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Ragged Friends Chorale.

Ragged Friends Chorale.

A flavour of Beatles Day

Faced with more than 10 hours of music and more than 100 acts spread over four stages, the Beatles Day visitor has hard choices to make. HOT’s music reviewer Brian Hick was particularly entranced with an a capella group and a ukulele band.

There is always so much going on at the White Rock Theatre on Beatles Day that any attempt to do the vast range of musicians anything like justice will be a waste of time. Hopefully a tiny snapshot may suffice to give at least a flavour of the event.

I arrived in the afternoon and went downstairs, which is always a more intimate environment. There was an extra bar at the bottom of the stairs which had almost run out of beer on tap but was still doing significant business.

Inside the room, seats were towards the sides with a large open area at the back, encouraging a regular turnover of listeners. Obviously many had come to hear their own favourites or support their friends, but equally large numbers were there to enjoy and hang around for the next group.

The first full session I heard was given by the Ragged Friends Chorale, a 16-voice a cappella choir singing in close harmony and very precise rhythms. They opened with Eight Days a Week followed by a lingeringly beautiful rendition of All My Lovin’. Two of Us is probably less familiar but their concluding Here comes the sun was captivating.

By complete contrast they were followed by the White Rock Ukulele Orchestra which meets monthly in the White Rock Hotel and welcomes new players. Suitably attired in Hawaiian shirts they brought added warmth on a cold afternoon.  Having tuned up they opened with Octopus’s Garden in The Shade and Lucy in The Sky with Diamonds.

The 10 players have a wide range of expertise, some only recent converts while others have been playing for years. Their enthusiasm is catching and Let It Be and Lady Madonna came over with enthusiasm. They ended their set with Eight Days a Week and I wondered just how many times that had been sung across the day.

If you’ve never been – or maybe think Beatles songs are a bit passé these days – then maybe it’s time you gave it a visit. There’s always next year!

White Rock Ukelele Orchestra.

White Rock Ukulele Orchestra.

 

 

Posted 12:17 Monday, Apr 8, 2019 In: Music & Sound

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