Recently I had dinner with a friend who I had down as a bit of a classical snob. Surprisingly, he was raving [sic] about house music and its symphonic ecstasy. I was sceptical, until Wednesday night.

At the risk of haemorrhaging readers and convention, let’s stop there for a moment. If you haven’t yet seen/heard any of this spectacular gig, check it out (go on, click the link).

Cards on the table, I’m a fan of alternative Proms; Urban Classic made me think differently about how we share and trade musical enthusiasms. With that in mind Pete tong, the Heritage Orchestra, Jules Buckley and the assembled vocal talent including Ella Eyre and John Newman did something quite brilliant when they combined forces. For one, they rendered the expensive seats almost entirely useless. As the first strings sounded over the laser-enclosed Royal Albert Hall the audience rose as one. What followed was a blur of lights, orchestral magnificence and shapes unlike any the Proms has previously witnessed being thrown.

Right there, right then, artists from disparate callings made music that taunted critics with a wry smile and a compelling strut. Best of all, they didn’t purport to be a gateway to classical or a substitute for clubs but revelled in the moment: colourful and sonically enveloping. What a joy that it can be still enjoyed on iPlayer (BYO lasers).

Happy Proms, peoples.

The Prickle - About transp

“I am going to run nightly concerts and train the public by easy stages. Popular at first, gradually raising the standard until I have created a public for classical and modern music.” 

(Robert Newman, who conceived the summer concert series that would become the Proms. Tiny bit patronising, but can’t argue with the festive outcome.)