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Thank You

22 Feb

Thank you, everyone, for your good wishes this week. It’s a thrill to know how many friends I have, in the real and virtual worlds. I intend to respond to you all but this has been a manic week for me – although, these days, when is it not?

Image result for the music man

I wanted to take a minute to share a video with you. As you know, Alex has sung with Sheffield University Broadway Orchestra many times, performing lost (though presumably found by the time they get to him) and forgotten (though presumably remembered etc., etc.) songs, some of which he was the first person ever to sing, or the first person in Britain ever to sing, for as many as eighty years.

On Sunday, he will sing in what will probably be his last Broadway concert, as he graduates this year.  

😦

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Sorry, I needed a moment there. I have LOVED these concerts. Apart from The Tree of War (obviously), they have been my favourite shows to watch. They are fabulous.

The show is composed of songs from The Music Man, in honour of its sixtieth birthday. I had thought that they are not lost or forgotten but the website says the show includes ten songs cut from the original. Either way, they are rarely performed these days so, if you are in the Sheffield area on Sunday night, why not pop along? Here’s a link: The Music Man

To whet your appetite, here’s a snippet from rehearsal. Alex is singing with his regular collaborator, Debra Finch.

SElf-Explanatory

13 Mar

Here are some videos of Alex performing.  The first is from The Boy Next Door, a concert of the music of Hugh Martin.  There are more videos if you let it play out; and The Mamas & The Papas fans might enjoy a new girl group’s rendition of one song in particular:

The second is a compilation of snippets from a show he did last year, The Colla Voce Theatre Cabaret, made up of songs from modern musicals:

This weekend Alex was involved in several events at Sheffield University’s Platform festival, in aid of Cavendish Cancer Care.   On Friday he sang in the SUPAS Showcase, playing George III in Hamilton, singing You’ll Be Back:

 

Thursday to Saturday he’s performing in Miscast, again with Colla Voce Theatre:  

Image result for Adhesive

Hit the link to buy tickets if you happen to be in the Sheffield area.

If you haven’t heard of Miscast, it’s ‘an annual benefit in which Broadway stars perform songs from musical roles which they would be very unlikely to land in…’ [Playbill].

And finally, I have a belated Christmas gift for you: I don’t think I’ve mentioned that he had his first paid acting gig at Christmas…playing one of Santa’s Experience Elves at the Trafford Centre.  I love that he did that as it gives me another opportunity to poke fun at him; I don’t even need to say anything – just put the pic out there:

 

 

 

Don’t Cry, America

9 Nov

There’s a song from The Book of Mormon called Turn it Off.  That’s the advice given to those facing disaster or who may have too many feelings.

It just so happens that Alex sang it with some of his fellow performers on Friday night, and I have the video to prove it.  I thought it might cheer up those of you in a state of shock right now.  Or at the least help you to contain your horror.

Enjoy!

 

Miss Liberty at Sheffield University

8 Dec

The songover is Alex’s voice

You readers must be wondering why this blog seems to have turned into an Alex Cosgriff fan page.  The problem is, the Hub does nothing; Wary Boy tells us nothing; I remember nothing.  Alex is the only one who does anything worth writing about.

I can tell you that I did something on Sunday that I did exactly a year ago, but without the defecation: I went to a brass band concert with my friend Alison.  I enjoyed it.  

That’s about as interesting as it gets; if you want the poo story, I suggest you re-read last year’s visit.

This week, Alex is singing in a concert – with some dialogue, including narration by someone from The Great British Bakeoff (not Paul Hollywood or Mary Berry) – of the songs from Miss Liberty.  The cast is singing with a 40-piece orchestra.

Miss Liberty is a forgotten musical by Irving Berlin.  As far as is known, it has never been staged outside of the States, and has rarely been staged there.  As a result, the concert at Sheffield University is creating noise here and in the US. There have been some radio interviews and articles on the BBCThe Stage, PlaybillBroadwayworld and elsewhere.

For the background story on why it is being staged, read here.

The concert takes place on two nights, including four songs for one night only:

…on Thursday 10 December 2015 audiences will have the opportunity to hear world premiere performances of four songs that were cut before the musical opened on Broadway in 1949. They were discovered by McHugh and Malone in Berlin’s papers at the Library of Congress and special permission has been given to perform them for one night only by the Berlin estate.

University of Sheffield News

Can you tell me, then, why I spent all of yesterday upending Alex’s room to find the two suits, one jacket, one shirt, several ties, and two pairs of trousers Alex simply MUST have if he’s going to appear on stage this week?  And why that was a complete waste of time when I couldn’t find half of them – the suits in particular – and Alex suggested I look behind the door…and there they were?  I’m not in it, so why is there so much work for me?  That boy is taking a liberty.

I suspect I’ll get payback in being able to poke fun at him, however: Alex, who thought the modern dancing he did in Godspell was naff (and read here for how I let that slip to the choreographer), is going to TAP DANCE without benefit of any training whatsoever, in front of a live audience.

I’m cringing all ready.

Hee hee hee.

We’ve Got Gigs Coming Out Of Our Ears Here

25 Jun

Bailrigg fm festival

Tory Boy phoned last night.  Not to chat to his mother or tell her how much he loves and misses her and he should never have left home to go to university, leaving her bereft and jobless.

No, he called because he wants me to promote a music festival he’s helped organise.  Fair enough: I’m a mother; doing as I’m told by my adult children is part of the job description.

When: TODAY from 12 to 9

Where: Lancaster University and bailriggfm.co.uk, so anyone can listen, anywhere in the world

What: MUSIC! LIVE BANDS! DJs!

Price: FREE

The festival has been organised by Bailrigg fm, the student radio station at Lancaster University.  It is the first time they have tried something like this and they are hoping to make it an annual event.  The students have organised everything, including the food (done at the last minute by Tory Boy himself, so you know who to sue).

TB will be doing his DJ sets at 12 – 12.15 and 12.45 – 1, UK time, so please check him out if you happen to be online.  Click here for an international clock.

Then report back to me: I can’t be doing with all that nasty, modern music.

No Contest

20 Feb

When you’re feeling down, what music cheers you up?

Interlude

19 Sep

Got a kid back – sending it off again – losing a kitchen – gaining a happy housewife – ditto bathroom – happy clean housewife – may not get to write much next few days – bear with me – kiss.

Doodoodoododoodododododododododoo

2 Jul

We haven’t had any music for a while, so here’s something mellow to set the tone for the weekend; you’ll know it when you hear it:

There’s not much to report today. 

I suggested to the Hub that he might try acupuncture to relieve his pain and he asked me was I sure I didn’t mean voodoo? 

I must try not to be nice to him; he’s so suspicious, I might get found out.

Have a great weekend!

Writer’s Island Prompt Number 9

26 Jun

I Don’t Recall

I never had a flirty day in Frodsham
with an owner of the red album.
I did not visit the Everyman;
never got free tickets;
could not have attended
the last-night cast party
or met the beautiful half-Greek
love child of a boxing legend.
I don’t recall a walk to school;
a white December day;
a shocked discussion;
a cute boy in a trendy coat.

No mad man.
No bullets.
Imagine:
no John Lennon.
I can’t.

*

The prompt was ‘Imagine’. I imagine many of the Islanders will immediately hear the Lennon song, just as I did. I thought about the funny ways music and musicians touch our lives though we never meet, and remembered moments from my own life that would not have happened if Lennon had never existed.

The visit to the Everyman in Liverpool was to see a play about Lennon’s life.

I’m A Gleek

25 Jun

and I hope to get the t-shirt to prove it. I already have the music and I’d better get the dvd for Christmas or come December 26th I’m offering my whole family on Freecycle. Don’t stop believing it boys, because I mean it: what a girl wants, she better get.

I absolutely LOVE Glee (it won’t surprise you to learn that I also adored Fame in the Eighties). I thought Lea Michele singing Don’t Rain On My Parade was the best moment of the series – though Chris Colfer and the football team singing Single Ladies comes a close second – and I have hurt my eardrums by playing it over and over at full blast on my MP3 player.

I never saw the point of an MP3 player before the Glee albums, despite having one of the first to come out (though in those days it was known as a ‘Walkman’), but now I don’t go anywhere without it. Unfortunately, I can’t concentrate on anything with all that music blaring so I have to find something dull to do. This has led to me frightening the Hub, who is not used to me doing housework voluntarily, but I just take a bow and carry on.

I also spend a lot of time dancing with myself; I might look stupid, but it should even out the chocolate intake. And the Hub is so sweet: when I am ready to drop after all that dancing and cleaning – think Mr Myagi and ‘Wax on; wax off’ on dirty cupboard doors – he tells me, ‘I’ll stand by you; lean on me.’ And I tell him, ‘My life would suck without you.’

Who knew that a cheesy but incredibly fun tv series would reveal our endless love? It’s not a bad romance, really; even after twenty-eight years. Maybe it’s a man’s, man’s man’s world, but I’m a funny girl and he’s the one.

If you are wondering by this stage what I’m rambling on about, here’s something to help you; it might cast a little ray of light:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_songs_in_Glee

Word Music?

15 Mar

On Saturday I took Spud and Spud’s best friend to the art gallery to watch (hear, surely?) some live music.   Not classical this time, but a  mélange of styles from across the borough.  Due to an unfortunate timing issue, we missed the beginning because Stockport County’s match had just finished.  The ground, Edgeley Park, is just up the road from us. 

When we arrived, there was a young band playing and the musicians were good, the boy wasn’t bad but the girl was flat with a capital flat.  Then our old friend Paul Usher came on, he of the no nits.  Paul (several of us from our writing class had promised to support him), the chance for two teens to experience live music and the fact that it was free are the reasons I went.  I hope to be like my mother one day, who saw the Beatles at the Cavern before they were famous; Spud, his friend, my writing buddies and I can all say, ‘We saw Paul Usher at Stockport Art Gallery before he was famous.’  He’d better be famous because I’m tired of being let down by the boys’ school friends who form bands, let me watch them, then split up to go to university or work.   P.U. was amazingly good; much better live than he sounds on the net, and his playing is fabulous.  One of my writing buddies spoke truth when she said, ‘I wouldn’t want to be the act that follows him.’  As it turned out, nobody did.  Want to be that act, that is.  Spud and SBF were not impressed by the country & western duo who followed, though the woman was pretty good.

The best was yet to come, however.  One of the gallery’s staff advised us to stick around and listen to the next band: ‘A lady who chants poetry to music.’  Hmm.  You can’t whack a good poem, it’s true; but try listening to a woman in a Harry Potter cloak and her wild-eyed band mate – if I tell you he could look at the pictures on either side of the gallery at the same time, you’ll get my drift – read what was possibly good poetry but we couldn’t tell because all we could hear was ‘Mmffff ggghh hhhrret tttssd ddeeyy uhnx nmdjdhggfh’ from him and a wobbly, reedy, way flatter than the earlier girl, ‘Can’t get you outta my head’ from her, interposed after every fourth line of  ‘Mmffff ggghh hhhrret tttssd ddeeyy uhnx nmdjdhggfh.’  The boys needed to leave immediately so they could laugh outside without choking.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for experiments in poetry and music and supporting local artistes, but the boys are in favour of breathing and they just couldn’t stifle their laughter any more.  They will definitely remember the band, called Word Music, because they made up poems and interspersed them with increasingly hysterical  ‘Can’t get you outta my heads’ all the way home.

 

I Knew Him Back When

5 Mar

With apologies to Paul, who might not find this blog to be quite what he was expecting.

Take a look at this You Tube video.  This – boy? young man? lad? What do I call him?  He’s of a similar age to Tory Boy but obviously we are not on similar terms. I’ll call him ‘person’ and make him sound like a bad smell under my nose…you mothers out there: did you find, like me, that the smell of a dirty nappy lingered long after it had been disposed of?  That sweet smell of success – Clever boy!  You did a big, sloppy poo for Mummy! – which meant your child was developing normally.  No?  It was just me?  Maybe I should have washed more often. 

Where was I?  Oh yes, the person in the above video is a young person in my creative writing class.  He is one of about ten hard-core persons left at what is almost the end of a twenty-week course.  When it started there were about thirty persons; some never came back after the first week; a few dropped off as the course progressed, one after the other, like synchronised swimmers in a 1930s’ water musical, until there was just me and nine others who liked writing more than they disliked my annoying presence.  This person, who (whom?  This is a day for questions, isn’t it?) I shall call ‘Paul Usher’, because that is his name, is one of the younger persons who has stayed the course of the course (I’m sorry, dear reader; I have my frivolous head on this morning) and I eventually overcame the age gap enough to occasionally talk to him. 

He’s a lovely lad and I learned that he writes and sings his own songs.  I checked out his website at www.paulusher.net – not because I’m stalking him: why would I do that when I haven’t finished with Brad Pitt yet? But because he shared his details with the class (a better class of persons you could not hope to find).  I was impressed.  I am doing a little bit of promoting as a result, and I hope my three regular readers will spread the word on his behalf.

Here’s the weird part* – Tory Boy knows him. Paul is the cousin of a very good friend of  TB’s.  It was the Hub who made the connection: surname-music-age-da-dah!  When I shared the information with Paul, he was only a little frightened, bless him.  We had been talking about stalking in class, however, and he might have mistaken my intense staring into the back of his head for something other than a motherly desire to check for nits.  We have only ever had one case of nits in this house, I’m happy to report; discovered in a certain head – naming no names or the boy will be embarrassed – on the first day of the Christmas holidays, 2000.  I bought an industrial strength de-lousing shampoo and treated the whole family.  Once our hair grew back we never had another case.

*Okay, it’s not that weird; Stockport is a small town.  I know this because the Queen refused to give us city status in the year of her Golden Jubilee.  Maybe we should buy a second-hand cathedral.

To sum up: itch that scratch; talk that stalk; stay away from Stockport if you’re a royalist; and check out my main man No-Drugs P.Usher.**

**There is a permanent link on the right-hand side under I Know An Artist… so that you don’t have to read through this again if you want to find him.

Remember – you read it here first!  And if you got this far, I don’t think Paul will mind if you don’t become a fan.  Seriously.  Stay away, you nutter.

Seasick Steve

4 Jan

Check this guy out:

I had never heard of him until last night’s episode of Top Gear; isn’t he brilliant?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasick_Steve

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