Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells gets brass makeover

Tubular Brass
Tubular Brass

Tubular Brass have announced they’re to release an album featuring their take on Mike Oldfield’s classic 1973 album Tubular Bells.

It’ll launch on June 2 and will be preceded by a limited edition 7-inch vinyl via Static Caravan featuring two individual single edits of the Tubular Bells introduction theme. Listen to part one below.

Tubular Brass are a 28-piece ensemble and are drawn from both the brass band and orchestral fields, and are helmed by award-winning horn player, arranger and professor Sandy Smith.

Smith says: “There are, in the musical lives of all of us, certain special albums that we remember and listen to again and again with true fondness. These landmark recordings delineate with a startling clarity certain moments in our lives, bringing back full memories of who we were, where we were, and what we were doing.

“For me, Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells was one such album. I can easily remember when it hit the charts, and I listened, utterly amazed, as it stayed there far longer than any instrumental album had any right doing.

“It was an album which captured my imagination and remains a pillar of my musical explorations. As a brass player and arranger it has been a long-held ambition to re-cast the work in brass.”

He continues: “The re-working uses elements of the original version, the orchestral arrangement made by David Bedford and Oldfield’s 2003 re-recording – all re-imagined in a brass landscape.

“It is pointless trying to re-create the sounds of the original. My thoughts were always to create a version which sounds as if it was conceived for the instruments now being used. The size and flexibility of the ensemble allows us to hear Tubular Bells in a new light.”

The album features a cameo by solo artist, Magnetic North member, Beyond The Wizards Sleeve and John Foxx collaborator Hannah Peel, who contributes an improvised synthesiser solo.

In addition, Tubular Brass have lined up several UK tour dates which will take place this summer. Find a full list of venues below.

Tubular Brass 2017 UK tour dates

May 27: Manchester Royal Northern College of Music
Jul 01: Kingston Upon Hull Jubilee Church
Jul 08: Jodrell Bank Observatory Blue Dot Festival
Jul 09: London Royal Festival Hall
Jul 29: Malmesbury Womad World Festival
Aug 05: Edinburgh The Parish Church of St. Cuthbert
Sep 23: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Sep 30: Stockton-on-Tees Stockton Arts Centre
Oct 21: Barnsley The Civic
Oct 28: Basingstoke Anvil Theatre

Mike Oldfield talks Tubular Bells, the dark side and getting his mojo back

Scott Munro
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Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.