December 12 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Performing at the top of a dizzying 200ft wind turbine is certainly one way to take your pop career to giddy new heights.
But for Cian Ciarán, the keyboard player and songwriter with Welsh rockers Super Furry Animals, the lofty venue made the ideal vantage position to make a political point about sustainable energy.
The electronic music star’s ground-breaking gig at the Green Britain Centre in Swaffham last night is believed to be the first-ever pop concert at the top of a turbine.
He played an intimate performance for a select group of invited fans who were forced to climb 305 narrow steps to the top of a tower, the height of 14 double-decker buses.
The makeshift auditorium was a glass “donut” on a platform beneath the turbine’s mighty rotor, allowing space for no more than ten people at a time, with the musician cramped into a space just 140cm wide.
The audience watched their idol perform tracks from his new recording, called They Are Nothing Without Us – an uncompromising protest album which aims broadsides at politicians and irresponsible corporations.
Cian said he chose the Ecotricity-owned turbine to show his support for wind, solar and water energy sources as an alternative to nuclear and fossil fuel-burning power stations.
He said: “Having toured the world for two decades, I never expected to be adding a wind turbine to the list of venues I have performed at. The views from the top are incredible, but it is really high and a tight squeeze, so not for the faint hearted. Hopefully I can get my message across by going up there.
“Studies have shown that more jobs could be created by focusing on the renewables and energy efficiency sectors. Not only that, it is the cleanest source of energy, becoming cheaper to produce, is as competitive and is in endless supply. I can’t just sit and watch as they continue to miss opportunities that will make a difference environmentally and economically.”
As well as writing and recording as a member of the Super Furry Animals and under his own name, Ciarán has produced electronic music-orientated projects under the name Acid Casuals, Paps and Kirkland and remixed, guest recorded and produced with artists including Paul McCartney, Mogwai, Manic Street Preachers, and Kaiser Chiefs.
Other musicians to have played in strange locations include Katie Melua, who performed a polar opposite of Cian’s gig when she sang in a tube 303ft below a North Sea gas rig at the request of a Norwegian TV station in 2005. The world record for the highest gig is held by 80s pop stars Kim Wilde and Tony Hadley, whose Comic Relief fundraiser earlier this year saw them perform at 43,000 feet in a Boeing 767.