Radiophonic Workshop/White Noise, Jazz Café Reviewed


Fifty years ago London’s first electronic music festival took place at the Roundhouse in north London. Among the attractions at “The Million Volt Light and Sound Rave” was The Beatles’ “Carnival of Light”, a 14-minute sound collage over which Paul McCartney and John Lennon were recorded screaming, according to an attendee, like “demented old women”.

The piece has not been heard since. “Avant-garde a clue,” scoffed George Harrison, who loathed it. Alas, it was not exhumed from the vaults for a show at the Jazz Café held to mark the anniversary of the nearby Roundhouse event. The other notable absence was the visionary electronic composer Delia Derbyshire, a one-woman disproof of Harrison’s philistine remark who died in 2001.