Sunday, 31 December 2017

Magnificent 2017

It's been another Magnificent year, as we pause to look back and reflect on the past few months and look forward to our Tenth Year and some great plans to celebrate that amazing landmark.

From top left moving clockwise, spiraling into the centre...:  A great show at Bradford Roots in Jan, more or less "naked", just us singing with no props!  The Spooky Men's Chorale hit town on a rest day from their monster tour.  The Blokes line the bar at our gig in the pub in February.  Mugs to celebrate Effing John's tenure as Big Chief coming to a close with a heartfelt speech at the Pow Wow.  Blokes on Radio Wiltshire (twice!).  Singing in the Shed again was great fun.  A Teddy Bear supporter at ChoirJam gig in Keynesham, and Bloke and The Ashton Keynes Hare outside The White Hart, not something you will see in every village...

Then there was our Second Tour to Cornwall as we returned to the Padstow area for a couple of days via a visit to the Fleet Air Arm Museum, a return gig with Glorious Chorus in Totnes, a trip to darkest Dartmoor and Minions, then trogging home via Glastonbury Tor.  In between we had superb hospitality from the ladies of Gulls and the Treglown family, and turned into a "Tribute (Ale) Group" with seemingly never ending supplies being consumed with great pleasure.

Next up for many blokes was a trip from North North Wiltshire to North North Westest Wales as BlokeFest upped sticks for a visit Anglesey and a BlokeFest Cymru, admirably hosted by James Sills and the Bebington Bittermen.  And what a colourful event it was, complete with "Lost Hombre" Bar, tractor pulling and amazing sunshine.

Another highlight of the year was the rather wonderful Ashton Keynes Music and Arts Festival and the Village Voices evening where we had a terrific show, spurred on by the great singing from the Village Choir, School Choir and Siren Sisters, that all came together in an unforgettably special finale joint song when all the choirs joined together in "Surround Sound".

And we had yet more magical man moments on this year's "Grand Day Out" which took a coach party up to Dudley Canal for a fascinating morning exploring and singing through the tunnels and caverns then followed up with an extraordinary experience of singing on the concourse of Birmingham's New Street Station before toddling off for a pint or two and a slap up curry.

Finally, we must thank all the Blokes, the Significant Others of Blokes, Mr Chris Samuel our Belovéd ChoirMeister, all the Inner Circle and everyone who has supported us through another year for making it such a blast.  And we would like to pay special homage to our Magnificent ArtMeister and CartoonMeister for all their efforts via a little gallery of their works this year, another memorable one for fun, bonhomie and some half decent singing!  

See you in 2018 for our TENTH YEAR of MAGNIFICENTS!  Check the Dates page for lots more to come.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

More Yuletide singing in North Wiltshire

In case you are up for more Male Voiced Choral work with a suitably seasonal slant, then you should be interested in a show being put on by our good friends at Wessex Male Voice Choir, just down the road in sunny North Wiltshire in that there Swindon Town.

Full details can be found at

Friday, 15 December 2017

Beer & Carols & beauteous harmonies

Another year, another crackingly good Beer & Carols - a fruity, solid body, with added fizz from the ladies of Siren Sisters, and some lovely top notes from other ladies of the village.  A fine vintage!

Seasonal songs were sung with great gusto and in some cases more than a little finesse, Away in a manger and Ding Dong Merrily being particularly fine examples, as well as a very hearty Hail Smiling Morn, and a rousing O come all ye faithful.

Big thanks to:

The Reverend Shirley Danby for encouraging such behaviour despite having almost completely lost her voice, Pete Tuck for managing to stop coughing long enough to do reading the, er, readings, the Belovéd Chris Samuel for waving his arms in an attempt to keep the unruly revelers in check, providing the starting notes and general great gusto, Neil Burston for providing PA & MC, the (few) ladies of Siren Sisters for singing so sweetly, the ladies affiliated to the AK Choir for singing some lovely harmony lines and to everyone from the village and beyond who joined in such a heart-warming community event (some people got there over an hour early to secure their seat!), and lastly to Abbie and Rob and staff of The White Hart for supporting all the goings on - not like they do it in Canadia...!

Wishing you all a very merry Yuletide and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Beer & Carols & Sirens...?!

We are pleased to announce that Beer and Carols this year will have an extra sparkle from the singing belles of Ashton Keynes, the ladies of Siren Sisters.

Come along to join in the singing from about 8pm onwards at The White Hart, Ashton Keynes and experience the joys of singing in the community. 

Monday, 11 December 2017

Seasonal singing down the Local - what's not to like?

Start your festive celebrations with a great night out down your local with some of us... Who could refuse such an offer?   This lucky lady pictured above didn't!

Come and join everyone for a hearty seasonal sing of traditional carols plus one or two less familiar and one or two set to the tune of another.

Open to all villagers, whether singers or simply wanting to enjoy a highly inclusive community event and an opportunity to hear people rejoice in the joy of singing together with a drink in hand inside a warm and welcoming pub!

Main singing starts in The White Hart Inn at around 8pm but please get there earlier to get a spot and drink.

Song sheets will be provided, just bring your enthusiasm and some drink money!

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Have you heard about the big strong man? Mike P we salute you

"Have you heard about the big strong man? He lived in a caravan" apparently... 

Those in the know will know that we are talking about the one and only Mike P, a Magnificent legend of epic proportions and general all round top Bloke.

One of the "Stroudie Three" (or more) he made an impact from the very moment he joined the group however many years ago and has been making us laugh and pointing out buildings he helped to glaze ever since.  He can often be found near coastal footpaths removing his clothing for a quick sea dip and equally found climbing up rock faces with more than a decent amount of aplomb for a fellow of his vintage.

His reputation was sealed with an outstanding performance of one of his favourite recitations, Big Strong Man (My Brother Sylveste), at the very first BlokeFest.  Just as everyone was a little "giddy" from the excitement of the day, up leapt Mike to regale us with this amazing piece of entertainment.  All the more amazing that he could remember all the words to quite a long piece but now some times struggles to remember the words to some of our songs(!), but he never forgets how to get to the bar for his shout.

"He’s got an arm like a leg (a ladies’ leg!) 
And a punch that would sink a battleship (big ship!) 
It takes all of the Army and the Navy to put the wind up. Who?"  Mike P!

We salute you sir and look forward to drinking your health in the White Hart from 20:30 onwards this evening, Tuesday 5th December.