After all the lovely sunshine we've had over the last few months, September might feel like a little bit of a let-down. Officially, September is an autumn month, so it heralds the end of summer and, already, we are starting to see the nights draw in. It doesn't seem so long ago that we were leaving our Wednesday evening Singing Sessions after 9.00pm and driving home in beautiful sunshine. Now the street lights are on and the evening air is cooler.
We might mourn the passing of the summer and the busy round of activities it brings with it but the autumn brings its own opportunities.
Opening our first outdoor performance with a song that includes the lines “Not a cloud in the sky, Got the sun in my eyes” (Top of The World) was always going to be a risk. This is Glasgow after all! Fortunately for us, however, the sun was indeed in our eyes (hence the dark glasses!) and we avoided the thunder, lightning and torrential rain that hit other parts of Glasgow during the afternoon.
On Saturday 9th June a group of ladies from Dynamic Meladies performed a selection of songs at a charity garden party event. The charity, Mothers Care India, raises money to buy school uniforms for children in India and we were invited to provide entertainment at the event. With 350 tickets sold for the event, this was no small undertaking.
Performing in the front garden to guests arriving for the event, presented us with a few challenges. The first of these appeared fairly quickly, as we were setting up, in the form of a bus rumbling along the road a short distance from where we would be performing.
Saturday afternoon match results
Buses v Dynamic Meladies: Buses 0 Dynamic Meladies 8 (the number of songs we sang)
As the guests arrived and made their way through the front garden, the gravel path underfoot provided an interesting percussive backing-track to our singing. It would have been easy for our ladies to get distracted by this and by people walking past only a couple of feet from us, stopping to chat or greet each other. However, they took it all in their stride and never wavered from their singing. No mean feat when, with everything going on around us, it was sometimes difficult to hear each other. All of the hard work that the ladies put in practising for the event paid off and the songs sounded fantastic!
The event itself was a great success with an army of helpers keeping us topped up with food and drink. Special guest Elaine C Smith entertained us with some humorous observations on the behaviour of women and how we interact with one another. There was much buying of tombola, raffle and prize draw tickets with all of the monies raised going to the charity. A few of us managed to win some small prizes but, sadly, we all missed out on the trip to New York!
Much appreciation to the organizers for the event itself and the incredible work they do to make children's lives better. It's been an absolute privilege to add our voices to such a deserving cause.
Great music, sunshine, prizes and strawberry tarts. A perfect afternoon all in all!
Ladies, we are proud of you!
Whose idea was it? The idea that we would like to do a performance, so that we could brush up on songs we had learned previously, and not let them just fade away, and so that we had a target to aim for. Worry that it might have been mine, Val’s an Jo’s. But others agreed.
So here we were. Eight of us. In the Big Mouth Coffee Shop, Dumbarton Road, opposite Kelvinhall Tube Station. 7pm and us due to start at 7.30. Tickets £5 per head, in aid of Alzheimer’s. So we wearing purple and black, because Alzheimer Scotland’s colours are purple and white, and some of us didn’t like white.
Twin Peaks has returned to our screens after an absence of 25 years, bringing with it questions, unexplained events and the impact these have on a community. Long before Twin Peaks was first shown however, all of these elements were contained in one song that remains a mystery to this day. Ode to Billy Joe was released by Bobbie Gentry in 1967 and is a spine-tingling example of mystery storytelling at it’s very best. Bobbie Gentry matched her story writing with her vocal storytelling abilities. It is her performance of the song that really brings the story to life.
Sometimes singers are guilty of forgetting that songs are about communicating with an audience. They go through the motions of singing a song without really thinking about the words or the manner in which they are delivering them. An unthinking performance can make the best written song in the world sound banal.
So, it has been a year since the band got together and I find myself inspired to write. While I haven’t been singing with the ladies for a year, I feel like I have known them for at least that long.
The last few weeks have seen (or heard) us warming up with increasingly more challenging minor scales (think the soundtrack for pantomime baddies) and light and airy triplets (think cycling along a sunny, treelined avenue or failing that Snow White trilling at the local wildlife).