Goldie & The Heritage Orchestra present Timeless Live at Royal Festival Hall Review

Clifford Joseph Price aka Goldie is an established actor, graffiti artist, DJ and to his hardcore following a Drum and Bass icon. Head of legendary Jungle / Drum and Bass label Metalheadz, Goldie has been an influential figure in helping shape the sound of Drum and Bass for the past 25 years.

For his next venture we see Goldie teaming up with the Contemporary Classical Album Award winning Heritage Orchestra to perform his debut album ‘Timeless’ which was originally released on London Records / FFRR in 1995 at the height of the Jungle explosion.

The Heritage Orchestra are well known for collaborating with contemporary artists who hail from the more experimental worlds of music and art so the prospect of seeing them perform one of my favourite albums was certainly an exciting prospect.

Shortly after 8:45pm Goldie took to the stage to give us a few words on ‘Timeless’, he was clearly excited as this was the first time the Orchestra has performed to the paying public since James Lavelles’ Meltdown Festival the previous year.

You could hear in Goldie’s voice, quite understandibly that he was slightly nervous as he delivered his speech. Memorable quotes from the speech were that he was almost “driven to the point of insanity” whilst writing the album. He also mentioned how far the sound has evolved since those early years but most importantly a message to his critics that Drum and Bass is certainly here to stay, “look at us now” he said as he smiled and looked up into the crowd.

Goldie also noted that the entire show was to be dedicted to Diane Charlamagne, the lead singer from Urban Cookie Collective who provided the vocals for “Inner City Life” which appears on ‘Timeless’.

After a sustained appluase from a very lively and excited crowd the lights dimmed and the show began with “Sea of Tears”, one of my favourite tracks from the album. To say the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up was an understatement.

Other tracks performed on the night were, “Saint Angel”, which in Goldie’s own words is a track dedicated to “The patron saint, Grooverider. A corner stone to the Break beat culture”. “Jah the Seventh Seal” dedicated to Drum and Bass veteran, Metalheadz label mate and Valve Recordings owner, Dillinja. The incredible track “A Sense Of Rage” and also “Angel” and “Inner City Life” which included the vocals from Vanessa Haynes. The set also included the downstempo “State Of Mind” and guest vocalist Cleveland Watkiss.

For almost the entire show the crowd were upstanding with their hands in the air, this wasn’t any normal night at the Southbank Centre, it really did feel like the venue had been invaded by the Drum and Bass fraternity which was a wonderful feeling. At one point I did think they would’ve been better off removing all the chairs completely and letting us get on with it.

After the last track Goldie introduced us to the Orchestra one by one, the Drummers Adam Betts and Jon Blease certainly received the biggest cheer. He then asked if we wanted one more. Of course we wanted one more!

We were then treated once again to the vocal talents of Vanessa Haynes with “Kemistry”. To hear this track live was something special. Throughout the performance you could see Goldie looking toward the sky, you could tell exactly what was on his mind. This show was as much a celebration as it was a tribute and dedication to all those who are no longer with us.

For those of us who have been around for long enough to appreciate just how long and hard the road has been to see Drum and Bass finally receive the acclaim it so righfully deserves and to see someone like Goldie perform at such a historic venue was a truly emotional experience and one I would glady experience again.

Throughout the whole show Goldie was interacting with the Orchestra just like he does when he’s out DJ’ing at clubs across the world. I really do hope there are plans to release the show on CD in the near future. A fitting way to celebrate 20 years since the intitial release of ‘Timeless’ and a night that’ll live long in my memory.

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