This is a really local show for me! Which is nice, as usually I have the furthest to drive to UK concerts. It’s been a busy day, as I had some admin work this morning in my local town followed by a radio interview with Pat for the BBC, and we then headed down to the south coast together. A good pub lunch set us up nicely for the rehearsal and concert to follow.
I have to admit that I’m writing this a few days later, but that gives me the benefit of hindsight and allows a bit of analysis of the day. The Pevensey concert was interesting; apart from being the most intimate venue of the term (with only around 250 patrons in attendance) we had the concert recorded on video by the promoter. Ostensibly for his own purposes, this is an incredibly useful tool for us to mark our progress as a group and see where we can improve.
We would recommend that any group try this technique – record yourselves regularly; it’s the only way to stamp out habits that distract from the performance (whether musical or stagecraft-related) and is the best way to monitor your sound, balance and blend. Sometimes it’s painful – but like any medicine it’s worth taking!
Friday also reminded me how special UK concerts can be. Everyone in attendance knew the KS – either from past glories or present status – and the audience felt really invested in the performance. Perhaps the most enjoyable moment for me, personally, was when we performed a set of songs by Flanders and Swann: so very English in terms of humour, but wonderfully reminiscent of their time generally, when the world was perhaps more innocent and slow-moving. I could see several audience members mouthing the words, and at one point I heard a man on the front row whisper “This is my favourite!” to his wife, before we sang Misalliance. Well, sir, I agree: it’s my favourite also!!!
The Flanders and Swann album is a joy to hear; if you haven’t had the pleasure, do try it for yourselves.
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