Royal FilmHarmonic at the Royal Albert

Mike and I have been truly spoilt this week. It’s been a very good week, one could say. Okay, so we’re both unemployed and running out of money… and still this week is going to be hard to top anytime soon. 

Tuesday we returned from an awesome, fun and sunny trip to Madrid, only to go see Coraline in 3D with Neil Gaiman (easily our favourite author of the moment) doing a Q&A on Wednesday night. And last night, to top it all off, we were lucky enough to have pretty much the best seats in the house as we watched, listened to and were in awe of the Royal Philharmonic play film scores from some of our favourite films at the Royal Albert Hall.
Life is all about amazing moments, and filling the times inbetween with good times. But you really do live for those amazing moments. The fear-rush-excitement of going sky-diving, the nervous anticipation of performing on stage, the butterflies and excitement of falling in love… yes, I am descending deeply into cheesiness, but everyone has these moments (at least I hope they do!) and they are awesome! 
Watching, listening, being in the presence of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra play some of the most memorable and dare I say it, important scores from the last 50 years was truly amazing. It was one of those moments.
The Royal Albert may not be the best concert hall in the world. I’ve heard the acoustics can be crap depending on where you’re sitting. But it is truly regal. And it all sounded amazing where we were. It’s a fantastically impressive hall worthy of it’s status. Someone could have got on stage and played Three Blind Mice badly on a violin (sorry Anouk) and I would have been impressed! 
The RPO is a wonderful tradition. Founded as recently as 1946, it already seems like a proper British Institution. The performances were all spot on, but without the robotic staleness of some orchestras. The trumpets encouraged the audience to clap along to some of the lighter tunes and the chief conductor, Paul Bateman, had a little boogie on the podium as well. My only complaint would be that from where we were sitting we couldn’t see the guitar or drum kit. The saxaphones were hard to spot, and the piano and whatever makes that beautiful little tinkly melody in the introduction to the Harry Potter theme were MIA. (A quick look in the programme just pointed out to me that this bit is played by a ‘celeste‘. You learn something every day.)
But what really made this evening truly special for Mike and I was, of course, the film themes. We both grew up watching, loving and escaping in films. When you have a slightly overactive imagination and a very keen sense of adventure, you can’t help but escape into a fictional world. And with every theme they played, we both escaped again into those wonderful worlds of adventure and imagination that we love so much (so much that we both decided to make a career of film and TV!).
From Mission: Impossible to Chariots of Fire & Gladiator, through Ghostbusters, Bond films, Jurassic Park and Star Wars – a brief sojourn into 80’s American soap territory – then right back into Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and finishing with the man of dreams and steel – Superman, possibly John Williams best film theme (which is saying a lot as he has written so many great scores) – the whole night was a journey through worlds of fantasy and imagination. 
A truly truly amazing experience!
I leave you with this (I’ll be humming it for many days to come):


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