Gig review: The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics at Millennium Square, Leeds

Singer Corinne Bailey Rae made a guest appearance at the Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics in Millennium Square, Leeds. Picture: Tom Arber
Singer Corinne Bailey Rae made a guest appearance at the Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics in Millennium Square, Leeds. Picture: Tom Arber
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RAIN failed to dampen a night of strings and sparkle of The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics - Friday’s sell-out opener for the Millennium Square Summer Series.

The event was the first in Opera North’s triple weekend treat of music and saw its 50-piece symphony orchestra dish up the stunning sounds of Leeds’ legendary club night.

Back to Basics founder and DJ Dave ‘Beero’ Beer, who launched the club in the early 90s, got right back to business as he presided over three hours of dance classics from the past 25 years.

He was joined on stage by some of the biggest names from the dance world, including Groove Armada, Adamski and Tristan da Cunha, to belt out classic after classic to a nostalgia-hungry crowd.

My dad’s more at home with Bizet than Basement Jaxx, but this was definitely a night for all ages as two Leeds institutions brought classical and club music together in a way that took dance music to another level.

Highlights in the first half included magical re-workings of tunes such as Daft Punk’s One More Time and Rozalla’s Everybody’s Free. Leeds singer Corinne Bailey Rae also shone through the rain with a dreamy rendition of Donna Summer’s I Feel Love.

The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics in Millennium Square, Leeds. Picture: Tom Arber

The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics in Millennium Square, Leeds. Picture: Tom Arber

As the sun went down, the energy reached fever pitch with tunes from Basement Jaxx and Groove Armada, before a choir brought a perfectly-orchestrated night to a close with an uplifting performance of Primal Scream’s Movin’ On Up.

A clearly emotional Beero took to the stage to thank the crowd as he uttered “Let’s do this every week”. I’d raise a glass to that.

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