Soul to Sun Album Review – Aidan O’Rourke
I saw the show by the Lol Cooper Band in the New Mills Art Theatre. The strange thing is, although it was just a film – or more exactly, an ultra high resolution digital video projected onto the screen – I had the sensation they were really there in front of me. The live sections were recorded in this exact theatre!
I’ve never seen anything quite like it. They are a rock band but the presentation is more like a kind of opera combining rock music and high tech on-screen imagery, with a very high technical standard of both music and visuals. The songs are sung by the two female vocalists who appear in a dazzling succession of costumes, hair dos and make-up styles.
There’s no singer-performer centre-stage, just the band, the backing singers and the very complex and constantly changing computer-generated on-screen graphics, science fiction-like scenes, fantasy females with perfect faces and jewel-like eyes, crystalline patterns and swirling shapes.
The band are a solid rock outfit with great drumming and lots of intricate guitar solos, Lol Cooper in his dark glasses looks the part. You imagine you’ve seen him on TV or YouTube. They look like old rockers from the Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin generation, but the band are not famous and, as Lol has told me, have no ambitions to be. Lol is a highly experienced producer who has worked with countless artists, many famous. He doesn’t need to prove himself or strive for fame.
This is his personal project, presenting his unique musical-artistic vision, which extends to books, poetry, art work and more. It’s uncompromising, it doesn’t pander to what’s current or fashionable, technically highly sophisticated, musically and visually absorbing. It takes you on a journey, like a movie, though there is no clear story line or main character. You just have to go with the flow, keep an open mind and you’ll enjoy the ride.
Review by Aidan O’Rourke