Good as gold: Goldie brings classic album to Ronnie Scott’s
Drum ’n’ bass pioneer, DJ and producer plays famous jazz venue
24 February, 2017 — By Róisín Gadelrab
Goldie is set to peform special gigs at Ronnie Scott’s, tonight (Friday) and Saturday
THERE was a time when drum ’n’ bass pioneer Goldie was responsible for providing the soundtrack to student lives. In the 90s, when the banging drums and hypnotic bass were controlling unwieldy limbs on dance floors, the DJ and producer was also providing the backdrop to grimy, hazy after-parties at halls of residences all over the country.
Now, many of those same students are all mortgaged-up, juggling grown-up life, some having reluctantly left club life behind. So, it is probably fitting that Goldie has taken his 1995 classic album Timeless – which once filled vast superclubs and festival arenas – and is bringing it to a slightly more mature and possibly more comfortable choice of venue, Ronnie Scott’s.
He is reprising his 2015 collaboration with members of the Heritage Orchestra, now forming the Heritage Ensemble – John Calvert (guitar, bass), Natalie Duncan (vocals), Tyler Lee Daly (vocals), Terry Walker (vocals), Matt Calvert MD, Adam Betts (drums), Mack Blues (drums percussion), Swindle (guest keyboards) and Jon Dixon (guest player) – for four sold-out shows, starting tonight (Friday) and Saturday, at 6.30pm and 10.30pm.
Since Goldie’s first big commercial success with his label Metalheadz, founded back in 1994 with Kemistry & Storm, the dynamic musician and graffiti artist has diversified. Over the years he has collaborated with David Bowie (on Truth in 1998 and the 1999 movie Everybody Loves Sunshine), Noel Gallagher (on Temper Temper in 2013) and KRS-One (on 1998’s Digital). In an unlikely diversion in 2008, he took part in the BBC’s Maestro competition, pitting celebrities against each other to become classical conductors – a role which he took to like a natural, eventually coming in as runner-up.
It is perhaps this latter experience that brought Goldie into less familiar realms, leading to him making his classical debut the following year at the Royal Albert Hall with the world premiere of Sine Tempore, his first piece written for an orchestra. After Heritage Orchestra took on Timeless at Royal Festival Hall for James Lavelle’s Meltdown Festival, Goldie collaborated with the Heritage Orchestra, reimagining Timeless in an incendiary show in his Royal Albert Hall debut in 2015.
Now, for the first time, Goldie brings the show to Ronnie Scott’s, with Heritage Ensemble and featuring vocalists Tyler Lee-Daley, Terri Walker and Natalie Duncan (who sang on his Freedom single).
He said: “These new arrangements reflect the most honest, and bold, insight into who I really am and where my heart wants to be.”
Goldie also tweeted recently: “This is somewhat of a dream come true for me.”
He has also been outspoken about injustice and life chances for young people, telling the New Journal in 2011: “Fund those inner-city areas… stop closing down a school, cutting out the heart of a community and instil some of that community spirit by funding it properly, it’s easy.”
He added: “Today, things socially are worse, the way we educate is completely upside its head. You might think there’s more money to do things but the money’s misdirected, there’s better medical help, better equipment, isn’t there? There is better medical equipment around than has been in the last 50 years? Yes. More advancement in technology? Yes. Is it reaching the people it’s supposed to? No.
“We’ve advanced as a money-making franchise, but in the way we look after each other in terms of humankind as a race, we haven’t advanced at all, we’ve regressed.”
Goldie’s journey to establishment “acceptance” was cemented last year when he was awarded an MBE in the New Year honours for services to music and young people.