Monthly Archives: October 2015

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Christmas Schedule 2015

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This Christmas, I am busier than ever with various exciting projects; it’s my favourite time of year!

Highlights include:

The seventh annual Radio City Christmas Concert at The Anglican Cathedral on Monday 14th December. It’s such a pleasure to direct these events; this year will feature Mr Joe Slater, Sense of Sound Singers, the Bebington Bittermen, Birkenhead High School Academy, Creative Community Choir, Egremont Primary School Choir, Hoylake Hands & Voices, Kaboodle, St Anselm’s, Sunlight Unplugged and WWDN Choir. It promises to be a really special event as always and tickets will undoubtedly sell out.

Two dates with Liverpool String Quartet featuring Matt Lammin & Friends. This year will feature a even bigger group of singers and performers following on from last year’s success. The string quartet will perform a number of pieces on their own before we join them on stage for a festive collaboration that will get everyone into the Christmas spirit. We will be performing at the Scandinavian Church in Liverpool and Birkenhead High School Academy (TBC).

A ten-date carol tour with Amy, Dionne and Izzy, taking in Liverpool, Chester, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Birmingham and Glasgow! Come along and sing along with us – the best singalonger gets a free bottle of prosecco as a prize!

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Anthony Walker Memorial Foundation Gala Dinner

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Sense of Sound Singers were proud to perform at the Anthony Walker Memorial Foundation‘s Gala Dinner at The Titanic Hotel in Liverpool on Saturday 17th October. It has been ten years since Anthony was killed in a racist attack in Huyton and it was a privilege to sing at such an important event for The Anthony Walker Foundation which works to combat hate crime.

We have performed at previous events over the years and it is so important to keep Anthony’s memory alive. The foundation works tirelessly to make a positive difference and it is important to support their cause.

 

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Vocal workshops

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Saph from Sense of Sound and I have been busy over the past week, completing two diverse events for two very fabulous businesses.

Over the past few weeks, we have been training up a group of thirty three members of staff at Fresenius Kabi in Runcorn as a choir. The majority of the group had never sang before, yet they made such a great sound together. After a couple of three hour rehearsals with them at their workplace, they were challenged to perform at a special celebration event at The Holiday Inn in Runcorn in front of their workmates. They performed ‘Lean On Me’ and ‘Happy’ and they performed with emotion, commitment and blend. It was a privilege to be involved in this process and a real buzz to see and hear the result of their hard work. The company and their staff do amazing work ‘caring for life’ (the company’s corporate philosophy) and they specialise in lifesaving medicines and technologies.

Assisted by Anthony Proctor, Dionne McHugh, Austin Hewitt, Jazamin Sinclair, Jo Steel and Mary McComb, Saph and I led a vocal workshop with leading staff from the Co-Op to help launch their Christmas campaign. It was an exciting and vibrant event and although I can’t go into detail as to their campaign and our involvement in helping to deliver it to the company’s staff, it was great to take part in such an exciting event for a company who do a lot for charity and believe in fair trade.

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Solar Flame in the studio

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We are currently in Eve Studios in Stockport recording our first four album tracks from our forthcoming album. Dionne, Dean, Bobby, Greg and I along with Nat and Julie from our management company, Fairplayed Media are all here working hard and really enjoying the experience. Eve Studios is like no other studio I’ve ever been in; it is like going back in time and it feels like such an authentic experience. Jim Spencer is producing our tracks and it is a real privilege working with such.. I’ve been busy recording on one of the studio’s lush upright pianos and its Wurlitzer and I’ve still got my backing vocals to do over the next few days.

Watch this space for our exclusive new tracks, but in the meantime…

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The Ambition win Radio City’s ‘The Audition’

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Along with Danielle Lloyd and Radio City’s station director, I judged Radio City’s ‘The Audition’ last night at a sold out Empire Theatre in Liverpool; it was an event full of outstanding musical moments and fabulous vocal performances. While it was a real privilege to judge such a fantastic event, it was also very difficult to judge between all the diverse, captivating acts. The event was presented by the fabulous Claire Simmo, whose energy and enthusiasm really helped bring the event to life.

Daisy Gill started the night singing her own song, which showed off her incredible jazz voice. She sang on her own at the piano with real style and followed up with a convincing rendition of ‘I Know Where I’ve Been’ with a backing track. Daisy is definitely someone we will be seeing a lot more of in the future. She deserves to have a band full of top musicians behind her and I’m sure that will happen in time. She is an amazing singer and songwriter.

The Skylights followed on with an energetic and tight musical performance. They brushed off technical difficulties that were out of their control and they completed their performance professionally. They showed excellent musicianship and strong songwriting skills that stand them in good stead for the future; The Skylights have a great vibe and real confidence on stage

The Pynes were another strong male rock band with a Maroon 5 pop vibe. Both their songs were originals which was a really brave move and they pulled both out the bag. The Pynes write catchy upbeat anthemic tunes and they too were really tight and well-rehearsed; the lead singer has a fantastic voice and the group is full of great musicians. They gave a really dynamic performance.

Sophie Ellen and The X were very different to the other acts in style and delivery. The first song they performed was an Ella Eyre number which really brought the best out of the lead singer’s fantastic vocal range as she faultlessly and effortlessly worked her way through this challenging song. This song also gave the female guitarist the opportunity to showcase her voice which was also really strong. Their original song was also good. All the musicians in this band were excellent and they are a very strong unit.

The Ambition were the last band to perform and they went on to win the competition. Their musicality really shone through and their song choices were excellent: they performed a really strong upbeat original song and then went on to a rousing performance of Shut Up And Dance that got everyone up on their feet. What won it for The Ambition was their commitment to their performance and their excellent stage presence. They already know their stage craft and understand how to engage an audience. Well done to the lads for their top class performance on the night and good luck to them in their future; if luck goes their way, there will be great things to come for them.

The night was finished off by Joel Valentine, performing solo with his new project ‘The Joel Valentine Band’. Backed by a whole troop of excellent musicians including a brass section, Joel carried off his funky, soulful, intricate original songs with real style and energy. He has really developed his songwriting since his early days with The Valentine 3 and his music goes from strength to strength.

This event is not only an amazing showcase for Liverpool’s finest up and coming acts, but it also raises money and awareness for Radio City’s Cash For Kids. Not only that, as well as the supporters who were there for their acts, the audience was made up of children who had never been to a live gig before, supported by the charity so that they could be there to experience it.

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