collective force. 

Helmed by original creator Jason Swinscoe, The Cinematic Orchestra move through lush soundscapes led by some inspirational live jazz drumming and in places some funky double bass grooves. Collectively the ensemble create a soundscape somewhat reminiscent of the most cinematic elements of the Propellerheads’ big-beat sound, mixed with sprinkles of the more down-tempo jungle breakbeats of the turn the century. 

Deeply moving in places, and combined with abstract visuals which morph into haunting images, the combination of the music, visuals and overall stage performance of the Cinematic Orchestra becomes transformational in places – repetitive beats building into powerful soundtracks which underpin the importance of the triviality of life. Fantastic. 


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