The boatband

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After the panto we went over to the local alehouse where the boatband were playing. They play a mix of sea shanties, cajun and creole music together with other 20th century music. Listening to them playing guitar, fiddle, trombone, accordion and washboard was great. One of their members is missing but I only took one photo before my phone went flat. There is always a request to sing during the interval so I sang “molly malone”, but because I had got really tired from the panto performance I could not remember all the words and had to be prompted… How Ironic…!

Anyway that was a long evening. Not sure when I will get up in the morning. The panto continues on Friday (today) and Saturday.

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Wassailing

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Wassailing is a tradition to celebrate the New year. People would go from door to door  knocking on them to rouse their occupants.

The local Morris Dancing troupe started to organise Penkhull Wassail a few years ago. Our Choir joined in and now quite a lot of people walk around the boundaries of penkhull with lighted (flaming) torches. We visit an ancient apple tree in a garden nearby, the Morris dancers dance and we get a drink of hot cider.. Then we continue around and sing and dance outside the local pubs.. . Just for fun. We end up at the local village hall for soup. Sometimes we stop for a barn dance afterwards.

We sing various songs including the Penkhull Wassail and the Gower and the Gloucester Wassail.

I guess some of the songs will be on YouTube.

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Community Spirit

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Five public houses, one private house and a Christmas tree…. What do they have in common? We went Carol singing around them with the Penkhull Mystery singers last night.

From wassail songs, Latin carols, ancient hyms and fairytail of New York… We sang so much last night. Its becoming a local tradition to visit all the hostelries to sing to the locals and collect funds for the Penkhull Mystery play in the summer. Its a difficult way of doing it because it relies on the number of people in the pubs and we outnumbered everybody in each of the pubs. But it was fun! Singing the Holly and the Ivy in four part harmony, or Good King Wenseslas with the men and women split into parts. And we sounded good. We are becoming more balanced as a choir. More choral.

After the New Year the choir splits back up. It’s made up of members of two Choirs and other members who just get together for this. But the cameraderie will remain.

I’m looking forward to next year when we do it all again.

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I forgot

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I was out at the pub tonight at our local folk bands monthly visit. They usually play till about 10pm then they go round the room asking whether you want to sing a song or read out a pot!!

Well it was getting towards me. I was going to sing Laras song from Dr Jivago? I looked up the Lyrics. It seemed OK. Just sing and remember. I started, and ground to a halt. I could not remember the music or the song. Next time I will try and sing again. But tonight was bad….

It’s over

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After 5 days and 6 performances we finished singing with the play Beautiful thing tonight. We did two performances today and I’m shattered. We have had a great time though. The choir was accepted by the cast and crew of the play and the New Vic theatre staff. I think we had a wonderful welcome and great support throughout the run.

Now the play is off to Lancaster to run for a week up there. They will be joined by a new community choir. It would be good to go up and see the actual play (we only saw the bits when we were on stage). It had come up from Bristol after a run down there.

So what next? Back to normal. One of the choirs I’m in (Loud Mouth women) is celebrating its 20th anniversary with two musical workshops and a party. Then normal choir practice with Clay chorus the following night.

I’m staggered at how much singing we have done. But it’s been a blast.

Review

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Well we are doing it. Singing to accompany the cast of Beautiful thing. Clay Chorus and some of Loud Mouth women led by Greg Stephens and Kate Barfield. Here I am with the cast members playing Jamie and Ste. I have to say we are having a good time now people are getting over their nerves. We are half way through a run of 6 performances so that’s why I’m not on social media as much. Here is a link to the review of the play .

https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife/review-beautiful-thing-new-vic-2167300

I hope you can follow it.

It’s on at the new victoria theatre, Basford  Newcastle-under-Lyme until Saturday.

Tech rehearsal…

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We got here today and have been busy sitting around for a lot of the time, interspersed with standing around on the stage being set in position, then singing as loudly and brightly as we can for our songs. I’m shattered, I hope I can keep my energy up for the performance.

To be honest I’m actually enjoying being fitted for a costume (a tee shirt). I brought my own silly blingy jewellery to wear. I’ve actually got some stuff from the 1990s which I was given one Christmas.

The play is called Beautiful Thing at the New Vic theatre at Basford, Newcastle-under-Lyme. Performances run till Saturday and start at 7.30pm.

The play is about the blossoming relationship between two teenage boys. It is set in 1993 and we are singing music by Mama Cass and hits from the 1990s. I hope I don’t break my leg

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