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 . . .  


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 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

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

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 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 to go to the NetGig or click here for 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 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

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  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 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