Monday, 28 April 2014

Gaby Roslin show & Crazy Coqs

We had a wonderful time & survived the sing-along in the Gaby Roslin show on BBC Radio London!

She was, of course a lovely host for us on Sunday afternoon...

You can see our tracks at the bottom of this page - and also listen to the whole show; we are on just passed the hour at 3, 4 & 5 and for the last 3 minutes... Interviews as well as singing...

Great to meet Catherine Ryan, Jo Joyner & Tony Kitous (as well as eating his very fine Comptoir Libanais food)... & to experience (and purchase) some felt excess from Lucy Sparrow (her shop in Bethnal Green in August sounds - and will be - amazing!)

Now it's on to Crazy Coqs, Piccadilly Circus for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week at 8PM...

Friday, 25 April 2014

We were In Tune!

Oh yes...

...we were indeed on In Tune - and if you missed it - listen here (We were on between 5.24 and 5.57 - just under an hour into the show... but it's all good, natch!)
I also reckon that you do not have to be in the UK to do this - hooray!

Great to be in studio with Malcolm (as brilliant as ever at the piano); and to meet Sean Rafferty and Andrew McGregor - and John Wilson and Simon Butteriss too....
...and cool to do a big advert for Songs of Love and War & also the Crazy Coqs next week...

All good... next it's Gaby Roslin on Sunday PM....

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Radio Days & Walter Swan

Looking forward to being on the Radio over the next few days...

Tomorrow (Friday PM) we are on BBC Radio 3's In Tune - the show runs from 4.30 till 6; we are joined by the splendid Malcolm Martineau, as we share some of our new album together - Songs of Love and War... four or five songs and chat - can't wait!

Then on Sunday afternoon we are on the Gaby Roslin show on BBC Radio London  -  where we will publicise our imminent shows at the Crazy Coqs - 29th & 30th April & 1st May...

Can't promise we'll keep the red flag flying on the last night, but there is at least a tube strike for most of the run to help us into that mind-set...

Very sad news at the beginning of the week; another far-too-young death.  My old English teacher, now a writer and someone who has booked us twice to work at Ilkley Playhouse, Walter Swan has died at 59 - quite awful and such a waste; such a decent, caring man - we send lots of love to his wife and sons...
Yorkshire Post Obit.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Rule Britannia!

Hooray - you can see us on TV in this excellent programme hosted and written by Suzy Klein at about 27 minutes into Episode Two... (if you are in the UK, at least)... lots of splendid musicians on show, as well as us!

iPlayer:- Here is the link - Rule Britannia, indeed...

Also you might see there, that you can still catch me singing an anti-French song very near the end of Episode One !

Two more songs from us all in Episode Three - BBC4 Monday 21st April at 9PM...


In Tune - Friday 25th April - BBC Radio 3
Gaby Roslin - Sunday 27th April - BBC Radio London
Crazy Coqs cabaret - 29th, 30th April & 1st May @ 8PM - Brasserie Zédel, near Eros...

You must hear/see us...

Friday, 11 April 2014

David de Warrenne RIP

Very sad to hear news of the death yesterday of my old teacher, David de Warrenne.

A glorious pianist (as happy reading figured bass, jazz chords as classical - and so accomplished at each), and an inspirational teacher to generations of pupils at Trinity School, Croydon from early 70s till just recently.
Another retiree denied a long retirement.

Also he was the most fabulous arranger - and I was lucky to sing so many... the amazing One More River, which I always reckoned should be published immediately... DdeW told me that as it was for huge double/triple SATB choir and piano duet the main problem was that only one bar could be printed per page (especially as US vocal scores are a bit smaller than UK)! 
So it was utterly impractical - I have, however, sung many large scores which did not appear to warrant publishing... Such a loss to music that others cannot share in it!

Then there was his fleshing out of a radio competition winner Be Nice to each Other (renamed Ben Ice toe ach o.t. her, so as not to embarrass the members of the choir) which aired on LBC...
...and once he'd started, the DW choir was born; decades of many wonderful arrangements flowed from him... especially Christmas slush... all in the best possible taste... & with remarkable piano accompaniment... on Radio, TV, concert platform and CD.

We asked him to do some things for us... all amazing... 'Round Midnight  from A Tribute to Hollywood, musings on Misty (over 6 minutes long - performed on Radio 3), What I did for Love & the splendid Crytearia (another pun-filled title, mashing together Willow Weep for Me, Cry Me A River, Flow My Teares & Weep O Mine Eyes) - quite brilliant Renaissance / Jazz fusion.

Thanks for all, David - you will be greatly missed by so many...

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Philippsburg & Frankfurt-Höchst DE + TV & Radio

Two more German joys...

First the Jugendstil splendour of Philippsburg...

...beautiful hall from the outside and a fantastic place in which to sing... a final Best of British performance for the moment, and the last of four gigs with Gareth Hunt - excellent to have him around for these few days...

Then a second return visit to Höchst (very near to Frankfurt), for a Madrigal to McCartney show.

Both audiences were warm and delightful and fully ready to partake in our shows, and great technicians too!
Sales of Songs of Love and War were very fine - we have started spreading our new CD around Europe!

Apologies if anyone tries to watch us on BBC4 tonight - the programme was moved to Mondays and thus the first wee bit was on near the end of last night's viewing of Rule Britannia on BBC4 at 9PM... the next two episodes are on the 15th and the 22nd - at a similar time (we have a small bit in each it seems!)

Also:       BBC Radio 3 - In Tune - 4.30-6: Friday 25th April
                BBC Radio London - Gaby Roslin show - 2.30 - 5: Sunday 27th April

Then on to Crazy Coqs 30th, 31st April and 1st May - 8pm

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Minden and Wunsiedel, DE

Two more concerts.... just much of the length of England apart!
Much Union Flag-waving in both north and south Germany... (from Minden in North Rhine-Westphalia to Wunsiedel in Bavaria!)

Quite a long drive by British standards, but the autobahn worked its magic & all felt fine.

Minden an especially beautiful theatre, built in the v.early 20th-century (here it is):

Staff as marvellous as the theatre is lovely!

...and after that long drive, delightful to back in the arms of Wunsiedel, and with our old friend Christian on the sound desk... excellent.
Very well looked after as always... Gareth especially taken with the huge dark beer on offer at the bar last night (tho' not overly so, of course).

More Best of British in Philippsburg tonight, then it is a farewell to pianist Gareth Hunt as we head to Hoechst for a Madrigal to McCartney on Monday...

Friday, 4 April 2014

Wilhelmshaven, home and back to DE

Wilhelmshaven the other night was a super evening...
...had a wee look around the docks and water.... very black-coloured it was... not sure if this is a soil thing... or indeed oil! ( I assume in Germany of all places, it is not pollution...)

We sang again, as last year, in the Christus- und Garnisonkirche - beautiful to sing in, but we delivered the full Best of British show ... and the audience were a delight... full to the brim - Hooray!

Came home to the ignominy of our cricket side losing to The Netherlands in the world T20 tournament... oh dear oh dear... not a surprise perhaps after our winter that we cannot beat part-timers... The Netherlands clearly can play, but our guys do this for a living!

Now back in Germany, we are joined by pianist Gareth Hunt, who like me had much of his early musical upbringing in Croydon; lots of mutual friends and memories to discuss.  Greta to have him with us for the next few days...

Last night we started in Winsen / Luhe - bijou place in which to perform, and lovely atmosphere...
...fine flag-waving and singing of Land of Hope & Glory at the end from everyone!

Four more to come:
Minden, Wunsiedel, Philippsburg & Frankfurt-Hoechst... (this last one a Madrigal to McCartney gig)
Best of British all the rest of the time!