Saturday, 27 April 2013

Go to BlokeFest

In case you have been lured here by a placing of a banner outside Tescos in Cirencester, then welcome to our humble website full of BlokeSong and the activities of The Magnificent AK47 and be very encouraged to venture along to to learn more about the festival we set up last year and meet a few of us.

Do drop by again and whilst you are here sign up for our subscription list just to the top right on this page and we would love to keep you in touch with our goings-on.

And "Stop Press!", here's a photo of our banner in action outside Tesco's Cirencester as love'em or not so love'em, they do get a lot of traffic past - let's hope it is still there after a few more days. . . 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Dates for your Diary

Well, it has been a little while coming and it has taken perhaps longer than we would have liked and involved a couple of "Straw Polls", countless emails, a good deal of number juggling, a bit of arm twisting, but finally we can confirm the dates for the next few months.  

Part of the challenge is to try to coordinate as many as 30 diaries at one time to get enough of the right sort of singers and with people coming from many locations.

And it is is a hectic schedule in places, but when you are hot and in demand . . . . (well, we have been asked to perform at many of these gigs and have had to turn down a couple), you are hot!  

So, here goes.

"Wold Tour" Part 1 - Saturday 11th May 2013
A grand day out to remember in a packed schedule including visiting Wadworths Brewery then trips to numerous pubs and places to do with Wiltshire White Horses - more details to follow.
"Wold Tour" Part 2 - Sunday 12th May 2013
A grand half day out with the family invited along to join us singing on the Uffington White Horse - more details to follow .

Friday 17th May 2013 - Stroud Brewery, 19:30 onwards
A World Premier of our specially modified homage to Edward Beard Budding, "Unsung Hero" along with a collection of our other ditties whilst entertaining the throng at the Friday beer pickup night.

Saturday 18th May 2013 - Hope Cider Festival, 16:00 onwards
Performing as part of their fund raising efforts - more details to follow .

Saturday 25th May 2013 - Chippenham Folk Festival
Taking part in their Sea Shanty event - more details to follow.

Friday 14th to Sunday 16th June 2013 - BlokeFest at The Tunnel House Inn
All the details you could possibly need can be found at

Sunday 9th June 2013 - Tobacco Factory in Bristol
We have been asked to perform at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol - more details to follow.

And one or two more to come, but that's quite enough for now.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Shen Xar + Georgian for beginners

A bunch of new tracks have just been uploaded to our Soundcloud Practice pieces for the material introduced at our Workshop on Sunday 14th April, the magnificence that is "Shen Xar".

Along with the pieces, which Chris S would like to point out are a little rough round the edges (but thought it was better to get something out so blokes could start practicing), there is also a recording explaining the pronunciation for all you non-native Georgian speakers, and can be found at  

Those wishing to learn more about the language might want to start their journey at good old Wikipedia with

Whilst here, you might be interested to wander further into the Internet to discover more about this piece.  A fine version that varies a little from our arrangement can be found at and another very genuine sounding and more similar version can be found at  And of course, The Spooky Men's Chorale, have a beautiful version that is available for your perpetual enjoyment via their "Tooled Up" CD, purchaseable from

"იხალისეთ მოგზაურობა" as we say in Georgia!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

New, improved

Wow! The fab, new, improved and especially blokey has just hit the streets, or the Information Super Highway to be more accurate.

It has been put together by those loverly chaps at BlokeFest and we would heartily recommend the whole business to anyone aspiring to find out more about the wonderful world of BlokeSong and looking for a great weekend.

It is a really smart looking site and has links to sign up for Tickets and BlokeFest Extras, which sound intriguing.  There are also some testimonials from last year saying how good it was and also a very informative (and frank) Frequently Asked Questions, and one or two that should need not be asked!  

Click over and nab a place before they all go - and tell them we sent you to

Saturday, 13 April 2013

"The Voice" - no, not THAT "The Voice"

Whilst listening to the wonderful BBC2 Folk Show run by that most deceptively erudite of broadcasters, Mark Radliffe, a trailer was played for what sounds like a very intriguing series of radio programs celebrating the immenseness that is the human voice.

And this was following a few news reports this week of gelada monkeys, a species that is apparently closely related to the baboon, that make gurgling noise that shares features with human language.

All food for thought, so point your radio player towards Voice Week on Radio 2 and learn more.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Three Sleeps till we meet again

A further reminder that our next Workshop is this coming Sunday 14th April at 17:00 till 19:00 in the back room of The White Hart, Ashton Keynes pub, Ashton Keynes.  

All blokes very welcome to come along and find out what all the fuss is about.  

Practice Material can be practiced by listening to it from these links

All material (20+ pieces in all, including the full mix of "Shed") for pieces beginning with A - L for M - Z pieces

The newer, hot material

But don't be daunted by this, you only need to learn one part at a time!

All other pieces (all 60+, including the Yuletide ones) can be found at

Any questions, email and look forward to seeing you all there.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Where were you? At the edge of the World

Well, you can't claim that our T-Shirts don't get around the place!  Here is another entry from our truly globe-trotting top Alan H as he starts the return journey from visiting Oz for a few weeks.

The photo was taken at Arthur river on the north west coast of Tasmania, at a point furthest west, with nothing between him and not only South Africa, but beyond to South America as well.  It may not be entirely evident from  the photo but the winds were gusting at 70 mph causing that rather pained expression on his face.  Apparently Alan was looking wistfully back towards the civilised world some 80 kms east at a place called Stanley (pop 400).

All a long, long way from North, North Wiltshire, but none the less impressive.

Anyway, the scores are in

1. The Location - 3.5 (Good usage of a plinth to prove the site of the photo shoot, although a little hard to read, so we'll give him this).

2. The Pose - 4.0 (Looking somewhat wind swept, the pointless grandeur is personified in the remoteness of the location and encapsulated by the post).

3. The X-Factor -  4.0 (For possibly being one of the furthest away photos we have every received, it has to be worth that extra 0.5 marks).

Making that a total of 11.5 - The highest score from someone so close to the ends of the earth and the edge of the world.

More please, even if only from round the corner by comparison.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Where were you when? Cossack dancing in Berlin

Never ones to let slip an opportunity for some cross-cultural capers, here is a snap of one of our valiant troupe putting his best foot forward in front of a world landmark albeit in a slightly understated manner.

The photo shows Nigel H in front of The Brandenburg Gate (German: Brandenburger Tor) which as many of you will know is a former city gate in Berlin, rebuilt in the late 18th century as a neoclassical triumphal arch and is one of the most well-known landmarks of Germany, just one block to the south of the Reichstag building.  It was commissioned by King Frederick William II of Prussia as a sign of peace and having suffered considerable damage in World War II it was fully restored from 2000 to 2002.  During the post-war Partition of Germany, the gate was isolated and inaccessible immediately next to the Berlin Wall, and the area around the gate featured most prominently in the media coverage of the opening of the wall in 1989.  Throughout its existence, the Brandenburg Gate was often site for major historical events and is today considered as a symbol for the tumultuous European history but also of unity and peace. (Thanks Wikipedia!).

So what brings young Nigel to this location?  Well, apparently the photo was taken in late April 2012, in a spell of completely unexpected incredibly warm weather, as he was visiting a relative to help celebrate his good lady's birthday. In fact it was the warmest weather any of us experienced all last year… The hat was borrowed just to keep the sun off, not for effect!  How we can only dream of those sunny days.

Anyhoo, before we drift off, the scores are in.

1. The Location - 3.5 (Impressive in its European cultural significance, if not in actual signage).

2. The Pose - 4.0 (A daring degree of pointless grandeur, especially given the Cossack dance pose which is probably laden with political overtones).

3. The X-Factor - 3.5 (For having the temerity to be wearing that T-Shirt in that location).

Making that a total of 11.0 - The highest score from someone dancing like a loon in front of a World icon - it must have been all that sun!

More please.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Where were you when? South Blooming Chilly London

From time to time one has to wonder about the sanity of certain people and the activities they chose for their "leisure time", and this is one of those times.  Whilst most foolhardy Brits were curled up on the sofa in their post Yuletide haze,certain hardy Brit fools were out and about enjoying the awful weather of the great outdoors in a form of madness that is known as "Cold Water Swimming".

Brother DR Sweeney is known for his steadfastness and manly tones but a few people may know him as that crazy guy who likes to go swimming in the sea (he has a record for doing this, see good-luck-to-dr-sweeney-swimming-to-france) and other similarly cold places, such as The 5th UK Cold Water Swimming Chamionships were held on 26th January 2013, an event that attracted over 600 competitors and many more spectators.

Apparently at such events Wet suits are strictly forbidden and all competitors must wear a swimming costume and hat, goggles are optional. While the event took place during a rare day of sunshine, the water temperature hovered between 0 and 1 degree Celsius and he swam one width of the pool in the relay, and picked up a Bronze medal.   As if that wasn't enough he also swam another width in the public 'dipping lane', just to ensure he was receiving value for money!

This all took place at Tooting Bec lido which is the largest fresh water swimming pool in the country, 100 feet wide by 300 feet long. It was dug by hand by a bunch of blokes as part of a work creation scheme back in 1906 (although it is believed that a few of them were provided shovels). Unheated, the lido is open every day of the year, but only members of the South London Swimming Club can swim in the winter, except on this auspicious occasion held bi annually.  He already has plans for 2015! Brrrrr!

Also see the nearest local equivalent at Cirencester Open Air Swimming Pool which was built in 1869 this unique pool offers the chance to swim in natural spring water heated to an average 27°C (80°F). 

Anyway, we digress, and the scores are now in

1. The Location - 3.5 (Cunning use of a fellow attendee to give the signage and in a departure from standard rules a further photo has been included below as supporting evidence - see below).

2. The Pose - 4.0 (A pretty good degree of pointless grandeur, which is a phrase that could be used to sum up the whole event - if somewhat churlishly!).

3. The X-Factor - 3.5 (For the use of portable signage and magnificence of the pose).

Making that a total of 11.0 - The highest score from someone about to do some thing so daft so soon after taking the photo.

More please.

On the right, supplementary evidence of the location and the event, just in case you were doubting the entrant's sanity in any way at all . . .