Amoeba to Zebra
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Amoeba to Zebra

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Band Pop Comedy

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This was a triumph.

Could it get better than great video projection, top song writing, dinosaurs, bass players dressed as moths and David Attenborough's 'Life On Earth' rendered into a non-stop 55 minutes of sensory overload?

It couldn’t really.

Dave Cooke, for one, is a multi-talented individual. Not content with being a humble ceramic artist knocking up anatomically precise models for exhibitions by day he also has a distinguished track record of exceptional pop tunes like "Paul" and "Blackout Boy" with LANDSPEED LOUNGERS and "Weather Girl" with BEING 747. And now he is setting out to present this sparkling multi-media show for learners and thrill seekers of all ages.

Steve and Paul Morricone (two more multi-talents) bring muscular drums and bass, extra vocals, pre-recorded voice-over, flute, Moog, dressing up-as-a-moth and professional video creation. Plus their considerable theatrical presence on stage.

With Cooke to one side of the central video screen, and henchmen to the other the history of the earth is compressed into a year of musical narrative. We're led from early proteins (way before amoeba, of course, but still near the end of the notional year) to a cliff-hanger ending where chattering humans are poised on the edge of a critical choice between nurture and total destruction. 14 chapters evolve through "The Microscopic Universe" to "The Power of Speech".

Each chapter has some spoken detail, a luxurious splurge of cunning, fast moving and sometimes funny video and - and this is the secret - a thoroughly fine rock and roll tune that stands up on it's own hind legs. There is no kids TV rock-emulation nonsense here - this is the real stuff. And on the content side, the narration and lyrics make no concession to the dumbing down brigade ("first we get the lampreys, an armour-plated proto-fish" he sings). The kids are reported to be loving it when they take the show into schools. I'm not surprised. As someone who taught in schools for many years, I would wholeheartedly recommend the thing as a very cool bit of science department evangelism.

On this first hearing (for me) songs like "Milk" and "Shake Your Backbone" leap out. Up-tempo, dance-inducing stuff with choruses to get the house screaming to. "Lords of the Air" uses Cooke's genius for a melody and the Morricones' juggernaut substrate keeps things roaring along whenever the rough stuff, like geological splendour, boiling magma or asteroid attack turn up.

Billed (tonight) at the end of a night of Olde Time Burlesque at the world-famous Brudenell Social Club (don’t ask, I came for the band) this performance got huge and protracted cheers. If anyone had been glumly expecting well-meaning worthiness, the reality turned out to be a huge rock and roll party, with brains. It was enormous fun.

Rating: 10/10 - www.whisperinandhollerin.co.uk


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Amoeba To Zebra is a very special musical exploration of the natural history of the Earth devised and performed by established Yorkshire-based pop group, BEING 747.

Charting the development of all living things from the origins of the most basic organisms in the primordial soup right through to the sophistication of mankind, Amoeba to Zebra is a show designed to educate and entertain in equal measures. With plenty of relevance to the UK's National Curriculum in science, this show is intended to inspire students to take an interest in Biology and the environment and elaborate on their studies through the medium of pop music.

Sounds like a bizarre concept – and it is! The show is a 55-minute journey consisting of 14 ultra-catchy songs, narration in between, a full multimedia projection to accompany the whole piece, silly scientific costumes and a menagerie of really WILD props.

We have been performing this science/music crossover pretty much exclusively in Secondary schools up and down the UK for the last year and a half, to great wonder and appreciation from both pupils and staff alike. Bookings are coming in thick and fast as schools are crying out for such cross-curricular teaching methods. The content of the show is genuinely relevant as we cover key concepts such as evolution, animal classification and many other things!

We are also currently in the process of putting together the Amoeba to Zebra album, which we will be releasing to co-incide with the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’ world-changing book later this year. There will be numerous public live shows in the pipeline to promote this, and we would absolutely love to perform it at your festival – it’s not just for kids of course! Being 747 are a seasoned touring band that have been together over 5 years with a couple of albums and several singles under our belts – the idea for the show came out of a change of circumstances and a tiring of playing the usual sets in the usual pub/venue circuit.

Some have described the show as an indiepop cross between ‘War of the Worlds’ and ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’ but despite the content, we are not actual scientists – merely a set of musicians wanting to do something more worthwhile with our skills. The music is probably the most important aspect of the show and appeals to the modern music buff as well as the teenage school pupil! We like to think of ourselves as more of a British Flaming Lips, but with actual science!