Sunday, 30 October 2011

Newsletter 2011 November

End of Term report (as submitted to the Ashton Keynes Parish Magazine November 2011 edition)

What we did next – our Autumn season continues into approaching Winter

We bid a warm welcome to our new recruits of whom there are many. We have been joined by a number of blokes from within the village and a couple of others who have strong ties but live just outside. We have also had an influx from Stroud where there is another pocket of bloke singing, although we are led to believe that they have blokes of all genders involved round their way. We have even had a couple of gentlemen from as far away as Oxford seek us out and come along to recent sessions. It is great to get them along and see them very much enjoying the group.

The infiltration by the Spooky Men’s Chorale

Since our inception we have been wonderfully directed by Chris Samuel who has been a longstanding UK-based member of the inspirational Spooky Men’s Chorale. We have now been infiltrated by another Spooky Man, one of the most recent ones who was plucked from the audience and “acquired” whilst on tour the night before they came to perform in Ashton Keynes. He not only brings added Spookyness to our ranks, the ability to sing very well, but he also has the most splendid beard, dramatically adding to our hairiness quota.

New material and our latest gig

We have now started work on a whole bunch of new pieces and we put many of the above elements together for the first time in public at our latest gig on Sunday 16th October at the Bristol Festival of Song event in the world famous St George’s Hall, just off Park Street. This was our most prestigious event to date in an exceptional venue that is continually being used for top flight concerts and a lot of programs Radio 3 are recorded there.

We were performing during a marathon three sessions that showcased the talents from over a dozen choirs from around the region, many of them extremely well established. It was quite a daunting prospect for our valiant blokes, especially the ones who’s SatNav insisted on trying to direct them to the wrong St Georges in Bristol – pure comedy if it hadn’t been so close to stage time!

However, with everyone who should have been there we amazed the audience by another act of audacious performance art, which involves the group storming on stage to the tune of “Let me through”, much to the utter astonishment of the choir that was still on stage at the time and the stewards who attempted to Shhh! us. Don’t worry, it wasn’t us just being totally impolite but part of the act. The Choir leader was in on the scam but his choir members weren’t, so they were as bemused as the audience until they realized what was happening and the joke became apparent.

The blokes, new and established, sung their hearts out and with a series of lightening quick costume changes, for which we are now rightly infamous, they continued to stun the audience with their vocal ability and sheer fun filled silliness.

More rave reviews

Well, at least one member’s teenage daughter who saw the performance in Bristol when pressed for an opinion described the blokes as being “Good”, which was followed by a less monosyllabic “and my mates thought you were really funny”, this coupled with some not inconsiderable applause could be construed as yet another set of rave reviews, but we won’t let it go to our heads!

More web stuff

We’ve somehow managed to sign up for a Twitter account so we can ignore that particular medium and concentrate on more interesting ones such as our continually updated website. This can now be reached by the slightly easier to remember and contains a veritable treasure trove of stuff about us. On there you will find a very active blog, updated at least once a week, links to videos on YouTube, some great pictures on Flickr and lots of audio material on SoundCloud.

Last few T-Shirts for sale and T-shirt competition still going strong

Our T-Shirt has proved so popular that we only have a couple left from our initial batch and would “suit careful lady owners” or the less generously proportioned bloke as we only have small to mediums left. If you are interested in these wonderful souvenirs, priced at only £7, then please contact your nearest bloke, or failing that via the website.

Our “Where were you when wearing your T-Shirt” competition continues with many increasingly exotic entrants from places as far away as Galway in West West Ireland, sunny Portugal, the deserts of Jordan and even Tokyo airport. There is still time to enter but obviously you will need to have a T-Shirt first.

Forthcoming dates

See our Upcoming Page

Come and join us

If you are a Bloke who might like to join in the mixture of heartfelt lyrics, (intentionally) “tricky” harmonies, occasional beer and magnificent silliness, then to find out more about “The Magnificent AK47” from or email

The Inner Circle
Sing Like a Bloke Chapter
Ashton Keynes
aka The Magnificent AK47

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