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.