Saturday, October 27, 2012

Algarve Rock Choir

The blog-meister has metaphorically wrapped my knuckles and castigated me for not having written anything in yonks. It’s all very well for him, he is probably sitting in his minimalist office facing a floor to ceiling window overlooking a beach full of bikini-clad blondes whilst sipping good white burgundy. He doesn’t understand that we hillbillies have a tough life up here. Between the constant weeding of the vegetable garden, the uphill battle to stop the pool going green, the weekly dosing of pesticide that the date palm has to have to keep it alive and the never ending wall painting, not to mention a plumbing system… ok I won’t mention the plumbing system. But the bottom line is – hillbillies are, during the day, busy people and in the evening we are what the newspapers like to call ‘tired and emotional’. So Sir, that’s my excuse plus the fact that I am the procrastinator of procrastinators and always have been. And frankly I have always felt that if you cannot write something either of interest or humour then don’t write at all. But now I have something that I think I should share – well at least share with the Algarve community.

There is a little known group of like-minded people down here who call themselves ‘The Algarve Rock Choir’  This thirty something group consisting mainly of Brits but also some Swedes, Germans, Dutch, Irish and Portuguese have one thing in common – they are all delusional. They are delusional but delusional in the nicest possible way for although they all believe they cannot sing and most can’t they come together and meet weekly to belt out (in four part harmony) rock and pop songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

A while ago I was invited to one of their concerts (whoops, sorry you rockers out there, gigs) held in a restaurant in Sao Bras and came away impressed, for what they lacked in professionalism was more than matched by their fervour. They have an incredible backing band (unusual in a rock choir) consisting of lead, bass and rhythm guitars and keyboard, with synthesised percussion tracks. The atmosphere was amazing; the audience of 150 plus were jumping up and down in their seats and trying to sing along. (The last time I saw this was when I at a screening of Jailhouse Rock in 1957)

A few weeks later I went to a 50th birthday party where the choir were singing, they had added a few other numbers and had improved by leaps and bounds. Two of the female choir members, with seriously good voices, took some of the solos with the choir doing the usual  ‘woo bob de boop’ type backing. Their repertoire opens with Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’ and continues, amongst others with Abba, Billy Joel, The Carpenters, The Supremes, The Beachboys etc.
Enthusiastic they are – if you get the opportunity go and see them, go, even if it’s for just the chance to see a group of people singing songs you love whilst all moving in different directions. It’s a hoot but it’s fun.