|Thomas Dolby at Toronto’s Mod Club April 22012|
April 2 2012 – Sometimes you think about mega stars of years gone by and wonder what they are up to these days. In the case of Thomas Dolby who had a huge number 1 hit in Canada in 1982 with “She Blinded Me With Science” (30 years have passed… really?) and an early pioneer of music videos you don’t need to wonder any longer. Not only was Dolby nominated for 5 Grammy awards, he also was mega successful in Silicon Valley. His bio impressively reads:
The five-time Grammy®-nominated British artist quit the music business in the early ’90s and spent many years in Silicon Valley, where his tech company Beatnik Inc. created the ringtone synthesizer embedded in more than three billion mobile phones shipped by Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and others. Now retired from Beatnik, Dolby has returned to his native U.K. and is busy recording an album of brand new songs in a renewable energy-powered studio he built aboard a 1930s lifeboat in the garden of his beach house on England’s North Sea coast.
We had the great fortune to speak to Thomas in this exclusive interview and found out a great deal about the artist. We also have an exclusive autographed Thomas Dolby prize pack for one luck winner. An excerpt of that interview is below:
T-MAK: I think it’s safe to say you love both music and technology and by all accounts you have had a successful career in both. Are you content with your life’s work and what you have accomplished so far?
DOLBY: Content – yes, am I finished? – no. I am not finished. I’ve got a lot more good music to make and a lot more collaborations to do. I would like to pass on the wisdom that I have hopefully acquired to somebody up and coming and I wish I’ve had a mentor like me when I was in 21. (laughing)
Tonight marked the 16th stop of a 24 city North American tour called the “Time Capsule” tour which coincides with Dolby’s first album in the last twenty years entitled Map Of The Lost City. Outside Toronto’s Mod Club an odd looking vehicle was parked (this was the Time Capsule) and people were encouraged to step inside it and record a video message to the future. These videos can now be seen on YouTube and left an impression on tonight’s concert goers that tonight was going to be more than just a straightforward concert from Dolby.
|Thomas Dolby’s Time Capsule|
First up was Aaron Jonah Lewis and Ben Belcher who are basically a Banjo and Fiddle duo. A very stark contrast to the Mod Club on College Street (the epicenter of Hipster culture in Toronto). They played a decent half hour set of bluegrass/Americana while the crowd staggered in to see Dolby.
Dolby took the stage at 9:20 in a very subdued manner and spent most of the night behind his keyboards. The first two songs had very retro 80’s vibe to them and One Of Our Submarines really go the crowd grooving. Dolby who is now 53 looked as vibrant as he did in his 20’s and sported a black shirt, yellow vest and black blazer (he took of the blazer and vest as the night progressed). Dolby kicked off every song with a back story (usually humerous) from behind his kit. On stage were also drummer and a guitarist. At a few points one or two additional musicians would join the trio (a banjo and an accordion player).
|Thomas Dolby Live for The Time Capsule Tour|
Tonight’s set list was a decent mix of new and old numbers and oddly enough the thirty year old tracks did not sound too dated at all. A massive sing along accompanied the last song of the main set as She Blinded Me With Science brought down the house. Science! Dolby has clearly developed from the mad scientist persona to an elegant Rat Pack style musician that proves he is much more than a one hit wonder. The show ended very powerfully with Spice Train (what should be a major club/lounge anthem) accompanied with a belly dancer and Silk Pyjamas.
|Toronto’s Mod Club was full for Thomas Dolby|
VERDICT: Very entertaining show that mixed sounds from the 80’s and the 10’s. Well done Mr. Dolby.
We leave you with some more images from the show:
|Thomas Dolby at the Mod Club, Toronto April 2 2012|
|Kevin Armstrong backs up Thomas Dolby|
|Thomas Dolby’s Time Capsule and it’s curator Laura|
|Laura and TMAK|