With Carl Davis conducting and Mary Carewe as featured soprano as on this CD, Bond tunes took off in Jacksonville, Florida this weekend.

Carl Davis, Does It, Bigger

Carl Davis, Does It, Bigger

Davis has lent a hand on orchestration of the symphonic works of Paul McCartney (Live and Let Die) and composed other film scores, but has great affection for Bond’s tunes and Nic Raine’s orchestrations of them in concert.

I took time at the concert for a dinner cruise hosted by Jacoby Symphony Hall director Bill Cosnotti. Bill was an affable host and straight off, introduced me to Richard Karcher, whose fabulous posters adorned this gala event.

Original, Mint Oversized Thunderball

Original, Mint Oversized Thunderball

It’s been a few since I had cruised with a boat full of Bond fans. The Jacksonville Princess II was chock full of aficionados, and “the wine was quite excellent” even with clarets… servers tended bar and circulated coconut shrimp and crab cakes (“Crab cakes scare me plenty. Friend of mine went up to Dr. No’s for seafood, only trouble was, he never came back…”) before we adjourned one deck below for prime rib and grilled chicken, greens, and a dessert bar filled with eclairs, cream cake and strawberry cake and more.

A pod of dolphins joined the boat on both sides as we cruised through the heart of the City. Tall ships were in town for a festival, so our ship docked before a water taxi brought us to Jacksonville Landing for the show.

The audience lent the orchestra multiple standing ovations following a robust 2-hour performance (1st Act, classic Bond-John Barry melodies; 2nd Act, ripping modern Bond tunes) and Davis & Co. treated everyone to two encores–Tomorrow Never Dies’ Surrender and Another Way To Die. Carewe sparkled on these tunes and especially on Diamonds Are Forever, The Man With The Golden Gun and other riproarers. She pranced, vogued and mugged on stage while belting out the songs.

On intermission, I hosted a table of Bond wares and took questions from the public with Janine and Ben Sherman.

Bond Goodies On Display

Bond Goodies On Display

And where else will a concert feature over a dozen songs with “kill”, “die” and “bang”, each song with at least one 15-second high note at the end? Loads of fun.

Rounding out the concert was Davis’ banter and Bond trivia between songs, and lush orchestrations from TSWLM, OHMSS, Goldfinger and more. Some said they planned to come back for the second night’s show again.

Don’t miss this series of concerts when it comes to your town–or state.

Karcher's Mr. Goldfinger

Karcher's Mr. Goldfinger