BBC sav­age a clas­sic; but it makes a good ad

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - TICKET STUBS - PA­TRICK FREYNE

Hurray! A per­for­mance of one of my favourite songs, God Only Knows by the Beach Boys. Okay, the orches­tra’s tun­ing up. That’s a lit­tle an­noy­ing – they could have done that be­fore we came in – but let’s bear with it. (A few seconds pass) Splut­ter! This is a ter­ri­ble choir! None of them has both­ered to learn all the words or to sing at the same time. Chris Martin is ac­tu­ally ly­ing down. And the only peo­ple singing to­gether are those asym­met­ri­cally coif­fured tod­dlers shortly after the half­way mark (ed­i­tor’s note: that’s One Di­rec­tion).

They couldn’t be do­ing it on pur­pose, could they? It doesn’t make nar­ra­tive sense to di­vide this song up line-by-line. It’s a first-per­son love song not a play. Do all 27 of th­ese peo­ple con­sti­tute one con­tin­u­ous con­scious­ness, know­able only to God in my ab­sence? I find that hard to be­lieve.

As for the pro­duc­tion! Why is Kylie float­ing around in a bub­ble? Ev­ery­one knows she’s not al­lowed have bub­ble mix­ture. And who cov­ered Deirdre Bar­low in but­ter­flies? (Ed­i­tor’s note: that’s ac­tu­ally El­ton John). One call to pest-con­trol and I could have this place shut down!

Also, many of the per­form­ers ap­pear to be in the sky – on bal­loons, up lad­ders, sit­ting on half-moons. That Paloma Faith is ca­reen­ing on a sort of ce­les­tial swing. It’s a god­damned sound en­gi­neer­ing/ health-and-safety dis­as­ter. And is that tiger go­ing to sav­age Brian Wilson to metaphor­i­cally rep­re­sent what’s been done to his song? I’m no zo­ol­o­gist, but almost def­i­nitely.

What? This is ac­tu­ally a star-stud­ded pro­mo­tion for BBC Mu­sic? Oh, I like it so. It’s only as mu­sic that it’s daft. As an ad it’s ge­nius.

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