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Thomas Dolby's Wild Ride
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Old 5th June 2012, 08:46   #1
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Default Thomas Dolby's Wild Ride

The exterior of the Canal Room is a touch jarring in the harsh light of day. The street-level windows of the TriBeCa brick building are plastered with giant, neon posters advertising the venue's reoccurring theme nights - events with names like "Back to the Eighties Show featuring RUBIX KUBE: The Ultimate '80s Tribute Band" and "Saved By The '90s: A Party with The Bayside Tigers." Checkerboard backgrounds and pictures of Screech abound. And for a moment, I'm worried for Thomas Dolby. It's hard not to entertain images of the singer being tortured with Teddy Ruxpins, forced to perform 30-year-old songs for a crowd of middle-aged showgoers squeezed into their prom dresses, in defiance of all laws of physics.

Things are much less troubling inside, however. The lights are dim and there's no neon to be seen - and while Dolby himself is MIA a few hours ahead of the show, a pair of dancers run around the space all steampunked out in corsets and high-heeled boots. One spots our photographer and asks whether we're there to "shoot the belly dancer." It's an interaction I can't help but relate to Dolby when he finally arrives, off-handedly comparing the whole thing to a traveling circus of sorts. "Actually," he responds, "it's quite simple compared to some other show. There's no video here, only three musicians, so this is the simple version."

This is the scaled-back version of Dolby's live show in 2012. For one thing, the tour had to leave its chrome 1930s-era trailer back in Jersey. Apparently it's just too difficult to get a giant time capsule through the Holland Tunnel. In its absence, Dolby describes the vehicle as appearing to have been "modified by Jules Verne and Nikola Tesla," adding that it "houses a video suite, which allows anybody from the public to shoot a 30-second message to the future. So, we've got a YouTube channel called Time Capsule TV and people are uploading these messages that they shoot in the time capsule and the most popular ones, based on the views and so on, we'll sort of preserve for posterity, for the future."
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