Friday, 19 January 2018

WARNING!: These men are Live and dangerously entertaining



Last seen around these parts with the full compliment of Spooky Men on their night off in the The White Hart, Stephen Taberner, better known as the whimsical mastermind behind the Spooky Men's Chorale,  offers for public amusement a musical wrestle to the death with his beloved double bass B, which typically involves a highly charming collection of songs, some moody, some funky, and some downright ridiculous.

For this pointless spectacle he will be joined by fellow spooky man Jack Fitzgrerald Sice (Ukelele/Guitar/Vocals), who has seemingly mastered the difficult art of not only sounding beautiful in his own right, but subtly enhancing whatever else is happening at the time, and has a fantastic beard....which may ultimately involve the recruitment of the glorious and/or unformed musical talents of the audience.

The pair are due to be appearing in The White Hart on Tuesday 23rd January with the fun start some time after 19:30 (your timings & mileage may vary, profits can go up and down, etc etc) so toddle along for some seriously good entertainment for so early in the week!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

The Language of Life- Say It with Sound



We may be a little late to the party and informing you of this, but one of our number tipped us off about this particularly interesting set of lectures from the BBC.

Sophie Scott, a professor of neuroscience at University College London explores how and why the human voice evolved to become the most versatile sound producer in the natural world and how our vocal cords can open and close more than a thousand times a second and how we can use our throats for breathing, eating and communicating.

The explanation of how we hear is fascinating and makes you wonder how it manages to work at all with so many moving parts!

See and hear it from the BBC website at Royal Institution Christmas Lectures - 2017: The Language of Life: 1. Say It with Sound but hurry, there are only a few days left.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Sing!Sing!Sing! New podcast


Just released by a certain Mr James Sills, he of Bebington Bittermen, Spooky Men's Chorale, Singing in the Shed and BlokeFest fame, to name but a few of his musical personas, is a brand new podcast dedicated to, er, you guessed it, singing!

At first sight (and sound) it looks mighty professional and a really good vibe resource to have in the singing community.

Don't delay, go to http://www.jamessillsmusic.co.uk/podcast.html or www.singsingsing.net or https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/sing-sing-sing/id1334376315 or point your podcast device to search for "singsingsing" and enjoy away, and who knows, maybe you'll hear some more familiar voices on future episodes...

Sunday, 14 January 2018

To MVC or to #alt.mvc? That is the question

A question that members of The Magnificent AK47 often get asked by people who have never heard us or seen us is, "what sort of music do you do" or a variation being "how do you describe what you do?" and often after a long rambling response attempting to describe what we do and how we do it this leads on to a conclusion by the questioner along these lines of,  "ah, so, you're a male voice community choir are you?" and further explanation of how that is not quite right ensues.

As the group enters its TENTH year of operation this sort of questioning still poses a great deal of head scratching on behalf of the questionee who will often result to "well, something like that, but not quite..., yes..., similar..., in that we are all male..., a sort of choir..., based in a community..., and we use our voices, but...", or maybe "we are a male voice choral group" or perhaps more appealing to the slightly devious, cheeky, naughty inner school boy lurking within most of the members of the group, "we are a sort of alternative male voice choir in the community".

So, how would YOU describe The Magnificent AK47 to the uninitiated?  Does #alt.mvc do it for the modern generation?



Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Georgian Singing show in London this weekend


This recently received via the e-grapevine and serial Georgian singing event organiser, Michael Bloom:

"This is to remind you that the choir of the Georgian Cathedral in London, led by Malkhaz Erkvanidze, will be giving a concert on Sunday January 14th 2018 starting at 2 pm. (please note start time) at St. John's Church, Hyde Park Crescent, London W2 2QD. Flyer attached. There will also be supporting groups including members of Malkhaz's choir in Georgia "Sakhioba" and the London Georgian Choir "Maspindzeli". 

Tickets will be available by email from:  tvepkhvadze@gmail.com  

or by going to:


or at the door. The concert is a fund-raising event for a new Scientific Research Centre of Georgian Traditional Folk Music in Tbilisi, to give Georgian music, as Malkhaz puts it, "new blood, a new restart." It sounds an exciting project.

I hope to see you at the concert. Malkhaz is a very professional choir leader and the concert should be well worth attending.

With best wishes for the New Year,

Michael Bloom"

Should be a fascinating show if you can make it along.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Back in harness for Boot Camp


Drill Sergeant: I don't know but I've been told...
Blokes: I don't know but I've been told

Drill Sergeant: The AK blokes sing deep and bold
Blokes: The AK blokes sing deep and bold

Drill Sergeant: Some of them are big and strong
Blokes: Some of them are big and strong

Drill Sergeant: Some even remember the words of their songs
Blokes: Some never, erm, [mumble] worms of their gongs

All: Sound-off; 1 - 2; Sound-off; 3 - 4; Sound off; 1 - 2 - 3 - 4; 1 - 2, 3 - 4!

Helping the blokes get in to peak form for their upcoming planned recording of a 2nd LP's worth of material, those without sick notes or those feeling just about well enough, will be gathering in Ashton Keynes School Hall from 10:00 onwards for what promises to be an interesting day learning what they don't know about the songs they have been singing for the last few months.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Magnificent 2017

It's been another Magnificent year, as we pause to look back and reflect on the past few months and look forward to our Tenth Year and some great plans to celebrate that amazing landmark.

From top left moving clockwise, spiraling into the centre...:  A great show at Bradford Roots in Jan, more or less "naked", just us singing with no props!  The Spooky Men's Chorale hit town on a rest day from their monster tour.  The Blokes line the bar at our gig in the pub in February.  Mugs to celebrate Effing John's tenure as Big Chief coming to a close with a heartfelt speech at the Pow Wow.  Blokes on Radio Wiltshire (twice!).  Singing in the Shed again was great fun.  A Teddy Bear supporter at ChoirJam gig in Keynesham, and Bloke and The Ashton Keynes Hare outside The White Hart, not something you will see in every village...



Then there was our Second Tour to Cornwall as we returned to the Padstow area for a couple of days via a visit to the Fleet Air Arm Museum, a return gig with Glorious Chorus in Totnes, a trip to darkest Dartmoor and Minions, then trogging home via Glastonbury Tor.  In between we had superb hospitality from the ladies of Gulls and the Treglown family, and turned into a "Tribute (Ale) Group" with seemingly never ending supplies being consumed with great pleasure.


Next up for many blokes was a trip from North North Wiltshire to North North Westest Wales as BlokeFest upped sticks for a visit Anglesey and a BlokeFest Cymru, admirably hosted by James Sills and the Bebington Bittermen.  And what a colourful event it was, complete with "Lost Hombre" Bar, tractor pulling and amazing sunshine.

Another highlight of the year was the rather wonderful Ashton Keynes Music and Arts Festival and the Village Voices evening where we had a terrific show, spurred on by the great singing from the Village Choir, School Choir and Siren Sisters, that all came together in an unforgettably special finale joint song when all the choirs joined together in "Surround Sound".

And we had yet more magical man moments on this year's "Grand Day Out" which took a coach party up to Dudley Canal for a fascinating morning exploring and singing through the tunnels and caverns then followed up with an extraordinary experience of singing on the concourse of Birmingham's New Street Station before toddling off for a pint or two and a slap up curry.


Finally, we must thank all the Blokes, the Significant Others of Blokes, Mr Chris Samuel our Belov├ęd ChoirMeister, all the Inner Circle and everyone who has supported us through another year for making it such a blast.  And we would like to pay special homage to our Magnificent ArtMeister and CartoonMeister for all their efforts via a little gallery of their works this year, another memorable one for fun, bonhomie and some half decent singing!  



See you in 2018 for our TENTH YEAR of MAGNIFICENTS!  Check the Dates page for lots more to come.