40th ANNIVERSARY OF TUBULAR BELLS CONCERTS AND CONVENTION
Saturday 6th July, 2013 in Reading, England: 1200-2200
Thank you to everyone who travelled from all around the World to join us in Reading for the 40th Anniversary Convention on Saturday. Guests, visitors and performers all immediately felt a warm connection through their shared passion for Mike’s incredible music, which put everyone in the perfect frame of mind to enjoy the events of the day. The contributors gave us fascinating presentations, stories and insights and both performances were just incredible.
Tom Newman, Terry Oldfield, Les Penning, Philip Newell, Phil Becque and Steve Cox met for the first time in thirty years and Barry Palmer and Phil Spalding visibly enjoyed sharing their stories with us!
The observant will have noticed Mike Oldfield sitting quietly in the corner (actually Cyril from Oxford who changed his name a few years back), but the 'other' Mike Oldfield did join us via video chat for half an hour as well. Sitting in his sunny garden in the Bahamas, Mike was very relaxed and friendly. After a chat with Phil Spalding, he opened the microphone to questions from the audience and shared some new information with us. The new album is progressing well and is likely to be released early next year. Although Mike sang all the album demos himself, he will only be singing backing vocals on the final versions. The main vocalist, Luke, will be working on the tracks on Thursday and Friday this week. One of the songs, possibly the title track, is about the cameraderie on a cold and rainy visit to Ireland, where he and Phil drank Jameson from a flask together. Another track, "Following the Angels Down" was inspired by his fantastic experience at Olympics, where everyone put 100% into creating something amazing and magical. We were thrilled to hear that every track will also have a guitar solo. To continue the fantastic news, Mike confirmed there will be another instrumental album one day, too. Remastered reissues will continue up to Heaven's Open, and Mike is particularly looking forward to creating a 5.1 mix of Amarok, just as much as we are looking forward to hearing it! Before signing off, Tom Newman had a chat with his old mate, the first time they have spoken in a decade, and Dan and Aidan from Tubular Bells 'For Two' got to meet Mike for the first time. The room erupted when Mike playfully suggested they try Amarok 'For Two' next. Mike was in great spirits, and everyone there was delighted to engage so directly with him.
We have been delighted that so many of you thoroughly enjoyed the event, and have received overwhelmigly positive feedback, such as:
"A beautifully balanced feel yesterday in Reading. It was just right - loose yet tight! I felt very at home from the start. Loved it all" (Tom Newman, producer, Tubular Bells)
"A truly fantastic event" (Sarah Henry)
"It was great being there!" (Angelique Vos)
"Wow!!! Thank you to Paul Harris, Chris Dewey and all at Dark Star for an incredible welcome and fantastic day. It's a privilege to have played my little part in all this... my life feels so incredibly WHOLE again today ... FEEL THE LOVE YEAH !!!" (Phil Spalding)
"Tubular Bells for Two were great. In fact the whole day was. Mike's appearance was the icing on the cake..." (Keith Goodchild)
"To say it was amazing, fantastic and a once-in-a-lifetime experience just wouldn't cover it! Fab friends, brilliant guests" (Andy Carlo)
"It really was good wasn't it chaps?" (Barry Palmer)
"It was a great day and a real pleasure to meet some of you" (Darrin Mackenney)
"Fab day!! Thanks to everyone who made it happen" (Dawn Lewanewsky)
"An absolutely fabulous event!" (Tatiana Oldfield)
"The convention was awesome" (Dennis Jones)
"Had a great time at the convention. Many thanks to all of you that organised the event" (Les Lawrence)
"Excellent work and a massive well done and Thank You to all the staff for a truely wonderful day." (Darren Wells)
"What an amazing event to have been a part of!" (Henrik Colding Niemann)
"It was a great day with a fantastic ending." (Russell Sheppard)
"It will take days or weeks to get conscious about it all. Thanks to you, the people, we crossed the virtual world to meet and realize that you're even better face to face!! A extraordinary Oldfield experience that goes beyond. I feel fortunate!" (Nacho Marin)
"Well done Paul and Chris it was a very enjoyable, relaxed day" (Brian Ward)
"it was great" (Peter Buttle)
"Ace" (Peter Bruce)
"What a great day it was!" (Olivier Barsot)
"The Dark Star convention was truely a day to remember for all the Mike Oldfield fans who attended. Well done to Chris, Paul and Michael for making it such a great success. Everything about the day was just pure magic!" (Lee Thomas)
Don't forget we are running a competition to find the most impressive video and photos of the day! Submit your highest quality files by the 31st July for a chance to win something signed by Mike. By contributing your photos and video, you are agreeing to them being published by Dark Star. We are already working on putting a commemorative pack together, for those who attended to relive the events, and to help those of you who could not be there to get a flavour of the day. More details to follow!
Finally, if you lost a black cardigan on the day, please do get in touch as well!