Tuesday, 26 February 2013

B.o.B. at Heusden-Zolder, BE

Another Best of British show in Belgium... more splendid flag-waving (Union Flag that is!) from a European audience... Excellent afternoon show in Heudsen-Zolder in the snow! (Not enough of the white stuff to delay anybody, delightfully).
Joined once more by the glorious Chris Hatt (hotfoot from a week with his family in the sun), it was a very fine B.o.B.... and all had a great time.
...and we even got home that evening despite all the hire car's efforts at windscreen-wiper-failure... Mike was heroic!
Our great friend Gertie had brought a great coach load of schoolchildren from Holland too, which made it even more special:- how lovely!

Now a rash of UK dates with our On the Funny Side of the Street show to look forward to:

Thurs. 28th Feb - Wimborne, Tivoli
Sat. 2nd March - Lytham St Annes, Lowther Pavilion
Mon. 4th March - Clacton, Princes Theatre
Weds. 13th March - Solihull (Arts Complex)
Weds. 10th April - Shrewsbury, Theatre Severn
Sat. 13th April - Radlett (Centre)

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Fürstenfeldbruck - the early show

Wonderful evening in Fürstenfeldbruck; beautiful place in which to sing, and a splendid cultural palace, as one so often finds in Germany... full of art and music-making... this small town has an orchestra and two choirs!
We were not in the exquisite church (tho' this is enormous and perishing cold!)... tho' we were in a very great hall for singing...

Here is the rest of the complex...

We hear it was built in guilt in the mid-13th century, after Louis II, Duke of Bavaria had put his wife (Maria of Brabant * ) to death for infidelity (The Pope forced him to build), but then subsequently realised he'd been a tad hasty... who'd be a Royal woman (in former times)!?

But back to the concert, we were very pleased with it; a full crowd, in rapt silence - one lady told us she had been in heaven for the last two hours! Marvellous!
We provided a concert of Franco-Flemish, Italian and English music 1450-1650... including, Josquin, Byrd, Gibbons, Monteverdi, Arcadelt, Jannequin, Weelkes, Morley, Batten, Robert Stone,Thoineau Arbeau, John Bennet, Palestrina, Henry VIII himself & that great stalwart of composition... Anon.... as part of the Fürstenfeldbruck Alte Musik sequence.
We ended with Oranges and Lemons as from our new Songbook - the Great British a cappella Songbook... (It is in the correct period, even if the arrangement ain't).

This complex does also house the Police University, which was slightly ironic... as when we arrived the door was open to our concert hall, with alarms blaring away... with no-one coming to help, and no problem in sight!

(* her descendants, of course, turned to the left & were very successful in car manufacture in the mid-20th century in Eastern Europe.)

Saturday, 16 February 2013

B.o.B. DE tour #2

Next two stops on the B.o.B. tour... TuttlingenWangen, marvellous times...
Once again joined by pianist extraordinaire, Paul Plummer...
Lots of old friends (some from Switzerland - which is just up the road!) and new, at two places we have visited on many occasions over the last few years.
In Wangen we had the great pleasure of singing in the very old (14th Century, I think) Weberzunfthaus - wonderful; and full of people it was... great to catch up with all after the concert in the splendid café.

Coming up tomorrow - at last the early music show in Fürstenfeldbruck, near Munich...
O Sing Joyfully (1450-1650) - a celebration of English, Franco-Flemish & Italian Renaissance music.
Cantabile & other animals: Byrd, Gibbons, Bat(ten) *

* this joke has run out of steam, please stop, Ed.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

B.o.B. tour #1

First two dates of the B.o.B. * tour are done!
Siegen & Blieskastel... We have been to both before (Blieskastel only last year); good to meet old friends & talking of which, we are being accompanied by another old friend, Paul Plummer...

Splendid audiences, and as ever, a very knowledgeable German crowd who know and love their vocal music... and are delighted to join in with our Land of Hope and Glory at the end... including waving their Union Flags (as printed on the back of our programmes):- wonderful scenes!

Two more dates to go, and then an a cappella early music concert at the weekend...

* B.o.B. = Best of British (our programme for Germany and Belgium).

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Carnival time!

Well, here it is; in time for Rio & Mardi Gras all over the world (is the plural Mardis Gras?)

Manhã de Carnival - featuring the vocal beauty of Richard Bryan... with us accompanying a cappella style...
Wonderful song by Luiz Bonfá & Antônio Maria from the classic 1959 film... Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus).

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