The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 12 January 2021
Pistol Package - Trainspotting director Danny Boyle is to make a six-part TV series about 1970s punk icons the Sex Pistols. Based on guitarist Steve Jones's memoir, it will star Anson Boon as John Lydon and Louis Partridge (Enola Holmes) as Sid Vicious. Filming is due to start in March for US TV network FX. No UK broadcaster has been announced yet.
"Imagine breaking into the world of The Crown and Downton Abbey with your mates and screaming your songs and your fury at all they represent," said Boyle, announcing his new project. "This is the moment that British society and culture changed forever. It is the detonation point for British street culture, where ordinary young people had the stage and vented their fury and their fashion - and everyone had to watch and listen.”
Air Conditioning - London’s 100 Club is to pioneer trials of new air-conditioning technology that claims to significantly reduce the risk of the transmission of COVID-19 and other diseases inside venues. The creator of the technology, Pathogen Reduction Systems (PRS), hopes it can be used alongside the vaccine and other safety measures to help entertainment venues, offices and gyms reopen sooner.
PRS has created a new handling system which rapidly circulates air through a box containing the light, which is placed into an air-conditioning unit, meaning air can be purified without people coming into contact with the UVC light. Founding chairman of PRS, Ian Sinclair, says that the technology can make any building "significantly safer" by reducing the amount of airborne pathogens.
The first trial of the technology will take place at London’s 100 Club, as soon as the government gives permission for pilot performances to go ahead. The Music Venue Trust is helping to facilitate the trial and is in discussion with the government. Owner of the 100 Club, Jeff Horton, told The Stage: "I feel as the owner of a fairly well-known venue that I’m duty bound to do my bit to try and find something that gets us out of this hell.”
Stardust - A series of streamed music events, shows and new releases marked David Bowie's birthday and the fifth anniversary of his death. The musician would have turned 74 last Friday, while Sunday marked five years since he died of cancer. A tribute gig, titled A Bowie Celebration: Just For One Day, featured Bowie's former bandmates alongside stars including Boy George, Duran Duran, Trent Reznor, Adam Lambert, Gary Barlow and actor Gary Oldman.
Classical Move - Sir Simon Rattle, one of the world's most renowned conductors, is leaving the London Symphony Orchestra to take up a new post in Germany. Sir Simon will become chief conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, in Munich, in 2023. He will succeed Mariss Jansons, who died in December 2019.
Sir Simon had been expected to remain with the London Symphony, and his departure is considered a blow. However, he agreed to extend his contract with the orchestra for an extra year, and will take up a lifetime role as Conductor Emeritus from 2023 onwards, the first such appointment to this role since André Previn.
Green Light - Graham Norton, who commentates for the UK's BBC Eurovision coverage, has said the song contest will go ahead this year despite the coronavirus pandemic. "There's definitely going to be a Eurovision... The competition element is going to happen," he said. Contest organisers told the BBC: "We can confirm the Eurovision Song Contest will definitely take place this year." But pre-recorded performances may be used if acts cannot travel to Rotterdam or have to isolate when they get there.
Sample Price - Rapper Nicki Minaj will pay singer Tracy Chapman $450,000 (£332,000) to settle a copyright dispute after sampling one of her songs. Chapman sued Minaj in 2018, saying she had used portions of Baby, Can I Hold You Tonight in her song Sorry. Although the song was never released, a leaked version made its way to radio DJ Funkmaster Flex and went viral online. Chapman accused Minaj of sharing the song with Flex, although both have denied that version of events.
Musical Celebration - A three-day celebration of musical theatre will be broadcast by the BBC later this month, featuring a headline show recorded at the London Palladium that includes performances from Lea Salonga, Nicole Scherzinger, Layton Williams, Michael Ball and Elaine Paige. Musicals: The Greatest Show will be broadcast on BBC1 and on Radio 2, as part of the Radio 2 Celebrates Musicals event, which takes place from 29-31 January.
(Jim Evans)
12 January 2021

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