Thursday, 3 May 2018

Zédel joys

Wonderful evening in Crazy Coqs at Brasserie Zédel...
Full English Brexit had another outing and an enthusiastic crowd joined in the fun.

A delightful venue for those who do not know, and such a splendour in which to perform - Art Deco all over the show!

We were joined by old friend, Bill Purefoy on the topline...I say old friend, in fact, he was in the group 1992-3... so a wee comeback after just a quarter of a century.  Fabulous to have him back, still huge fun and of course with a beautiful voice... hoorah.
...and also we had Chris Hatt on the piano - having taken a night off from MD-ing Hamilton; lovely to see him again after a while (as he has been a busy busy boy!) & to have him accompany us with such brilliance.

Many old fiends in the audience, which obvs. was lovely; special mention to two people... my old friend Colin Warnock, who came to hear us sing one of his songs (She's Gone - with lyrics by Martin Tyrrell, mostly rewritten as They've Gone); and Lotti Viola, who came all the way from Vienna... now there's dedication!

Friday, 13 April 2018

Central London gig

Full English Brexit! ...comes to 'Live at Zédel'... 7PM on Thursday 26th April.
Tickets here
Come on, you know you want to!

We had a great evening at The Abbey Theatre, Nuneaton in February, and look forward to further sharing our Full English Brexit with more of our compatriots.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Full English Brexit !

People of Nuneaton (and surrounding areas) - Abbey Theatre, Friday 2nd February at 7.30...
Come and have fun!

Having started in the Pheasantry, Chelsea just before New Year, we gave three try-out performances in Belgium of Full English Brexit...
...and delighted to say that the shows went down very well.

We started with a 2PM show at Deurne, then two evening performances in Boechout and Herent.
At all three we were returning to venues we've been to before and it was great to be back.
For these shows we played the piano ourselves.... well Mike and Chris played most (and I - Mark - did a bit)... which was a very interesting experience... and people were very complimentary about it all; certainly it is very good for the brain to do the show in such a way!
So with music about Agincourt (written in 1415), Beer-drinking Britons, and the History of the European Referendum; and by Beethoven, Walton, Noel Coward, Flanders and Swann, Neil Sedaka, Paul Simon and Stephen Sondheim (as well as some by ourselves), we explored Brexit in a musical manner...

We ended with our song... Sorry... and then Dudley Moore's Goodbye-ee - tho' very much hoping this is not a finality!

We did meet some old friends at these concerts, who were also reassuringly positive... hooray... we look forward to carrying on this journey around Europe later in the year.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do... but we'll keep travelling around Europe and singing all about it!

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Belgian Christmas and Full English Brexit begins...

It's been a while... forgive us!

Lots of lovely Belgian joy before Christmas
Tervuren was the first...and it was glorious!
We played tenor 1 tag for these gigs before Christmas - Chris sings in York Minster & was told he really had to attend his two Nine Lessons and Carols services... (he did have to satisfy the 1000s of people who turn up to these); thus we had the opportunity to bring Steve Trowell out of retirement (he left in 2001!)...
So Chris did Tervuren and the next gig... Aalst, Steve joined for Koksijde & Hamont-Achel, then Chris came back out for Oud-Turnhout.
Those guys did a lot of travelling...
For most of these gigs we were joined as ever by our excellent sound and lights man, Koen Dilliën... he makes it all look and sound so splendid... Thank you!
We also had a new pianist for the shows... as Chris Hatt is rather busy London-premiering, Hamilton - very exciting (he says he can get us some tickets in 2021 !).  New piano friend Ben Costello joined us for these gigs... what a good chap he is... watch it Chris H., you may be stuck in the Victoria Palace Theatre for the rest of your life!!

After it was all done - with Ben C...(and lovely Belgian beer)

For those who do not know, we have been joined for the greater part of 2017 by our old friend (and founder of the group!), Richard Bryan... he filled in at short notice (and stayed!) when Sarah-Ann got her awful sickness bug during her pregnancy... all good now (and Olivia exists - hooray!); but that is why we are back to an all-male ensemble... watch this space for future developments - tho' rumours of Richard's pregnancy are really exaggerated.

With Steve T & Richard (& Ben!)

All the Belgian experiences were splendid, we have got rather used to this sweet Christmassy time we have in Belgium each year... even if it was difficult to even see the sea through the mist at the seaside at Koksijde... my wife's presents were, as ever, mostly bought in BE.
Food was good - and indeed Belgian beer... Achel beer was fine and dandy
Here is the church with it's shadow against the low-sitting cloud after our gig in Hamont-Achel (and a 1999-2000 reunion!)

Then Christmas came...and went; and it was time for a quick sojourn at the Pheasntry, Chelsea, for Pizza and singing... for these gigs we were joined by jazz pianist Simon Wallace, as we gave our Full English Brexit a first run-out to the unsuspecting people of Pizza-land.

Everyone was lovely and we had a great time... and people even laughed in the right places, and said that they enjoyed it... whatever next!?

Another pleasure was that some people from Schwerin in N.Germany came over especially to London for a post Christmas trip, so as to catch us at the Pheasantry, and the fireworks on the 31st... how splendid...

So a busy and excellent December was done; as was 2017...
On into 2018 with FULL ENGLISH BREXIT... in Deurne, Boechout, Herent in Belgum this very week... AND not forgetting Nuneaton (Abbey Theatre - 2nd February...7:30PM)

Sunday, 10 December 2017

German tourette

A return visit to the splendid small town in Germany, Pirmasens...
Once again bringing Christmas cheer to people in the new Arts Centre there.

Three nights there... and lovely it was.  We were looked after splendidly - hotel, food on tap etc -  & people were very kind, even when we mentioned Brexit (tho' some sniggered!)

Delightful to be joined on the last night by German agent Peter Martin Jacob & his husband, Sasha...

Here is the Town Hall Advent calendar - a glorious European tradition:-

In the bottom left-hand corner you can also see the top of the wonderful crepe stall, which served me the excellent After-Eight Crepe (hyphen is their addition) - glory!

Then it was north to Hamminkeln for a concert in a church - with such a fantastic acoustic... marvellous it was... A lovely Festive atmosphere, with two great friends, Carole & Birgit in the audience, along with newer friend Stefan.
Organisation terrific and attentive.
Hotel was also terrific, tho' we had to leave it very early - getting up at 6.25AM... probably normal to many of you, but pretty dawn-ish for me!

Now we prepare for our Christmas concerts in Belgium... home on Christmas Eve!

Friday, 10 November 2017

Send for Mr Plim

A delightful lunchtime in the company of Maggie Forsyth with Julian Forsyth and fellow members of the cast of An American in Paris at the Soho Theatre, watching a performance of Send for Mr Plim!, a comic cabaret opera from 1932 by Mischa Spoliansky, adapted into English by Julian Forsyth and Steve Edis. (German original: Rufen Sie Herrn Plim!)

We were in good company, as Barry Humphries (an expert in Weimar era music & cabaret), Jane Asher, Bill Patterson & Spoliansky's two grandsons were there too!  Sadly their Mum, Spoli, has died since the last production, but she was there in spirit, of course.

We, TLQ, played the management of the Wertheim's (the Berlin shop where this piece is set) in the production at Battersea Arts Centre in 1999; and it was wonderful to hear the score again.
Julian & Steve have added a prologue of Spoliansky music, with pithy, brilliant lyrics exploring the alarming atmosphere of Germany in the early 1930s.

The cast rehearsed all this in their spare time (of which there is not much when you are playing in a long show 8 performances a week!); and they were fantastic of course, looking and sounding ace.  Very much a workshop performance, but utterly compelling.
Let's hope this is the first of very many performances & it goes on to huge success.

Wonderful to see our old friends, The Forsyths & Spoli's sons.
A lovely way to spend a London lunchtime.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

August sunshine

Two delightful days in the August sunshine (tho' with a small modicum of rain...)
Firstly a shared gig in Dresden with the lovely Medlz, and another German band HörBänd...
As ever the concert was a splendid celebration of a cappella from three different standpoints.
We touched on Brexit and were given the usual mixture of laughter, confusion and hilarity!
A full crowd in the theatre had an excellent evening of music, culminating in an all-three-group rendition of.... (oh yes)... Stand By Me !

Here we all are, after it was done!

A possible lovely morning appreciating the wonders of Dresden was somewhat marred by torrential rain - but as we watch the terrible storms in the US & Caribbean, perhaps I should let that pass...

Then it was off to sunny England (near Luton) to celebrate the birthday of a very long-standing supporter of the group, Carol Jones... she first saw us in the late 1980s, and we sang for the assembled throng many songs old and new from all the years she has come to see us... one of her favourites Anthem from Chess & of course (it had to be)... Neil Sedaka's Oh Carol !
A lovely afternoon in the English sunshine with friends - what more could one ask...