Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Canada very soon & last trip

Soon off to marvellous Canada.... (2 gigs: Québec & Ontario)

St Lambert, Québec - Friday 30th May at 9PM
Toronto, ON - as part of SING! 2014 Toronto Vocal Arts Festival - Saturday31st May at 7.30PM
...see you there!
 Also we have a workshop in the afternoon at Toronto - 3.15 - 4.15

We had a very fine time a few days ago in Hemmingen and Celle, after the Royal exertions at Hannover! 
Both delightful regions of Hannover, Celle especially having links to the British as UK armed forces were based there for many years...
We had a great couple of concerts with appreciative and responsive audiences - great joys!

I cannot get the Meaning of Liff definition of Toronto out of my head...(Well, John Lloyd is my cousin) - but I will not write it out; for those not easily offended (it is slightly naughty!) do look here!

Friday, 16 May 2014

great Hanoverian celebration

Hannover has put together a year of celebration of the Anglo-German house of Hanover, which embraced the Throne of Great Britain & Ireland in 1714... entitled:


As part of the grand opening of the five exhibitions on the subject in the Museums of Hannover, there was an entertainment at Hannover Staatsoper.

There were speeches from the Lower Saxony leader - Stephan Weil & from Her Majesty's Ambassador, Simon MacDonald; and much of the excellent Handel's Water Music was played by the Niedersächsische Stattorchester Hannover, wonderfully conducted by Anja Bihlmaier.

Then it was our turn; the script was written and performed by opera singer & writer Uwe Tobias Hieronimi, who ended up also playing William IV; of course we played Georges I, II, III & IV... (Mike, Steve, Richard, Mark - if you're interested! - yes, I am the fattest).
Quite the whole shooting match; crowns, capes and a throne on which we took turns!
We sang:
Song of the Weather (Flanders & Swan) in the excellent German translation we have from Maggie Forsythe; The Lambeth Walk (George I - Mike - finding English as if people were speaking backwards!; Our marvellous tea-making National Anthem - wonderful German words by Rainer Wallraf; In an English Country Garden - with splendid German text by the Forsyths...
...and then, joined by the orchestra, Horrible Histories terrific Born To Rule (Four Georges Song) & to cap it all:- Rule Britannia (with Tobias singing with us too!)

All glorious and fun... a delight as it always is to be accompanied by an orchestra - Anja was great too! Not to forget our Hannoverian guest pianist, Siegmund Weinmeister, who accompanied the weather and garden songs excellently.

Exhibitions and other events are here all summer... in fact we hear that a coach arrived at Buckingham Palace today, which echoed the journey of 16 days of George I those 300 years ago... (only this one had an actor in it!)

All organised splendidly - thank you especially Nicola and Ursula - and for Peter Martin Jacob for getting us here...

A privilege to part of it all...

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Banstead & a great CD review

Banstead Festival was a delight - a glorious Spring Saturday & a very enthusiastic audience... happy to receive Poulenc, Sullivan, Chopin, Jobim, The Mills Brothers, The Beatles, The Manhattan Transfer, Randy Newman, Billy Joel & sing along with both The Lion Sleeps Tonight & The Lambeth Walk...
One man left a note saying that having heard our Cricket Tea Towel song he now finally understood the laws of the game! Glad to be of service...

In case you have yet to find this.... here's a review of our newest CD - (hooray!):-

Telegraph review of Songs of Love and War

Have you got your copy yet?!

Now we are preparing for our concert in Hannover (two 'n's), celebrating the 300th anniversary of the House of Hanover (one 'n')... more news later!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Crazy #3, then Banstead

Third night at Crazy Coqs was best of all....
Great climax to our short stint & the beginning of a long relationship...

Having had director Hugh Wooldridge in earlier in the week (who introduced us), it was excellent to also have actor-superstar David Bedella in the audience... Hooray!

Very enthusiastic and loud audience - three birthday parties in - & splendidly raucous singing in The Lambeth Walk when we asked for such...
Incredibly good experience working at Crazy Coqs - looking forward to more...
It was gratifying too to hear that members of the audience had pitched up because they had seen/heard us on BBC TV and Radio over the last few weeks... marvellous!

Good to bump into bassist Jonty Fisher, preparing to back all in the open mike late night after our third show (we last saw him when playing together with Kate Dimbleby)...

Off to Banstead Festival tonight for a splendid evening in the Green Belt.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Crazy Coqs #1 & #2

Two terrific evenings at Crazy Coqs at Brasserie Zédel, Piccadilly Circus...
One more to go tonight... (at 8PM)!

One of London's most terrific cabaret venues, Crazy Coqs is a total delight - it is in the art deco Billiard Room of the old Regent's Palace Hotel, and is the perfect size.
Lots of close-harmony hits and more, as we gave... Hold That Tiger!

Quite ironic performances of Orpheus in the Underground during this week's tube strike... as Richard said, "today, it is a walking tour!"

Ruth Leon and all the staff looked after us handsomely - we look forward to future joys here...

On the second evening, it was a delight to have Anthony Daniels in the room with his wife - having jetted in from his work as his robotic incarnation, C-3PO... and only a day after the announcement of his appearance in Star Wars #7 (tho' we were never in doubt he'd be there!).
Marvellous to see him again...