On Stage with Joe Marling in Mentmore!
Joe & His 1942 British Jeep!
May I begin my blog tonight by saying how sorry I was to hear of Dame Vera Lynn’s passing on the 18th June. A lovely lady with an incredible voice. I’m only sorry I never had the privilege to meet her. When it was her 100th birthday I was invited to sing for a number of parties as people came together to celebrate her birthday. At 103 she has left a wonderful legacy of music.
Strangely enough all my Driveway concerts this last week have been 1940s “We’ll Meet Again” shows and it’s been good to perform a few other Vera Lynn numbers too. My favorite Vera Lynn song is “Be like the kettle and Sing” and as yet I haven’t been able to get hold of the sheet music. I have loads of music books but for some reason that song never seems to be included. It’s a number I’ve been wanting to learn and perform for a while now but I’m still looking for the sheet music, so if there is any-one out there with a copy I would love to hear from you.
Although my “We’ll Meet Again” show has a basic template, I always like to add in a few different numbers each time I perform it – depending on the mood of the audience.
We’ll Meet Again in Waterdell!
Every audience is different and it’s important to go with the flow. Some audiences like to sit back and listen, while others want a good sing-along and a bit of a knees up. It’s important to have a varied repertoire and all bases covered. This week I’ve been performing “Yours” and “You’ll Never know”; two Vera Lynn numbers I’ve not sung in a while.
Way back in 1998 I commissioned the backing tracks to these two songs and now I prefer to use more modern recordings. These original tracks made up part of my touring “We’ll Meet Again” theatre show where my co-star was a singing lamppost. I have very happy memories of that show. I played the role of Lance Corporal Wendy Harrison in the ATS. My ATS uniform still has the rank of Lance Corporal and the show was really successful. I toured all the way up to Shetland and
Making Friends with Bentley the Dog!
Orkney and way back down to Jersey and Guernsey – Happy times!
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of performing on Mentmore Village Green as the village came out with their picnics to watch my 40s show. Sadly Mentmore had to cancel their VE Day Celebrations due to the Covid Lockdown and it had been my intention to perform for them for D-day instead. Once again we were unable to go ahead due to bad weather but fortunately everything came together last Saturday. The weather was fabulous and I had a fantastic audience. My
friend Joe brought his British 1942 Ford Jeep which made an incredible back drop as everyone sat and joined in with the music. If you follow me on Facebook you will be able to see my show as I steamed it live!
I confess to begin with I had thought Saturday 20th June was Armed Forces Day instead of the 27th, only because I turned over two pages in my diary and miss read the First Day of Summer for Armed Forces Day due to having written over part of the writing. However as it turned out things couldn’t have worked out better. This coming Armed Forces Saturday I shall be in Aylesbury
Matching Vintage Buttons!
with “We’ll Meet Again” and then I dash back, change costume to perform in Miles Avenue songs from the 1940, 50s, 60s and more.
Last Sunday I sang for a belated 90th birthday in Waterdell as I continue to perform my Driveway Concerts in and around Leighton Buzzard. Just like Mentmore it was a beautiful day and Waterdell has a wonderful community spirit. Neighbours came out of their houses to sing along and to wish John a very Happy belated 90th Birthday. While I was there I also made friends with Bentley the dog who was so friendly he really stole the show.
My New Monkey Blouse!
This week I’ve been able to make great progress with my computer as she’s just received a larger brain and I’ve had her upgraded to Windows 10. A job long over due. It’s speeded my work up immensely. With lockdown it’s the little things which mean a lot. Today I decided to have a run out to Princes Risborough as I wanted to visit Sally’s Sewing box and fortunately they were open for business.
Before the lockdown I bought some incredible monkey fabric there which I have just had made
Tartan Ribbon Trimming!
into a 1940s blouse. I was lucky enough to find vintage buttons online and I had an original pattern from the 40s. I never stop being creative and I’m looking forward to receiving my V for Victory brooch. Today I was able to pick up some interesting red tartan ribbon which I think will look fabulous on a dress. I shall leave you with a link from this week’s Observer which featured me in the paper: https://bit.ly/FionaHarrison-Observer
Keep Following and Toodle Pip! 😉