Thursday, 29 August 2013

Vienna - biannual fix

Two splendid (mainly sunny) days in Vienna over the weekend - two more nights in the charming Theater am Spittelberg in the midst of the MQ (Museum Quarter)... Imperial splendour:- oh yes!
Hundertwasser, Prater, Venus of Willendorf, Mozart & Haydn... all explored!

Glorious times in Vienna as always... & great to share our Happy Hour...and a half with them!
We're back in the theatre in December (perhaps it will be colder!) on December 17th & 18th...

On Sunday night (1st Sept.) we are at the Dean Street Pizza Express (Soho, London) as guests of the excellent Jazz singer, Kate Dimbleby... accompanying her in Peggy Lee's great He's a Tramp and doing a few other bits....
Should be fun! (Doors open at 6.30)

Friday, 9 August 2013

Mel Smith's funeral

Last week, Peter Brewis, an old friend of Cantabile & Mel & Griff's MD asked us to sing at Mel Smith's funeral. 
An truly honourable invitation!

Cantabile were asked in the 80s & 90s to sing quite a number of musical routines for gags on the BBC (Alas) Smith & Jones shows; so Peter thought it would be fine if we sang Ar hyd y Nos (All Through The Night) to send the great man off... We had an interesting tussle with the organist once the English words started... and the congregation joined for two verses... he must have thought it needed to be one only... giggles all round.

As you can imagine the speeches were also very funny:- lots of laughter during this event! - Of course Griff gave a wonderful tribute...

Good to see Richard & Griff in a manly-Footlights-embrace at the end.... they teach this sort of thing at Cambridge, you know!

Moving and Hilarious - a rather tremendous afternoon... a smattering of famous types around... I can't tell you who now, can I?

Thank you, Peter, Griff ...and of course, Mel...

Monday, 5 August 2013

Sunny (occasionally stormy) Germany

Two splendid gigs in the sunshine in Germany...
Firstly a Peter Martin Jakob a cappella nacht in Fritzlar... in the open air just outside the Dom... In the afternoon this did look a very dodgy idea, but we had rain just for about two minutes and then all was blessedly (and decidedly) hot.
We shared the stage with excellent VoxNorth from Denmark (altho', like so many excellent vocal groups, one of them was a Belgian! - their wonderful Flemish chap is Roxorloops, beatboxer par excellence)...
They provided a lovely mix of Nordic folk sounds with percussion (both live and mouth) & pop/jazz too... Great to have another vocal group friendship!
The audience were terrific & happy to stay up nice and late to see both acts... we were delighted that our Dutch friends, 'Reet, Jo, Jolene & Jasper were only holiday in Germany near enough to come and see us - a great joy to see them! ... also Birgit came for the second weekend in a row - one day we shall have a concert where she actually lives, so she need not drive!

Then it was simply a train ride down to Friedrichshafen:- simple you might think... but not when we are chasing an electrical storm all the way down there... enough trees were felled on a particular branch of track that we were delayed for four hours & had to finish the trip by taxi.... We did got the performance tent on the banks of lake Constance with 42 minutes to spare!
Friedrichshafen was both a great relief, and as beautiful as when we were here in 2001 & 2002.
The concert went very well - an excellently excitable & appreciative audience & thanks to our Swiss friend Silvan for coming over the border... We'll see him again in early September for the two gigs he has organised in CH.

They did have a dark beer for me to sup afterwards - splendidly names Zeppelin, which I drank in the shadow of Zeppelin house, just down the road from the Museum... there was even one in the sky as we started our journey home this am...
If you're interested - New Zeppelin History

We have an interesting Friday this week - more news once it is done... (sorry, you're going to have to wait!)

Friday, 2 August 2013

Soho party night

A fascinating evening in central London...
Forgive the swank.... (if you fear I am being rude, do please look the word up)...

Tim Rice, for it is he, invited us to sing at a charity party - the summer get together for Samaritans in London.... we entertained these wonderful people, before allowing them to get on with their party... and even accompanying the great man in his excellent hit... Wanderin' Star... the people in the crowded top room above a bar in Soho were splendid, and good (if sweaty) fun was had by all...

Afterwards we were invited to an excellent place, Brasserie Zédel - which is home to the Crazy Coqs cabaret venue... and there, would you believe it we bumped into C-3PO himself, Anthony Daniels - amazing... & he joined us for a meal.

So we had much discussion of the entertainment business, both musicals - Tim's new show, From Here to Eternity opens in preview next month - and Star Wars too... I was able to tell Anthony how much my family and I had enjoyed his MC-ing of the Star Wars orchestral concert/show at the O2...

Quite er.... out of this world!

Back on planet Earth, off to Germany at the weekend... (The F's tour... Fritzlar & Friedrichshafen).