The Bamboozler DVD
47 mins, 2007
When Tyneside percussionist Bruce Arthur died in 2002, he left behind an Aladdin’s Cave of instruments, gathered from the four corners of the Earth – drums, gongs, wood blocks, marimbas, squeaky hammers, sound sculptures and much, much more. The collection occupied the whole bottom floor of his house and he left it all to his friend and ex-pupil Brendan Murphy. Amber’s film explores the story and how it led to the setting up of The Rumba Palace, a place for rehearsals, workshops and the sheer joy of hitting things well. And it follows sound sculptor Adrian Sander as he begins to make Bruce’s last ‘commission’, a thing of brass and bamboo: The Bamboozler. As Bruce’s wife Sue says, ‘Bruce liked to bamboozle people.’
Funny and moving, The Bamboozler features Sue Arthur, Adrian Sander, Brendan Murphy, Keith Hill and the percussion line-up Principle Three. It’s a film about percussion, its traditions and the endless pursuit of knowledge that it inspires. It’s a film about love and death, legacy and continuity. It’s a film about Bruce.
AT HOME WITH BRUCE ARTHUR
An early screening at Gateshead International Jazz Festival was followed by the sound sculpture concert which now provides the film’s conclusion. After the gig, bass player Neil Harland remembered his brother Kevin, back in 1994, experimenting with a new video camera as Bruce jammed and played a few numbers with friends.
Available to purchase as: DVD (all regions, PAL)