A little KS glossary

You find us on a train speeding between Turin, where we performed yesterday, and Verona, where we’re performing tonight. In my opinion these are two of the most beautiful cities anywhere in Europe, and I only wish we had more time to explore them when we visit.

In that last paragraph, I very nearly just typed a phrase which I realised would mean nothing to most people, as it’s something that I believe is a specific KS turn-of-phrase! It then occurred to me that there are a fair few words, phrases and acronyms that we use lots in the group, which are possibly not very commonly known outside of it, and I wonder if you may like to know some!

“AOTS” – As On The Schedule:
Our amazing management team sends us a schedule with details of everything we’re doing before the start of each touring patch. If someone asks a question which can be answered just by looking at this document, the response will normally be ‘AOTS’ or similar.

“FBAU” – Fabulously Breathy, As Usual:
This acronym was coined by Nigel Short when he was in the KS, and it refers to one of the signature group sounds that we make, which is soft and with some breath in the singing. It’s a helpful shorthand when marking copies!

“Wheels roll…”
Normally to be heard by Tim, this phrase emphasises that an agreed leave-time means that the car’s wheels will begin moving at a given time, rather than that we meet at that time!

4-in-a-row / 5-in-a-row (etc.):
The way we refer to very busy touring patches. We tend never to do more than 5 concerts on consecutive days, but for multiple concerts night after night without a day off, we refer to them as x-in-a-row. Today is the 3rd of a 5-in-a-row, for example!

In our yearly diaries, days when we can expect to be at home with no duties are marked down as ‘N/A’ (not available).

Whilst we love sampling great food wherever we are in the world, sometimes during tough touring, food can feel like just necessary fuel to get through the day! At times like these, we often refer to it simply as ‘protein’. For example, on a large drive between two venues, we may decide ‘let’s have two protein stops’. Weird, I know, but that’s how it is!

“Chalde” (ch-ahl-duh):
This is a Medieval English word for ‘cold’, and it is in our phrase book because of a section in Benjamin Britten’s ‘Sacred and Profane’, where the choir repeatedly sings ‘the chalde watter of the welle spring’, meaning ‘the cold water from the well’. So for some reason, a bottle of water is now referred to as a ‘chalde’.

“Very nearly..”
If something — anything — has gone a bit wrong or not to plan, someone will likely mutter the words ‘very nearly’. This could be someone dropping their cup of coffee, or a taxi driver taking us to the wrong place, or (occasionally!) someone forgetting words during a song. It’ll normally end with someone saying ‘very nearly’.

There are about 1000 more of these weird phrases, and with every year, more are added. It’s probably just a product of 6 chaps spending an extraordinarily large amount of time with each other, but I thought for those of you interested enough to read our blogs, you may like to know some of the bizarre stuff we prattle on with.

Who knows, maybe one day there’ll be a whole book of them published. I’m not sure how many copies that would sell..


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