Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Blokeingly BRILLIANT BlokeFest


A picture says it all - can you spot the Magnificent Blokes intermingled with BlokeFest Blokes?  A great photo of a great weekend - with due thanks to Mr Hicks and the blokes themselves.


Now back to our humdrum lives... luckily we've got some more gigs coming up to help us through!

Sunday, 10 June 2018

It's beginning to look a lot like... BlokeFest!


To (mis)quote the bard, Michael Bubblé, "It's beginning to look a lot like"... BlokeFest!

That annual event when the clans of BlokeSong gather for some #altmvc alternative Male Voice Choiring activities and general good blokey socialising that was the fruit of some particularly visionary "pub talk" many moons ago.

This year they have blokes coming from all over the British Isles and even the continent to be there and a cracking line up of Workshop Leaders.  So, expect it to go a bit quiet from here for the rest of the week and into next as we prepare and recover from another epic event.

Full details at http://www.blokefest.net.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Happy Birthday Mr Spoons



Wishing one of our most valued and vocal brethren, and possibly one of the nicest chaps you could wish to spend time with, Mr Geoffrey Spooner Esq (on the left), doing one of the things he does best, making friends and brightening up the place wherever he goes, despite trying to come across as a miserable, curmudgeonly old whatsit...!

Happy Birthday Mr Spooner.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

#MagnificentCork momentos


Feeling suitably honoured and proud to be awarded a rather splendid certificate and received a rather lovely letter from the Cork International Choral Festival.  

Not bad for a bunch of blokes from North North Wiltshire...



Friday, 18 May 2018

Celebrating an Unsung Hero



Fascinating fact of the day about an Unsung hero of ours is that apparently today is the day that the world's first lawnmower was manufactured.


And you can hear our ditty that was penned by our belovéd ChoirMeister to celebrate the great man and his many achievements just below.



Enjoy

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Didn't we have a lovely time the day we went to... Upton


"Didn't we have a lovely time the day we went to Bangor Upton,
A beautiful day, we had lunch on the way and all for under a pound you know",

Well not quite... and apologies if we have put that particular "ear worm" of a tune into your brain for the rest of the day!

But despite the financial inaccuracies of that little ditty (and we can't reveal what happened on the way back...) we DID have a lovely time at the Upton-upon-Severn Folk Festival with a bizarre structure dangling over our heads as we performed not one, but two full sets for the good citizens of folkness.  

And a cracking pair of well received performances they were, with a near full house in the evening and much mirth in the shire as we wheeled out the full bandido outfits for Gringo, along with other classics we haven't aired for a little while, such as "The Duct Tape Madrigal".

Thanks to the blokes and our recently inaugurated "WhatsApp channel" (get us) for the snaps that were, er, snapped along the way.



Saturday, 5 May 2018

Can you spot "The Magnificent 1"? + Upton Update


We don't normally encourage this sort of behaviour, but recently a photo came into our possession from a reliable source suggesting we ask the question, "can anyone spot the soon to be member of The Magnificent AK47 in this line up of, er, likely lads?", or words to that effect.

The "friend" of the fellow shall remain nameless (for now) but can YOU name one of our Top Blokes in this photo?  A small prize await the first correct answer not coming from the "friend" or the fellow himself.




*** Upton-upon-Severn Festival UPDATE ON TIMINGS ***
Apparently we were correct in the information we passed on in our last post, but this information has now changed so apparently we are due to be performing at 

Concert in the Parish Church - we are due on stage 14:45

    then

Concert 6PCe 19:45 23:30  in the Parish Church - we are due on stage 20:35 21:25 (unless that has changed too...).   We'll let you know any more as soon as we know ourselves.






Thursday, 3 May 2018

Up and coming at Upton...!



After just enough time to recover from #MagnificentCork (last mention... for now), we are delighted to be performing a little closer to home at one of the biggest local festivals around these parts, down on the banks of the sunny Severn River at the Upton-upon-Severn Folk Festival.

We will be performing not just the once, but at least twice, and who knows how much more depending on the reception and how the ale flows for our non-designated drivers (bless them, they will receive their reward in this life).

Full details can be found at http://www.uptonfolk.org/ and we are scheduled to perform at 

Concert 6PCa 14:45 18:00 in the Parish Church - we are due on stage 17:05 18:00

    then

Concert 6PCe 19:45 23:30  in the Parish Church - we are due on stage 20:35 21:25

Come and say hello if you are going and see probably the greatest exponents of BlokeSong ever to escape North North Wiltshire in action.




Tuesday, 1 May 2018

#MagnificentCork - one long week on

Thank you #MagnificentCork #lovechoral #lovecork!

As we struggle to return to our humdrum lives as "modern" 21st Century blokes, we can only look back on a fantastic few days in #MagnificentCork and once again thank EVERYONE who made is possible and so enjoyable, from the organisers, the fellow attendees, the great people of Cork, our Magnificent Tour Team, our Belovéd ChoirMeister and all the wonderful Blokes on Tour who were such good company.

Here are a few pictorial souvenirs to help re-live the moment and prolong the hazy glow of time well spent as we get back to what passes for normality... before hopefully doing it all again some time soon!


Day One - on way, singing at Cork Airport + "tea time" at the bar.


Day Two  - Exploring Cork by day and by night & pondering tactics before performing to 100 school kids!



Day Three - cultural & historical trip to Cobh and refreshing ourselves before another few bits of singing round the place.


Day Four - more culture and history at the Jameson's Distillery and around Cork galleries and museums before closing the first half at the Gala Performance after picking up another award and leading the craic at the Festival closing party.


Day Five - early start after a late night - luckily no photos appear to have been taken...




Monday, 23 April 2018

#MagnificentCork - Day 4 - The best yet



What a day...! Even by our standards, an absolute astoundingly Magnificent Grand Day at the Cork International Choral Festival.

Great weather + some pottering around Cork, some pottering around Jameson's Distillery + singing in an atrium to an attentive audience + winning the P.E.A.C.E. award (Awarded to the choir that best embraces the spirit of the Festival, and fulfils the intentions of the trophy's benefactors, the P.E.A.C.E. Movement) + being asked to sing with all the proper singers at the grand, last night Gala Performance + leading the singing along at the after Festival party.

Phew, we need a bit of a lie down as we attempt adjust to our humdrum 21st century existences and sort out the tour washing.

Thank you to everybody involved who made it such a brilliant weekend in so many, many ways.  It was a Magnificent craic!


Sunday, 22 April 2018

#MagnificentCork - Day 3


Another almost unbelievably sunny day in #MagnificentCork sees us sight seeing, absorbing culture, history and geography, and singing on a bandstand.



Saturday, 21 April 2018

#MagnificentCork - Day 2


Lots more walking around this lovely city getting our bearings and enjoying the sunshine.  

Midday Concerts to 100 school kids was an interesting experience for both parties.

More stuff to do today, including culture and history and geography.






Friday, 20 April 2018

Thursday, 19 April 2018

It's a long way to... Cork


A final parting thought before the blokes board their plane to voyage across the seas, that you can follow their adventures at these locations during their long weekend of spreading the good notes of BlokeSong at the Cork International Choral Festival on this map below.

More soon, when we reach the other side...!


Mascots are GO!


Big Kevin & Big Bob

It's not just the Blokes that are getting excited, the tour mascots are pretty up for it as well!  Here you can see Big Kevin & Big Bob having their Tour Photos taken looking suitably animated (well, at least Big Bob does...).

So, we wish them safe travels and parting thoughts as the blokes fly across the Irish Sea to represent our small corner of the county.


The singing blokes of Ashton Keynes in North North Wiltshire and beyond
“One of the most exciting choirs in the UK” Matt Swann 2015 Voices Now Festival Director The London Roundhouse

Garlanded with the “Audience Award” at the 2016 City of Derry International Choral Festival

Unlocking the Inner Minstrel by lowering the tone at http://themagnificentak47.com/ since 2008

Delighted to be attending the 2018 Cork International Choral Festival


Blog:  https://themagnificentak47.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter:  @magnificentak47
Facebook:  
https://www.facebook.com/themagnificentak47
Instragram:  
Sorry, but no, we've got to stop being sociable at some point, there's singing to be done!

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

#MagnificentCork



Brace yourself #MagnificentCork - we're heading your way!


The Magnificent AK47 – appearing at the Cork International Choral Festival 2018
Singing away and blazing a trail around the place at these events

See this Google Map https://goo.gl/q8qAQd

The full Festival Programme can be found at https://issuu.com/corkchoralfest/docs/choral_2018_prog_aw_lr1.

And edited Magnificent highlights of the singing are:

Thursday 19th April
Bristol International Airport

Choral Trail: Cork Airport  14:15
Choral Trail: Costigan’s 19:00

Friday 20th April
Choir Meet & Greet: City Hall 11:00
Friendship Concert: Carrigtwohill Community 13:00
Choral Trail: Shelbourne Bar 19:00
Then, open for invitations and any decent offers…

Saturday 21st April
Guest performance:  National competition for Light, Jazz & Popular Music: City Hall 17:15

Choral Trail: Tequila Jacks 18:00
Festival Club: Clayton Hotel 22:30
Then, who knows where else & till what time….

Sunday 22nd April
Afternoons in the Atrium: Clayton Hotel 14:15
Then, open for invitations and any sensible offers

Monday 23rd April
Singing wherever we have the opportunity and with whatever remaining voices we still have!

Should you find any lost Magnificent bloke, please return to
The Maldron Hotel
John Redmond St, Shandon, Cork, T23 A9TF, Ireland
www.maldronhotelshandoncorkcity.com
+353 21 452 9200

Or simply return him to The White Hart Inn, The High Road, Ashton Keynes, North Wiltshire, England.

We are hoping for "quite a time..."

#MagnificentCork #lovechoral #alt.mvc


Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Carried on up the Albert - what a cracker


Thank you to everyone at The Prince Albert in Rodborough, P.R. Stroud who made Saturday night such a great gig for us.   What a welcome with all the signs (see our Twitter feed).

A really GREAT venue!

And a great way to set us up for what is to come in the next few days... we're off on Tour again, don't you know - #MagnificentCork International Choral Festival.


Two sleeps till #MagnificentCork - Tour mascots have arrived


With just two official sleeps (might struggle on Wed night with the excitement...!) the Tour Mascots for our voyage to the Cork International Choral Festival have arrived just in the nick of time to somehow be given to two careful guardians to snuggle aboard the flight to Ireland.

But what can they be?  All will be revealed in the days to come when more about the trip is revealed.




Saturday, 14 April 2018

Carry on up The Albert #2



It might have escaped your notice (Notice #1 Notice #2 Notice #3 Notice #4 Notice #5 ...) that a certain gentlemen's singing group is slipping across the county line to perform their subversive odes to 21st mid-life angst, amongst other cheery ditties, in the People's Republic of Stroud's annex of Rodborough, way up on the hill (or way down if you are coming from Minchinhampton) at the rather wonderful Prince Albert public house.

It'll be a cracker as the blokes hone themselves for their upcoming visit to the Cork International Choral Festival to get ready for the "craic", so early appearance to reserve your space is advised.

Use this information to help you find your way:  Telephone 01453 755600, The Prince Albert, Rodborough Hill, Stroud, GL5 3SS, http://www.theprincealbertstroud.co.uk/.

Carry on #alt.mvc.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Fun postponed, but not for long



Come Hell or High water, or even Low Snow, we plant to fight our way through to (nearly) the top of Rodborough Hill near the P.R. of Stroud this coming Saturday 14th of April.

Should be a goodie and looking forward to seeing a packed out Albert Inn.  With all of us there might even be a bit of space for the audience...!


Sunday, 1 April 2018

The Magnificent AK47 as featured in The Sunday Times Magazine


It's always nice to get a bit of positive press coverage, and to be considered rather good by such an illustrious publication as The Sunday Times Magazine is even nicer to wake up to on a sunny Easter Morning as April dawns on us and the revelation that 'The Magnificent AK47-the poster boys of new wave #alt.mvc are going to be “Gigantic”!' is sprawled across the t'Interweb for all to read.

Whilst we shouldn't be totally surprised by the idea, it is quite a claim to be considered "poster boys" of anything, on multiple grounds - (1) the age of most of the blokes (2) the "look" of most of the blokes and (3) the general shambolic demeanour of the combination of 1 + 2, which somehow adds up to much more than 3...

Anyway, judge for yourself as you read the substance behind this outrageous claim - read more.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Busy start to our 10th Year



We keep pinching our collective selves at the thought that The Magnificent AK47 have been operating in one form or another since the Ashton Keynes Music Festival of 2008...

Emerging from that event, many participants of the original workshop inspired by the success of the session and the following triumph of the "Sing off" against with the "Divas" the next day, and buoyed up with the idea of continuing, enough blokes managed to keep things going to get through a tough period of the "Early Years".

Luckily we received tremendous support from the Festival, in particular the then Festival Director, Mr Graham Loveday and managed to just about stay afloat in terms of finances and enthusiasm, yet despite only meeting every six weeks or more, we gradually built up a small repertoire and word started to spread about something special happening in our corner of North North Wiltshire.

Little did we know what was about to come as more and more blokes started to turn up, mostly from outside the village, including blokes as far away as Swindon and Stroud.  These injections of new talent and enthusiasm started us on our arc of discovery to where we transcended from being just a bunch of blokes rehearsing in a school hall, to a bigger bunch of blokes rehearsing in the back room of the village pub, and then beyond.

Doubtless, there are many more stories to be told of the newbies and their infusion of new influences on the group, but suffice to say that more will be told in times to come as we generally spend the whole year wallowing in our longevity and many great adventures.

One thing to mention, is the huge variety of places that we have sung, from replica sailing ships to windmills, dark tunnels and grottoes, on cliffs and harboursides and so many other places in between that it is going to take two or three blog posts to cover them all.

Now we have already had three months of this celebratory year and managed to squeeze in a Boot Camp, Recording Session, a new album's worth of material on a new CD, a few other workshops and a couple of gigs and even had a gig called off.

Up coming are many more adventures over the course of the year, including a 10th Anniversary Tour to the Cork International Choral Festival in breezy south west Ireland, a big festival later in the summer and and even bigger event we are organising for the first weekend in October and much more.

So, stay tuned for more news of the pioneers of #alt.mvc

Friday, 30 March 2018

Getting ready for our first "proper" international tour


Who would have thought nearly 10 years ago when we first started getting what would become The Magnificent AK47, that we would have been going on tour...?  First of all we had our "Grand Days Out" then our first proper tour was to Cornwall where we were fed within an inch of our trouser capacity and nearly split them laughing during the "Judging Sessions".

Then we somehow managed to get invited to Northern Ireland for a tour to the City of Derry International Choral Festival where we won the "People's Prize" of the award they created just for us, the Audience Award.  A few top memories from that wonderful weekend are above and not all of them involve imbibing in the local liquors, we even do some singing!

Next we returned to Cornwall for another blisteringly good few days, and now, off the back of the Derry visit, we are returning to the isle of Ireland for our first "don't forget your passports" International trip to the Cork International Choral Festival, http://www.corkchoral.ie/.

With this in mind we have booked some extra rehearsal sessions to ensure we are in top form:

Wednesday April 4th SCHOOL HALL BOOKED 19.30 to 21.30   
Monday April 16th  WHITE HART 19:30 to 21:30


Saturday, 17 March 2018

Tickets available on the door


Just in case you haven’t got your tickets for tonight you can probably get some on the door tonight, but please don’t leave it too late.

See you there.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Would you buy a CD from these dodgy geezers?



Would you buy a CD from these two dodgy looking geezers??

The answer of course is "Yes!" and "Can I have more than one, please?"  
Much as this excited young man and his friends did the other night.



"So, how can I get my very own copy (or more)?" you ask yourself...

By going along to St Sampson's Church, Cricklade, North North Wiltshire and purchasing said items at our concert with ChoirJam this Saturday 17th March - tickets at http://themagnificentak47.com/tickets.html.

Simples.

It's here, and it is GIGANTIC!


What better way to celebrate your Tenth year of choirdom than releasing a record of your recent repertoire with Magnificent accompanying art work?!

Pedants amongst you (most of The Magnificent AK47...) will note that it's not actually a "record" like in the olden days, but actually a CD, increasingly like in the olden days, but we will let that pass and will wallow in the brilliant job done by our resident genius Art Meister and current Big Chief, his nibs, the Rt. Hon. Williams of Hicks Esq (P.R.o. S.) and the miraculous works of Mr Chris Samuel in managing to get 10 songs recorded on the one day, and Nick Beere of Mooncalf Studios for capturing our unique sound.

These collectors' items will be available on sale at our gig this Saturday 17th March with ChoirJam at St Sampson's Church, Cricklade and tickets can be obtain via our website or on the door at http://themagnificentak47.com/tickets.html.