Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Where were you when? Only Nelson Mandela Square

In somewhat contrast, yet continued theme to the last entry for the T-Shirt competition, a photo from another country where unfortunately the phrase The Magnificent AK47 does not immediately conjure up the image of a bunch of slightly middle aged singers in a variety of strange headgear unleashing their inner minstrels.

As our entrant wrote when submitting this item "given the AK47’s major role in the apartheid struggle, the t-shirt did attract a few strange looks from the crowds in Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton, Johannesburg. And who could be more symbolic of that struggle than Nelson Mandela? While the signage is slightly obscured, the location is echoed in the glass doors."

And so there we have it, yet another cultural icon is snapped next to a TMAK47 T-Shirt in some far flung part of the world, adding to the quite amazing range of locations that have been entered.

Anyway, the scores have arrived and they are as follow:
1. The Location - 4.5 (The Judges are relieved that for once there is very good evidence of visible signage.  Also we must applaud Chris A's bravery in wearing the shirt and coping with the stares he received.  A member of our humble troupe next to a 6 metre high statue of a world icon - good shot.)

2. The Pose - 4.5  (By clever usage of zoom one can see a very good pose of pointless grandeur especially considering the proximity of such a legend and also being somewhat dwarfed by that legend.)

3. The X-Factor - 4.5 - (Given the location, the significance, the signage, the pose and everything else a pretty high score.)

Giving a total of 13.5 - by far the highest scoring entry from anyone dwarfed by an international icon and a very good score indeed.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

A little bit of Mr T magic in AK

Hands up anyone who would like to transform a regular Thursday evening into a magical moment in time?  Ah, ok, so that's everyone would like to  . . .  well all right then, you are in the right place at the right time!

And that place was the beautiful Holy Cross Church in our very own village of Ashton Keynes, and the moment was when the remarkable Mr Stephen Taberner presided over "A very Ashton Keynes Evening" by running a singing workshop for what turned out to be quite a crowd.  

We had hoped that maybe 20 or so souls might be tempted along to the experience but in the end we had over 50 in total.  Serendipitously the pews at the end of the Church had been removed which gave us just about enough room for everyone to form a large circle then mingle around as we sang the pieces Stephen taught us.  There was a large contingent of The Magnificent AK47 crew which gave a very pleasing bottom end to the sound which was complimented by the higher tones of the very many ladies who joined the throng.

One of highlights was the warm up exercise with the Count of 4 "Hoo's" and the Count of 3 "Ha's" battling out in a wonderfully comic confrontational manner - you'll know what we mean had you been there.

The evening was a huge success with everyone appearing to enjoy the unusual Thursday night experience and chance to share a moment in time with neighbours and friends in ways you would not have previously imagined.

More pictures can be found on our Facebook page, thanks to the lovely Gilly R for her camera work.

Were you there?  Maybe you would like to email us your thoughts about the evening to themagnificentak47@gmail.com or post a comment to this blog entry?

Thursday, 13 September 2012

"A very Ashton Keynes" Evening with Stephen Taberner

Well, there have a few emails, a bit of whispering, some rumour, much pondering and now the very strong likelihood that on Thursday 20th September there will be an Evening with Stephen Taberner, the Spookmeister, in Ashton Keynes, so we thought we better tip you the wink, so to speak.

So, Ashton Keynes Parrish Church Council in cahoots with The Magnificent AK47 are presenting

"A very Ashton Keynes" Evening with Stephen Taberner, Leader of the Spooky Men's Chorale of Australia, Inspiration for The Magnificent AK47.

He will be giving a A Singing Workshop for ALL, NOT just blokes, onThursday 20th September starting at 7:30pm in Holy Cross Church, Ashton Keynes, Supported by Holy Cross PCC.

Tickets £8 and £5 Students, OAPs, Concessions and are Available from Village Shop, Sahara, The White Hart, PCC, emailing tmak47tickets@gmail.com.

But that's not all, there will then be free concert, Man + Voice + Double Bass at The White Hart pub starting at around 9:45pm which will be a solo show from this highly entertaining performer, as seen at big festivals this summer.

The White Hart are also likely to be offering a special "meal deal" before the event, more info from the pub, call 01285 861247, and say we sent you!

 Don’t miss this unique evening – book now and see you there.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Where were you when? A bunker in the Czech Republic

Well, we guess it kind of had to happen at some point and if it had to happen to anyone it was always likely to be Hairy Bill! 

Snapped by fellow TMAK47er John W whilst visiting a nuclear bunker in Prague (as you do!), Bill posed for his entry in the AK T-shirt competition. This is an actual, but unloaded,  AK47.  Apparently after the Russians left AK47s were so plentiful that farmers adopted them in preference to their shotguns.  The visit occurred during their recent visit to the Czech Republic as part of the "Sing Your Socks Off" singing Holiday, a report coming soon(ish).
Whilst we in no way condone playing with dangerous former Soviet military hardware, kiddies, it is quite a striking pose.

Anyway, the scores have arrived and they are as follow:
1. The Location - 4.0 (The Judges are as ever unfortunately rather nit picky about the lack of magnificence of the shot [having been spoilt with so many epic, iconic world landmarks in the past] and no visible signage.  On the other hand they applaud the readiness to wear the T-Shirt on these sort of visits and wish to encourage this sort of deviant behaviour and applaud Bill H's & John W's gumption so back up a mark)

2. The Pose - 4.0 (A good pose in the circumstances but perhaps not the note of pointless grandeur that we have come to expect but given that he is holding a potentially lethal weapon it gives another perspective to thingsIn fact , on second look it is quite a stern pose as befitting the circumstances so that is a good second best in the absence of pointless grandeur)
3. The X-Factor - 4.0 - (Overall quite scary for any of us old enough to remember the Cold War and gas masks for real so mark)

Making that a total of 12.0 - by far the highest scoring entry from anyone in a bunker on the continent whilst on a singing holiday!  A good team effort by the 2 TMAK47ers.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Post Pow Wow 2012

And so, after weeks of anticipation, days of preparation and minutes of firkling around setting up, there we all were, at our 2nd Magnificent AK47 Pow Wow, aka Annual General meeting in layperson's speak.

As you can just about make out from the photo it was exceptionally well attended with around 75% regulars turning up and 2 or 3 familiar faces from BlokeFest popping along to find out more and meet up with the rest of the blokes.

We covered a number of topics including a Financial report from Angus V, delivered by a nearly "look-a-like" Peter B, a long rant by Big Chief Neil B yarning on about what a great year it had been, outlining all the terrific events that are lined up before the end of the year and even talking about the "Wold Tour" and mooted proper recording in the new year.  After a bit of debate about ethos, direction and the need to adjust the subscriptions we toasted the various sections of the agenda as they were passed and got on with a mini-workshop lead by our esteemed ChoirMeister the sunshine in the pub garden, followed by a BYO BBQ and social. 

A great way to finish off the first "half" of the year and launch into the second part.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Where were you when - Only the blooming Olympics!

Well it is fair to say that 2012 has been a pretty amazing year on a number of fronts.  Firstly The Magnificent AK47 have had more workshops and given more performances than ever, and improved those performances beyond recognition in some cases, one could even say that we have achieved one or two "personal bests", which ties in very nicely with the theme of another big event that has happened this year, er, the Olympics and Paralympics.  
Not that we consider ourselves up with the top athletes in the world, but it should be noted that at the end of "Satisfaction" we are all pretty breathless from the supreme effort!  Which takes us to this impressive entry, once again from the shameless TMAK47 T-Shirt wearer that is our glorious ChoirMeister, Mr Samuel. 
Anyway, the scores are in.
1. The Location - 5.0 (THE place to be this latter part of the summer, utterly spectacular, now totally iconic, what more can we say?  Clearly having paid attention to previous rulings Chris has made absolutely sure there is quality visible signage. Top marks!)

2. The Pose - 5.0 (How much more pointless grandeur can one have in a single photo?  Again top marks)

3. The X-Factor - 4.5 - (Only the lack of dark glasses denies him yet another top mark)

Making that a total of 14.5 - by far the highest scoring entry from anyone at an iconic event at the Olympics - can you beat this?  It's going to be very hard  . . but don't let that stop you posing as there is strong competition coming!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Pow Wow 2012

From the evidence in this photo it looks like it can be quite a tough crowd at our annual Pow Wow!  And you would be right . . . 

We have instigated a new tradition (!) of meeting up at least once a year to discuss "stuff" to with the group, what we like / dislike, hadn't thought of doing / maybe want to do, how we want to do it or not, latest beard growing / trimming techniques, pretty much anything that is relevant and sometimes plenty that is not.

As with everything we do, we try to be at least vaguely organized before the chaos of 30+ opinions kick in and people seek to express views they hold strongly before seeing the other side of a point of view and then recognizing the worth of their original line of thought before losing concentration and forgetting that they had their own opinion and then fall in line with the best idea they heard 2 minutes ago, if only they (or anyone) could remember what it was.  You get the idea.

Anyway, worst case we have an archetypal "Mrs Merton Heated Debate" and turn it into an excuse for a beer or two, a song or two, and some food and general social.

This year's agenda is

 Inner Circlers who can attend
16:15 - Set up Gazebo & BBQ & Back Room of The White Hart

Everybody else
17:00 - Arrive at The White Hart & buy refreshments at bar
17:15 - Start Pow Wow in Back room - Agenda below
18:15 - Singing session with Chris to review Delilah, Dry Stone Waller's song
18:45 - Food (BYO BBQ) & Social + some singing to the masses

As ever, all timings approximate, liable to change and acts of nature.

Please consider Family & Friends invited to the Food & Social side of things, BBQ facilities are being provided but to keep things as simple as possible we ask YOU to bring your own food to cook on the BBQ and any veg / salads etc to accompany it, basically a Bring Your Own BBQ.  Crockery and cutlery will be provided.

If Family & Friends need to arrive earlier than 18:45 can we suggest they might want to avail themselves of the pub facilities in the bar area, reading the paper or having a stroll round the village rather than attending the Pow Wow? (it's not like it is a secret session or anything, more in case they don't want to hear us yarning on about Bloke singing!)

Pow Wow Agenda

  1. Apologies for shameful lack of attendance
  2. Review Minutes of last Pow Wow
  3. Big Chief's Report (summary of last year, proposals/dates for the next year & Fascinating Facts Quiz)
  4. Finance Meister's Report
  5. Subscriptions
  6. Membership
  7. Review any Proposed Amendments to "The Magnificent Charter".
  8. Election of Officers
  9. A.O.B.

If you fancy coming along all we ask is that you let us know in advance so we know to let you in without giving you too hard a Paddington stare.  Email themagnificentak47@gmail.com, just to be on the safe side.