Sunday, 28 October 2012

Barn Theatre gig - The Vly and other Wold premiers

What a fantastic evening!  

There are any number of highlights but let's start at the beginning with the enchanting Kids from Kingshill School busking away in the entrance hall thrashing away at their Ukuleles and banging out modern ditties and timeless classics with equal aplomb and sweet harmony - a really excellent addition to the evening's entertainment and they raised quite a bit of cash in the process too!

Cirencester Community Choir were also tremendously enthusiastic and enjoyable and put on wonderful performance that was thoroughly enjoyed by all in the hall.

As as for The Magnificent AK47, not only was it a "coming out" gig as was let slip in the Introduction but the whole arsenal of entertaining paraphernalia at their disposal were trotted out, to much amusement and amazement - so many hats and props AND some decent singing as well to top it all, plus the Wold Premier of "The Vly", pictured above in a "Spot the ball" style.

Having heard much of the recordings made of the evening it really can't be stressed too much what a wonderful sound is emerging from the Blokes, well beyond their own belief in their powers and an indication of just how much our beloved ChoirMeister was impressed was by his inadvertent reference to the Spoo. . . Magnificent WAGs!

Well done all - enjoy the moment.

Match Report
Chris S lead The following blokes 

Chris A, Peter B, Ken B, Neil B, Geoff C, Brian D, Mark F, Lars F, John G, Mike G, Stuart H, Martin H, Trevor H, Bill H, Alan H, Jon H, John  M, Mike P, Darren S, David T, Mark T, Angus V, Ade W, John  W

Who sang the following songs rather well on the whole

Let me through
Just because
Turnip Hoer's
Duct Tape
Alone in my shed
Haul away Joe

Second half -

Dry Stone Waller's
And I love her
John Kanaka


Down in the river

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The Magnificent AK47 Sell out!

Well, it's taken a big of nudging, and even a little bit of nagging, but it has finally been confirmed.  A tot up of all the tickets sold through various agents means that we have well and truly sold out our first headline gig!

In fact there is even a bit of a waiting list, but perhaps it will be better luck next time or people should have heeded the warnings from the Inner Circle and bought their tickets sooner.

Anyway, a fantastic result and here's hoping that the gig will live up to the one at St. George's and to all our expectations.

Thanks to the Ashton Keynes Village Shop, The White Hart, The Barn Theatre and especially one or two of the blokes for working so hard to flog the tickets and collect the money.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

St George's Bristol Sunday 21st October 2012

Well done to the valiant crew who performed on Sunday night at the prestigious St George's Hall, Bristol - another great night!

Whilst one or two numbers suffered somewhat from impromptu collective amnesia (!) the overall performance was quite outstanding.  It was a pretty packed auditorium that greeted us once we emerged from the catacombs and various secret staircases to a slightly unsuspecting and initially bewildered audience.  

At first they thought we were a somewhat serious proposition what with our manliness and deep Georgian singing and a fine rendition of Mraval Jamier.  We soon put that misapprehension right with an "intermittent" version of Turnip Hoer where we covered up one or two gaps in recollection of the words with just such a brilliant performance with various blokes turning themselves into Yokels before you could say "Joe Wanstrow"!

The first performance of "Shed" went superbly well, especially given the debacle in the snatched run through earlier in the evening, worthy of a World Premier - Roger would be proud.  Duct Tape got a great reception, as did Dry Stone Waller's song and Delilah fair near brought the house down.  We then thought we had run out of time but the audience loved us so much, and the next act wasn't quite ready, so we were asked to do an "encore" at which we gave possibly the best rendition so far of "And I love her".  This was followed by more demands for an encore so we had a team huddle and finally decided to give Concrete a bash.  Well, we got it right at the 2nd attempt but by then we had sung our hearts out and given the very appreciative crowd great entertainment.

Match Report
Chris S lead The following blokes 

Chris A, Peter B, Bob B, Ken B, Neil B, Nick B, Brian D, Mark F, John G, Mike G, Stuart H, Martin H, Trevor H, Bill H, Alan H, John  M, Mike P, Darren S, David T, Mark T, Angus V, Ade W, John  W

Who sang the following songs

Turnip Hoer's
Duct Tape
Dry stone waller's
John Kanaka

And I love her

and 2nd Encore (!!!)
Concrete Takes 1 and 2

Saturday, 20 October 2012

El Gordo! Festival of Song at St Georges, Bristol

Yes, that is a photo of us on the website advertising the gig! 

It is with great excitement that we look forward to the highlight (so far) of our Autumn Season with a return visit to the prestigious St George's Hall in Bristol as part of the inspired Bristol Festival of Song.

We have practically a whole new set of material to showcase and some pieces will be receiving their world premier from us so it is all VERY EXCITING!!  

Hopefully after the months of intensive rehearsing and drilling of the troupe by our ever diligent Choirmeister everyone will remember their positions, dance steps, props, words and who knows, the right notes at the right time.  Even more importantly, hopefully most people will remember to turn up and actually find the place in time to get on stage . . . We live in hope!

Just in case, here are some links.
The Event
The Location The venue can be found here 
Parking around there can be very challenging - check for car parks.

Just look what else is on and you will get an idea of the hallowed company we are keeping.


Thursday, 18 October 2012

Keep calm and carry on singing

Not that we would want to give the impression that when not writing these little nuggets that are windows into the world of a singing bloke that all we ever do is watch TV, far from it. . . However, as we have been shovelling some sustenance down one's neck on occasion of an evening, the TV has been on and bizarrely there have been a lot about choirs and the therapeutic benefits of singing, especially in groups.

The latest example witnessed was that provided by the redoubtable Ian Hislop who presented his programme on the fascinating topic of the "Stiff Upper Lip".  In the latest episode he makes reference to how those things called emotions were bottled up for so many generations and finally began to be unleashed in the 1950's and increasingly so in the 1960's.  He then went on to discuss the aftermath of the Aberfan tragedy and how camera crews entered the mainstream consciousness by interviewing survivors and relatives of those who did not, and all the emotional impact that had.  Following through on this theme he then interviewed a number of people linked to the Ynsyowen (Aberfan & District) Male Voice choir that was formed after that terrible event.

As one member comments about the choir it "keeps the spirit alive" and Mr Hislop continues to say "The choir is an extraordinary vehicle for both emotional control and emotional release".

The programme can be watched for the next few days via BBC iPlayer at - well worth a viewing for this excerpt and the rest.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Sing for Your Life

Another truly inspiring example of how singing together can be phenomenal therapy.  This time we are not talking about a motley bunch of blokes who can kind of sing when they can they vaguely remember the words, but a group of 30 people suffering from a variety of cancers who came together to form a choir called "The Big C" to perform at The Royal Albert Hall and to research whether singing could help with treatment of cancer.  As the commentary says, first results were encouraging, lung capacity and mental alertness were all improved, and the experience proves so positive that the group plans to continue.

Most of the group have never sung in public and to be fair you can hear it in places, but the emotion invoked is amazing.  It meant so much to them individually and as a group.  As one of the guys with overwhelming cancers says "You begin to realize what's important and not important" and "you've just got to grab every day, this is a one off thing, live the dream today".  How true.

See the program at Channel 4 On Demand at

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Sing Like a Bloke Workshop at Bristol's Festival of Song


A sprinkling of our merry troubadours will be making their way to Bristol for the workshop that our glorious ChoirMeister is leading as part of the Bristol Festival of Song.

If you fancy joining them the details are:

Sunday 14th October 2.00 - 4.30pm

Concession - £3
16 & under - Free 

Box Office: or call 07980 765947 

Men Only - sorry ladies (and false beards will be found!)

Friday, 12 October 2012

Where were you when? Teddy tossing

It's always the mild mannered, quiet ones that you really need to watch out for. . . 

Here Brian D has been snapped apparently on the top of Ashton Keynes Church as part of a "Messy Church" session.  

The story goes something like this "it was just part of messy church. Tie teddy to old umbrella fabric and launch as far as possible. Most made the ground, lighter ones needing a piece of 4X2 for ballast.  Two ended up in the trees needing rescue with a long ladder.  One teddy being on the large side didn't make the most of the parachute and fell, suicidal like, straight to the graveyard". 

It all sounds most intriguing if slightly implausible.

Anyway, the scores are in.
1. The Location - 3.5 (Yet again no visible signage and a bit of a grey day that doesn't show the locality at its best).

2. The Pose - 3.5 (Not much pointless grandeur, more a hint of dastardly deeds about to be perpetrated).

3. The X-Factor - 4.5 - (Bringing up the scoring as this has to be one of the most enigmatic poses anyone has ever done whilst wearing a TMAK47 T-Shirt).

Making that a total of 11.0 - by far the highest scoring entry from anyone about to hurl cuddly toys off a large local landmark!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

A Bloke's best friend is his . . .

These just in (again**):  Recently(ish) received from two of our correspondents, a very useful "Decision Tree" to help one deal with those tricky problems that every bloke faces from time to time to answer the eternal question, "should I bang it, or should I stop it from banging"?  Ponder no longer, the answer is to the left on your screen.  

This is a very handy rule of thumb for dealing with most problems you are likely to encounter that don't involve more complex things, like emotions.  Write this out in your own fair hand and pin it to somewhere prominent and marvel at the attention and admiration you will receive.

And if this wasn't enough, recently spotted in a garage shop not a million miles away from Ashton Keynes, well, as far away as Royal Wootton Bassett  is a very convenient location to purchase Duct Tape at all hours of the day and night.  

At the bottom of this display you can see highlighted in the yellow elipsis not one but TWO lines of Duct Tape vending.  

Clearly a popular seller!

* this post was inadvertently posted sooner than intended so we hoiked it off again to re-post now and then it seemed to want to hog the top slot so hence a 2nd re-post.  ;-)

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Kait & Keith's Wedding

What can we say about today?  Other than tell you that it was a great honour to perform this afternoon at our very first Magnificent Ak47 wedding for the beautiful, lark tongued Kait, and, er, Keith.

It took place in a classic English wedding marquee on a field next to a pub in the lovely Vale of Pewsey and involved us lot turning up in our best togs to bang out a few tunes and do our level utmost to entertain the throng.  And that we did in spades, or was it hoes?  Or even in some cases, of the hard of hearing or understanding or those raised on classic Two Ronnies sketches, hose!

Either way, it was a pleasure to perform even though several of the lads were suffering from sticky sore throats we made a hearty, and at times, heart warming sound to serenade the happy couple.  If you would like to re-live the moment in a Digital Age stylee, then pop over to on of our SoundCloud sites.

And good luck to them both.

Match Report
The following blokes 

Chris S lead Chris A, Peter B, Bob B, Neil B, Nick B, Geoff C, Brian D, Mark F, Lars F, Mike G, Stuart H, Martin H, Keith L, John  M, Darren S, David T, Mark T and Ade W

sang the following songs

Mraval jamier
Turnip Hoer's  1st time in public with the Big Turnip
Duct Tape
Dry Stone Waller's 1st time in public by us as us
Delilah 1st time in public by us as us
And I love her

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Where were you when? Dent de la Rancune

We have recently received a very interesting entry from a "friend" sent on behalf of Mike Putnam whose computer operating skills are apparently far inferior to his crazy climbing ability.  As you can see on photo there is a red circle half way up this precipitous piece of rock and then there is an inset of Mike at the top.  As his friend comments "it is impossible on a small scale to convey the context of his ascent and the final summit pose in the one snap, so I've included two."

The submitter continues "signage is also a perennial problem in places where only the seriously ill-informed or congenitally bewildered would dream of going", so "I presume that the signage criterion is required to minimise fabricated claims to location by means of Photoshop, back projection and actual set assemblages in sheds and cellars. We can only offer Mike's assurance that this rock formation is the original and not a mock-up, images of the original abound on the internet and can be compared with the attached snaps".

"About the snaps:

The main snap shows TMAK47er, Mike P, scaling 'Dent de la Rancune' (The Rancorous Tooth) in the Auvergne region of France  on 9th September 2012. The lower circle shows him halfway up the climb. The upper circles show the pose (inset) and its location at the summit.

The second snap (left) shows Mike mustering magnificence at 1493m on a lump of volcanic rock estimated to be 333,000 years old.

Technical details for climbers: Voie normal. grade 6a (English E.1. ) Auvergne France". 

As you know we take things very seriously in this competition and have done extensive background research to verify these claims and have indeed found many other references to this piece of rock.  Apparently it is a great example of "a volcanic plug, also called a volcanic neck or lava neck, is a volcanic landform created when magma hardens within a vent on an active volcano. When forming, a plug can cause an extreme build-up of pressure if volatile-charged magma is trapped beneath it, and this can sometimes lead to an explosive eruption" - see good old Wikipedia.

Well, one thing you can claim for this series of blog posts, they are educational!

Anyway, the scores are in.
1. The Location - 3.5 (Quite impressive although we have had hill tops before and for sheer daftness of things to do when not singing, this is right up there, but there is unfortunately visible signage, so docked a mark).

2. The Pose - 4.0 (Difficult to tell from the main photo as Mike is reduced to a few pixels, but pretty good on the supplementary photo, so higher marks).

3. The X-Factor - 4.0 - (Scored more on the craziness of the photos and what they represent, the extreme triumph of sheer physicality over any semblance of sanity).

Making that a total of 11.5 - by far the highest score from an entry from anyone with a rope dangling from his midrift!  PLEASE do be careful taking these photos.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Choir

Not being one to normally have time spare to indulge in the luxury of sitting down of an evening, it was an unexpected pleasure to happen across the second episode of "The Choir" on what we believe is call the iplayer, a new fangled device from that august body, The BBC, which apparently allows one to travel back in time to when a program was first broadcast to be able to see it again.  This technological revelation reminds one of the first days of VCRs when one used to be able to "tape" a program.  Nowadays if one mentions this terminology to the young they give you quizzical looks, much as they did when they first saw a vinyl LP record!

But we digress.

In short, the choir was one of those occasional gems one finds in amongst the normal slurry on modern TV and soars above the likes of "Made in Shouty Cook's Essex Gypsy Wedding Kitchen".  Quite simply, it was inspiring.

It takes the simple premise of dropping that lovely choir master chappie, Gareth someone-or-other, into a modern workplace where there is nothing but talk of "change management", bosses vs workers, general grumpiness and by starting up a choir they rapidly break down all sorts of barriers, uncover all sorts of talents and fundamentally make a pretty decent sound in a very short time.

Much like us blokes!  To be even more inspired visit The BBC iplayer thing.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Keep calm and just do it

Where do you do it? And how often?  Do you do it with others or most likely by yourself?  If so, do you do it when others are present or do you do it somewhere private?  

As the graphic asks, where do you do it?  What apparatus do you use to help you do it?  And are you getting any better at doing it?

These are the sort of eternal ponderings that we love to, er, ponder.  We go that extra mile to ask these thought provoking and challenging questions, nay we question these very conundrums and challenge YOU to tell us where you do it and how often.  

Let us know by leaving a comment so we can share with the rest of mankind the little secrets to perhaps realise that others are doing it less frequently than they would like to think, are not doing it for as long as they would like and are perhaps subsequently not enjoying life quite as much as they could.  But we all have the power to change the world, or at least our little bit.

Go on. . . 

Let us know where you practice before coming to Workshop rehearsals!