Rams head

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Funny what you find on pub tables. I don’t know the story behind these but round here big metal cast iron pub tables often have either sheep’s heads or womens heads on them. It reminds me of ships mascots. Anyway this ram’s head was on a table in aocal pub (public house) called the Beehive on a hill called Honeywall. We were there listening to the boat band, a local band that play creole and new Orleans blues among other things.

 

Timothy Trow memorial day

Timothy Trow was  a tram conductor who tried to save a young girl who had fallen in a local canal, he drowned while trying to save her. He is recognised as a local hero. Today, 13th April  is the anniversary of his death.

I sang with two choirs to commemorate his death by the Memorial stone laid near to where he died on London Road, in the West End area of Stoke on Trent. Singing a song about his life by a local song writer. We then had went over to the local Methodist church, a decendant of the girl who was saved read a piece about the incident. The choirs then sang three more songs.

There were images selected by the local archives department on display inside the church. In all it was a very poignant day.

Dawn chorus

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I came downstairs about an hour ago and the sweet, loud, melodious song of birds was filling the air. At this time of year in the spring it seems louder and more beautiful than ever. Fizzing through the air like ripe electricity. A great pleasure to listen to.

Then cutting through it the insistent alarm call, not of a blackbird, but a ruddy car alarm! The bird song quietened for about five minutes, a car engine started up in the street, and traffic noise commenced. But soaring high above it the melodies of a Blackbird and its mate have resumed. Liquid notes rising and falling in complicated trills… And that ruddy car alarm again!

The Beatles

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I was bought up in the 1960s so although I was there I don’t remember a lot about the Beatles – I was too young.

But even now after over 50 years if a Beatles song comes on the radio or TV I can pretty much sing along with the lyrics.

I remember hearing them, some of my favourites are:

Love me do

Help

Can’t buy me love

Hey Jude

Eight days a week

There are others but I’m useless at remembering names of songs!

I loved their harmony, I loved their funny ways, I loved their experimental music as they evolved.

I’m just watching the Ron Howard documentary about them and it’s bringing a few memories back but as I say because I was a child I missed anything about them on late night TV so I’m learning a lot from the documentary.

Singing New Light

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Today one of the choirs I am in sang at a local school for “sing up day”. We sang some a capella songs from Loud Mouth Women’s reportoir and also “New light ” a new anthem based on “this little light of mine” composed and written by Greg Stephens and Steven Seabridge (the potteries poet laureate).

It was a pleasure to sing infront of a full school assembly. The children joined in and even did some of the gestures for the song. I hope they enjoyed it, although some of the little ones seemed a bit perplexed by what we were doing at first.

One of the teachers is a member of the choir and enthusiastically explained what we were doing, and Penny Vincent (who helped organised Stoke Sings choir festival in February) and Kate Bardfield, our choir leader, helped teach the children some of the song including sections of”this little light of mine” and adapted versions of this and a section about the six towns, Burslem, Tunstall, Hanley, Stoke, Fenton and Longton.

The anthem talks about coal mining and hard clay. It talks about regeneration and a feeling that the city of Stoke-on-Trent is worth fighting for. It was a very enjoyable occasion.

 

The dancing dino

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This is my friend last night. She was part of Cunning stunts cabaret show. She was dancing to flash-dance in a Tyrannosaurus suit. It was sooo funny.

I’m glad we went. She is part of a father/ daughter  act who do a circus and sideshow act. They do everything from knife throwing, fire breathing, lying on beds of nails and all those traditional acts, but they do them with a modern twist. Last night they did a mashup of cult movies with sideshow skills.

They have been all over the world with the show and very rarely come home to put a show on here. There evening included lots of little sketches, exotic dances and music from Pig man and his rubber band singing Jazz.

For the final section you have to imagine an orange Dino gyrating and pole dancing to one of the flash dance tunes, bending over backwards, twisting and turning, mad!  It brought the house down. Imagine Godzilla at a disco!

Choir practice

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Singing is part if my life now. I started singing lessons about 15 years ago then joined a choir a few years later. I met a variety of people who loved music and I was swept along. We were all interested in learning music from around the world and the group learned acapella songs by heart so that we don’t need sheet music.

Singing calms me down, excites me, can be really irritating when it’s something I don’t like, or enthralling when it’s something new or an old song I love but had never previously learnt fully.

After being a choir member over several years I joined another choir so now I go and practice at least twice a week. Sometimes I join other groups and sing with them too.

I also try and sing when there are music nights at pubs. It has helped my confidence and calmed my nerves. Without it I don’t think I would have got involved in amateur dramatics. If there is a group in your area why not join?