NEWS PAGE & BLOG


Hello one and all and welcome to my news page. Here you can see me as my two alter egos the ever efficient secretary Prudie Jones, Evette the Spivette and plain old little me as you catch up with all that is current in my world. Regrettably unlike Prudie my spelling is quite frightful at the best of times due to my dyslexia so I shall apologise now for anything which might be shamefully mis-spelt. In the mean time I hope you find this page fun, entertaining and informative and become a regular visitor to my site.

Chat soon & keep reading
Fiona Harrison
A Voice in a Million


Back to Work and Off Down to Cornwall for Len Cox’s Memorial!

Singing with Len Cox in Arromanches 2016!

It was good to be back at work today after spending all of last week at home. My ten days of self isolating came to an end on Monday and I’m feeling so much better and raring to go. I still have a slight cough but now it’s down to mind over matter the same way you can make hiccups go away if you control your breathing. I do this naturally when I’m singing and during the course of my show today I was able to make it go away. It required some concentration and a few times I had to turn it into a cheeky giggle. It’s all down to technique which makes me think it wont be long before I’m completely back to normal.

On Stage with Len 2016!

Last week I had to do quite a bit of rescheduling and tomorrow after my show I’m straight back into the recording studio. I’m filming my show-reel next week and I need to get my vocals down before I go in front of the camera on Thursday. It’s exciting to see a plan coming together and I expect many of you have already seen a few of my Peaky Blinder inspired shots which will be making up a mayor part of my video. It’s good to do something different and this video will be taking on a Peaky Blinders come Chicago look as I play both the male and female roles. I’ve sorted out most of my costumes and if we have time I also hope to film a couple of 60s numbers too.

This Friday I’m straight down to Cornwall. I feel very proud to be performing for Len Cox’s  memorial. Some of you may remember D-Day Veteran Len Cox from my performances in Normandy as he would always come up and sing with me on stage in Arromanches. Len’s daughter Joanne has booked me to sing for

Remembering Len Cox!

his memorial which is taking place at the church and later at the village hall in Lanreath, Looe. I’ve been asked to perform my D-Day show in remembrance to Len which I’m honored to do. It will be a very special occasion and I shall leave my blog tonight with a few photos and videos of Len and I together in Arromanches. Happy memories of past years. So many of our lovely veterans are no longer with us but I’m so lucky to have these moments captured on film.

Keep Following Toodle Pip and Bye for Now!


Back from Portchester Castle & Resting at Home!

On Stage At St Mary’s Church!

It’s been an extraordinary week where nothing has quite gone to plan. Last Friday I had the privilege of singing “The Magic of the Musicals” at St Mary’s Church at Porchester Castle. It was a lovely evening and it was wonderful to perform some of my favourite songs from the musicals. I also rediscovered a few numbers I’d not sung in a while which included “I Know Him so Well” from “Chess “And this is My Beloved” from “Kismet”. The show was well attended and Paul and Poppy came along too to see my performance.

My show had been booked as part of a South coast tour which was taking me along the coast to

Back stage with Poppy!

Brighton and back, but on the Saturday morning when I did my routine lateral flow test I discovered I was positive which came as a real shock. On finding out this information I had to cancel my tour and return home immediately. Fortunately I managed to book myself in for a PCR test that night and I’ve been self isolating all this week.

My ten days are through on the 3rd October and sometimes these things can be a blessing in disguise. I have been working extremely hard and it has done me good to be at home and get some well deserved rest. However the wheels keep turning and there is always work to be done which has enabled me to catch up with my e-mails. I do a bit and then I go for a lay down afterwards. It’s quite a treat to have a lay down in the afternoon but necessary for the moment until I get back on my feet.

Singing – And this is My Beloved!

 

Fortunately I’ve been doubled jabbed and it’s a little like having a cold. To begin with that’s what I thought I had until my lateral flow test told another story. My tests are now showing clear so I know I am on the mend and I’m looking forward to getting back to normal. I should have been in the recording studio this coming Saturday but I’ve re-booked to later next week and I have a very busy three month ahead of me. For the moment I’m concentrating on getting well and I will be back to my normal self in no time.

With that in mind I’m going to leave my blog here tonight. Keep Following. Toodle Pip and bye for now!


Singing The Magic of the Musicals at Portchester Castle & Doing Peaky Blinders!

See You There!

Once again I’m burning the midnight oil to try and get everything done before I head off on tour. I’ve sold over 40 dates for December and I’m just running out of days to cope with the supply and demand. Apart from a few days, I’ve nearly sold out for the year and many of my prime dates for 2022 have already sold. I just don’t have enough hours in the day to do everything I need to do.

I’m fully booked this month and I’m heading off on Friday to perform a series of shows along the South Coast. I’m opening on the 24th September at 7.30pm with the “Magic of the Musicals” at Portchester Castle. My performance is taking place inside St Mary’s Church and tickets are priced at £8 and are available from the Church Tea Room, Parish Office, and after services or you

Dressed in my Pearly Queen Costume!

can contact the Parish Office, Assheton Court, Portchester, PO16 9PY  by telephone on Tel: 02392 321380 or e-mail Emma at  stmaryoffice@btconnect.com 

I’m looking forward to the show very much. I have a wonderful program planned and I will be including songs from My Fair Lady, South Pacific, Grease, Les Miserables, Oliver, Disney, Aladdin and more. So if you happen to be in town do pop along – it will be delightful to see you.

This week I’ve been continuing with “Battle of Britain” shows, “We’ll Meet Again” ATS and Pearly Queen. In many cases I’ve been so busy I haven’t taken as many photos as I would normally but today I was able to stream live my “We’ll Meet Again performance in Chesham which if you are friends with me on facebook you will be able to see.

This week I was thrilled to get my photos through from my Peaky Blinders photo shoot with Angela Adams. All these

The Peaky Blinders Look!

shots are for a music video I’m working on which I plan to release later in the year. When I get back from tour I’m straight into the recording studio which is all very exciting I would tell you more but I really must get to bed as I have another early start tomorrow.

I shall leave you with a few of my photos. Keep Following Toodle Pip and Bye for Now! 😉

Ready for Action!

 

A Little Bit Naughty!

Down By The Canal!


Remembering Battle of Britain Day & Singing The Magic of the Musicals!

Dressed for Action in my WAAF Uniform!

I’m afraid it’s just a quick blog tonight as I’m battling against the clock to get all my paperwork done in between shows. I’d like to begin by thanking every-one who can down to the Kings Arms to see my show in Newport Pagnell last Sunday. The booking came it that morning due to the weather improving over night and it turned into a lovely afternoon. I sang songs from the 1940s, 50s 60s & 70s and it was lovely to see you all, with a special thank-you to Catherine for inviting me.

I’ve continued to remain busy. I’ve been out every day this week performing  WAAF shows to commemorate the “Battle of Britain” and this coming weekend I’m moving forward and combining popular songs from the late 1940s and 50s to fill the brief for a couple of private vintage

Getting Set Up at The Kings Arms!

tea parties I have booked in the diary.

I’m fully booked for September and next weekend I’m heading off on tour to perform a series of shows along the South coast. I’m opening on Friday night 24th September at 7.30pm with the “Magic of the Musicals” at  Portchester Castle. My performance is taking place inside St Mary’s Church and tickets are priced at £8 and are available from the Church Tea Room, Parish Office, after Sunday services or you can contact the Parish Office, Assheton Court, Portchester, PO16 9PY  by telephone on Tel: 02392 321380 or e-mail Emma at  stmaryoffice@btconnect.com 

I’m looking forward to the show very much. I have a wonderful program planned and I will be including songs from My Fair Lady, South Pacific, Grease, Les Miserables, Oliver, Disney, Aladdin and more. So if you happen to be in town do pop along – it will be delightful to see you.

Snap Shot from Today’s Show in Chapel Brampton!

From Portchester I’m heading along the coast to Brighton  and on Monday night I will be at Danny House at Hurstpierpoint performing my Battle of Britain Show before heading back along the coast and finishing my tour in Fareham. I’m then straight into the recording studio on Saturday as I lay down my harmonies for my new song “Babies of the Blitz” and record my tracks in time to start filming on the 14th.

Phew – so much to do and I almost forgot to mention Proms in the Park. Last Saturday I had the pleasure of singing at Priory Park in Dunstable before the big screen went over live to the Royal Albert Hall. Once again we had

Sound Checking for Proms in the Park!

fantastic weather and I put together a wonderful program of Opera, popular war tunes and favorites from the Hollywood movie musicals. The park was packed and it was lovely to see people out and about enjoying themselves again after lock down.

Getting the timing right for Proms is essential as my shows have to tie in exactly with the Royal Albert Hall and it’s important not to run over.  Fortunately I had made careful notes and I was pleased I got it just right. I shall leave you with a few shots. Keep Following Toodle Pip and Bye for Now!

Checking Out The Big Screen Stage!

 


Singing the 40s in Wheathampstead, Flying High at Shuttleworth & Proms in the Park!

On Stage at Robert’s Party!

Robert with Family and Friends!

Once again I’ve had a very busy week with non stop shows over the weekend and much to prepare for with The Last Night of the Proms all set for this coming Saturday.

I’d like to begin my blog tonight by thanking Robert Bailey for inviting me to perform for his 21st Birthday party last Saturday in Wheathampstead. It was a wonderful occasion as Robert decided to go with a 1940s theme, and many of this guests came dressed in costume to celebrate.  I performed two sets of 1940s favorites over the afternoon which included Sing-along, Big Band and Swing to the best of 1940s Hollywood.

We were so lucky with the weather as Robert’s party took place in a beautiful garden and he had his collection of 1940s artifacts on display for us all to enjoy.  Robert even arranged for vintage party games which included guessing the article in the bag which in many cases proved to be much harder than originally thought.  I was completely thrown by the fir-cone as I was so sure I was feeling a plastic man made object through the bag and not a natural item from a tree.

Friends Together!

It was a lovely afternoon and afterwards we were all given a wonderful piece of off ration cake to take home which was delicious.

The next day I had a tight turn around as I was booked to perform for  Shuttleworth’s Vintage Air Show . Once again it was a lovely day and we couldn’t have wished for better weather. I had been booked to perform music from the 1920s through to the 1970s over three sets with costume changes. I always enjoy performing at Shuttleworth as there is so much to see and it’s lovely to witness the air craft flying and the

Between Sets at Shuttleworth!

vintage vehicle’s being driven. Most museums don’t move there exhibits which makes Shuttleworth unique as everything on display has a life of it’s own and is regularly flown or driven.

Apart from the Shuttleworth collection a lot of people bring their own vintage vehicle’s and display them at the show.  I was thrilled to meet up with Andy and his 1926 Moris Oxford again. Some of you may remember Andy very kindly allowed me to be photographed with his car when

I was doing my Peaky Binders shoot a couple of weeks ago. As yet I haven’t seen the photos but I spoke

Posing with a Real Gypsy Caravan!

with Angela the photographer last week and I hope to get them though the early part of next week, so I can’t wait to see them.

I also met up with a couple who had the most beautiful Gypsy caravan which would have been perfect for the Peaky Blinders shoot. Another time perhaps!

This week it’s all about Proms and tomorrow I’m in Northamptonshire performing my “Happy and Glorious” show before getting ready for the last night. This year I’m performing in Priory Park, Dunstable from 7pm before we go over live to the Royal Albert Hall at 7.30pm. I’m also performing during the interval which is at 8.15pm and then after the concert we finish with a fantastic firework display which is all very exciting. Click the link below for more details:-

https://www.dunstable.gov.uk/whats-on/events-and-attractions-2021/

Getting Set For Battle of Britain Day!

Next week it’s all change with it being “Battle of Britain” Day on the 15th September and I have a run of WAAF shows before singing the 1940s and 50s for a couple of Vintage tea parties at the end of the week. On the 24th September I will be heading off on tour which opens with my “Magic of the Musicals” show at St Mary’s Church Portchester Castle. Tickets are priced at £8 and are available from St Mary’s parish office on Tel 02392 321380 e-mail stmaryoffice@btconnect.com

More news on that and my South coat tour in my next blog.

Meeting Up with Veterans!

Oh I almost forgot. Over the last week or so Karen my web-designer has been adding more of my press cuttings to my web page “What the Papers Say” To see all my news click the link below:-

https://www.fionaharrison.biz/what-the-papers-say/

That’s all my news for now. Keep Following Toodle Pip!


Back from Sompting & Singing for Shuttleworth’s Vintage Air Show!

Setting Up On Stage at Sompting!

I’m afraid I can’t spend too long on my blog tonight as I have a pile of contracts and e-mails to get through and much to prepare for with an extremely busy September ahead of me. Dates are selling fast and I only have a few days left for 2021. Most of my prime dates have already sold for 2022 and it’s good to be getting back to some sort of show normality.

I’d like to begin tonight by thanking every-one who came to see my WAAF Battle of Britain Show in Sompting at the weekend. I had been booked to perform for a community event on Sompting’s

Meeting Up With a Jolly WW2 Giant!

playing field which attracted lots of up and coming acts from the local Brighton area. The theme was the 1940s and my show had initially been rolled over from last year due to the pandemic.

It was lovely to see the sunshine especially as last weekend was a bank holiday. While I was there I also had the pleasure of meeting up with 1940s enthusiasts on the Living History Double Decker Bus and a jolly WW2 giant on stilts. It’s amazing the people I meet when I’m out and about and we couldn’t have wished for better weather. For this show the organizer had brought in a  professional sound company which always makes things easier when there are a lot of acts on the billing.

While I was down on the south coast I was also able to tie my show in with a couple of other performances which took me to Fishbourne just out-side of Chichester and I will be returning to perform “The Magic of the Musicals” at St Mary’s Church

On Board the WW2 Double Decker Bus!

Portchester Castle on the 24th September with more details to follow soon. So keep watching this space.

In the mean time you can catch me this Sunday performing at Shuttleworth’s Vintage Air Show on the 5th September. I’ve been booked to perform three shows daily covering different periods in musical history. This include :-

11.00am – 11.45am – 1920s & 30s, 1.15pm – 1.45pm – 1940s 3.00pm – 3.45pm 1950s 60s & 70s so I hope you can all make it along. You can find more details about the event by clicking the link below:-

Vintage Air Show

Life on the Home Front Bus!

I’m going to have to leave it here tonight as I have a lot to get ready and show plans to write. I’ve been performing every-day this week such a variety of different styles sometimes I don’t know if I’m coming or going. I also have a 1940s party at the weekend which I’m looking forward too very much and a Proms concert in between.

Keep Following Toodle Pip and bye for now!


Going Peaky Blinders & The Launch of My New Video Long Ago and Far Away!

Dark and Dangerous!

This week so much has happened it’s a little like all my Christmases and Birthdays have rolled into one as I start to see the fruits of my labour take shape.  Today we were able to up load my new flicker-book video “Long Ago and far Away” to my You tube channel. This video documents my performance at Bletchley Park last month when I opened the concert series on 31st July.  I employed H100 – Photography to record my performance using still photography and I’m thrilled with the results.

Despite Bletchley Park only being just down the road, it took me a long time to get the booking

The Peaky Blinders Look!

and I’m pleased I’ve been able to preserve the moment forever.  I’m a great believer in taking every opportunity when it appears and this will be something I will be able to look back on when I’m an old lady. On the day we had to change location from the oval lawn to the ballroom due to rain. However photographically this worked in our favor as it gave us another perspective and more visual variety. I think Harry’s photos are super and he’s captured the day splendidly.

To see the video please click the link below:-

Angela, Joe and I on Location at Stoke Bruerne!

Yesterday I was working on location at the Milton Keynes museum with another photographer Angela Adams. I’m currently putting together a 1920s inspired video which will be combining still photography with moving image. For this video I wanted to break away from my usual lady like look and do something a little bit dark and dangerous so I’m combining that British gangster Peaky Blinders feel with Chicago.

I’m really far too lady like for Peaky Blinders having to learn on the job how ruff common people held and smoked their cigarettes back in the day. Even so my little finger still had a habit of

Getting into Character!

poking up so I hope somewhere in there there will be a selection of shots which will look ruff and tough enough for the video.

Yesterday was such a busy day as we had so many shots to capture. I knew time would be tight so I kept my costume selection simple. I also arranged for a 1926 Morris Oxford Bull nose car to be part of the shoot thanks to car owner Andy Wilson. I met Andy when I performed at the Luton Festival of Transport show back in June and he very kindly agreed to be part of the shoot on this occasion. A lot of work goes into getting these shots just right and yesterday we were fighting with the sun. You often want it to be over cast when shooting out-side so I’m keeping my fingers crossed we have enough of the right shots to make the video.

Hair by Kim Finger Waves!

Before the shoot I had my hair done in the 1920s style thanks to my friend Kim who is one of the few hair dresses to-day who can do 1920s finger waves.  To create this style you need clips and Kim still had a few original clips from the period as she used a combination of pomade and hair spray to get my hair to set. A style like this takes a lot of skill to create and it’s fascinating to see it take shape in the salon before a shoot. They don’t call Kim the “Hair Hitler” for nothing as Kim hates to see a hair out of place!

My friend Joe also joined me on the shoot as I

The Finished 1920s Finger Wave Look!

needed a gun man. Photographing this type of subject matter can be a little sensitive especially when walking around with an Enfield rifle. We finished our shoot at Stoke Bruerne as we wanted to get some canal shots  and I think when the photos are done they will look terrific.

In the meantime Richard sent through a new arrangement of the song “Babies of the Blitz” last night which is nothing short of fantastic and I can’t wait to perform. Tomorrow I have a show in Letchworth and then on Saturday I’m performing a Battle of Britain WAAF show just out-side

Tools of the Hair Trade!

of Brighton in the village of Sompting. I’m opening the show at noon and then the following week I will be at Shuttleworth’s Vintage air Show  performing three shows daily but more on that in my next blog. I shall leave you with a few photos and I look forward to catching up with you all next time.

Keep following, Toodle Pip and bye for now! 😉

 


Back from Stonehurst Farm & Shooting Peaky Blinders!

Between Shows at Stonehurst Farm!

Paul and Poppy!

Firstly I’d like to begin my blog by thanking every-one who came to see our shows at the weekend at Stonehurst Farm’s 1940s event. Paul and I performed eight shows over the weekend and it was lovely to be out, catching up with friends and performing the music of the 1940s. Paul and I always enjoy this event as it attracts all sorts of people, not just 1940s enthusiasts but families of all ages too.

It was a busy weekend as somebody told me there were twelve 1940s events going on due to all the rescheduling which has taken place in recent months.  Stonehurst Farm has so much to offer not just for children where they can get up close and feed the animals  but it also has a terrific motor museum, which is always a delight to see. The weekend also attracts lots of re-enactors who bring their military displays and vintage vehicles.

So often with these events I have to stay fairly close to the stage area as I have costume changes and a lot to do in a day. A great deal of thought goes into all my shows and I was pleased to perform a couple of my new arrangements which went down well with the audience. Poppy came

On Stage with Paul!

with us too as she is learning to be a showbiz dog although I think she enjoys being a sleep in her basket best of all. She never likes to be too far away from Paul when he’s on stage and she often likes to peep around the corner when he’s singing.

As you can see I’m much later with my blog this week than usual but this month I’ve been extremely busy. I’m often working well into the earlier hours of the morning just to get everything done. I’ve been out performing every day and this week I’ve had press interviews, meetings, dress fittings, recording sessions and a new video to master in between shows. I also

Opening the Weekend with my WAAF Show!

picked up a beautiful 1920s microphone I commissioned from Wendover Wood which I will be using in a film I’m recording in October.

I’m currently working on a new flicker book video of the Cover Girl song “Long A Go and Far Away” with my web-designers Karen and Peter. This video will be documenting my performance at Bletchley Park and Peter very kindly sent over the rushes last night. I employed H100-Photography to take the photos and I have a wonderful selection to choose from. It takes a while to go through everything but the video is

Bed Time for Poppy!

coming together beautifully and it will be great to have a new addition to add to my video channel.

Next week I’m heading over to Milton Keynes Museum to do a Peaky Blinders photo shoot. Initially I had hoped I could have used the Black Country Living Museum but due to copy right restrictions that wasn’t possible.  I’ve been learning a lot about men’s pattern cutting over the last few months and how men’s clothes of this period go together. Naturally I’ve had to have the trousers and waist coat made, cut in the mannish style to fit my figure. I had a fitting last night and once again Judi my dress maker has done me

On the Sunny Side of the Street!

proud.

I’ve also been lucky and managed to find a couple of important pieces on Etsy. I was thrilled to pick up the perfect over coat cut in the mannish style to fit a woman’s figure on line and also the right period fox fur. All my furs are from the 1940s where 1920s furs have a different shape. When I get it all together I think the results will be impressive as we are going for a dark and dangerous look rather than the lady like image we have done so many times before.

My new 1920s Microphone!

Once again these photos are for a music video I will be shooting in October which will be combining the Peaky Blinders look with Chicago hence the vintage 1920s microphone.

I’m going to leave my blog here as I need to crack on and get ready for my show this afternoon. In the meantime I will leave you with a few photos from Stonehurst Farms 1940s event. Keep Following Toodle Pip and Bye for now! 😉


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