Tangerine Dream, Cambridge Corn Exchange

Words and photographs by Mark Stimpson

The iconic German electronic band Tangerine Dream rolled into Cambridge as part of their current From Virgin to Quantum Years Tour.

The music of Tangerine Dream has been part of my life for nearly 40 years. I was blown away when I first saw them perform live in the mid Eighties. I greatly admired Edgar Froese’s musical genius and was fortunate to meet him a couple of times. Tonight, is the first time I’ve
seen the band since the untimely death of Froese in 2015 and I curious to see if the current line-up, Thorsten Quaeschning, Paul Frick and Hoshiko Yamane would be able to capture
the Tangerine Dream magic of old.

I arrived early and find my way to my seat. On stage a number of light tubes are dotted round the racks of keyboards and synthesizers which are all draped in white. A storm is being projected on to the back screen. A quick glance around and apart from a handful of younger people the audience is made up of those over 50.
Just after 8pm the band, dressed in black wander onto the stage. There’s a brief pause while they set things up. Then Quaeschning says “Good evening, Cambridge”. He takes centre stage while keeping a fatherly eye on Yamane, left and Frick, right. We are straight into
Stratosfear. It’s barely recognisable and it’s only because the album cover is being projected on screen that gives it away.
There follows a feast of electronic music. Yamane’s violin adds an unexpected but welcome twist, taking the music to new heights. Old and familiar are reimagined and updated but still sound as good as they always have done. These are interspersed with new and less known

For over 2 hours we are treated to a visual and musical extravaganza. It’s easy to become totally immersed in the experience. At one point the stage was bathed in blue and yellow light, presumably in recognition of the war in Ukraine.
It was over far too soon. The 2 hours just few by. The standout moments for me are Dolphin Dance, Kiew Mission, Love on a real train and White Eagle.
The legacy of Edgar Froese is alive and well. Long may it continue.
If you have never seen Tangerine Dream preform live, then you should. You are missing something very special.

Set List (I’m grateful for the sound engineer who let me take a photograph of his set list.)

Dolphin Dance
Sorcerer Theme
The Dream is always thew same
Kiew Mission pt1
It’s time to leave when everyone is dancing
Love on a real train
You’re always on time


Philip Goddard

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