If you attended a concert at Lighthouse, Poole in its earlier years, you will probably remember its Concert Hall’s ‘legendary’ bouncy floor. The nostalgia has been perfectly captured in the song ‘And the Floor Bounced’ by The Lockdown Band.
Staff at Lighthouse, Poole commissioned Dorset resident Lorna Rees of Gobbeldegook Theatre – winners of the Coronavision 2020 song contest – to write a song that celebrates the role of popular music in the history of the beloved venue, and the generations who have formed its audiences since it opened in 1978.
The result is a wonderfully cheerful tune as bouncy as the floor that features so prominently in its chorus, and you can watch it as many times as you like from Lighthouse, Poole’s website.
The Lockdown Band consists of Lorna, her husband Adam and her children Dylan and Rufus. Lorna was thrilled to be given the opportunity to create a song that would capture the spirit of the venue’s musical history: “It is such a privilege to be asked to write this song,” says Lorna, whose first stage performance was at the age of ten at Lighthouse in the children’s cast for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
“Lighthouse has been a constant in my life – I was born a few months after it opened in 1978 we used to visit throughout my childhood. My parents took me there to see Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and it felt like a life changing moment.
“As an artist I’ve worked with Lighthouse on lots of projects in recent years and my husband got his first job there after leaving school, in the technical team, so we have this very powerful connection.”
After asking people to tell her about their own experiences and memories of events they attended at the theatre in years past, Lorna was flooded with replies and found that for so many others, the novelty of the bouncy floor was a recurring feature. She went on to incorporate a number of the memories in the lyrics of the song. She said: “I was thrilled at the response, it was overwhelming. I had hundreds of replies, many of them mentioned the bouncy floor and lots of them came with little stories about who they went to the gigs with, what happened, how they felt, it’s incredible. I have learned such a lot not only about who has played at Lighthouse over the years, but how important those gigs have been in people’s lives.
“Music is a powerful force and memories associated with it last a lifetime, that is why the song has to be about the audiences and their experience. It’s about the experience of going to a gig at Lighthouse and how that can change your life.”
Keeping the arts alive
Although closed for the time being due to the coronavirus, theatre workers have continued to entertain loyal fans with their creative online content and commissions from local artists. Chief Executive Elspeth McBain, said: “Lorna is one of many local artists whose work we admire and seeing the fabulous videos she and the Lockdown Band are making inspired us to commission a new song and video. We wanted to find a unique way to celebrate what has been the most defining part of Lighthouse over the years – the extraordinary bands that have performed in the Concert Hall – and as a reference to what we miss during the closure of the venue.
“Anyone who has been to a gig here over the years and experienced the unique phenomenon of the Concert Hall floor actually bouncing when everyone dances on it will particularly appreciate the song. It’s a real community memory and we can’t wait until we can reopen and offer the much-needed opportunity for collective socialisation as the final part of our recovery from this time.”