Sunday, 31 August 2014

This week at the Bridewell & beautiful Belgium under the stars

Do come to the Bridewell theatre this week! It'll be great fun...
Weds. 3rd - Fri. 5th at 7.30
Sat. 6th at 2.30
Box Office: 0207 427 4742
All other details here - Over the Top!

We had two wonderful evenings (apart from one 30 minute downpour which was less so) at the excellent Nuits des Choeurs 2014 - an evening of multi-entertainment on six separate stages in the ruins of an old Monastry at Abbaye de Villers, about an hour from Brussels.
As well as us, there was the choir of the French Foreign Legion, The choir of St Petersburg, the lovely franco-israeli singer-songwriter Yael Naim, the energetic and vibrant French cast of Sister Act & the backing group for James Brown.

All the acts perform on six separate stages... three at a time, a set of 20 minutes four times during the evening, so the vast crowds (many thousands) can wander about and watch everything...(including two of them twice if they like) as well as drink and eat... It is sponsored by many, but the eye-catching one for me was Leffe... lovely beer!

It ends on the biggest stage (where the Foreign Legion were at home) with us all doing one more song and ending with fireworks...

Fantastic, and the hardy Belgians laughed at the rain and the muddy fields... brilliant!

One of the amazing six stages:

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Mike Smith's funeral

A very moving and sad occasion yesterday.
Mike Smith's funeral.
In glorious Summer sunshine we joined friends and family of the broadcaster & helicopter pilot to celebrate the far-too-early demise of Smithy.

It was a huge honour to be invited...
We helped lead the singing of the excellent music choices; Bring Me Sunshine & Lean on Me & also sang the piece that Cantabile - The London Quartet premiered at Mike and Sarah's wedding 25 years ago... written by Julie Cooper & our old friend Hugh Wooldridge - Pageant!

Many speeches from friends and family were appropriately warm and loving, but Sarah made an especially wonderful speech bringing tears to eyes and lumps to throats... goodness knows how she managed to say it all, but filled with Mike's celebrated joie de vivre, she insisted that life would & could go on.

A beautiful event - as ever with funerals both miserable and life-enhancing.

We can't help but notice that after Mel's last year, this is the second summer during the Edinburgh Festival in which we have sung at the funeral of an M Smith... hoping this does not become a habit...

Friday, 1 August 2014

We break our Aylesbury Duck! ...(and a Wedding)

Ho ho ho... (duck, Aylesbury... geddit?)

Lovely afternoon in the beautiful town of Aylesbury... as part of the Avondale Summer Music Festival... Our first time in the place, I reckon (excellent to look around the place before the concert - perhaps my colleagues might correct me if I am lying & we have been before!)  The weather stayed fair and we entertained the assembled masses under sunny skies & our Madrigal to McCartney show was appreciated greatly...

Also lovely to see our friend Irene married to Steve a few days ago - we wish them all the very best in their future together....

Other jolly news.. it remains warm and (mainly) sunny & England have remembered how to play cricket.
Great Commonwealth Games too...

Have a splendid Summer!