Visitors to the LS6 Beer Festival clink clink clinking their glasses were surprised to hear the BOOM BOOM BOOM of the modern music gramophone replaced by sweet angelic voices. Mine was one of those voices, though ‘sweet’ and ‘angelic’ have never applied under any circumstances. But I don’t think anyone noticed.
For the past year or so, I’ve been part of the Left Bank Vocal Collective which meets in the converted Victorian Gothic masterpiece that was the St Mary of Antioch Anglican church in Leeds. We call ourselves Vocal Collective, rather than ‘choir’ because the latter implies some degree of decorum and order, maybe even a bit of musical knowledge and the ability to recognise notes on staves.Now I’m not saying we aren’t any of those, we just don’t want to be reported to Trading Standards.
We sing most of our music a capella, which means without music, mainly because no-one can properly play the keyboard and also because the acoustics of the old church are absolutely stunning, so we’re not about to spoil that with a synthesiser and electronic plinkety plinketies.
This is our third gig, we perform what I would call ‘world’ music. These are songs and rounds sung in languages we don’t understand and include a potato-picking ditty from the Baltic, a native Australian lullaby and a little trill from Korea. Our choir mistress has the idea of getting us around the world in 80 songs, we definitely have some way to go, but it’s a fantastic journey of discovery!