Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Singing for Laughs 2012 - Fantastic night

Another fantastic night at this year's Singing for Laughs in Marlborough. The men sang their little socks off and were not alone in raising their standards. All the acts showed a marked improvement from last year and the atmosphere was just lovely, especially the final singalong finale. What is more the event raised nearly £1,000 for charity.

Well done to Vanessa and her team.

For video evidence of how good it was head over to our little corner of YouTube or listen on SoundCloud.

Roll on next Saturday at St Christopher's in Bristol.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Heading for Marlborough country

So the plan is if you want to watch England vs Wales in the 6 Nations Championship in the company of a gloating Welsh person or two, plus some muted English, then head to The Bear Hotel in Marlborough for 4pm.

Best order some food at some point because we need to be at St Peter’s Church at the other end of High St,
Wilts SN8 1HQ for 6pm and a run through at 6.30pm and the show starts at 7:30pm.

There may be one or two of us who might want to loiter round town after the show to sing a little more. We will take advice from locals as to the best place to do that, it being Saturday night in a market town in England and all that.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Sounding almost quite good shocker

To quote a child being made to listen to a recording of men singing, "is that the Blokes singing? They sound really good." That counts as high praise indeed from a nearly teenager.

Other early reviews include "Considering the number of rehearsals we've had that's not half bad" and "You sounded awesome last night chaps - but don't let that stop you from continuing to practise".

It has to be said that at 0:19 into Ah Robin when the Lows come it still gives this correspondent a tingle even after multiple plays. Judge for yourself by visiting

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Six more sleeps till Singing for Laughs

After intense preparations (well 2 rehearsals was all we could manage cos of the weather) we are excitedly looking forward to striding forth with our valiant singing troupe at the 2012 Singing for Laughs in Marlborough (down south).

This is a very special gig for us as it marks the start of our performances for this year and it holds especial memories for us being our very first ever proper gig just under three years ago. And what a long way we have come since then, all the way from Ashton Keynes to, er, well, back to Marlborough.

The blokes are planning a full day out with watching the 6 Nations Rugby in a pub in the town whilst trying not to drink too much beer then squeezing in a group meal as best we can in between sound checks, cake and singing for real. It has always been a great night out with lots of other local choirs though if you haven't got your tickets already you may be struggling.

Just in case, details are

7:30pm Saturday 25 Feb. 2012/St Peter’s Church, High St, (at the end of the main street in the town) Marlborough, Wilts SN8 1HQ

Tickets £7.50/children under 12 £5 – inc. cake!
Send SAE and cheque payable to V Lafaye, Overdale, Coldharbour Lane, Marlborough SN81BJ
Contact Tel 07967985046/

Featuring these local singers:
Kait Gray
The Croutons
The Sweet Chillies
Mother’s Jam
The Magnificent AK47s
Marlborough Community Choir

Friday, 17 February 2012

Black is the new Black - Our Spring 2012 Collection

Introducing the Spring 2012 Collection. This collection of, er, one builds on the understated stylishness of the 2011 creation that has deservedly become a classic of bloke apparel.

The new design (see attached layout from the printers) incorporates two changes. First a minor one, the spacing between the K, 4 and 7 has been adjusted following an observation made by an eagle-eyed member regarding the suboptimal kerning and is now less likely to disturb those of a sensitive typographical disposition. The second change is that we have added a design to the back. This is a word cloud ( based on all the lyrics of our currently active songs. The 25 most frequently occurring words (excluding common words) are rendered in a font size proportional to their frequency of occurrence. The resultant set of words provides a curious summary of a typical performance, complete with the expected grunts, heys and ois though our more sensitive side is represented too.

The intention is that this will be our performance t-shirt for 2012 with last year’s model being reserved for rehearsals, christenings, smart evening wear or simply for occasions when that extra touch of magnificence is called for. And as Neil so eloquently put it, you can never have too many black t-shirts.
(Many thanks to Chris A for all his hard work cat herding the Camel Design Committee)

Friday, 10 February 2012

Where were you when? When in Rome . . .

This photo just goes to show how seriously the members of our merry band of Blokes take the study and appreciation of enormous structures. Brother Alan has travelled to the epicenter of ancient Rome to research the history of the concrete that built the empire. On a recent trip to the Italian capital he made time to visit one of its major architectural sites in the belief that by being this close to such a phenomenally enormous structure would boost his specialist knowledge and would somehow add to his overall interpretation of 'Concrete'. Time well spent.

So, the scores are in

1. The Location - 4.0 (Iconic to say the least and cunningly shot to give the illusion that he is holding up the very building and, yet again, despite no visible signage as irrefutable proof it could probably pass the "can you prove where it is test" but still unfortunately has to be docked 0.5 points. Rules is rules . . . )

2. The Pose - 3.5 (Good use of headwear and with a nod to pointless grandeur)

3. The X-Factor - 4.0 - (taking your TMAK47 T-Shirt on holiday to combine with a suitable hat and pose - good work!)

Making 11.5 -
making the highest scoring entry from someone visiting an ancient monument whilst wearing a hat yet received - can you beat this?

Sunday, 5 February 2012

POSTPONED - Flying Solo Workshttp Sunday 5th Feb 2012

Although the weather outside doesn't look as bad as it did last night, given that we were due to be be starting an hour later and that it is due to start freezing again tonight and the distance some people were having to travel, as the saying goes, Discretion is the better part of valour so regrettably we have decided to POSTPONE TONIGHT's planned session. We will reschedule. Profuse apologies all round.

At the risk of people being contacted multiple times, please pass on the message to anyone you know who might have been planning to come along.

It goes without saying that you now have an extra couple of hours solo practice time so make the most of it!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Flying Solo Workshop Sunday 5th Feb 2012

We first started the idea of "Flying Solo" workshops when our glorious ChoirMeister Chris Samuel was not available to help run sessions to give us that extra bit of rehearsal time. Given that we have only been able to meet up every 6 weeks or so it meant that we needed all the time singing together that we could manage.

Unfortunately these early unaided sessions made us all realise that this choir leading and conducting lark is harder work than meets the eye. We managed to struggle through but it was "sub-optimal" at best.

Luckily we are now blessed with not one SpookyMeister but have somehow acquired a second in the shape of Phil Read, one of the newest recruits to The Spooky Men (UK Branch). He has already run a splendid first session for us before Christmas and is due to run another one this coming Sunday 5th Feb 2012 starting at 6pm till 8pm (please note different time from usual) because the intention would be to stay on and run through a couple of numbers to a terrified audience at the Open Mic Night in the pub.

Look forward to seeing and hearing you all.