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 Belovéd 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.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

More Yuletide singing in North Wiltshire


In case you are up for more Male Voiced Choral work with a suitably seasonal slant, then you should be interested in a show being put on by our good friends at Wessex Male Voice Choir, just down the road in sunny North Wiltshire in that there Swindon Town.

Full details can be found at http://www.wessexmalechoir.co.uk/

Friday, 15 December 2017

Beer & Carols & beauteous harmonies


Another year, another crackingly good Beer & Carols - a fruity, solid body, with added fizz from the ladies of Siren Sisters, and some lovely top notes from other ladies of the village.  A fine vintage!

Seasonal songs were sung with great gusto and in some cases more than a little finesse, Away in a manger and Ding Dong Merrily being particularly fine examples, as well as a very hearty Hail Smiling Morn, and a rousing O come all ye faithful.

Big thanks to:

The Reverend Shirley Danby for encouraging such behaviour despite having almost completely lost her voice, Pete Tuck for managing to stop coughing long enough to do reading the, er, readings, the Belovéd Chris Samuel for waving his arms in an attempt to keep the unruly revelers in check, providing the starting notes and general great gusto, Neil Burston for providing PA & MC, the (few) ladies of Siren Sisters for singing so sweetly, the ladies affiliated to the AK Choir for singing some lovely harmony lines and to everyone from the village and beyond who joined in such a heart-warming community event (some people got there over an hour early to secure their seat!), and lastly to Abbie and Rob and staff of The White Hart for supporting all the goings on - not like they do it in Canadia...!

Wishing you all a very merry Yuletide and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Beer & Carols & Sirens...?!


We are pleased to announce that Beer and Carols this year will have an extra sparkle from the singing belles of Ashton Keynes, the ladies of Siren Sisters.

Come along to join in the singing from about 8pm onwards at The White Hart, Ashton Keynes and experience the joys of singing in the community. 


Monday, 11 December 2017

Seasonal singing down the Local - what's not to like?


Start your festive celebrations with a great night out down your local with some of us... Who could refuse such an offer?   This lucky lady pictured above didn't!

Come and join everyone for a hearty seasonal sing of traditional carols plus one or two less familiar and one or two set to the tune of another.

Open to all villagers, whether singers or simply wanting to enjoy a highly inclusive community event and an opportunity to hear people rejoice in the joy of singing together with a drink in hand inside a warm and welcoming pub!

Main singing starts in The White Hart Inn at around 8pm but please get there earlier to get a spot and drink.

Song sheets will be provided, just bring your enthusiasm and some drink money!


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Have you heard about the big strong man? Mike P we salute you


"Have you heard about the big strong man? He lived in a caravan" apparently... 

Those in the know will know that we are talking about the one and only Mike P, a Magnificent legend of epic proportions and general all round top Bloke.

One of the "Stroudie Three" (or more) he made an impact from the very moment he joined the group however many years ago and has been making us laugh and pointing out buildings he helped to glaze ever since.  He can often be found near coastal footpaths removing his clothing for a quick sea dip and equally found climbing up rock faces with more than a decent amount of aplomb for a fellow of his vintage.

His reputation was sealed with an outstanding performance of one of his favourite recitations, Big Strong Man (My Brother Sylveste), at the very first BlokeFest.  Just as everyone was a little "giddy" from the excitement of the day, up leapt Mike to regale us with this amazing piece of entertainment.  All the more amazing that he could remember all the words to quite a long piece but now some times struggles to remember the words to some of our songs(!), but he never forgets how to get to the bar for his shout.

"He’s got an arm like a leg (a ladies’ leg!) 
And a punch that would sink a battleship (big ship!) 
It takes all of the Army and the Navy to put the wind up. Who?"  Mike P!

We salute you sir and look forward to drinking your health in the White Hart from 20:30 onwards this evening, Tuesday 5th December.




Monday, 27 November 2017

Sparkling Sassparella and Magnificent Men


It certainly was a sparkling performance from the ladies of Sassparella as they showed off their bling and sheer enjoyment of performing to a large and enthusiastic audience at the Sundial Theatre in Cirencester this past Saturday night.

And it has to be said that despite several members feeling poorly and suffering from "Man colds" (at the very least, it could have been leading to/ from proper Man flu', but we won't make a fuss and go on about it...), the blokes raised their game to match the ladies with a tremendously boisterous rendition of "Nothing like a beard" and some super sensitive singing of the quieter ones, like "Dark as a Dungeon".

All leading up to a very spicy sing-off in the encore with a wonderfully feisty group flirt of "Voro Ivanicki".  And as for the bar singing afterwards, those who were there will know it was a "crashing" success and the ladies were finally dragged away to begin their journey home after a top night for all.

Thanks to the Sundial who looked after us and thanks to everyone who came along for another great night of song and laughs.  See some of you at Beer and Carols in a couple of weeks.

Friday, 24 November 2017

An antidote to Black Friday...?


It's all over the news in Internetland and also the real world that today is a dark day, a "Black Friday"... 

To those of us still a little bleary from a poor night's sleep because of on-going Man flu' so we may not have understood all of what it is about, but it does not sound good news, so let us try and cheer you up with some heartening notices and alternative options.

1. Don't spend any money unnecessarily today on tat that you (a) don't really want (b) don't really need and (c) don't really have space in your already cluttered abode.

2. Come along to our gig this Saturday 25th Nov at the Sundial Theatre, Cirencester with the wonderful Sassparella

or 

3. Make a donation of a fraction of what you might have spent at Prostate Cancer charity https://prostatecanceruk.org/

There, bet you are feeling better about yourself and the world already!

;-)


Wednesday, 22 November 2017

There's always one...

From the Goods Shed - thanks Fiona!
There's always one who just needs to spend that little extra time getting his costume sorted for the second half, and it's usually John W...

Find out if he can turn up on time by coming along to our last gig of what has been yet another Magnificent year at the Sundial Theatre this Saturday with top ladies choral group Sassparella.



Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The things they do in Cirencester


Perusing the internet for some suitable entertainment for the weekend? 

Look no further than The Magnificent AK47 returning to the Sundial Theatre, Cirencester with the rather wonderful Sassparella.

Looking for Jogger Pants for Men?  You've also come to the right place, at least according to the page our listing appears on...


Sunday, 19 November 2017

On the Cirencester Scene

We would respectfully like to draw you attention, in a particularly understated way, to the fact that we are performing at Sundial Theatre, Cirencester this coming Saturday 25th November and would very much like to invite those who have not already purchased tickets to please see that they do to avoid disappointment of not being able to get one later in the week.

To help with this we have helpfully pointed out how you can read more about the show in a decent size posting in the latest edition of the very wonderful, and thoroughly informative, Cirencester Scene - you can see the full article on the Interweb by clicking here, or to get your tickets without further distraction, click here for the Sundial gig box office.


Thursday, 16 November 2017

CartoonMeister strikes again!


To qualify for the "Afters" you have to go to the "Befores", ie to come drinking after the gig, you need to go to the gig...

Come along and see us and then come drinking and singing with us.


Visit the Sundial website to book your ticket.  See you there!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Double header with top Ladies choral group


Last chance to see the blokes in concert in 2017

The blokes were in cracklingly good form in the rather wonderful venue of the Tetbury Goods Shed the other night and there is now just one more show for Magnificent fans when you can them in a fantastic double-header with the rather wonderful ladies choir Sassparella, all the way from the big city of Bath.

This is a re-match of pairing of these two highly accomplished groups of singers with contrasting styles.  They last performed together in Bath's Masonic Lodge, and both camps are looking forward to seeing the vocal sparks fly – but hurry, the blokes have sold out the last two times at the Sundial!

Head over to https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/sundial to book your tickets now before they go as a good chunk have already sold.  Doors open 7pm and show starts 7:30pm

Friday, 10 November 2017

Read all about it! Magnificent Fake news alert

Our intrepid CartoonMeister has been at it again, digging in the archives.

Full details about the “Sing Like a Bloke” Workshop for all ages and genders between 3pm to  5pm, followed by a concert starting at 7:30pm to see the real full might of The Magnificent AK47 in full flight, and the workshoppers joining in for the finale.

Alert your friends in Tetbury that a cracking show is heading their way!  Tickets available www.shed-arts.co.uk or by calling Tetbury Information Centre 01666 503 552.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

All aboard! For Tetbury Goods Shed


Half a century after the Tetbury Station closed, and twenty years after regeneration efforts began, Tetbury Goods Shed is back in business!  A wonderful space has been created, with an ambitious vision to make “The Shed” into a regional centre of arts excellence as well as a place where everyone can have a good time.

And the Blokes are planning to help them with this ambition by hosting a “Sing Like a Bloke” Workshop for all ages and genders between 3pm and 5pm, followed by a concert starting at 7:30pm to see the real full might of The Magnificent AK47 in full flight, and the workshoppers joining in for the finale.

Alert your friends in Tetbury that a cracking show is heading their way!  Tickets available www.shed-arts.co.uk or by calling Tetbury Information Centre 01666 503 552.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

"Robert"?? Find out who is "Robert" on BBC Radio Wiltshire


The lovely Sue Davies in action 

You may have missed it, but never fear, you can "hear all about it!", our latest venture onto the very modern communications medium of "the Wireless".  

Unfortunately, you will need to use that ancient so-called, "technology" of the Interweb to do it but if you point your device towards http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05jqvcg#playt=02h32m22s precisely, to hear us in action.


Here are the blokes before they went on...






















And here's a recording, just in case you are listening later.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Magnificent (on the) aironauts

More Magnificents on the Radio alert!

A crack squad of media savvy (on the)aironauts has been assembled to help spearhead our media offensive promoting our next events and are due to be on Sue Davies' BBC Radio Wiltshire show on Saturday 4th November, on air around 11:25.


We will be plugging not one event, but THREE (maybe even more...).  

Firstly, next Saturday 11th November we are running a "Sing Like a Bloke" workshop lead by our belovéd ChoirMeister, Mr Chris Samuel, followed by a performance including the workshoppers at the rather splendid Tetbury Goods Shed - a venue we are very much looking forward to performing in - Full details about the venue can be found at https://shed-arts.co.uk/and where you can also purchase tickets online or from Tetbury Information Centre.



Next up is a return on Saturday 25th November to the Sundial Theatre in Cirencester for our fourth annual end of season bash.  The last three shows have all sold out and we are supported by a super ladies singing group Sassparella, all the way from that there city of The Bath across the border in Somerset.  We sang with them in their fair city a while ago and that was a sell out too!

The message is clear on this one, book now to avoid disappointment, visit https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/GLKMLM.

And notice of the final event of the year on Wednesday 13th December for the Ashton Keynes "Beer and Carols" in the White Hart pub, starting from 20:00.




Sunday, 22 October 2017

CAPS LOCK DAY AND OTHER ODD DATES TO CELEBRATE

IT HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO OUR ATTENTION THAT IT IS A VERY SPECIAL DAY TODAY...

But enough of that "shoutyness" because it is nearly over and also because on closer investigation via the wonders of the Interweb our diligent researchers have come across a page at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unofficial_observances_by_date which has even more interesting days...

Jan 21      
National Hugging Day (USA)
A lovely idea
Feb (First Saturday)
Ice Cream for Breakfast Day
Surely a plot by Ice cream sellers?
Feb 17
Random Acts of Kindness Day (USA)
Always to be encouraged
April 22 (UK)
Administrative Professionals' Day
Appreciating the underappreciated
May (First Sunday)
World Laughter Day
What’s not to like?
May 6
International No Diet Day
Just for one day
June 28 (& Oct 22)
CAPS LOCK DAY
REALLY?  TWO ALTERNATIVE DATES?
July (First Sat)
International Free Hugs Day
On a global scale
Aug (First Friday)
International Beer Day
A great idea to appreciate this wonderful stuff
Sep 1
Random Acts of Kindness Day (NZ)
Just in New Zealand? 
Sep 19
International Talk Like a Pirate Day
One of our favourites
Sep 28
Ask a Stupid Question Day
Just the one day a year?
Oct 6
BlokeSong Day
Worthy of celebration, surely

Please feel suitably prompted to share this knowledge across your universe for the betterment of whatever life-form you encounter along the way.

What next?  Universal Courier Font appreciation week??

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Pow Wow 2017


Most years we have what we call a "Pow Wow", which is basically an Annual General Meeting (or AGM) renamed to make it sound a bit more interesting and fun (which of course it is...).

This year we thought we would double check we are using the term even vaguely correctly and the venerable Wikipedia has this to say about the term:

"A pow wow (also powwow or pow-wow) is a social gathering held by many different Native American communities. 

The word is derived from the Narragansett word powwaw, meaning "spiritual leader".  A similar gathering by California Natives, usually in the fall, is called a Big Time. 

A modern pow wow is a specific type of event for Native American people to meet and dance, sing, socialize, and honor their cultures. Pow wows may be private or public. 

There is generally a dancing competition, often with significant prize money awarded. Pow wows vary in length from a one-day event, to major pow wows called for a special occasion which can be up to one week long."  Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pow_wow.

So, maybe some passing similarity to our events, but strangely you won't find too much dancing going on, but plenty of singing, socializing, and honouring our culture - so, maybe more similar than one might have initially thought.

Makes you think that maybe people ain't so different after all...

We'll see whoever turns up in the Back Room of The White Hart Inn, Ashton Keynes, from 20:00 Wednesday 18th Oct for most of what goes on at a real Pow Wow, but maybe not the dancing..., well, not this time.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Black Sheep Union



Us...?... With another group of lovely singing ladies...?...  In a very modern high-tech venue in the centre of Keynesham, near Bristol...?...  This coming Friday night...?...  With a sheep leitmotif...?...  With our reputation...?...  What could possibly go wrong??!

You'll just have to jaunt over via your hypertext link purveyor to the Black Sheep Harmony Ticket outlet http://www.blacksheepharmony.com/dbpage.php?pg=view&dbase=events&id=54096 and grab your tickets whilst you still can to find out.

Once you've done that you might like to have a peruse of our partners in song for the evening at http://www.blacksheepharmony.com/About-Us and a bit more about the venue at https://www.facebook.com/The-Space-Keynsham-1673109446348941/.

And expect a few early "fireworks" at the end...

Monday, 11 September 2017

Back to School


Hopefully all the blokes will be re-invigorated and ready for getting back into action for a packed Autumn and into the Midwinter.

Forthcoming highlights include:
  • Singing in a massive resonant space in Birmingham Central Station
  • Recording a new LP's worth (ask anyone with grey hair kiddies...) of, er, recordings
  • Performing with two lovely lady choirs at our three gigs
  • Another big gig in Cirencester's Sundial Theatre
  • Getting in the mood for Yuletide with some singing in the pub
  • Thinking about going to Cork Festival next year!!
And no doubt there will be more as we bring a close to Year 9 of Magnificents and brace ourselves for celebrating our 10th year of lowering the tone with our high jinks.

And to get back into gear we are literally going back to School with our first workshop back in Ashton Keynes School Hall, Gosditch.


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

It may go a bit quiet round here for a while...


Says it all really...

Much happening in the background and expect to burst back into life in September.

In the meantime, enjoy the Summer, what there is of it and see you when the nights start to draw in again and we all feel the need for a sing to cheers ourselves up.

Monday, 31 July 2017

If you go down to...

... the woods pub tonight, you're sure of a big surprise



The blokes in some woods.  

Tonight they, and "some others" will be in the pub for "not your average Monday night", even for Ashton Keynes...

But, shhhh, it's a secret.

And here is what it might sound like and something from the Magnificent Archive.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Another Spooky Summer of Love


They are big (& small), they are in black and they are rather superb... The Spooky Men's Chorale are back in the UK for another Summer of Love as they sing their way around these isles sprinkling sonic joy wherever they go.

These guys are the granddaddies of BlokeSong and the inspiration for our very own The Magnificent AK47 nearly a decade ago (!) and are a sight to see and a sound to luxuriate in with their deadpan humour and drop dead Georgian harmonies.

Check out their remaining tour dates at http://spookymen.com/gigs/ and maybe witness them slightly nearer to home & Magnificent HQ.... watch this space for more Magnificent Spooky news.


Sunday, 16 July 2017

TMAK47 at AKMAF

A slightly belated THANK YOU and VERY WELL DONE to all involved with the inaugural Ashton Keynes Music and Arts Festival that took place at the end of June & first weekend of July this year.

The Magnificent AK47 played a small but not insignificant part running the bar at the Village Voices event that combined choral groups from across the village.  

Performing were the cute beyond belief School Choir, the rather wonderful Siren Sisters, the re-invigorated Village Choir and little old us finishing things of with a killer set that we would like to think was rather well received... that is until the final number which combined all the choirs and quite literally there wasn't a dry eye in the place by the end.

A great way to celebrate all the fabulous singing that goes on around these parts.

Monday, 26 June 2017

BlokeFest - brilliant as ever



It's taken a while to recover from it, but BlokeFest was as brilliant as ever and superbly curated by the Bebington Bitter Men from up Wirral way.

Anglesey was bathed in glorious sunshine and the singing matched the sunlit mood, fab tent, great blokes, who could ask for more?  Well, everyone!!  http://www.blokefest.net/

Looking forward to BlokeFest 2018 already...

Thursday, 15 June 2017

BlokeFest Dynion. Canu. Chwerthin


With all the excitement and anticipation of the Ashton Keynes Music and Arts Festival is might be easy to overlook a certain little event taking place in North West North West Wales...

Full details on http://www.blokefest.net/ and match reports after the event.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Next is AK Fest



This village...  SO much to do, so little time...

We are less than one month away from the biggest thing to happen round these parts since the last time the Ashton Keynes Music Festival rolled into the village, except this time it is not just a music festival, there's arts as well and loads more.

We are on the Wednesday 28th taking part in the Village Voices a celebration of singing in the village.

Read about so much more and get tickets before they disappear at https://www.ashtonkeynesfestival.net/whats-on