Tag Archives: Rowan Atkinson

Rocks In The Attic #708: Rowan Atkinson – ‘Live In Belfast’ (1980)

RITA#708Sometimes the wife comes homes with records for me from the charity shop. Sometimes they’re only so-so, and other times I already have them. Strangely she doesn’t have an exhaustive knowledge of what sits on my shelf, like the useless memory banks I have.

Other times, she brings me home records like this; records I didn’t even know existed. Records that make me so happy, it reminds me why I collect these strange, dusty things in the first place.

Rowan Atkinson is undoubtedly one of the greatest British comedic performers of the twentieth century. There are heaps of his early live material to be found on YouTube, but obviously the physical side of his comedy – or his amazingly expressive face – doesn’t come across on LP. The content, written and performed by both Atkinson and long-time collaborator Richard Curtis, still makes for a great listen.

The record has a lovely dedication on the rear sleeve:

This album was recorded in the week of the re-opening of the Grand Opera House, Belfast, at the end of a four month tour of the United Kingdom squeezed in between the second and third series of that infamous ‘bundle of laffs’ Not The Nine O’Clock News. It is a record of not only a coupla jokes told and a coupla laughs gained, but of a wonderful week spent in a troubled province. The kindness shown to us by people in Northern Ireland was truly beyond compare, and this album is dedicated to them.

Hit: I Hate The French

Hidden Gem: The Father Of The Bride

Rocks In The Attic #334: Vangelis – ‘Chariots Of Fire (O.S.T.)’ (1981)

RITA#334I haven’t seen Chariots Of Fire, or at least I don’t think I have. If I did, it must have been when it was first on television, which would have been when I was about five years old. It hardly seems the sort of film that would excite a five year-old though.

Almost everything on this soundtrack sounds like Blade Runner. I know the score – and the soundscape – of that film so well, that you can hear certain sections in this soundtrack that he’s rehashed for the later Ridley Scott film. When I finally get to see Chariots Of Fire, I’ll be disappointed if there are no Voight-Kampff empathy tests as part of their University education.

Before I bought this record – for no more than a dollar, from one of my local charity shops – I hadn’t heard anything from the soundtrack except for the main theme (Titles). The rest of the album is just as good, with a lovely electric piano on Abraham’s Theme showing where Zero 7 got some of their inspiration from.

After the excellent opening ceremony to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the main titles of Chariots Of Fire will forever be linked to that great little sketch by Rowan Atkinson. I need to see the film, otherwise I’ll start to think that I have seen it, and that I really enjoyed its humour, especially in that scene when Rowan Atkinson outran everybody on the beach.

That’s the good thing about living in this decade – films at your fingertips. All though growing up, adolescence, and into my twenties, I would wait patiently for certain films to show on television. In the UK, there was a good chance for classic films to turn up from time to time on a BBC2 retrospective. Unfortunately New Zealand television doesn’t have the same mandate to educate viewers – they just show the same action films and rom-coms over and over. There was also that time that TVNZ played Thunderball the week after they had played Never Say Never Again. Idiots!

Hit: Titles

Hidden Gem: Abraham’s Theme