Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Newsletter 2011 September

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

As we gird our girths and loosen our larynxes for a new Autumn Term, we thought it worth taking a moment or two for thoughtful reflection on the last year or so.

In the space of what seems a very short time it appears as though we have achieved a surprisingly huge amount, transforming ourselves from being a triumph of hope over adequate preparation, to being a triumph, at least over our limited expectations. It continues to amaze how the blokes turn up for the Workshops and even some extra sessions we had to organize to help them remember the words and tunes that they had forgotten since the last workshop.

So, in no particular order, here is a litany of the good things we have done this past year and a bit.

More gigs and return gigs, going as far afield as Bristol, and being asked back to Marlborough and Corsham, and having a great time at our very own Ashton Keynes Music Festival, not once but twice

Rave reviews, well, at least one person’s mum enjoyed the performances at the Ashton Keynes Village Music Festival, and most of the blokes’ kids have got used to the idea and aren’t quite so embarrassed anymore, so, which effectively count as positive reviews . . .

Setting up some web stuff, like a Facebook page and Twitter account (although in our defence as defenders of the “old ways” we haven’t used them much), posting quite a lot of videos on YouTube, a few pictures on Flickr, posting a good deal of audio material on SoundCloud, and continuing to update our BlogSpot, which has even been described as “mildly interesting and reasonably amusing” by one arch critic.

The Return of the Spooky Men’s Chorale was a particular highlight for all of us and to have the chance to dress up as Pirates in public again to accompany Kate Rowe and then get to do TWO songs with the Spookys themselves was a dream come true for many. We also organised some special beers, Spooky Brew and Magnificent Ale, to pour into the brilliant souvenir commemorative Spooky Beer glasses we commissioned for the occasion.

New logo, our very own T-Shirts and T-shirt competition, as (eventually) designed by the “Is it a Horse or is it a Camel? Logo Design Sub-Committee”, who did a magnificent job despite very minimal artistic talent (Chris A excepted!).

Magic Man Moments, like some of us joining in a Flash Mob in Bristol’s Cabot Circus, singing and splashing in the Daneway Tunnel, and serenading young(ish) ladies in Corsham, and many, many more.

So, much achieved, but more importantly much fun and friendship was had, and many a good song and ale or two along the way - who could ask for more?

Let’s see if we can continue into 2012 in a similar Magnificent vein!

A big THANKS to all the blokes and also to their better halves and various relatives who may suffer from over zealous singing along to practice CDs and being subjected to Dad dressing up as a pirate in public, AGAIN. Some people will never grow up and we hope The Magnificent AK47 are among them!

Forthcoming dates
At time of going to press, current plans for rehearsal dates include the following dates in the back room of The White Hart pub, High Road, Ashton Keynes, unless stated otherwise:

Sunday 2nd October – Workshop with Chris Samuel 5-7pm then hanging around for Open Mic

Sunday 9th October – Flying Solo, 7-8:30pm

Sunday 20th November – Workshop with Chris Samuel 5-7pm then hanging around for a drink and chat in the pub


Sunday 16th October at the Bristol Festival of Song event in St George’s Hall

Thursday 15th Beer and Carols, leading the singing in The White Hart - more details to follow

More information and up to date listings can be found at our newly instigated website at http://themagnificentak47.blogspot.com/

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 http://themagnificentak47.blogspot.com or email themagnificentak47@gmail.com.

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

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