Saturday, 29 December 2012

Tunneling for Beginners


Now this might seem like a round from "Have I got news for you" and their guest publication feature, and you would be right.

Somehow we have managed to subscribe to something on the Interweb that considers that we might be interested in a publication that is to do with Tunnels . . .  And of course they are correct, how could one not be?

Given our experience in recent years in Tunnels and the pleasure they can give the average bloke as he explores their nooks and crannies and the sonic possibilities this sounds like and offer too good to miss to point your browser to http://www.tunnelsonline.info/ and find out more

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Dates for your calendar

We know what it is like this time of year, the Christmas thing is nearly out of the way till it starts again in next August, and you need something to look forward to and get you through those dark winter nights.  

Luckily we have been beavering away to help you with lots of exciting TMAK47 Adventures to look forward to and start "negotiations" to be allowed to time off for good behaviour.

There are a number of dates beginning to firm up in 2013 already and they are now available from a fandangle that is known as a "Google Calendar".  Apparently this is a modern equivalent of a real calendar, such as our  very own "Must have Gift for Christmas" and can be very useful for those tech savvy types who seem to include everyone and their granny nowadays.  

If you would like to look at the full thing then point your Interweb connection towards it by clicking here.  The less tech savvy amongst us might like to try clicking here and writing things down on paper, known as a calendar - either way, don't say you haven't been told what is planned for when and start building up your stock of "Brownie Points" now by helping to wash up the Christmas dishes!

Our first event of the year will be a new one, a gig in the Ashton Keynes Village School Hall with the group that represents the other side of the village, Siren Sisters.  It should prove to be a "very Ashton Keynes" evening and a great way to start the year's performances.  More info soon.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Don't put your daughter on the Stage, Mr Samuel

Yuletide being a time when one traditionally gets together with your family we have a particularly appropriate, if somewhat quirky posting celebrating this notion.

Many of our readers will be familiar with Jessica Samuel, daughter of our esteemed ChoirMeister, Mr Samuel, from the workshops she has run in Swindon and other places over the last year or two.  She graduated in 2011 with a BA (HONS) in Performing Arts from the prestigious  Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and since then has been in constant work, much to the great pleasure (and relief!) of her proud dad.  

Now she is about to go on tour in Germany with an extraordinary production that is an act that is somewhere near a cross between Naked Voices and the Blue Man Group, except the are yellow (!)  called the Voci Family.  They have made a showcase video to give you a flavour of what they are about and it is well worth a quick look to marvel at the range of material they sing.  Jess can be seen at many points throughout the video, starting with appearing at 0:29, top centre and then at 0:43 and 0:50 on the left.  See if you can spot her further along.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

The "Must have" gift for Christmas 2012

Stuck for that ideal gift? 

Not sure how to truly commemorate that special Yuletide moment?  

Needing to get yourself organized for 2013? 

In need of a good laugh and a tremendous souvenir of the last year or two of The Magnificent AK47's antics?  

Well, you are in luck!  We have the perfect thing for you, the (in)famous Magnificent AK47 Calendar!

There are a few copies still available in the Ashton Keynes Village Shop pricing for members of the group at £4 for 1 copy, £10 for 3 copies and non-members at £6 for 1 copy, £14 for 3 copies (if you need any more, contact us at themagnificentak47@gmail.com and we can sort something out).

And finally for now we will be launching a Google Calendar with lots of entries for you to transfer to your actual calendar hanging proudly on your wall.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

The morning after the night before of Shed Heaven

This photo was taken showing the spot where one night before our valiant fellows had been serenading the locals and the many hardy folk who had made the trek from out of town to the Cirencester Christmas festivities in the Market Place.  

In fact, we apparently had a group of ladies who had traveled all the way from Crudwell just to see us!  (Well,  they might have already been coming in for the birthday treat for one of them but once they knew we were performing they made an effort to come and see us specially, so that counts like fan-dome in our books!).   

Anyway, we made the night of the Birthday Girl by summoning her forth to stand amongst us and be serenaded to the tune of Delilah.  And she did genuinely enjoy the moment, as did the few remaining loiterers who happened to be passing through the somewhat chilly Market Place.  Much to our pleasure once we had started performing there was quite a reasonable crowd gathered and actually  stayed for most of the set, despite it being one of the coldest nights of the winter so far.

Once we had finished bang on 6 o'clock we repaired round the corner to The Crown and one pint in we politely asked if we could sing them a song and they equally politely agreed so we banged out another storming version of "Delilah" much to the amazement of those assembled in the pub as this sort of thing doesn't happen these days unless we are around.

Thence back to AK and The White Hart for our supper with everyone gathered in the back room for sausage and chips or veg lasagne and garlic bread.  It was great to see everyone gathered together and we spent a few merry moments including announcing the results of the 2012 T-Shirt competition (a post to come) amid fevered excitement and not inconsiderable jealousy when they saw the prizes.

We rounded the night off with some sterling lowering of the tone with our singing along to various carols under the guidance of Brian D's very lovely wife, the Rev Shirley.  Another great evening, "very Ashton Keynes".

Subnote:
One of our party happened to bump into the lady who was organizing the Cirencester Market Place event and she was very enthusiastic about our performance and only wished we had been able to make it along earlier to sing some more!  Next year maybe. . . 

Match Report
Chris S lead The following blokes 

Chris A, Peter B, Neil B, Nick B, Geoff C, Brian D, Mark F, Lars F, John G, Mike G, Stuart H, , Trevor H, Alan H, Jon H, John  M, Darren S, David T, Mark T, Angus V, Ade W

Who sang the following songs rather well given the cold!


Alone in my shedTurnip Hoer'sMravaljamierDry Stone Waller's
Shosholosza 
Delilah

and 
Hail Smiling Morn
Gaudete
Wassail

and a few more carols besides in the pub where they were joined by Nigel H and Steve K.


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

One more sleep till Christmas . . .

. . . well, perhaps not quite, but if you are a member of the valiant troupe who will be mustering in the cold of a December night to sing your little hearts out, it's not far off!

Even if it's not quite a case of all our Christmases coming early, it won't be far off as we daringly undertake another Magnificent Double-Header of 2 performances in the one evening, and maybe even fitting in a 3rd!  

We are due to be performing at the Cirencester Christmas Market event, somewhere in the Market Place in, you've guessed it, Cirencester.  We are aiming to be singing some time around 5:30pm some where around the main Church to entertain all the people selling things from all the fancy sheds they currently have there.

After that we will be high tailing it to our spiritual home of The White Hart for a social supper before launching into the now annual (well 2nd year running, so Q.E.D.) songfest that is the "Beer and Carols" evening in conjunction with the Village Church plus other august singing bodies of the locality, a.k.a. The Ashton Keynes Village Choir and The Siren Sisters.  It should be another great evening, "very Ashton Keynes".

Monday, 10 December 2012

Where were you when? Millennium Stadium Magnificence


Another entry from our glorious ChoirMeister, who at this rate is going to need two T-Shirts next year the amount of wear he is getting out of this year's collection.  And another valiant entry, much like his plucky lads from across the Severn.

Apparently this was snapped before the game when hopes were still high (you can see a few Welsh players warming up in the background) - and well before Wales had contrived to pull off their most impressive ever 'snatching defeat from the jaws of victory' routine (and it's a pretty long list to choose from).

Your boys done good (mutter, mutter).

Anyway, the scores are in
1. The Location - 3.5 (Good visible signage although technically it doesn't say where he is to a technical fault or that).

2. The Pose - 3.5 (A reasonable degree of pointless grandeur, although it is tempting to say made all the more poignant given the eventual result).

3. The X-Factor - 3.5 (Whilst it is always good to see an All Black shirt at a rugby match for the sheer quality of the performer inside, it would possibly be wrong of us to mention the England versus New Zealand result on the same afternoon as the contrast could not be greater, but we should not dwell on the success of the glorious English team in one of their historic victories at the expense of belittling the achievements of the Welsh team, no, that would be beneath us and so we won't, mention it again that is, not even once more, stopping mentioning it NOW).

Making that a total of 10.5 
Given the usually very high standard of pose from this particular entrant perhaps not quite up to his usual quality and dropping away at the very end of his immense cumulative endeavours on this front over the past year, much like the Welsh Rugby Team themselves. . .  isn't it odd how art mirrors sport?  

More please.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Where were you when? In search of the elusive


This moment was recently captured when one of our correspondents was out and roving about  in the depths of soggy Somerset, close to the borders with Exmoor.    Apparently he was spotted searching and searching for the very spot but still couldn't find it ...


A conundrum that blokes all over the world will be all too familiar with and identify wholeheartedly.  Now, if only he stopped flapping around, asked directions, and taken the hint from the signs all around him . . .  


Anyway, the scores are in
1. The Location - 4.5 (Good visible signage, we certainly can't fault him for that).

2. The Pose - 4.0 (Suitably pointless grandeur, although the objective of his quest is very laudable).

3. The X-Factor - 4.0 - (Given the universality of the male of the species struggling with finding these sorts of places and the use of "Carry On" innuendo).

Making that a total of 12.5 - by far the highest scoring entry from anyone with a turning a nondescript part of Somerset into a part of The Magnificent folklore.  More please.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

The Prince Albert Carol Consort

There is no getting away from it, Christmas is coming and the Yuletide festivity season is descending upon us and what better way to celebrate the depths of mid-winter and the return of the sun by singing with a load of great people, in a warm pub with a bit of grub inside your  belly and a drink in hand?!  And we know the very place to do it.

Oh, so we better tell you more, hadn't we?! . . . The place to be is The Prince Albert in Stroud(ish) every Sunday lunchtime for spot of great pub nosh and fine old sing song of carols that you will know and others that will be less familiar but with plenty of familiar faces from The Magnificent AK47 crowd.  

To find out more visit http://www.theprincealbertstroud.co.uk/whats_on.php and tell them we sent you!

Friday, 30 November 2012

50 SHEDs of grey

Continuing the shed related literature motif, it has been brought to our notice that there are other books of note on the topic that is so dear to our hearts, and that are also along a slightly racier theme for the more risqué connoisseur of outbuildings.


And shameless lifting some blurb from the page on the intriguing Menkind website which describes the book as "a hilarous stocking filler or secret santa gift for that bloke for whom you just don't know what to buy! 50 Sheds of Grey is (as you've probably guessed) is a spoof of that famous erotic novel". 

"Colin Grey's life was happy and simple until the day everything changed - the day his wife read THAT book. Suddenly, he was thrust head-first into a dark, illicit world of pleasure and pain. This is the story of one man's struggle against a tide of tempestuous, erotic desire and of the greatest love of all: the love between a man and his shed. WARNING: This book contains graphic shed-based images. Please don't look if you are easily offended."

The original website can be found at http://fiftyshedsofgrey.tumblr.com/ and there is also a Twitter thingy if you really haven't got anything better to do at https://twitter.com/50ShedsofGrey or are simply cruising the Interweb from your very own shed.


Coming soon a posting on an unmissible offer relating to a publication dedicated to Tunnels - we kid you not!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Alone in my . . . shed

Recently spotted by one of our undercover blokes, this publication should be on everyone's Yuletide Gift list.

As the blurb on Amazon says "The Joy of Sheds is a shed miscellany that chronicles man's need for a small space on his own. It's a humorous look at every aspect of the shed experience, mixed with shed facts and some practical information too. Many famous people have created in sheds. Inventor Trevor Baylis thought up the clockwork radio in a shed, George Bernard Shaw wrote Pygmalian (sic) in one and Dylan Thomas would compose poetry in his."

And indeed, a bloke's shed can be a very inspiring place, witness the beautiful, haunting and plaintively evocative piece written for BlokeFest by Roger Jackson as can be found on one of our many SoundClouds.

If you have any tales from or photos of you in your shed, we would be very pleased to receive them via themagnificentak47@gmail.com.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Where were you when? The origins of Stonehenge

Here's a picture of one of our brethren, Dr Sweeney, at the foot of the Preseli Mountains in West Wales. This is where the first 'blue' stones of Stonehenge were hewn from the earth before being carted here to Wiltshire. 

The sign is at the only stone circle in the Presili range, and while the Dr felt magnificent in just his T-shirt, posing with as much pompous grandeur that the biting wind would allow, apparently there was a weird feel about the place...ooooohhhhhh. Look carefully and you will also notice a small horse about to leap from his shoulder.


Anyway, the scores are in.
1. The Location - 4.5 (Excellent visible signage despite some writing being in Welsh (aka Olde Englishe)).

2. The Pose - 4.5 (A good deal of pointless grandeur, especially considering he has had to peel off several layers of clothing to take the photo).

3. The X-Factor - 4.5 - (Given the significance of the location, the connection with an iconic Wiltshire landmark whilst wearing a TMAK47 T-Shirt).

Making that a total of 13.0 - by far the highest scoring entry from anyone with a horse escaping from his ear whilst standing next to a sign in Welsh.  More please.


Monday, 12 November 2012

Where were you when? Being a giant in Riga

Well, he is well known for his lofty high tones and for being pretty tall, but this photo is fantastic evidence of just how tall Alan H is. . . He is ENORMOUS, just look how he dwarves those Japanese tourist walking under his legs as if he is a regular bridge or something.

Now you may be asking yourself, "where is he" and "what is he doing there", and you would be right ask this and we would be right to tell you.  In fact he is in Riga the capital of the beautiful Baltic state of Latvia during the recent sonic voyage of discovery that was the Singing Week organized with the mythical Stephen Taberner, friend of the Magnificents.


Anyway, the scores are in.
1. The Location - 3.5 (No visible signage despite some writing on the building behind).

2. The Pose - 4.0 (A reasonable amount of pointless grandeur, especially considering he has several people walking below him).

3. The X-Factor - 4.0 - (Given his giantness and being used as a portico whilst wearing a TMAK47 T-Shirt).

Making that a total of 11.5 - by far the highest scoring entry from anyone in a Baltic state being used as a passageway by oriental tourists.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Who is Who?

In an sonic version of "Spot the Ball", someone who knows how to do these sort of things has put together a little mélange, a mash up (apparently, according to the young people) if you will, of two groups we know very well, both singing the same song.  

The song is very recognisable to those who know their "BlokeSong" classics but the question is "Who?", er, and the second question is "When does the first Who become the second Who"? 

Click here to play the piece.  Can you spot who is who?  Can you spot the join?

1) At what time in minutes and seconds to you think the join is

2) Who is singing first and who is singing second on this track, The Magnificent AK47 or the Spooky Men's Chorale?


3) Also interesting to ask which do you prefer and why?

Answers on an e-postcard to PO Box AK47, North North Wiltshire, or email themagnificentak47@gmail.com.


Enjoy!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Barn Theatre gig - The Vly and other Wold premiers

What a fantastic evening!  

There are any number of highlights but let's start at the beginning with the enchanting Kids from Kingshill School busking away in the entrance hall thrashing away at their Ukuleles and banging out modern ditties and timeless classics with equal aplomb and sweet harmony - a really excellent addition to the evening's entertainment and they raised quite a bit of cash in the process too!

Cirencester Community Choir were also tremendously enthusiastic and enjoyable and put on wonderful performance that was thoroughly enjoyed by all in the hall.

As as for The Magnificent AK47, not only was it a "coming out" gig as was let slip in the Introduction but the whole arsenal of entertaining paraphernalia at their disposal were trotted out, to much amusement and amazement - so many hats and props AND some decent singing as well to top it all, plus the Wold Premier of "The Vly", pictured above in a "Spot the ball" style.

Having heard much of the recordings made of the evening it really can't be stressed too much what a wonderful sound is emerging from the Blokes, well beyond their own belief in their powers and an indication of just how much our beloved ChoirMeister was impressed was by his inadvertent reference to the Spoo. . . Magnificent WAGs!

Well done all - enjoy the moment.

Match Report
Chris S lead The following blokes 

Chris A, Peter B, Ken B, Neil B, Geoff C, Brian D, Mark F, Lars F, John G, Mike G, Stuart H, Martin H, Trevor H, Bill H, Alan H, Jon H, John  M, Mike P, Darren S, David T, Mark T, Angus V, Ade W, John  W

Who sang the following songs rather well on the whole



Let me through
Just because
Turnip Hoer's
Tsmidao
Duct Tape
Alone in my shed
Haul away Joe

Second half -

Mravaljamier
Concrete
Shosholosza
Magazena
Dry Stone Waller's
Satisfaction
And I love her
Delilah
John Kanaka

Encore

Down in the river



Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The Magnificent AK47 Sell out!

Well, it's taken a big of nudging, and even a little bit of nagging, but it has finally been confirmed.  A tot up of all the tickets sold through various agents means that we have well and truly sold out our first headline gig!

In fact there is even a bit of a waiting list, but perhaps it will be better luck next time or people should have heeded the warnings from the Inner Circle and bought their tickets sooner.

Anyway, a fantastic result and here's hoping that the gig will live up to the one at St. George's and to all our expectations.

Thanks to the Ashton Keynes Village Shop, The White Hart, The Barn Theatre and especially one or two of the blokes for working so hard to flog the tickets and collect the money.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

St George's Bristol Sunday 21st October 2012

Well done to the valiant crew who performed on Sunday night at the prestigious St George's Hall, Bristol - another great night!

Whilst one or two numbers suffered somewhat from impromptu collective amnesia (!) the overall performance was quite outstanding.  It was a pretty packed auditorium that greeted us once we emerged from the catacombs and various secret staircases to a slightly unsuspecting and initially bewildered audience.  

At first they thought we were a somewhat serious proposition what with our manliness and deep Georgian singing and a fine rendition of Mraval Jamier.  We soon put that misapprehension right with an "intermittent" version of Turnip Hoer where we covered up one or two gaps in recollection of the words with just such a brilliant performance with various blokes turning themselves into Yokels before you could say "Joe Wanstrow"!

The first performance of "Shed" went superbly well, especially given the debacle in the snatched run through earlier in the evening, worthy of a World Premier - Roger would be proud.  Duct Tape got a great reception, as did Dry Stone Waller's song and Delilah fair near brought the house down.  We then thought we had run out of time but the audience loved us so much, and the next act wasn't quite ready, so we were asked to do an "encore" at which we gave possibly the best rendition so far of "And I love her".  This was followed by more demands for an encore so we had a team huddle and finally decided to give Concrete a bash.  Well, we got it right at the 2nd attempt but by then we had sung our hearts out and given the very appreciative crowd great entertainment.


Match Report
Chris S lead The following blokes 

Chris A, Peter B, Bob B, Ken B, Neil B, Nick B, Brian D, Mark F, John G, Mike G, Stuart H, Martin H, Trevor H, Bill H, Alan H, John  M, Mike P, Darren S, David T, Mark T, Angus V, Ade W, John  W

Who sang the following songs

Mraval
Turnip Hoer's
Shed
Duct Tape
Dry stone waller's
Delilah
John Kanaka

Encore(!)
And I love her

and 2nd Encore (!!!)
Concrete Takes 1 and 2

Saturday, 20 October 2012

El Gordo! Festival of Song at St Georges, Bristol

Yes, that is a photo of us on the website advertising the gig! 

It is with great excitement that we look forward to the highlight (so far) of our Autumn Season with a return visit to the prestigious St George's Hall in Bristol as part of the inspired Bristol Festival of Song.

We have practically a whole new set of material to showcase and some pieces will be receiving their world premier from us so it is all VERY EXCITING!!  

Hopefully after the months of intensive rehearsing and drilling of the troupe by our ever diligent Choirmeister everyone will remember their positions, dance steps, props, words and who knows, the right notes at the right time.  Even more importantly, hopefully most people will remember to turn up and actually find the place in time to get on stage . . . We live in hope!

Just in case, here are some links.
The Event http://www.festivalofsong.org.uk/ticketed-events/
The Location The venue can be found here 
Parking around there can be very challenging - check for car parks.

Just look what else is on and you will get an idea of the hallowed company we are keeping.

 

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Keep calm and carry on singing

Not that we would want to give the impression that when not writing these little nuggets that are windows into the world of a singing bloke that all we ever do is watch TV, far from it. . . However, as we have been shovelling some sustenance down one's neck on occasion of an evening, the TV has been on and bizarrely there have been a lot about choirs and the therapeutic benefits of singing, especially in groups.

The latest example witnessed was that provided by the redoubtable Ian Hislop who presented his programme on the fascinating topic of the "Stiff Upper Lip".  In the latest episode he makes reference to how those things called emotions were bottled up for so many generations and finally began to be unleashed in the 1950's and increasingly so in the 1960's.  He then went on to discuss the aftermath of the Aberfan tragedy and how camera crews entered the mainstream consciousness by interviewing survivors and relatives of those who did not, and all the emotional impact that had.  Following through on this theme he then interviewed a number of people linked to the Ynsyowen (Aberfan & District) Male Voice choir that was formed after that terrible event.

As one member comments about the choir it "keeps the spirit alive" and Mr Hislop continues to say "The choir is an extraordinary vehicle for both emotional control and emotional release".

The programme can be watched for the next few days via BBC iPlayer at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01nhccs/Ian_Hislops_Stiff_Upper_Lip_An_Emotional_History_of_Britain_Last_Hurrah/ - well worth a viewing for this excerpt and the rest.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Sing for Your Life

Another truly inspiring example of how singing together can be phenomenal therapy.  This time we are not talking about a motley bunch of blokes who can kind of sing when they can they vaguely remember the words, but a group of 30 people suffering from a variety of cancers who came together to form a choir called "The Big C" to perform at The Royal Albert Hall and to research whether singing could help with treatment of cancer.  As the commentary says, first results were encouraging, lung capacity and mental alertness were all improved, and the experience proves so positive that the group plans to continue.

Most of the group have never sung in public and to be fair you can hear it in places, but the emotion invoked is amazing.  It meant so much to them individually and as a group.  As one of the guys with overwhelming cancers says "You begin to realize what's important and not important" and "you've just got to grab every day, this is a one off thing, live the dream today".  How true.

See the program at Channel 4 On Demand at http://www.channel4.com/programmes/sing-for-your-life/4od.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Sing Like a Bloke Workshop at Bristol's Festival of Song


SING LIKE A BLOKE AS PART OF BRISTOL'S FESTIVAL OF SONG

A sprinkling of our merry troubadours will be making their way to Bristol for the workshop that our glorious ChoirMeister is leading as part of the Bristol Festival of Song.

If you fancy joining them the details are:

Sunday 14th October 2.00 - 4.30pm


Concession - £3
16 & under - Free 

Box Office:  tickets@festivalofsong.org.uk or call 07980 765947 


Men Only - sorry ladies (and false beards will be found!)

Friday, 12 October 2012

Where were you when? Teddy tossing

It's always the mild mannered, quiet ones that you really need to watch out for. . . 

Here Brian D has been snapped apparently on the top of Ashton Keynes Church as part of a "Messy Church" session.  

The story goes something like this "it was just part of messy church. Tie teddy to old umbrella fabric and launch as far as possible. Most made the ground, lighter ones needing a piece of 4X2 for ballast.  Two ended up in the trees needing rescue with a long ladder.  One teddy being on the large side didn't make the most of the parachute and fell, suicidal like, straight to the graveyard". 

It all sounds most intriguing if slightly implausible.

Anyway, the scores are in.
1. The Location - 3.5 (Yet again no visible signage and a bit of a grey day that doesn't show the locality at its best).

2. The Pose - 3.5 (Not much pointless grandeur, more a hint of dastardly deeds about to be perpetrated).

3. The X-Factor - 4.5 - (Bringing up the scoring as this has to be one of the most enigmatic poses anyone has ever done whilst wearing a TMAK47 T-Shirt).

Making that a total of 11.0 - by far the highest scoring entry from anyone about to hurl cuddly toys off a large local landmark!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

A Bloke's best friend is his . . .


These just in (again**):  Recently(ish) received from two of our correspondents, a very useful "Decision Tree" to help one deal with those tricky problems that every bloke faces from time to time to answer the eternal question, "should I bang it, or should I stop it from banging"?  Ponder no longer, the answer is to the left on your screen.  

This is a very handy rule of thumb for dealing with most problems you are likely to encounter that don't involve more complex things, like emotions.  Write this out in your own fair hand and pin it to somewhere prominent and marvel at the attention and admiration you will receive.

And if this wasn't enough, recently spotted in a garage shop not a million miles away from Ashton Keynes, well, as far away as Royal Wootton Bassett  is a very convenient location to purchase Duct Tape at all hours of the day and night.  

At the bottom of this display you can see highlighted in the yellow elipsis not one but TWO lines of Duct Tape vending.  

Clearly a popular seller!

* this post was inadvertently posted sooner than intended so we hoiked it off again to re-post now and then it seemed to want to hog the top slot so hence a 2nd re-post.  ;-)

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Kait & Keith's Wedding

What can we say about today?  Other than tell you that it was a great honour to perform this afternoon at our very first Magnificent Ak47 wedding for the beautiful, lark tongued Kait, and, er, Keith.

It took place in a classic English wedding marquee on a field next to a pub in the lovely Vale of Pewsey and involved us lot turning up in our best togs to bang out a few tunes and do our level utmost to entertain the throng.  And that we did in spades, or was it hoes?  Or even in some cases, of the hard of hearing or understanding or those raised on classic Two Ronnies sketches, hose!

Either way, it was a pleasure to perform even though several of the lads were suffering from sticky sore throats we made a hearty, and at times, heart warming sound to serenade the happy couple.  If you would like to re-live the moment in a Digital Age stylee, then pop over to on of our SoundCloud sites.

And good luck to them both.

Match Report
The following blokes 

Chris S lead Chris A, Peter B, Bob B, Neil B, Nick B, Geoff C, Brian D, Mark F, Lars F, Mike G, Stuart H, Martin H, Keith L, John  M, Darren S, David T, Mark T and Ade W

sang the following songs


Mraval jamier
Turnip Hoer's  1st time in public with the Big Turnip
Duct Tape
Dry Stone Waller's 1st time in public by us as us
Delilah 1st time in public by us as us
And I love her


Saturday, 6 October 2012

Where were you when? Dent de la Rancune

We have recently received a very interesting entry from a "friend" sent on behalf of Mike Putnam whose computer operating skills are apparently far inferior to his crazy climbing ability.  As you can see on photo there is a red circle half way up this precipitous piece of rock and then there is an inset of Mike at the top.  As his friend comments "it is impossible on a small scale to convey the context of his ascent and the final summit pose in the one snap, so I've included two."

The submitter continues "signage is also a perennial problem in places where only the seriously ill-informed or congenitally bewildered would dream of going", so "I presume that the signage criterion is required to minimise fabricated claims to location by means of Photoshop, back projection and actual set assemblages in sheds and cellars. We can only offer Mike's assurance that this rock formation is the original and not a mock-up, images of the original abound on the internet and can be compared with the attached snaps".
 

"About the snaps:

The main snap shows TMAK47er, Mike P, scaling 'Dent de la Rancune' (The Rancorous Tooth) in the Auvergne region of France  on 9th September 2012. The lower circle shows him halfway up the climb. The upper circles show the pose (inset) and its location at the summit.

The second snap (left) shows Mike mustering magnificence at 1493m on a lump of volcanic rock estimated to be 333,000 years old.

Technical details for climbers: Voie normal. grade 6a (English E.1. ) Auvergne France". 


As you know we take things very seriously in this competition and have done extensive background research to verify these claims and have indeed found many other references to this piece of rock.  Apparently it is a great example of "a volcanic plug, also called a volcanic neck or lava neck, is a volcanic landform created when magma hardens within a vent on an active volcano. When forming, a plug can cause an extreme build-up of pressure if volatile-charged magma is trapped beneath it, and this can sometimes lead to an explosive eruption" - see good old Wikipedia.

Well, one thing you can claim for this series of blog posts, they are educational!

Anyway, the scores are in.
1. The Location - 3.5 (Quite impressive although we have had hill tops before and for sheer daftness of things to do when not singing, this is right up there, but there is unfortunately visible signage, so docked a mark).

2. The Pose - 4.0 (Difficult to tell from the main photo as Mike is reduced to a few pixels, but pretty good on the supplementary photo, so higher marks).

3. The X-Factor - 4.0 - (Scored more on the craziness of the photos and what they represent, the extreme triumph of sheer physicality over any semblance of sanity).

Making that a total of 11.5 - by far the highest score from an entry from anyone with a rope dangling from his midrift!  PLEASE do be careful taking these photos.
 ;-)


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Choir

Not being one to normally have time spare to indulge in the luxury of sitting down of an evening, it was an unexpected pleasure to happen across the second episode of "The Choir" on what we believe is call the iplayer, a new fangled device from that august body, The BBC, which apparently allows one to travel back in time to when a program was first broadcast to be able to see it again.  This technological revelation reminds one of the first days of VCRs when one used to be able to "tape" a program.  Nowadays if one mentions this terminology to the young they give you quizzical looks, much as they did when they first saw a vinyl LP record!

But we digress.

In short, the choir was one of those occasional gems one finds in amongst the normal slurry on modern TV and soars above the likes of "Made in Shouty Cook's Essex Gypsy Wedding Kitchen".  Quite simply, it was inspiring.

It takes the simple premise of dropping that lovely choir master chappie, Gareth someone-or-other, into a modern workplace where there is nothing but talk of "change management", bosses vs workers, general grumpiness and by starting up a choir they rapidly break down all sorts of barriers, uncover all sorts of talents and fundamentally make a pretty decent sound in a very short time.

Much like us blokes!  To be even more inspired visit The BBC iplayer thing.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Keep calm and just do it

Where do you do it? And how often?  Do you do it with others or most likely by yourself?  If so, do you do it when others are present or do you do it somewhere private?  

As the graphic asks, where do you do it?  What apparatus do you use to help you do it?  And are you getting any better at doing it?

These are the sort of eternal ponderings that we love to, er, ponder.  We go that extra mile to ask these thought provoking and challenging questions, nay we question these very conundrums and challenge YOU to tell us where you do it and how often.  

Let us know by leaving a comment so we can share with the rest of mankind the little secrets to perhaps realise that others are doing it less frequently than they would like to think, are not doing it for as long as they would like and are perhaps subsequently not enjoying life quite as much as they could.  But we all have the power to change the world, or at least our little bit.

Go on. . . 

Let us know where you practice before coming to Workshop rehearsals!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Where were you when? Only Nelson Mandela Square

In somewhat contrast, yet continued theme to the last entry for the T-Shirt competition, a photo from another country where unfortunately the phrase The Magnificent AK47 does not immediately conjure up the image of a bunch of slightly middle aged singers in a variety of strange headgear unleashing their inner minstrels.

As our entrant wrote when submitting this item "given the AK47’s major role in the apartheid struggle, the t-shirt did attract a few strange looks from the crowds in Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton, Johannesburg. And who could be more symbolic of that struggle than Nelson Mandela? While the signage is slightly obscured, the location is echoed in the glass doors."

And so there we have it, yet another cultural icon is snapped next to a TMAK47 T-Shirt in some far flung part of the world, adding to the quite amazing range of locations that have been entered.

Anyway, the scores have arrived and they are as follow:
1. The Location - 4.5 (The Judges are relieved that for once there is very good evidence of visible signage.  Also we must applaud Chris A's bravery in wearing the shirt and coping with the stares he received.  A member of our humble troupe next to a 6 metre high statue of a world icon - good shot.)

2. The Pose - 4.5  (By clever usage of zoom one can see a very good pose of pointless grandeur especially considering the proximity of such a legend and also being somewhat dwarfed by that legend.)

3. The X-Factor - 4.5 - (Given the location, the significance, the signage, the pose and everything else a pretty high score.)

Giving a total of 13.5 - by far the highest scoring entry from anyone dwarfed by an international icon and a very good score indeed.
 

Sunday, 23 September 2012

A little bit of Mr T magic in AK


Hands up anyone who would like to transform a regular Thursday evening into a magical moment in time?  Ah, ok, so that's everyone would like to  . . .  well all right then, you are in the right place at the right time!

And that place was the beautiful Holy Cross Church in our very own village of Ashton Keynes, and the moment was when the remarkable Mr Stephen Taberner presided over "A very Ashton Keynes Evening" by running a singing workshop for what turned out to be quite a crowd.  

We had hoped that maybe 20 or so souls might be tempted along to the experience but in the end we had over 50 in total.  Serendipitously the pews at the end of the Church had been removed which gave us just about enough room for everyone to form a large circle then mingle around as we sang the pieces Stephen taught us.  There was a large contingent of The Magnificent AK47 crew which gave a very pleasing bottom end to the sound which was complimented by the higher tones of the very many ladies who joined the throng.

One of highlights was the warm up exercise with the Count of 4 "Hoo's" and the Count of 3 "Ha's" battling out in a wonderfully comic confrontational manner - you'll know what we mean had you been there.

The evening was a huge success with everyone appearing to enjoy the unusual Thursday night experience and chance to share a moment in time with neighbours and friends in ways you would not have previously imagined.

More pictures can be found on our Facebook page, thanks to the lovely Gilly R for her camera work.

Were you there?  Maybe you would like to email us your thoughts about the evening to themagnificentak47@gmail.com or post a comment to this blog entry?

Thursday, 13 September 2012

"A very Ashton Keynes" Evening with Stephen Taberner

Well, there have a few emails, a bit of whispering, some rumour, much pondering and now the very strong likelihood that on Thursday 20th September there will be an Evening with Stephen Taberner, the Spookmeister, in Ashton Keynes, so we thought we better tip you the wink, so to speak.

So, Ashton Keynes Parrish Church Council in cahoots with The Magnificent AK47 are presenting

"A very Ashton Keynes" Evening with Stephen Taberner, Leader of the Spooky Men's Chorale of Australia, Inspiration for The Magnificent AK47.

He will be giving a A Singing Workshop for ALL, NOT just blokes, onThursday 20th September starting at 7:30pm in Holy Cross Church, Ashton Keynes, Supported by Holy Cross PCC.

Tickets £8 and £5 Students, OAPs, Concessions and are Available from Village Shop, Sahara, The White Hart, PCC, emailing tmak47tickets@gmail.com.



But that's not all, there will then be free concert, Man + Voice + Double Bass at The White Hart pub starting at around 9:45pm which will be a solo show from this highly entertaining performer, as seen at big festivals this summer.



The White Hart are also likely to be offering a special "meal deal" before the event, more info from the pub, call 01285 861247, and say we sent you!

 Don’t miss this unique evening – book now and see you there.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Where were you when? A bunker in the Czech Republic

Well, we guess it kind of had to happen at some point and if it had to happen to anyone it was always likely to be Hairy Bill! 

Snapped by fellow TMAK47er John W whilst visiting a nuclear bunker in Prague (as you do!), Bill posed for his entry in the AK T-shirt competition. This is an actual, but unloaded,  AK47.  Apparently after the Russians left AK47s were so plentiful that farmers adopted them in preference to their shotguns.  The visit occurred during their recent visit to the Czech Republic as part of the "Sing Your Socks Off" singing Holiday, a report coming soon(ish).
Whilst we in no way condone playing with dangerous former Soviet military hardware, kiddies, it is quite a striking pose.

Anyway, the scores have arrived and they are as follow:
1. The Location - 4.0 (The Judges are as ever unfortunately rather nit picky about the lack of magnificence of the shot [having been spoilt with so many epic, iconic world landmarks in the past] and no visible signage.  On the other hand they applaud the readiness to wear the T-Shirt on these sort of visits and wish to encourage this sort of deviant behaviour and applaud Bill H's & John W's gumption so back up a mark)

2. The Pose - 4.0 (A good pose in the circumstances but perhaps not the note of pointless grandeur that we have come to expect but given that he is holding a potentially lethal weapon it gives another perspective to thingsIn fact , on second look it is quite a stern pose as befitting the circumstances so that is a good second best in the absence of pointless grandeur)
3. The X-Factor - 4.0 - (Overall quite scary for any of us old enough to remember the Cold War and gas masks for real so mark)

Making that a total of 12.0 - by far the highest scoring entry from anyone in a bunker on the continent whilst on a singing holiday!  A good team effort by the 2 TMAK47ers.