Dressed for The Poppy Appeal!
All Together at New Street Station!
Once again I’m between shows and everything is ramping up at an increasing rate as we get closer to Christmas. These last few weeks have been non stop and I only have a few days off between now and the end of the year to tie up all my loose ends.
Last week was all about Halloween and it’s been great to have a run of shows where normally I’m mixing play lists to accommodate clients choices. With the turn of the month I’m now performing “Blaze Away” shows to tie in with the 5th November & Guy Fawkes and then it’s straight into ATS uniform with Remembrance. My “We’ll Meet Again” army show will be taking me through the rest of the month and then it’s Christmas – gosh where does the time go!
Last Tuesday I was in Birmingham singing for the launch of the Poppy Appeal at New Street Station. It’s one of those jobs which really sorts out the Women from the girls as I had been booked to perform from 8am in the morning through to 5.30pm in the evening. It’s a long day but very enjoyable as the time quickly passes. This year I was joined on stage by vintage vocalist and ukulele player Lynda Styan, male crooner Steve Forward, The Royal Air Force Regimental
The Royal Air Force Regimental Band!
Band and Stan Streather as “Winstan” Churchill.
New Street Station is a large space to fill but equally it’s not easy getting the sound right as the hall space reverberates naturally and often carries further than expected. My day started before the crack of dawn at 3am as I had to be on the road by 4.30am and in Birmingham by 6.15am. I know from experience just how difficult it is getting into the center of Birmingham with it’s one way system, but fortunately this year I had some help from RBL helper Malcolm who had the local knowledge I needed to get me to where I
On Stage with Steve Forward!
needed to be on time.
It’s not easy and Malcolm’s help proved to be invaluable especially as the long stay NCP station car park was out of action and the lift had broken in the short stay car park. Fortunately every-one rallied around and a couple of guys from Network rail very kindly carried my equipment down. Once in situate it doesn’t take me long to rig as I know the space well. This was my 3rd year at New Street and for 2021 I had put together a fantastic program of songs covering music from WW1 to the 1970s.
Churchill & I with The Poppy Sellers!
It’s important to go with the flow and interestingly the music which went down best of all with the passing commuters were my Disney medleys and Rock and Roll. I was also able to try out a few of my newer numbers and musical arrangements which included “Babies of the Blitz” “That Man”, “Aladdin”, “By Myself” and “The Wizard of Oz”. Lynda Styan delighted audiences with her quirky mix of songs from the 1920s, 50s & 60s while Steve Forward crooned his way through the best numbers from the 1940s, 50s & 60s synonymous with stars such as Nat King Cole, Sinatra, Tony Bennett and more.
Yanto and “Winstan” Stan Streather!
It was great to see so many faces from passed years and to meet up with the service personal who were also working hard to sell Poppies around the station thanks to Yanto’s wonderful organizing skills and all the dedicated staff from the RBL. Afterwards Lynda, Steve and I went out for a meal before we started on our journeys home. I don’t mind admitting the drive back was a killer and as soon as I got home I was straight to bed.
I purposely took Wednesday off to recharge my batteries and now it’s full steam ahead with Guy Fawkes and Remembrance. This Saturday I’m on
Lynda Styan and I with Yanto!
stage performing for Cheddington Bowles Club and the following Saturday for remembrance weekend, Paul Marsden will be joining me on stage at The Lion in Waddesdon. More news on that in my next blog.
I would like to say a very big thank-you to every-one who came to support us at New Street Station and to all the staff and volunteers who helped to make this year such a success as we slowly get back to some sort of normality after lock-down. I shall leave you with a few photos from Birmingham. Keep Following Toodle Pip and Bye for Now! 😉
Collecting at New Street Station!