Blockley Blokes Choir

May 17, 2024

The Blockley Blokes Choir are a cheerful lot.  They arrive for the concert in ones and twos, smiling and greeting each other like long lost friends.   In May, this was their second visit, and how many are actually in this choir is still a mystery for this writer, but for the concert in hand there were 22 Blokes who fitted themselves into the small but perfect acoustic space that is the Methodist Church in Shipston.  

Their Musical Director, Martin, is a talented man with a drole sense of humour which showed itself throughout the evening.   The first half began with “Send down a song for me” which perfectly reflected the evening’s intention to show the range of a “blokes’ choir”.   “Tebe poem” sung in its original Slav language came next and we are pleased to say they got every word correct.  This was followed by a Welsh hymn sung in Welsh in honour of one of their founding members who had sadly died recently.  “Flow gently, sweet Afton” and”My Love is like a red, red, rose” both with words by Burns were sang beautifully with some good harmonies on show.   The song “Linden Lea” which originated in Dorset came next and no doubt transported many in the audience to their school days.  The half ended with “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother” made famous in the 1960s by the Hollies, and with words that bring tears to the eyes.

After a jolly interval, the second part of the evening took us to the US, beginning with a wonderful medley of songs made famous by Al Jolson which were a joy to hear.   A barber shop song from 1926 “Peggy O’Neill” came next and then we went to the classic musical era with “Almost Like Being in Love”, and “Some enchanted evening” which once again showed off some lovely part singing and harmonies.

The evening ended with Aznavour’s “She” and the rousing “When the Saints Go Marching In” as a stirring finale.

It was a merry evening and the choir went off as cheerful as when they had arrived – and the applause of the audience showed they felt the same.     I’m sure Blockley Blokes will be back again in the future, and it’ll be well worth spending some time in their company.

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