NYCGB Alumni concert in London (18 January 2014)

Next weekend I’m going to be singing in a concert in London. (I’m so excited!) It will be the first official meeting of the new National Youth Choirs of Great Britain alumni choir.

The idea is to re-engage with past members of the choir (of which there are well over 1,000), to catch up with one another, make music, and also hopefully raise some money to help existing choir members.

I’ll be tweeting throughout the weekend on @exncygb.

Where: Christ Church, Spitalfields, London
When: Saturday 18 January 2014 at 5.00 pm.

If you’re going to be in London or know someone who would enjoy this informal concert the please email them this flyer: Sing Joyfully—NYCGB Alumni flyer (PDF, 1.02 MB)

Or check out more information, including details of music being sung on the NYCGB concerts and events page.

Sing Joyfully—concert of National Youth Choir of Great Britain alumni, London, 18 January 2014
Sing Joyfully—concert of National Youth Choir of Great Britain alumni, London, 18 January 2014

Metallica celebrates 30 years

Last month Metallica celebrated their 30th anniversary with a series of four shows at The Fillmore in San Francisco on Monday 05, Wednesday 07, Friday 09 and Saturday 10 December. (These links are to the official ‘recap’ videos on Metallica’s YouTube channel—over two and a quarter hours of Metallica and friends.)

Metallica took up a residency at The Fillmore and essentially became the house band for the week, to which they invited friends and former Metallica band mates to come join them and play both their own music and covers.

It was really great to see Dave Mustaine (Megadeth/ex-Metallica) on stage playing with them, and Jason Newsted too. Wonderful to hear John Bush (Armored Saint/ex-Anthrax) singing with the band, whom apparently Metallica wanted to join them as their vocalist in the early days. As well as all their other guests, including King Diamond (Mercyful Fate), Rob Halford (Judas Priest), Sean Harris and Tatler (Diamond Head), Animal (The Anti-Nowhere League), Lou Reed, Glenn Danzig (Misfits and Danzig), Marianne Faithfull, John Marshall (Metal Church), Biff Byford,  Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains), Bob Rock and more and more.

I’ve been listening to Metallica since 1986, when their third album Master of Puppets came out (I first listened to it at a Scripture Union camp!), and I don’t think I’ve ever heard Metallica play so well live as they did during those four shows. James Hetfield’s voice especially. Wow! And how heartening to see James Hetfield so well, and confident in himself.

I’d love there to be a DVD released of these shows.

You can buy digital versions of the four concerts on the Live Metallica website for US$9.95 (MP3) or US$12.95 (FLAC and Apple Lossless formats). Having listened to them all, they are well worth it: full of great music, great chat, and great humour.

There’s also a great review of the gigs on the Metallica news page, and of course following the 30th anniversay shows they released the Beyond Magnetic EP which contains the four ‘new’ songs (recorded during the Death Magnetic sessions) they played during the four nights in San Francisco: one each night.

Beyond Magnetic EP will be released on CD worldwide on 30 January, and in North America (who apparently aren’t part of the world!) on 31 January.

Day 9: A song that you can dance to #30dsc

30 day challenge day 9: A song that you can dance to

Anthrax—Indians

Now, this category is a challenge to me. A song that you can dance to. Where do I place the emphasis?

  • A song that you can dance to.
  • A song that you can dance to.
  • A song that you can dance to.
  • A song that you can dance to.

This was the first song that came to mind—after whatever piece of Scottish, accordion music that I danced the Dashing White Sergeant to in a Scottish Country Dancing competition in Kelso when I was in primary 3—because

  1. One line of the lyrics has Joey Belladonna shouting “WAR DANCE!”
  2. I’ve done that war dance in the audience of an Anthrax gig.

I think that just about covers all four emphases above.

Next…!

Day 7: A song that reminds you of a certain event #30dsc

30 day challenge day 7: A song that reminds you of a certain event

Queen—The Show Must Go On

On Monday 20 April 1992 I travelled down to London for The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at (the old) Wembley Stadium.

It was, and still is, the largest concert I’d ever attended. And it was brilliant! That day I watched Metallica, Extreme, Def Leppard, Gob Geldof, Spinal Tap, Guns N’ Roses, and Queen perform on the same stage (although not at the same time!).

It was the first and last time I ever saw Queen perform live, but sadly without the incredible Freddie Mercury.

Towards the end of the concert I began to get anxious that I would miss the last tube from Wembley Park back into the city; I was staying with my mum’s cousin at Streatham Common so needed to get a train from either Victoria station or Clapham Junction.

So I left early, fighting my way through the crowd so that I wouldn’t have to do the same at the underground station. I walked out of the stadium as Queen + Elton John were singing The Show Must Go On, and I heard the final two songs We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions on my walk to the underground station.

I felt sorry to be leaving early, but I wore an enormous grin on my face and kept looking back at Wembley Stadium lighting up the sky. An incredible experience.