We have lift-off - B. J. Cole and Icebreaker to perform Eno's 'Apollo' at the South Bank Centre, September 2010

Posted: 18th August 2010

We don't seem too bothered by space-travel, space-exploration and planet-discoveries anymore, unless it has Simon Cowell babbling incoherently about how rubbish the landing-approach was or Cheryl Cole yapping about how it always looks so dusty up there. I expect Gok Wan would suggest the astronauts look a bit pudgy in silver and clothe them in espadrilles and spandex - "look what you can do for just fifty quid, girlfriend". I'm shuddering at this very thought.

My introduction to the beautiful world of Brian Eno's "Apollo" was not the bit in 'Trainspotting' where Renton swims inside 'Scotland's worst toilet', but while watching the film it was actually written for - "For All Mankind", a NASA moon-landing documentary by Al Reinert, was being shown late at night on BBC2 some two decades ago, maybe more. The other-worldly instrumental works seemed to fit the evocative and serene images of astronauts exploring space perfectly, adding another dimension to the impressive sight of men on the Moon. I really must find it on DVD.

You can relive the same feeling once again with another presentation of the acclaimed "Apollo" re-reading by Icebreaker at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 15th and 16th September. The full album is performed by this eclectic ensemble with pedal-steel guitar maestro B. J. Cole providing the bits that will make your bottom lip tremble, I promise. The performance has already taken place previously at The Science Museum in London and sold-out pretty quick. The "For All Mankind" film is shown as a backdrop throughout the concert. Tickets are still available at £14 upwards.

You may also be interested in seeing Mr Cole play a spot of contemporary jazz with vibraphonist Roger Beaujolais under the moniker Lush Life - the duo plus double bassist Simon Thorpe will play at the Stoke By Nayland club in Leavenheath (near Colchester) on 3rd September. Tickets are also £14.

Paul Pledger