The letter of the farewell tour has been the order of the day for some years, and that is why the case of Mike Oldfield, a rock great who has been quietly moving away from ‘show business’, finding its golden refuge in the Bahamas. His last tour dates back to 2007, and five years later he enjoyed his last ‘momentum’ with his performance at the London Olympics.
Oldfield, yes, that twenty-something who, in 1973, propelled Richard Branson’s recording adventure, Virgin Records, with the avant-garde jingle of ‘Tubular bells’, a more adventurous rock classic (which was the soundtrack to ‘The Exorcist’, as well as tune of the sports program ‘Torneo’, on TVE). An album of which he would end up delivering two other parts, and of which the last, the fourth, was expected in recent years, finally reduced to the eight minutes of unpublished music incorporated into the new reissue of the classic, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, announced for May 26.
Eight minutes: Apparently, Oldfield no longer gives for more. It is said that, after releasing, in 2017, his latest album, ‘Return to Ommadawn’, he has sold his instruments, and the fade of his musical activity is taken for granted. Without a ‘Farewell tour’ to fill his coffers, and that now, with that beautiful 50 as a slogan, would allow him to pack large venues in half the world.
So, in effect, Mike Oldfield has retired, but that doesn’t mean his music stops playing. we have to talk about Opus One (the initial name of ‘Tubular bells’), formation of 16 musicians which is preparing to recreate not only the famous album but the sung songs with which Oldfield visited the charts in the 80s: ‘Five miles out’, ‘Family man’, ‘Moonlight shadow’… remember?
The most striking part of Opus One is that it involves three historical voices. At the concert in Barcelona, on June 13 at the Palau, will feature Maggie Reilly, while in Girona it will be Barry Palmer, who will also perform in Seville and Palma, there together with Anita Hegerland (who was Oldfield’s partner and mother of two of their seven children). Before, as a portico, a ‘première’ in ‘streaming’, on May 25, no less than in the Barcelona Synchrotron Park.
Galactic frame to evoke a musician who “He tried to look like a pop star without being one & rdquor ;, sums up Xavier Alern, director of Opus One, who announces very respectful concerts “and without anachronisms& rdquor ;. With the composer’s blessing? Oldfield, who seems to relate to the world through his sister Sally, simply shuts up and lets it go.