Doves have had quite a love affair with Jodrell Bank over the years starting from visiting the observatory back when they were kids to their Hacienda classic Space Face (originally released by their earlier incarnation Sub Sub) featuring the Lovell Telescope in artwork. But by far the coolest thing is their cosmic rock experiment… they used the moon as a giant delay pedal!
They plugged their guitars into the Lovell telescope dish, fired the sound up to space and bounced the signal off to the moon.
Guitarist Jez Williams said “I basically used the moon as a massive delay pedal…” he laughs. “It doesn’t get more prog rock than that!”
After Jodrell Bank had successfully bounced voice recordings of astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Professor Stephen Hawking off the moon (to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landings) the idea was hatched (back in March 2009) with resident astrophysicist Dr Tim O’Brien to do the same with a Doves guitar riff.
“He had a load of dials on a box. I plugged into it, he just dialled the moon, like you do,” explains Jez Williams “and two and half seconds later it [the riff] comes back. It messes up the signal beyond recognition, it’s pretty wild. We’ve got a recording of it that we’ll definitely use at some stage.”
Click here to see Doves play much-loved track Kingdom of Rust in front of the Lovell telescope.