Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Wanted - 400 singers!

"We saw this and thought of you" could be an appropriate phrase - this just spotted on The Salisbury International Arts Festival website.

The next Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival will launch on Friday 22 May 2015 with Market Songs, a large-scale music-theatre commission that will take over the city’s Market Place and its surrounding streets for one summer evening.
Composer Michael Betteridge is writing a new collection of market songs, rounds, choruses and cries that will explore the medieval trades around which the city’s early life flourished.  400 singers, working with Michael and music director Howard Moody, will animate streets that retain their trade names to this day – Butcher Row, Fish Row and Silver Street to name a few – before coming together in the Market Place for the evening’s spectacular finale.
Building on the success of 2014’s Voices from No Man’s Land, which explored the Christmas Truce of 1914, Market Songs will celebrate Salisbury’s early history, and also traditions that continue to the present day, using song to bring centuries of colourful stories to life. 
We are looking for 400 singers, men and women (18 years and over) who together will create this opening event of the 2015 Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival.  Come along for an introductory workshop at Sarum Academy, Westwood Road, Salisbury SP2 9HS on Saturday 10 January, 10am – 1pm, to find out more.
If possible, register in advance with Sue Kent onsue@salisburyfestival.co.uk or 01722 332241.

Something to consider before the New Year's Resolutions to get out, meet new people and sing more fade away in the face of a chilly January!

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Are you stuck in "Chrimbo Limbo"?

"The period after Christmas Day and before New Year's Eve, mainly spent sitting down and eating leftovers. Many find it extremely dull."

Ref: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Crimbo%20Limbo

Are you stuck in "Chrimbo Limbo"?  

This is not a new phenomenon but a great name for that special time of the year when all the Yuletide madness has just about subsided and New Year hasn't quite kicked off, you are spent up and wondering what lies ahead in the on-coming twelve months or thinking about all those virtuous things you are 'really going to do this year'.

Well, we have a Crimbo Limbo antidote at hand, get yourself a "Party Piece" or two and GET SINGING WITH OTHERS.  There are plenty of choirs around the place, you only have to look at the mighty impressive list at http://www.choirs.org.uk/ with over 350 listed for starters!

And if you are from round our parts, don't forget the Prince Albert Consort Knees Up this Tuesday 30th December where the massed throng of carol singers of Greater Stroud gather in the evening for their end of season knees up. This is a massive evening of bawdy singing, laughing and drinking of the ale and a bit more singing - more info available at  http://www.theprincealbertstroud.co.uk/event/prince-albert-consort-knees-up.

Whatever you do this year, don't sit on your @rse in limbo, get out and do some singing in time for next Chrimbo!

We can only heartily recommend it as our end of year review will show, re-living some of our many Magnificent Adventures and Magical Man Moments from 2014.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Sing your way through Yuletide

Continuing with the "Tis the season to be singing" meme we would once again like to draw your attention to a couple of extremely worthwhile seasonal singing events and encourage you to get yourself down there. . . 

Firstly there the fabulous Prince Albert Carolling with many a Magnificent Stroudie there

singing their little socks off as well as one or two out-of-town Magnificents tagging along for the craic, as witnessed last year with quite a decent turnout out of blokes. See the pub website  http://www.theprincealbertstroud.co.uk/event/unsual-carols/ for some more details.

And not to be forgotten, if somewhat further afield there is another pocket of enthusiastic and energetic singers led by our belovéd ChoirMeister in his home town of Bradford on Avon as part of the West Gallery music and Sheffield traditions of pub carol singing.  See their handy website  http://www.bradfordonavoncarols.info/ for more details.

And finally, to top the day off you could wander along to the Ashton Keynes Village Carol Service at Holy Cross Church at 18:00 when the church will be full of candles and they are offering mulled wine and mince pies afterwards to completely get you in the festive mood after all that singing.

We hope to see as many familiar faces as possible throughout the day

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Tis the season to be jolly

Indeed, 'tis the season to be Jolly, or working from left to right, Holly, Biggy, Chickeny, Cheery, Grumpy, Smily, Phoney, Sneezy...

All captured in action at the latest "Beer and Carols" evening in The White Hart pub this past Thursday evening.

There were the usual traditional and well-known carols added to by our less well known, though possibly even more traditional pieces, such as Gaudete, Malpas Wassail, Hail Smiling Morn and a new one for this year, The Boar's Head Carol.

And this year in particular we were joined by one or two ladies from the village who sang some beautiful descants to some of the pieces.  All great fun and a great way to really start getting into the Yuletide spirit.  

And talking of which, don't forget the other places with connections to The Magnificent AK47 singing lots of interesting carols, namely

The Bradford on Avon Carollers, featuring our belovéd ChoirMeister - see more details at  http://www.bradfordonavoncarols.info/ and 

The Prince Albert Carol Concert featuring many Magnificent Stroudies and alike at the Prince Albert in Rodmarton up the hill from Stroud or down the hill from the common - see http://www.theprincealbertstroud.co.uk/event/unusual-carols-2/

Whatever you do, get along to one or more of these great gatherings.

Join in the "Delilah" debate

A furore seems to have broken out in the media about one of our most favourite songs and one that is also one of the most favourite songs of a lot of other people, especially the Welsh crowd before any Rugby International, namely, Delilah.

It has prompted a good deal of analysis and debate on the full meaning of the darker subtext of the original version (which is basically pretty dark) but we can't help wondering if it could be lightened by our post-masculinist, hirsuitismistic, pre-retro-introspectiveistic re-interpretation of the classic for which we are duly indebted to Young Spooky Man of the West Ryan (Lightpole) Morrison and purveyors of fake facial hair from across the land. 

Some real issues raised but storm in a media tea-cup?  Should the Welsh nation adopt singing our version?  Read http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-30432645, listen to our blokes in action earlier this year at the packed Colston Hall and other and judge for yourself.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

"C" is also for ... ?

"Carols" and "Christmas" and hearty Yuletide "Cheer", and no doubt many other words we could associate with this time of the year, but the most important one right now is indeed Carols, and almost as importantly their association with a now long established Ashton Keynes tradition of "Beer & Carols".

And this annual event will be taking place this coming Thursday 11th December in The White Hart pub in the very heart of Ashton Keynes, full of people and seasonal singing as the blokes of The Magnificent AK47 part serenade, part wassail, part Carol sing to fan the dying embers of the year towards the re-emergence from darkest winter.

The throng will start assembling from 19:30 and the festivities will start from 20:00 with joint Carols and one or two pieces performed specially by us so come along and join in the Yuletide frivolities.

And you can get a flavour for what is coming up from looking out the Wordle of the words from this year's Yuletide MAN-ual in the graphic to your left.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

"C" is for ... ?

With acknowledgement to Wikipedia - contribute to their annual fund raising!
"C" is for ... ? Not, "Christmas" nor  "Carols" but "Cornwall"!  Like many people round this time of year, they start dreaming of that time beyond the 25th of December and thinking about their holidays for next year, and we in THE Magnificent AK47 are no different.  

We are indeed already plotting a raid on that very special place at the end of England and are planning to embark on a mini-tour from Friday 17th to Monday 20th April 2015 with three shows being set up plus walks, historic monument visits, Brewery trips and Pub "inspections".

The general idea is to be based at a secret location near to Padstow and invade some suitably welcoming local churches.  More information will trickle out over the months once we have sorted out some more details, so keep tuned to keep posted.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

The Convent gig tasters on Youtube

Just in case you haven't quite got round to signing up to watch our Convent show via the internet, here is your chance to see a couple of tasters and one from the "A Fanfare of Strumpets".

The Youtube videos can be found on the Convent Youtube channel and the full videos can still be accessed at 

Feedback so far has been very positive and been enjoyed by many family members and friends who have remarked at just how polished and hairy we look and sound, or was that sound and look?  It was quite a late night . . .  

See  https://theconvent.netgig.co.uk/event/the-magnificent-ak47/.  

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A Final word on The Convent gig

And so, after many, many weeks in preparation and anticipation and ultimate deliverance, a final word on The Convent gig.


We all had a thoroughly wonderful time there and it was agreed by all to be a quite stunning place, full of lovely dedicated people who are passionate about their venue, the frankly staggering technical set up they have and what it can offer to performers and audiences alike.

They even didn't seem to mind when we sang for a good hour or more in the bar afterwards!  The food was excellent, the beer was top notch, from one of our favouritest purveyors of fine ales, Stroud Brewery, and generally we had a great evening, night and even early morning for some!

If you were there we would love to hear from you via themagnificentak47@gmail.com and if you get a chance to go, we would urge you to make along there as this is a veritable jewel in the crown of Cotswold venues and for many a mile beyond.  Make the most of it!

A final, final thought is, don't miss out on re-living the moment by streaming the video from the unique NetGig site at https://theconvent.netgig.co.uk/event/the-magnificent-ak47/.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Sold out Convent gig success

Well, it was a long and Magnificent Day Out, but we managed it with great aplomb, phenomenal organization and cat herding, lots of hard work and dedication practising pieces, plus fantastic facilities at the venue and topped off by being joined on stage by the  "Movember Girls" from "A Fanfare of Strumpets"!

And to top even that off, we managed to sell out the venue on a night when everyone we knew seemed to be elsewhere going to some other show so a testimony to to top draw pull that we are becoming living up to the claim to be "probably the best all-bloke, Georgian-inspired acapella group ever to escape North, North Wiltshire".

A very BIG THANK you to 
  • the foolhardy souls who undertook to organize the  Big Day out, especially Brothers Bill and Neil plus Doug for being the initial inspiration
  • the Blokes themselves for being so well behaved and co-operative and not spending all the extra free time they had quaffing pints despite severe temptation
  • the lovely ladies of "A Fanfare of Strumpets" for a crackling good set and a true inspiration to see what you can do with just 4 voices in such harmony
  • to Mr Samuel our belovéd ChoirMeister for putting up with us all day and smiling grimly as he tweezed the stray notes that prying ears might hear
  • to the staff of The Convent, which truly lived up to our pre-event billing of being the most amazing of settings and can live up to the claim of being "probably the most stunning venue in The Cotswolds with its own beautiful Convent chapel, Bar, hotel rooms, gardens and truckloads of kit"!
  • Everyone who indulged us in our "After" singing in the bar

And you should be able to re-live the show by signing up and paying an unfashionably reasonable fee by visiting https://theconvent.netgig.co.uk/event/the-magnificent-ak47/.

Another Magnificent day out!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Rocking all over the world

Most of us are of a certain age and can remember the FIRST Live Aid, so kids, don't think you are the coolest ones for having your own version out just the other day (see how happening and topical we are on this blog?).  And we can all remember the excitement of the thought of millions of people joined across the planet in that shared experience, well now you can do it again, in albeit slightly less grand scale on all fronts.

If you can't be part of the throng coming to the gig at The Convent in person, then 

Have your own "Streaming Party"
As a special incentive, if you sign up and email us at themagnificentak47@gmail.com before 16:00 on Saturday 22nd November then we will mention you as part of a special dedication before one of our songs and may even wave!

And if you can send us a photo we will post them in a gallery and offer a prize for the best one.

How cool is that?  Well, it's what passes for cool round these parts.

The NetGig thing is SOOO easy and would be great to do with a friend or two watching us from the comfort of your own living / bedroom / wherever.

So, a quick crash course on what is involved - it's very simple

Netgig has been created to bring you intimate, world class, live performance

Start watching live now:

1.    Browse the shows
2.   Make your choice
3.   Buy your ticket (we accept credit/debit cards or paypal)
3b. Keep an eye on the countdown to the live broadcast
4.   Watch and enjoy!

Once the live performance has finished you’ll be able to watch it as many times as you
like for another 7 days, making it a performance you’ll never forget.

All gigs are filmed in front of a live audience using the world’s most innovative film and music technology.
This gives you a live experience of unequaled quality however you’re viewing, from cinema screen to mobile.

Netgig performances take place at The Convent, one of the UK’s most inspiring, artistic and historic locations.

So, please join us for a Magnificent night out, wherever you are.  Click here for https://theconvent.netgig.co.uk/event/the-magnificent-ak47/ to go to the NetGig or click here for http://www.theconvent.net/?tribe_events=the-magnificent-ak47-ft-a-fanfare-of-strumpets to actually be there in person.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

The Stunning venue of The Convent for a Magnificent night out

We may have mentioned our Big Gig at The Convent and we may also have mentioned that it is one of the newest and certainly the most stunning of venues on the circuit round the Cotswolds and here is a gallery of a few snaps to prove it taken when one of our members visited during the day the other week.  

If it looks this good with no one around imagine how brilliant it must look when it is thronged with blokes singing there hearts out and the ladies of "A Fanfare of Strumpets" trilling away to entertain you.  We are about to put this theory to the test this very Saturday.

We think it looks a pretty smart place but don't take our word for it, come along and see for yourself for what should be a Magnificent night out.

For full details of the gig to buy tickets so you can actually be there CLICK HERE, if you simply can't be there then you still have no excuses to miss out and can view the gig live or later via the internet if you CLICK HERE and sign up.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Magnificents + Strumpets + Convent = Great night out

Have we mentioned that we are performing our Big Gig of the Autumn at the stunning Cotswold venue of The Convent?  Ok, maybe once or twice, but we can only re-iterate that it is indeed a stunning venue with superb facilities and a beautiful performance area.

And not just that, we have a double-header with little old us taking on the might of South Waleian womanhood in the shape of the lovely ladies from "A Fanfare of Strumpets".

For full details of the gig to buy tickets so you can actually be there CLICK HERE, if you simply can't be there then you still have no excuses to miss out and can view the gig live or later via the internet if you CLICK HERE and sign up.

And we plan to have one or two drinks and songs in the bar afterwards as an added attraction to entice you along for a Big Night out.  Hope to see you there.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

And tired eyelids slowly drop

The title of this posting is a quote from an upcoming addition to our performance repertoire and many readers will be able to "name that tune" immediately, others might take a moment of two, but either way, it sums up how most of the gang felt this afternoon.  

This after a gruelling day locked in the Bradstone Pavilion at the sports ground just on the edge of our lovely village.  Here the blokes undertook an intense 6 hour "Boot Camp" led by our belovéd ChoirMeister that involved a good deal of honing pieces we have been performing for a while and today gave us a chance to finally tidy them up and also nail a couple of newies.

These new pieces that have finally passed the various "quality thresholds" (such as the majority of the blokes remembering the majority of the words the majority of the time) and are due to be unleashed on the world in less than a week's time at our gig at The Convent.  Who knows, by then, the extra practice everyone will be doing by themselves this week might mean they can even do the dance steps!

As you can see from the studied concentration of the fellows in the photo (borderline exhaustion of some) it is an indication of how serious the blokes are taking current preparations, in particular that we held the session in the Pavilion rather than our usual haunt of The White Hart Back Room.  No half time pints of frothing ale for (most of) the blokes today - too much that required much concentration.

Another really good day spent on another one of our adventures as we prepare for the next Big Gig, live and streaming across the internet.

For full details of the gig to buy tickets so you can actually be there CLICK HERE, if you simply can't be there then you still have no excuses to miss out and can view the gig live or later via the internet if you CLICK HERE and sign up.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

A Fanfare for Truly scrumptious!

Here's a little bit about our competition co-stars for the gig this coming Saturday 22nd November at the stunning venue The Convent.

A Fanfare Of Strumpets bring a touch of glamour to acapella singing with their debut album Truly Strumptious

The recording is packed full with 15 tracks of harmonic lusciousness ranging from Country Life, Sorry the Day I Was Married, Collier Lads and The Widow’s Promise to fresh interpretations of standards like Dream A Little Dream Of Me, a splash of Swedish and mediaeval French and unlikely love songs such as the Velvet Underground’s I’m Sticking With You and the cheese-drenched Chef’s Love Song.

The ladies are Helen Vincent, Celia Webb, Blanche Rowen and Sue Ansell have been singing  together for a few years now, and have appeared at Beyond The Borders international storytelling festival, Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, Brecon Midsummer Folk, Llantrisant Folk Club, Brecon Jazz Fringe and even supported the legendary The Magnificent AK47 for one show on their first cross International border foray.

They operate under the ‘eclectic acapella’ tag which means that their performances have a wider appeal than if they focussed on just one genre. They started with Swedish, Breton and French dance songs but quickly added more English language songs (and a few Welsh ones too, of course): classics like 'Dream', folk and traditional numbers, some  doo-wop and a few wacky random ones just for fun. They have a huge backlog on their wish-list of pieces to do but it’s finding time to work on them all that’s the challenge ...”

Helen and Celia are both Natural Voice teachers, leading numerous local groups including Singing For The Brain sessions for Alzheimers patients and their carers, and open song days under the name Singplicity. Blanche  is Wales’ first full-time folk development worker, managing Trac, the folk development organisation for Wales, as well as singing in a duo with her partner Mike Gulston. Sue is an ecologist who claims that "Singing with the Strumpets is about as much fun as she can imagine having publicly with three other women"!

The album was recorded using solar power at Dylan Fowler’s studio in Abergavenny, Stiwdio Felin Fach, and mastered by Donal Whelan at Hafod Mastering. It features artwork by the band and the CD itself shows a chocolate cake iced by Sue. It's available online at www.fanfareofstrumpets.co.uk or at live shows.

If you weren't convinced to come just to see The Magnificent AK47, then you should come just to see the ladies and get us as a freebie bonus!

For full details of the gig to buy tickets so you can actually be there CLICK HERE, if you simply can't be there then you still have no excuses to miss out and can view the gig live or later via the internet if you CLICK HERE and sign up.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

301 Up!

Almost unnoticed, we have now had over 300 blog posts, a small triumph of enthusiasm over sanity, but worth celebrating none the less.

But how to commemorate such a feat?  Why not stick all the titles of the last 100 blog posts into a Wordle and see what comes out? was the answer.  How "very modern" you might think, and you would be right, for that is what we are, behind all that bemused fustiness.

And amazingly enough the word that most sticks out?  Not once, but twice?  Well read for yourself.  See what else you can spot.

So, to re-cap, in the last 100 blog posts we have:
  • Recorded a proper(ish) CD, "A Taste of The Magnificent AK47"
  • Sold out the Sundial Theatre 
  • Had a proper Georgian singing workshops from real Georgian 
  • Sung at a mini-Beer festival to great acclaim
  • Had the Spooky Mens' Chorale visit and gig with us and then be on Radio 2
  • Performed in front of 1,500 people and gone down a storm
  • Had our first international gig
  • Sung on replica of "The Matthew" sailing ship
  • Had our Second Wold Tour and Third BlokeFest
  • Had our Sixth Birthday
And dozens of "hours of fun" in total for nearly 3 dozen blokes.  Quite a time of it indeed.

Have a flick through some back posts and re-live your most favourite "Magnificent Moment" and drop us a line to tell us what it is.

Here's to the next 100.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

We're in the news!

It is always a nice to get your photo in the local newspapers to get the word out about our adventures.

To this end, we are delighted to have a sizeable piece appear about us in the latest edition of the rather wonderful local magazine, Ripples.

This month's publication should be dropping through letter boxes any time now, so have a leave through to page 28 to the "Creative Arts" section (no less!) and you will find our photo glaring out at you.  

Alternatively, and especially if you are not on the distribution you might want to have a peek at their online versions which can be found at http://www.ripplesmag.co.uk/images/ripples/pdfs/Ripples_nov14_CSC_spread.pdf.

Talking of which, this shot has served us well for a good many years now but we are having a "proper photo shoot" on the day of The Convent gig to update our range.

Has anyone mentioned The Convent gig with "A Fanfare of Strumpets"??!!  More soon . . . .

Friday, 7 November 2014

Still scary a week on

This seasonally scary piece of video was, er, pieced together to highlight our true Magnificence at this time of year - quite frightening stuff - thanks Graham C - just imagine you are watching it this time last week . . . 

Remember, this video comes with Parental Guidance - Kids, DON'T let your parents watch this, it will scare them!  Everyone else, please go ahead and enjoy!

Big thanks to Graham C for producing the thing

Thursday, 6 November 2014

THE Convent gig, THE Poster

He's only gone and done it again...!  That digital magician known to his admirers as "Billsy", the inscrutably shy and reclusive genius who every now and then conjures some phenomenal  Magnificent artwork into reality, from the flimsiest of briefs.

"Can you knock us up a poster for the gig at The Convent with the ladies from A Fanfare of Strumpets", he was asked.  "I'm busy in the afternoon, but I'll see what I can do" he replies, then coughs up another fantastic piece of work in what seems about 20 minutes later.

One day we will have a Magnificent Montage of Man-Art.  Till then, everybody get your tickets for THE gig of the Autumn, which is starting to build quite a buzz around these parts.
In the meantime, details from http://www.theconvent.net/?tribe_events=the-magnificent-ak47-ft-a-fanfare-of-strumpets.  Don't delay getting your ticket.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Magnificents and Fanfares

One of the many highlights of the year, in a very highlightful year, was our very first venture overseas, or at least over the Bristol Channel, for our very first International Gig (see The Magnificents go International) with the rather lovely "A Fanfare of Strumpets".

And now we are but weeks away from a return match on our manor, or rather, at the very stunning boutique venue of The Convent at South Woodchester, and we are very much looking forward to it.

More details of the event can be found at http://www.theconvent.net/?tribe_events=the-magnificent-ak47-ft-a-fanfare-of-strumpets where you can purchase your ticket in advance and hurry, the venue only has a capacity of 100 lucky punters to be don't delay.

We plan to have a separate posting (yes, we do occasionally plan, The Magnificent AK47 doesn't happen by pure good fortune you know!) about the ladies with some "exclusives" but in the meantime you can find out more from their website at www.fanfareofstrumpets.co.uk.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Bingham Hall, Cirencester Fund Raiser Gig

The lads are back in action again this very Saturday night (you can watch Strictly later...) as part of a fund raiser for local good causes.

The event sees us  teaming up again with some of the ridiculously talented MJ-UK crowd who we worked with in the summer for the World War 1 Commemorative event, and also some of our singing chums in the Cirencester Community Choir.

Also appearing are another Ashton Keynes Music Festival success story, the Ukeydukes, the ukelele group from AK.

All in all a great little show for the bargain rate of £5 (Under 14 free) so we look forward to seeing some familiar faces there.

Tickets available from Local Info Point at
Bingham House, 1 Dyer St, Cirencester  – Tel: 01285 655646 or on the door or from Cirencester Visitor Information Centre (www.cotswold.gov.uk) at Corinium Museum, Park St, Cirencester 01285 654180

Sunday, 26 October 2014

A Magnificent Farewell

Just a quickie to report that the village of Ashton Keynes bade fond farewell to Anthony, landlord of The White Hart these past three years, and his family with much merriment and song and above all drinking (it is what he would have wanted us to do).  The pub was packed, which is an indication of the high esteem in which he is held.

We even gave him a token of our appreciation of all the hard work we have made him and his staff do to help keep us refreshed during our workshops and Yuletide Carol events.  

Here you can see former Big Chief Instigator Neil B pulling a face of suitable pointless grandeur with Anthony, in his recently presented "Magnificent Polo Shirt" from our extensive range of leisure wear, looking suitably chuffed with the gift.

He has promised to invite us up to his new premises at some point so watch out for news of a visit once he has had a chance to settle in and explain about the special place of Ashton Keynes and the extra special Magnificent AK47 who have emerged from there.

We wish him all the best and look forward to striking up a relationship with the new landlords

Monday, 20 October 2014

Going, going, nearly gone

Goodbye from all of us!

Who ate all the pies?  Well, not the chap in the middle, flanked by two giants of our Magnificent world, Big Mike and DR Sweeney.  

But who is the little chap handing over the carefully pre-warmed pies before the start of our Wold Tour 2013?  It is none other than one Mr Anthony Klee, who along with some inspired local owners has breathed a HUGE new lease of life into our belovéd local watering hole, The White Hart.

Sadly he has been lured away to bigger and better things round Glawster way and we will miss his genuineness, keen eye for a good beer and propensity to open up specially for us on a Sunday Workshop to make sure the blokes could whet their whistles.

If anyone is around and fancies popping along there will be what will no doubt be a massive hooly of a send off for him and his good lady wife and son this coming Friday 24th October.

We wish him goodbye and good luck and have a Magnificent time.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Sounds of the City

And just to round off our record of a lovely evening of song, in the City of Song, as part of the Festival of Song, here is a snap of the Stepford Singers with their charismatic Choir leader Fran about to address the audience as their set draws to a close.

And below you can here their final contribution for the night with a stirring rendition of a piece "Voro Ivanivicki" that was rehearsed separately by the two choirs and together just the once, moments before the show.

The ladies appeared a little nervous coming back onto the stage after the blokes had put in a sterling performance, but they need not have worried.  The combined sound was impressive given the lack of joint rehearsal and is a validation of the knowledge of the respective choir leaders knowing that  it would work, and the talent of the singers making it work.

The power of song - a fitting metaphor for the whole festival - well done, another triumph and we look forward to next year already.

Twitter me Timbers!

Just a quickie posting as a down payment for more stuff to follow about last night's gig as part of the Bristol Festival of Song show with the Stepford Singers.

This is partly because we are still collectively reeling from what turned from a less than awesome soundcheck into really quite special "Magical Man Moment" for us.  

This was the first outing for some of the blokes, so there was a higher level of anxiety than normal, but the delightful ladies of the Stepford Singers sang so enchantingly and actually dedicated a piece to us that quite turned our little heads.

And when we finally made it on to the stage (waiting for lumbering John W who got stuck, yet again, getting into his donkey outfit...) we found an absolutely fabulous audience totally up for it and loving every minute.

As you can see from the "Tweets" we seemed to be a hit on that there social medium thingy.

And we would like to make a special mention of the delightful Hannah who has organized the event.  We hope to have evidence of the Magnificent AK47 mug we presented to her in action very soon - bet you can't wait!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Would you trust this lot with your parrot?

Would you trust this lot with your parrot?

Well, it is a reasonable question to ask given the reputation THE Magnificent AK47 have been building for several years now, what with their carefully manicured public persona (!) and having graced the stages of Chippenham Folk Festival, Colston Hall and alike. . .  

They may have the best array of hats and other props and other prosthetic aids in all the land, but can they actually sing to back it all up?  Again, a question that is often asked (mostly by the blokes themselves) and one you should judge for yourself by listening to the couple of clips recorded at their recent performance in the M-Shed.  In particular, marvel at the cunning and witty way in which they adapt one of their best loved pieces, the homage to male sanctuary, to better suit their location.

Returning to Bristol on Friday night and paired up on an inspired bit of programming to present a great double bill with The Stepford Singers, they will be performing as part of the wonderful Bristol's Festival of Song at St Francis' Church, North St, Bristol, BS3 2AN - see http://www.festivalofsong.org.uk/ticketed-events/ Friday 17th October at 19:30.

Expect the usual mixture of dead pan humour and dead good singing and possibly a stuffed animal or two for good measure.

Still, wouldn't trust them with your parrot, but find out for yourself how good they are by getting along on Friday

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Go West!

Hot off the presses is this snap and the early "rushes" from the recordings of our trip to Bristol to play our part in their Festival of Song and in particular the "Song Raids" down in the docks.

A lovely Autumnal afternoon was had by all as the blokes plied their trade singing on The Matthew, on a Steam Train carriage and also generally posing about the place as can be witnessed here with a motley crew haranguing Bristol legend John Cabot.

Some rough and ready recordings of the afternoon can be heard below - watch out for more photos and other stuff, most likely mostly on facebook.

And we return to Bristol's fair city this coming Friday 17th October to perform in St Francis Church with The Stepford Singers.  More in the next posting or two.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Shiver your timbers!

Lock up your drinks cabinets and prepare your lug'oles for a sonic spectacle and your peep'oles for a visual feast of Pirate finery and much more at The Magnificent AK47 lumber into the big city to play their part in the Song Raids for Bristol Festival of Song down in the historic docklands.

Sunday 12th October - Harbourside & City Song Raids
Song Raids are a Gathering Voices speciality! In the style of the contemporary flash mob, in locations across the city centre and harbourside - look out for for some of the city's (and surrounding area's) finest acappella talent (and us!) offering intimate performances, just for you...

The blokes can be seen in action 
Aboard "Matthew" at 12:30 - that should be something to see - Pirates in their element!!
Harbour Trains around 12:50
Millennium Square for 13:10
"M Shed" at 13:50

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Gathering Voices featuring us!

Look at us - featured on one of the prime pages on the main site for the Bristol Festival of Song in all our Gringo splendour!  The picture is taken from last year's gig at the wonderful St George's Hall where we have been privileged to perform three years running as part of the day long multi-choir event.

This year we will be sharing an evening with another unusual act, The Stepford Singers, on Friday 17th October and more details plus ticketing info can be found at http://www.festivalofsong.org.uk/ticketed-events.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Song Raids ahoy!

It is that time of year again when a whole city starts singing and us blokes from this tiny little village not so far away are lucky enough to be invited to play a small part.

And whilst our part is small, but perfectly formed (you can see some of us lurking in the photo below the singers in red), we are particularly lucky this year to have been asked to perform not once, but FIVE times!

Our first four of those are on Sunday 12th October as part of the Bristol "Song Raids" taking place in and around Bristol's historic dock area and adding to our already large number of unusual places we have sung, from concert halls and pubs to tunnels and hill tops, Steam Engine sheds to Breweries.  We are very excited that we will be kicking off in the World Famous ship the "Matthew" at 12:30.

We will then be moving on swiftly to the Harbour Trains around 12:50 then across the water to Millennium Square for 13:10 then finally at the "M Shed" at 13:50 - a busy old schedule and we will certainly need to be swift with getting around.

Just to recap locations and timings:
"Matthew" at 12:30
Harbour Trains around 12:50
Millennium Square for 13:10
"M Shed" at 13:50

Much more information about this phenomenal series of events can be found at http://www.festivalofsong.org.uk and more info coming about other gigs.  

The Hammerman Tour - A Magnificent day out

Looking suitably pleased with themselves, behind their immense statuesque stare of pointless grandeur, are one Alan H and the notable DR Sweeney, posing as men most contented with their pie and first pint of the day on The Hammerman Tour, our Magnificent Day Out when we celebrate local history, culture and geography with a song and tipple or two.

And our very many hats must be doffed to this pair (and a few others) for their care and attention to detail in organizing this year's event, that took in Swindon's fantastic STEAM exhibition and commemoration of all things railway (a definite longer visit required to do it justice), the Glue Pot pub nearby, walks up Liddington Hill and along the Thames (in the encroaching gloaming), South Marston to visit the home and final resting place of Alfred Williams, the Hammerman Poet himself.  

More pictures and recordings to emerge shortly, but for now, here are the blokes in action with their first song of the day in the tunnel under the Railway in the centre of Swindon.