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Archive for the ‘Barbershop’ Category


This article on my other blog might be of interest to anyone who likes (or hates) group portrait sessions!

Unfortunately I screwed up the reblog so click here to see the post.

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I had been hearing about the various rehearsals that Steph has been doing for the show for ages now. Then last Wednesday after the final combined rehearsal she arrived home with my ticket thanks to Dor for arranging that. So at last I would be able to see what all the fuss had been about.

Well, Saturday duly arrived, and around two thirty Steph & Ro set off for the final technical rehearsal and the show in the evening. I was left with a map and instructions on how to get to TASIS (The American School in England), which is where the show was taking place, “… and don’t forget the camera…”. as if I would!

I left early so that I would have plenty of time to ‘stake out the joint’, you know the sort of thing, find a good location to hide and take photos from. I’m always conscious when I do a show that the firing of the shutter may disturb the people around me, so I always warn anyone that sits next to me that there may be a little bit of noise. As it turns out I wasn’t the only one that would be taking photos during the performance, Graham had been asked by one of the Royal Harmonics (his flat mate) to come along and take some stills, while Beth (Pete Powells’ wife) was taking a video. Anyway I positioned myself on the first row of the balcony for the first half of the show, sort of over to the left. For the second half I stayed in the balcony but went and sat on some stairs in the middle just under the control box. Needn’t have bothered with the ticket after all then!

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Unusually for a barbershop/acappella show this was not going to be just a concert but a show of West End proportions, OK maybe not quite that grand, but never the less a show. So instead of one group coming on and then going off and the next ones coming on, for the most part all the performers would be on stage throughout.

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Let me try and set the scene for you, it’s the reception and bar of the Royal Windsor Hotel, the receptionist introduces us to the hotel pianist and tells us about some of the guests that will be staying in the hotel. There’s the bridal party, the grandparents who have come to see their grandchild, a ‘hen’ party, and I almost forgot a BARBERSHOP chorus! I think that was about it, unfortunately when I concentrate on taking a picture I don’t always hear what’s going on (or maybe it’s just an age and memory thing).

Unfortunately shortly after the start of the show the lady taking the part of the hotel receptionist was taken ill and collapsed over the reception desk. She was quickly surrounded by some of the ladies from Signature and the show continued as if nothing had happened, a fantastic achievement considering that she was the lynchpin of the overall show, I don’t think many people noticed.

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While Signature opened the show the Royal Harmonics took their places on the risers behind them with an air of professionalism often only found in major stage productions, they’ll be going on tour next!

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No sooner had the girls moved to the side that the Royal Harmonics started up.

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Next we saw the grand parents meeting their new grandchild ably assisted by one of the quartets from the Royal Harmonics (come on keep up with the story).

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Looks like the groom has now turned up as well.

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And so the baton passes onto Signature again, this time to serenade one very lonely looking chap (can’t quite remember who he was in the scheme of thinks).

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We move onto the combined voices of both the choruses for some superb harmonies.

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Then Enigma stepped up to perform the latest addition to their repertoire, ‘Sway Medley’, which is a combination of a number of popular dance songs.

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I’ve got to include a black & white shot of the bride and groom, not sure if this was a dry run for Leigh or not!

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As the interval drew to a close we were once again serenaded by the wonderful sound of the piano and what can only be described a great pianist. This certainly helped to keep the ‘hotel’ ambiance going.

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The show continued with the Royal Harmonics and a change of costume (so I guess you hadn’t all gone to the bar).

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It wasn’t long before Enigma were back on to do their version of the Ronan Keatings’ When You Say Nothing At All.

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As Signature also managed to get changed during the interval I’m guessing they didn’t get to the bar either!

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The finale once more saw both choruses performing together, and what a performance it was!

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That just about left one thing, the BAR!

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Well done one and all it was a great show. If you want to see all the images of the night just click here.

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