Sunday, 31 March 2013

Where were you when? Upside Down Under

Recently(ish) received from our far wandering minstrel, Alan H, he was snapped in the Land Down Under next to found this advertising hoarding on the outskirts of Sheffield. That's Sheffield, Tasmania. Unfortunately he couldn't attend, but in an effort to sway the judges he has at least tried to look as mighty as possible.

Whilst on his travels Alan has become aware of the great cult of the "Man Shed" that pervades Oz and he has been investigating this phenomena as manifested in the alarmingly professional http://www.mensheds.org.au/. Aussie men seem to have turned an impulse into a movement (if you'll excuse the expression).

Anyway, the scores are in
1. The Location - 4.0 (Good visible signage although technically it is more an advert for an event and not exactly where he is).

2. The Pose - 3.5 (A good attempt at mightiness and a reasonable degree of pointless grandeur, although it looks like he is rather hanging on to the sign post).

3. The X-Factor - 3.5 (It is always good to have an excuse to trot out "Down Under" clich├ęs, especially of a visual nature, and the comedy moment that is him having to hang on to the post for fear of falling off the Earth, but let's face it, the sign "does what it says on the tin" in a particularly straightforward, no nonsense Aussie way.

Making that a total of 11.0 - The highest score we have every had from someone in the "DownUnderworld" who has been clasping on to a post for safety.  Interestingly enough for our British based viewers you will notice evidence of something called "blue sky" and implication of "sunshine" and "being quite a nice warm day" by the fact that Alan is wearing just a T-Shirt whilst outside.  Ah, distant memories of what that might be like....

More please.




Saturday, 30 March 2013

Wiltshire's Hunkiest (old) boy band

It has been a while since we last corresponded and things are a little behind on the blogging front with a backlog building up that will resemble the multitude of buses all careering towards you at once, in the near (or at least not too distant) future.

Suffice to say that as we recollect it was less than a month ago that we performed at the wonderful Singing for Laughs 2013, it does seem like an awful long time ago.  Much has happened, including sadness at the departure of one of our members, so we thought it was about time that we reported back on this occasion.  And another belter it was too!  

It was really noticeable that ALL the acts had developed and significantly matured in their own different ways since the first performance all those years ago.  We felt we gave a creditable show and managed to sneak in all new material and many new hats, just to pep things up for those who had seen us at previous events.

Match Report
Chris S lead The following blokes 


Chris A, Peter B, Bob B, Ken B, Neil B, Nick B, Geoff C, Brian D, Mark F, Lars F, John G, Mike G, Stuart H, Martin H, Trevor H, Bill H, Jon H, Darren S, David T, Mark T, Ade W, 
John  W and "still new boys" Andy E and Jeff S

Who sang the following songs

Turnip Hoer's Song 
Shed 
Duct Tape Madrigal
Dry Stone Waller's Song 
Delilah  
John Kanaka 

Video evidence of which can be found at http://www.youtube.com/user/hamishmama?feature=watch, along with the other performances, and audio replay can be found at https://soundcloud.com/theutterlymagnificentak4/sets/singing-for-laughs-2013 so enjoy reliving the moment.


Sunday, 17 March 2013

Men in General really rather good

We are very pleased to report that despite it being on a Friday night at the end of yet another "long hard week" and multiple people suffering from some lurgy or other, one or two members of our intrepid blokes managed to make it across the M4  from North, North Wiltshire to South, North Wiltshire and to the very lovely (well, we presume so, it was dark) village of Kington Langley for a truly memorable performance from Men in General.

Right from the start they grabbed the audience by the scruff of the collective neck and toyed with them for the next hour or so.  It was a remarkable performance, mixing daft humour with physical comedy and quality bonkers songs sung in a generally barber shop style.  The gents prowled the stage with immense energy and verve, engaging with the audience and enjoying the repartie and lively banter. If you get a chance to see them, do!  And tell them we sent you.


Find out more about them from their website at www.meningeneral.org.uk.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

The Blokehood

Normally we look forward to the blokes gathering together for a few manly moments amongst the humdrum mundanity of daily life, singing in harmony and passing comment on the chuffing awful weather.

Last Saturday a bunch of the blokes managed to overcome certain organizational short-comings and logistical challenges posed by such things as the main road between Malmesbury and Chippenham being closed because of an accident and having to trust satnavs in obscure parts of the countryside, and made it along to pay our respects to our recently departed member, Ken Brookes.

Here you can see most of the blokes gathered together before the ceremony that had most of us wiping our eyes with emotion.  Apparently one or two of the others present thought the blokes looked rather intimidating gathered on the side of the hill at the Burial location, somewhat like the brotherhood that the Blokes are.  Scary looking but a bunch of softies really.

With immense sensitivity and dignity Chris S lead  the following blokes 

Chris A, Peter B, Neil B, Nick B, Brian D, Mark F, Lars F, John G, Mike G, Stuart H, Martin H, Bill H, Darren S, David T, Ade W, and "not so new boys" Andy E and Jeff S

Who sang the following songs

Down in the River to pray
Tsmidao
and a very emotional (Alone in my) Shed which can be seen at the YouTube stream of Ken's son, Sam.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Keep on singing Ken

It is with immense sadness that we mark the parting of Ken Brookes, one of our more recent members, to the Great Choir beyond our world.

Most of us first encountered Ken at BlokeFest last year and he fell in love with the group, our singing and the way we approached what we do.

Despite living in Trowbridge, a good hour away wiggling through the lanes from Middle North Wiltshire to us in the Far North he was a regular ever since and joined us on stage for most of our gigs since last summer.  

He was a  lovely bloke, quite soft spoken, with a sonorous Bass voice and pretty passable goatee beard - so he fitted right in.  

Whilst we were collectively and individually shocked to hear the news and very much saddened, we were also very honoured to have been asked by his family to sing a couple of simple songs at his burial and we would like to think that the Blokes did him proud with our tear-tinged renditions of "Down in the River to Pray" and "Tsmidao".

Many of us also ventured back to his home afterwards and were confronted by the most impressive of sheds, leading to a lot of "Shed envy" and we attempted to honour him in our own special way with a very emotional version of "(Alone in my) Shed".

We pass on our deepest sympathies to Kate and the rest of his family.

The ceremony and some of the rituals, in particular the "Ho! Circle" will live with us for a long time, as will the memory of Ken.

P.S. If you would like to see a video of a stunning performance by BlokeFest attendees, have a look at one of the videos Ken took.   



Friday, 1 March 2013

Heading for Marlborough Country 2013

Well loyal readers will remember that we were pondering quite how many years it has been that we have appeared at Singing for Laughs in Marlborough and now we have the answer.  Amazingly enough this will be our fourth outing in a row and many thanks to Vanessa who keeps asking us back.

In case you can't quite read the small print in the icon to the left it can be found at www.marlboroughnewsonline.co.uk/features and describes the gentlemen as follows:

"The Magnificent AK47 are a male acapella group which hails from Ashton Keynes (hence the AK, the 47 is for their average age – next year will they have to become a less resonant AK48?) They sing a mixture of the hauntingly beautiful and the hilarious."

Reasonably accurate but see for yourself at St Peter’s Church at the other end of High St, Marlborough, Wilts SN8 1HQ  the show starts at 7:30pm.  Come along, see a great show, eat loads of cake and raise even more money for a good cause.