After an exhorting drive down to Portsmouth last Friday from Leeds Kim and I were so relived when we made it onto the ferry. All was well until we hit the M25 and then we were stuck in traffic for 2 hours before we were able to cut across and down the M3. Even so the M3 was blocked at the end and I then had to cut through Petersfield and onto the A3 which I think is a much better road. I’ve never known it so busy but I guess with all this lovely weather everyone wants to be on holiday.
I’ve always enjoy working at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s Victorian event and this year I was keen to try out my new arrangements and costumes. So I brought my bustle and Burlington Bertie tails complete with monical only it’s very hard singing with a monical as I have to screw up my face in order to keep it in! Doing Victorian and Music Hall does make a refreshing change from the 1940s. I know I shouldn’t say this but so many of the 1940s events these days seem to have lost their focus and have become rather boring, with the same old things which is why I’ve been enjoying Music Hall and the WW1 revival. There is no shortage of wonderful music I can pull from and I enjoy the whole process of finding the sheet music, note bashing it through, deciding on the arrangement style and then putting it into production. I think my favourite Music Hall song at the moment is Burlington Bertie as I do rather enjoy playing the swell only I must remember to bow and not curtsey. Sometimes I forget wheater I’m a man or a woman!
On stage with the Wavy Navy!
Me all Pearly Queen with the Wavy Navy
Pinky and I with Fred the Monkey!
Even Monkeys Get Tired After a Long Day!
I’m very well-known with all the re-enactment groups and this weekend I met up with lots of friends. Queen Victoria and the Victorian Strollers not to mention the Wavy Navy and Jolly Tar, come barrow boy, come convict Pinky. In fact I think Pinky might have had even more costume changes than me. I did three 45 minute shows daily and we finished the day with all the re-enacters on stage for Land of Hope and Glory with my “Best of British” Pearly Queen show. We even had a bit for the monkey Fred although I have an idea he will be joining me on stage next year for my new Jungle act I’m working on – but more on that later.
In the mean time a big thankyou to Liz and all the staff at the railway who made this weekend possible, not forgetting the many re-enacters who made this event so glamorous. As some of you may have read I launched my new album “The Good Old Days” there and I’m pleased to say I sold a lot of copies. If you would like a copy then it’s now available to buy on my web-site by clicking onto my CD page and you can also read the list contents there too. After our shows Kim and I headed back to the main land on Monday mind you we did do some very important shoe shopping in Newport first. Monday was a very important day as it was the WW1 centenary and we had to get back quite promptly. Kim had organised a very special “Lights Out” event in her home Village of Quainton to remember the 23 men who fell in the Great War. I was very honored when she asked me to sing so I included some very ponient numbers like “Danny Boy”, “Keep the Homefires burning” and although a modern piece “Requiem For a Soldier” which just seemed right.
Now I’m back home I’m still very busy with shows everyday for the month of August. This Saturday I will be playing in Chingford at the Royal British legion for a Blitz Party with my friend Lynda Styan and then on Sunday I will be singing at The Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden, Biggleswade for their WW1 event. In the mean time do enjoy my photos from the weekend you can find them on my facebook page by clicking onto the star at the top of this page.
Time for bed now I think. Thank-you for following and Toodle Pip!