Sunday, 19 February 2017

Harmony Tour of N.Germany

Five concerts on a tour of the beautiful north of Germany...
Sharing the stage, as part of Stimmflut 2017, with Viva Voce & Acoustic Instinct...

Both other groups wonderful and splendid in their own ways... Viva Voce, 5-part & Acoustic Instinct 2-part (beatboxing, but not only!)  We all joined together at the end and sang Stand by Me... marvellous.
The audiences have basked in a feast of vocal music; we enjoyed ourselves immensely - as this is the 10th year of the Stimmflut tour, Viva Voce who created this series, have developed wonderfully knowledgeable & enthusiastic crowds!
They loved all that we did - from 16th-century French music (Thoinot Arbeau's Belle qui tiens...) to Tiger Rag and Strangers in the Night... and finishing off with the German tongue-twister, wenn ich vergnügt bin muss ich singen.
Wonderful to watch and listen to the other two groups, Acoustic Instinct's dynamism, rhythm & fun; & Viva Voce's melifluous beauty & harmony (& fun too!)

We performed in Buchholz, Stade, & Wolfenbüttel (two nights...); tomorrow we complete this part of the tour in Wolfsburg - the only one of the places we have been to before (in 1999).
(More coming in March)...

There was a street in Stade which suggests (making sure you use German pronunciation) that there may have been a campaign to use more than 140 characters in communications, even many years ago...


Beautiful places indeed...
Stade (an old Hanseatic League port & once ruled by the Swedes and then the Danes)



Wolfenbüttel


Corny joke (another):-
Do you think they have any of the below in red?


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Dinner for 4 in places beginning with 'B'

So two performances of Dinner for 4... in Baden Baden and Brackenheim...
Delightful both.

The audience sat at tables and enjoyed food and wine as we gave them Dinner for 4... and a great time was had by all.
For Baden Baden, we were in a hotel in the splendour of Rastatt, complete with red Baroque castle (our desires are widely known!)


As to Brackenheim...
We had not visited this venue since the year 2000 - well, Mike and Mark had! - such joy in inviting us back so soon!  The guestbook from that year with photos made us feel a wee bit worn! (Mike was reminded of his accident with a basin which flooded the hotel... they were amazingly pleased to see us return!)
But a full to the rafters house was full of joy and acclaim

A meal for the entire administration of the concert club after the concert was not only excellent to digest, but most convivial and happy!
Thank you to all who helped our evening be so terrific - Joachim, Martin, Christina et al....

Oh and a small thing I noticed in Brackenheim:
The bus stop outside the church was clear that anyone wishing the 666 route had to carry on with their journey...

Now we are back in Germany for five concerts shared with Viva Voce... more details anon!

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

German joys... more to come

To Lüdenscheid for an a cappella nacht; sharing the stage with two other splendid vocal groups...
The Junction from the Netherlands
&
Bliss from Switzerland
We had previously shared a gig in the summer sunshine at Friedrichshafen, but it was a winter wonder this time.

Glorious, as often in Germany, to have Bettina looking after us - thank you... Our German agent, Peter Martin Jacob is slumming it in Los Angeles!

We had an excellent time in front of a very enthusiastic audience - they did especially enjoy our instructions as to how to make a cup of tea, but all was great!
We must give many thanks for Mike who so gloriously did our sound and lights, he was very kindly lent to us by The Junction... hooray!

Great to hear the other two groups of course... a feast for the audience of 120 minutes of a cappella...
As the final act of the night, we sang all together Bobby McFerrin's Don't Worry, Be Happy - and marvellous it was!

And here is the view from my hotel window... a little bit of Wald for you!



We have lots more German splendour for the next two months... look on our site, but this week on Thursday and Saturday, we're in Baden Baden & Brackenheim doing Dinner for 4; then on to Buchholz, Stade, Wolfenbüttel & Wolfsburg for some more shared gigs...

Ausgezeichnet!

Thursday, 12 January 2017

TLQ goes pop

Roll up, roll up...
Here is:  TLQ key #1
Get your TLQ logo'd USB stick.... only £7.50

Go HERE!



Look at this beautiful thing; it is small and perfectly formed - only 4cm long and the size of the USB hole... and has 10 audio tracks (mostly a cappella), and a video... Ventura Highway

Audio:
Rolling in the Deep
Another Day in Paradise
When You Say Nothing at All
Oranges & Lemons (no, this is not pop, except in a 'goes the weasel' sort of way)
Eternal Flame
California Dreamin'
With a Little help from my Friends
Tiger Rag (yes, jazz really...)
Killing me Softly
&
A Kiss from a Rose (this one with Chris Hatt on piano too!)

Produced and edited in his studio by Simon Wallace....

It is a 4GB USB, so could be useful anyway!
How could you resist!?



Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Happy New Year

Two further nights of cabaret fun at The Pheasantry and 2016 was done!
Good to see, as ever, friends old and new and to bring the year to a close in happy surroundings.
Lovely atmosphere on the King's Road, and a festive feeling all round...

Thank you Alessandro on sound, and all the staff for their excellent work!

So, thank you, readers (!); good to share this blog with you... and here's to a glorious 2017...
...where there will, I promise you, be more blogs!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!





Thursday, 29 December 2016

Happy Christmas

A Festival of Carols in 2' video - go on, have a look; Last chance to see in apt times!

We had a lovely time in Belgium pre-Christmas... the last three concerts were as good as the first... in Scherpenheuvel, Ternat & Bruges.
All with the splendid lights and sound of Koen Dilliën, our most excellent guide through these four concerts...



Also wonderful to have Chris Hatt on piano, as well as all of his gorgeous family on tour with us.
It was definitely a crescendo towards Christmas, with each concert/venue being better than the last... but all three were great.

Glorious Scherpenheuvel, Terrific Première in Ternat, and the beautiful Stadsschouwberg Bruges to finish... (the city below, and the theatre above!)



As ever in Belgium we were looked after brilliantly by all & enjoyed our food before and after the concerts.

And suddenly we find ourselves post-Christmas, having a jolly time in the cabaret venue, The Pheasantry on the Kings Road, Chelsea.
Still some room for a small one tonight and tomorrow should you wish!
Already had two excellent nights; Chris Hatt still with us; and it is great to exercise the pure cabaret muscle, and leave the serious (but of course beautiful) Christmas pieces behind...

Two more concerts and then let 2017 begin!

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Champs Hill concert, In Tune & Belgian tour starts

Festival of Carols in Two Minutes Vienna video is HERE
Go on - have a wee look!

We went to a wonderful party...
At the home of the glorious record company, and of course David and Mary, we performed in the lovely hall here surrounded as ever by great art, with a terrific piano (played terrifically as ever by Chris Hatt), an evening of Christmas jollity.


Of course, a lovely room to sing in, and a hall packed to the rafters - a new experience; to record an album in a room, and then go back six months later to the same room and perform a vast amount of it to an audience!

My dressing room was invaded by this little chap... he wasn't after my socks luckily!



A splendid afternoon at the BBC in the company of Sean Rafferty and the Team at In Tune...
Four songs from A Song for Christmas & two bits of interview too!  Chris Hatt was there too!

You can listen again here: Starting at 1'25"
(Of course the other guests were all marvellous too!)
We sing:
Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!
A Festival of Carols in Two Minutes
Nativitie
&
Twelve Days to Christmas (from She Loves Me)

Sean was as ever professionalism itself and a delight to chat to.



Then it was up early the next morning for the Eurostar to Belgium (thank goodness we're not flying anywhere at the moment!) and a 2PM concert at Vilvoorde.  The audience were well up for a Christmas afternoon and great fun was had by all.  Elke and her team looked after us very well.
We also were joined, as we shall be for all of these gigs, Koen on sound and lights; a splendid addition to the team and how excellent he was! (In fact he is hard at work as I write to make sure Scherpenheuvel is an equal success...)
Here is the beautiful Scherpenheuvel Basiliek (that is not a giant snake, for any Harry Potter fans)


Three concerts until Christmas; Scherpenheuvel, Ternat and Bruges... then after it is our four nights at The Pheasantry on the Kings Road, Chelsea (27th-30th Dec)... have you bought your tickets yet?