Bombs Away at The Victory Show!
On Stage with My Wrens Show!
Meeting Up With Re-enactors!
All Set to Go On Stage with Don and Paul Harper!
Meeting Up with Mr & Mrs Winston Churchill!
Me with The Victory Girls!
Paul Out Shopping Between Shows!
Don’t Mention the War!
Brian the Frendly German from Mansfield!
Dressed for Duty!
This week Paul and I have been working away at The Victory Show in Leicestershire which for those of you in the know will know is the largest WW2 experience in the UK. Where perhaps The War and Peace show had led the way in this sort of thing for many years I think this show seems to have an extremely welcoming approach to its re-enactors who in return put on wonderful displays of Living History for the public. The Saturday night centres around a large 1940s dance which takes place in the big marquee and was a sell out months before attracting over 850 guests. Certainly when it comes to 1940s dances this was by far the best I’d performed at as the atmosphere was electric and I always enjoy working big rooms with large audiences.
I was really thrilled to get the booking to play The Victory Show as it was a new event for me. The show has been running for 11 years and this was my first time performing there. I did visit the show in its first year as a member of the public back in 2005. I came dressed in a beautiful 1940s suit with original 1940s swede wedge shoes. As you might imagine when it started to rain the event became very muddy and in order to save my lovely shoes a stall holder very kindly gave me two carrier bags which I put over my shoes and held in place with two elastic bands. Although that was 11 years ago it’s amazing just how many people remember that iconic image of me wandering about with Tesco bags on my feet. What ever next!
On this occasion I had been engaged to perform 3 x 45 minute shows daily plus a 30 minute slot during the bands comfort break at the Saturday night dance. As it turned out on the Saturday I was scheduled to do 2 x 30 minute slots in the bar during the day as the big marquee was being set for the evening dance. It did give Paul and I the treat of having time to look around the show as there was so much to see. So often we don’t have that opportunity to look at the Living History as we are always working but as there were so many interesting displays I was pleased not to miss them.
On this occasion the show had put together a great line up of entertainers hosted by Mr Paul Harper . Thankyou Paul for being so kind and hospitable it was lovely to work with you and Don and both Paul Marsden and I had a traffic time performing at the show. Paul Harper also very kindly lent us his rig in the bar on the Saturday which saved us so much lifting and carrying and we really enjoyed watching the other acts. I partially enjoyed the Victory Girls who are a dance troupe who not only look the part but danced beautifully to the tunes of the 1940s & 50s. I did feel for them rather dancing on the grass in the Bar marquee on Saturday. Muddy grass isn’t kind to white shoes. Come Sunday they were up with me in the main marquee which had a proper dance floor and more space for their great routines. We also had the Croft Silver band who played some wonderful tunes and I enjoyed their arrangements of Danny Boy and Dam Busters especially. I was only sorry I didn’t get the chance to see Melissa sing although we did hear her briefly which sounded pretty good though the wall of the marquee while Paul and I were getting ready to go on stage for the evening show.
The Ockbrook Big Band played for the Saturday night dance which I think were an 18 piece plus they came with two band singers who were extremely good. The Ockbrook big band were a joy to listen to as they were tight which you don’t often get with bands these days. So often bands are a collection of musicians who just come together on the night with little to no rehearsal of playing together as one. This was certainly not the case with the Ockbrook band. I did the bands 30 minute comfort break in the middle and I decided to keep the music up tempo which kept every-one on the floor dancing. I finished my set with the British Themes medley and it was lovely to see every-one up on the floor singing and waving.
On Sunday Paul and I were back in the main marquee with the Croft Silver Band and The Victory Girls. Paul and I performed 1 x 30 minute set plus a straight through 60 minute show before the battle which attracts a large number of visitors. Perhaps the only thing I wished the Victory Show had had was a pop up Vintage tea room serving tea and cakes on china. It would have made a change from all the Burgers vans and given the show a feminine touch and a break from all that kaki. On Sunday Paul and I met up with our friends Brian and Viv who had driven all the way down from Mansfield to see us sing. Afterwards we spent the rest of the day enjoying the show and viewing the many Living History displays.
Paul and I travelled back Monday morning and now I’m getting ready for another busy week. Today I was performing in Chesham and I’m back there again on Thursday evening for a “Last Night of the Proms” show. London tomorrow and Aylesbury on Thursday afternoon before I sing the Proms. On Friday I’m performing the Swinging 50s and 60s at the Eastney Taven in Old Portsmouth with a private party booked in for Saturday night at The Pallant House Gallery in Chichester. Paul and I had planned to go to Goodwood on Sunday although to be honest I think with my current diary it will probably make more sence to go out for lunch on Sunday and for me to make my way back home on Sunday afternoon. I’m in Hatfield for 12 noon on Monday and back in the recording studio on Monday evening so I’ve got a very tight schedule
Richard has already sent through some of the new recordings for my next showreel which is all very exciting. I’m also thrilled to announce my new 1950s and 60s page is now up and running on my web-site so do click the 1950s 60s tab at the top of this page and have a look. You will be able to see some new pictures and my 1950s and 60s showreel which has been embedded into the page. More videos will be following soon and will be
Paul with Utility Jude and Tush the Dog!
added to this page in due course. We’ve also added in “Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend” to my Shows page and my D-Day page will be having a refreshed look with some new photographs. So keep watching and I will keep you posted.
That’s about all my news for now so I will leave it here tonight as I’ve lots of paper work to get on with.
Keep Watching and Toodle Pip! 😉
And So To Bed – I Love This Shot!