Performed by the good folk of Benjamin’s home county, Northamptonshire. Singers in this piece include Benjamin’s first music teacher, someone who played the Artful Dodger to his Oliver in 1985 and members of the Northamptonshire Youth orchestra both in Benjamin’s day and presently.
The work celebrated the 50th anniversary of Watford Gap service station, which opened in 1959 at the same time as the first section of the M1 Motorway. Many of the performers either worked in the service station, or remember visiting it when it first opened. Its all-night restaurant with waitress service was considered to be both futuristic and highly glamorous and it soon started to attract rock stars returning to London from gigs across the country. It’s said that Hendrix thought the Blue Boar restaurant was a fancy London club because he’d heard so many people talking about it.
Some of the characters featured in the work remember standing on the bridges over-looking the M1 and waving at all the cars passing. They’d never seen people driving at such speed – and reported that the car headlights at night often resembled shooting stars.
The backing track for the work was recorded at DIN Studio, London by Julian Simmons and mastered by Frank Arkwright at Metropolis, London. Vocalists and Northamptonshire-based musicians were recorded by Mark Hutchinson at Rooksmere Studios in Overstone, October 2009. The choir was rehearsed by David Bray
The music is designed to hint at Telstar by the Tornadoes and features Benjamin playing Theremin.
It was during sessions for the work that Benjamin was told a close friend had committed suicide. The funeral happened on the second day of filming. This work is therefore dedicated to KM and ML.