Many years ago, my friend Sarah and I joined the adults choir at our boys’ school, for the Christmas Concert. It was a disaster. There is nothing quite so unintentionally hilarious as incurring the wrath of a 13 year old chorister whose seat in the stalls you have taken, especially when your grasp of the music on the night is shaky. Strangely, we weren’t invited back. We may have retired from public performance, but we have not yet given up our choir singing dreams.
So I was delighted when, as my daughter and I exited the church after the fabulous R&J screening (On R&J with Choir 40/100), a leaflet was pressed into my hands. An invite to see/join Some Voices choir for a Bowie/all about space, gigantic sing along at Electric Brixton, entitled Across the Universe: in space, everyone can hear you sing. How could Sarah and I not go? And stand right up front!
The bar was doing a brisk business when we arrived and lots and lots of very young things were everywhere, wearing all white with neon face paint. For a few horrible minutes I thought I had missed the missive, both in terms of costume and age. But thankfully no, these were the choir members, doing some pre-show milling. And there were plenty of people in the significantly older age bracket than us. Many of them sitting down! Relatives of the performers, clearly, but nothing to suggest we weren’t as well. So all was ok.
The choir filed on stage, robotic in a delightful 80s music video sort of way. And then began the ballad no one has been able to resist of late….Ground Control to Major Tom…..and we were off. Crooning our little hearts out to Bowie, and Elton John and anyone else who had had the good sense t0 write a song about space. The accompaniment was organized by a Prince lookalike with ultra cool demenour. In complete contrast to the conductor. Young, female and blond, she put an aerobics instructor (still in the 80s theme…) to shame. She was pure energy, leaping, arms pumping the air, barely contained on her little platform. And when she sang the opening lines of “Fly Me to the Moon” in a rich, soulful voice..wow, passionate and talented. Fantastic.
And then I was shushed by the girl in front of me. To be fair, for talking not singing, but still, I did feel rather sheepish. I didn’t utter another word all night, but we did keep singing, if in a slightly softer tone.
The choir left the stage to thunderous applause. We were invited to stay to for a Prince tribute. We didn’t. I have loved Prince for more than 33 years. He was my first true fan experience and the feeling has never faded. So while I throughly enjoyed my time with these young, enthusiastic singers, didn’t think it quite the right crowd with whom to belt out Little Red Corvette….
That said, would happily join them again. Maybe even, with enough time gone, for a evening dedicated to his purple majesty. In the meantime, should any of you dear readers fancy joining a “choir without the boring bits” or desire some fabulous singing for an event, these are your voices.
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