Monday, 26 September 2011

Six more sleeps till next workshop

Just a further reminder that it is now six more sleeps until the next workshop.

This will be held on Sunday 2nd October 5-7pm in back room of The White Hart, High Road, Ashton Keynes with the intention to lurk around for Open Mic a little later on in the evening.

Unfortunately, despite considerable effort, it has not been possible to arrange a communal evening meal to bridge the gap so as a default, any out of towners wishing to stay on for Open Mic will need to bear in mind the need to have sufficient sustenance to keep them going or make arrangements with local based TMAK47ers.

Please come wearing your TMAK47 t-shirts as after the success of the previous photo session we have something else up our sleeves (despite there being no real sleeves on t-shirts, it's just a turn of speech!).

Also don't forget your cheque books for this term's subs of £30 or pro rata'd to £20 for newcomers.

All practice material can be found at - please contact if you are having any issues with downloading any pieces, or ask someone under the age of 25 to help!

By the way, these natty little hats in the picture can be purchased from should you feel the need.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Current Practice Material

The Current Practice Material has been updated and tidied up to include recently uploaded pieces such as "Haul Away, Joe", "Magazena" and a few others including the ones we started learning at the first session of the Autumn Term.

Have a listen, download the tracks and put them on your iPod / MP3 player and get learning / re-learning your parts for our next get together at the Workshop on Sunday 2nd October.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Georgian singing on the www # 1

We stumbled across this from a starting point brought to our attention by brother Alan. This is a little potted history of Georgian singing that helped pass the time whilst eating tea the other while.

It is quite educational with an English commentary and mildly interesting so have a look and learn something to impress your mates with next time you are out drinking and the topic of the origins of Georgian polyphonic choral traditions crops up in the conversation.

Click here for Georgian Polyphonic Singing and this lead to Georgian women singers in Kendal of all places, and thence to the Rustavi Choir who seem to have quite a lot of material.

Finally for now, you might be interested some music you can download from Amazon (other sources are available and we will blog about them later) at this link. We have the two albums by the Georgian Voices and mighty fine they are although one are two pieces are a more for the real devotee rather than the casual listener if you take our meaning.

Amazing thing the internet, how you can travel the world whiilst having your tea!

P.S. We will follow up Alan's original link as it has uncovered another cell of Spookyness but that will be another day.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Quite Magnificent AK47 2010/2011 Season

A quite magnificent set of photos from after our Sunday night workshop to celebrate a great 2010 / 2011 season.

These photos look really great, like the 18 blokes in a boat in this one and also with everyone looking very imposing indeed in some of the others.

Thanks to Lars for the quality camera and thanks to Nigel for pressing the button just at the right moments..

The full set of photos can be found on our Flickr site.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Autumn Term 2011

A great turn out on Sunday evening for the first session of the new Autumn Term.

Lovely to see everyone again although there were a couple of the Old Guard missing, but it was very encouraging to see so many returning.

It was also great to see so many new faces, many of whom had come from quite a way (North Oxford and Stroud) to join us.

It was really good to get started straight away with some new material to get everyone on a level playing field right from the off. These three new pieces, the Spooky Men stalwart "And I love her", South African / Zimbabwean favourite "Shosholoza" and another genre we had not yet explored, that very Blokey of eras, olde Elizabethan Englande with "Ah Robin".

Chris Samuel has very kindly recorded all of these and they can now be found as Practice Pieces in The Magnificent AK47 Soundcloud.
Here's to a good new term.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Talk Like a Pirate Day 2011

It has been brought to our attention that we may have missed an opportunity to dress up like pirates and make strange noises.

Not being one to let these sort of opportunities pass lightly we have decided to bring this to your attention too!

For even more information see the reference on Wikipedia at

In honour of the fact we have changed the language used on our Facebook page from our native English to being English (Pirate)

See the picture on this page.

One can't let the opportunity pass to say "Ahaaaaaaaar"!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

One more sleep till more Magnificence

Not long to go now till we meet again.

Hopefully there will be a good turn out from the old lags and one or two or more new Blokes turning up, wide eyed and innocent, to find out about just what it is we get up to when we get together.

Our fame and repuation (!) have now spread far and wide, well as far as Cricklade, Malmesbury and Oxford way, to tempt others of similar mind and voice to venture forth to join our merry troupe of Minstrels.

This time we meet in the School Hall, 5 - 7 pm.

Remember to come wearing your T-Shirt!

Friday, 16 September 2011

England vs Georgia Rugby

Big man hugs all round, at the highest level of man hugs.
Yes, it's the big one, England versus Georgia in the Rugby World Cup on Sunday morning and they won't be hugging the opposition, apart from in those mauls, until the final whistle when it will be manly handshakes.

If you are interested in a Magical Man Moment then make it round to Neil's house for just before 7am (yeeuch!) on Sunday. Bring your own bacon and or sausages and bread for your own butties and beer if you want and enjoy the match before the workshop later in the day.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

New Practice Material on Soundcloud

New Practice Material has been uploaded to Soundcloud, where we keep many of our recordings.

These can be found at and should be fairly easy to use.

Just follow the instructions to Download (highlighted by the Arrow and Yellow box on the picture) if you want to copy the files to your PC and then treat as any standard music file, even putting it on your iPod, iPad or whatever other iShiney device you have.

Listen, learn, enjoy and maybe remember the words for the next workshop?!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Blokes Desperately Wanted!

A plea from another damsel in distress, this time the fair Lady Dr Sweeney (Darren's better half).

She is running another Community Choir in nearby Cirencester, full information to the left.

It would be great if some of the Blokes could make it along but do be careful overusing your delicate voices. Actually on second thoughts get along there and get singing.

;-) or even :-O

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Singing Blokes in demand

In case you feel tempted to get involved with more singing in Ashton Keynes the rather wonderful Village Choir are looking to entice more members along to their regular sessions in the School Hall on Tuesday evenings.

Some of our numbers have been along to this venerable institution and many a happy hour or two has been had.

They have a wide range of music, from the more popular end of the spectrum to the classics, are a friendly bunch, led by extremely well respected leading light, Heather Milnes, and most of what they do is easy enough to pick up, even if you don't read music.
They perform three or four times a year including a Christmas Concert that is usually one of the highlights of the Yuletide season.

So, if you have a couple of hours to spare on Tuesday nights then it is well worth going along.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Georgia in the Rugby World Cup

Though they may not be wearing our T-Shirts, you might want to consider following the valiant "Lelos" who will be representing Georgia in the Rugby World Cup over the next few days.

Whilst not expected to do more than do themselves justice and maintain dignity against some of the bigger teams we are sure that they will be at least amongst the best after match singers!

One of their opponents are England so mixed feelings during that game but here's hoping they enjoy the experience and translate it into epic song.

Fixtures & Results
14/09 - 19:30
18/09 - 18:00
28/09 - 19:30
Palmerston North
02/10 - 13:00
Palmerston North

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Half sad, half glad

Well what can we say that hasn't already been said about The Spookys? They are an inspiration in so many ways, from their hilarious high jinks to their stunning low notes.

It may have been a non-descript Monday night in Swindon for most people but Monday 5th September was a very
special night for many of us. We were lured to the quietly wonderful Arts Centre for the penultimate performance of
this year's tour and what a night!

They were at their truly Magnificent best, buoyed up by a very lively crowd, clearly revelling in the banter and picking up on the energy zinging from every member of the audience.

The evening started with Kate Rowe performing her very quiet, and everso beautiful, song but then giving way to some
of her more audience participation numbers, although sadly there was not mass invasion of pirates like at the Ashton
Keynes gig but there was a good deal of bouncing to the chorus of "Space Rabbits of Brooklevoons", instigated by the
over-enthused AK Massive occupying a couple of the rows.

Then on came the Spookys themselves and proceeded to rip up the place with their humour and sheer musical excellence. If we could have written a set list ourselves it would have had those spine tingling pieces, Magnificent, Not pretty enough, the Georgian Section triple, the older "classics" of Dancing Qveeen and Boogie Wonderland along with the stunning new version of Kiss with Spooky Adrian scaring us all with his hip joint dislodging dance routine - a joyous sonic and visual feast.

In between there was an amazing moment when there appeared to be total anarchy breaking out on stage when the "Man line" suddenly took on a life of its own when the blokes made complete ANAGRAMS of themselves, quite literally, displaying their midriffs that had been adorned with a letter and rushing around the stage to reassemble in a sequence that spelt a number of phrases ending up with "WE LOVE HARDWARE". Just such a mad yet brilliant idea - tour bus craziness at its most epic!

On reflection it is quite staggering the volume and range of material they have now and it never ceases to amaze how them come up with new ideas to keep things fresh, yet still building on a common thread of bemused curmudgeonliness and pointless grandeur, inspired silliness, all whilst singing quite brilliantly.

Well, what else can we say? It is a real shame that the "Spooky Summer" is finally over (glass half empty) but it has been such a blast in so many ways (glass very definitely half full). We are truly fortunate to have been touched by their presence in so many ways, and we will raise a Spooky beer glass to drink their health at every possible occasion.

Thanks guys, and here's to the next one!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Where were you when wearing - Spookyland Swindon?

Snapped after the "class outing" to The Spooky Men's Chorale gig in Swindon on Monday night (mini review coming soon), the photo shows most of the Magnificent AK47 crew who were in attendance, at least all the ones wearing the correct T-shirt . . . (Martin!), and certainly all looking suitably Magnificent.

Pictured from left to right, David (Daddy T), Nick (Ahoy!), Mike (Big Chief Mike), Alan (Teech), Simon (Spooklet), Neil (Little Chief), Phil New-Spooky, Chris Samuel (TMAK47 Choirmeister), and Lars (Crazy Chief). Note the real life halo around Lars is captured rather eerily by the camera!

Scoring is as follows:

1. The Location - 3.5 (Swindon is never going to be the greatest namecheck, but the hand sculpture in the background (just to the right of Alan) & lighting does lend a certain extra cred)

2. The Pose - 5 (could it be more posed??! Some fantastic pointless grandeur and bemused posturing - top score)

3. The X-Factor - 4.5 - (we like the sheer numbers of posers involved, the impressive dedication to the cause and amazing coincidence that they were all wearing their T-shirt at the same time and the same place)

Making 13 - a score that may be hard to beat.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Good luck to Dr Sweeney swimming to France

A belated "Good Luck to all who sail in her" to that crazy Dr Sweeney fellow, splashing his way across the English Channel to France earlier today in aid of Aspire - supporting people with spinal cord injury.

Hopefully he will be safely on the other side by the time you read this but there is still time to contribute to his fundraising by visiting his Just Giving page, click here.

Here's looking forward hearing all about it when we next congregate.

Where were you? Mr Harris globetrotting again

The globetrotting Mr Harris was snapped yet again resplendant in his TMAK47 T-shirt.
Scoring is as follows:

1. The Location - 3.5 (Nice Portuguese seaside town backdrop)

2. The Pose - 3 (could be a bit more posed but not too bad)

3. The X-Factor - 3.5 - (we like the fact that Stuart has been so dedicated in taking his T-shirt wherever he has been of late and has the knowse to get snapped wearing it)

Making 9.5 - another decent score.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Spooky Ladies

Snapped on the night of 1st September in a car park in Didcot after a memorable performance by the Spookys which included a wonderful rendition of "Happy Birthday Jessica", it being the evening of that special day, a pair of very happy "Spooky Groopies".

Where were you? Spooky Mr Samuel looking "Magnficent"

Recently spotted in Didcot just before the Spookys' gig at the Cornerstone Art Centre on Thursday evening, our inspiring Choir Meister Mr Chris Samuel was wearing his TMAK47 T-shirt, much to our delight.
A bit of a sneaky entry into the T-Shirt competition.
Scoring is as follows:

1. The Location - 2.5 (Prezzo restaurant in newly built town centre, not terribly inspiring)
2. The Pose - 3 (not actually posed, more snapped but looking Magnificent in any case)
3. The X-Factor - 3.5 - (we like the hat and the surprise element of the spontaneity of the moment)

Making 8 - room for improvement.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Flying Solo Sunday 4th September 7pm - 8:15 pm

***** Please Note change of time *****

To make it eat up less of the day and hopefully encourage a few more people to stay on we are planning to START at 7:15pm in The White Hart backroom and sing for up to an hour or so max.

We can then loiter for Open Mic, singing something if we are quorate.
Please respond to let us know if you intend to come along.

Please note the pub will not be serving cooked food so bear that in mind.

See you there.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Where were you when wearing - Lundy?

Well we are glad to say that at least Stuart seems to be taking the T-shirt competition with due import that it deserves. . .

A second entry

Scoring is as follows:

1. The Location - 3 (not your every day seaside spot)

2. The Pose - 3 (not as pointlessly grandiose as he could be given the apparently secluded nature of the location)
3. The X-Factor - 3.5 - (we like the authentic looking boxes and the obvious sea shanty homage)

Making 9.5 - not bad.
Come now, one or two more entries please to spice up the competition!