Of course, I don’t actually mean singing backwards. I really mean singing facing backwards and actually that’s only those of us who are normally in the front row. Everyone else faces the same way as usual.
Jeff often gets us to do this when we’ve learnt something a little but are still not at all that sure of it. It’s an amazing thing to do, actually, because we’re singing to each other, getting eye contact and actually helping each other through the music. The big disadvantage for those of us in the front row is that we can’t see Jeff. But it turns into an advantage as we have to trust our friends from the back row to keep an eye on our musical director and give us the heads up about what he’s expecting.
Some fabulous music
We’re still working on the excellent arrangements of The Long and Winding Road and Here, There and Everywhere. We’re even blending them together. That’s complicated – fun and effective, but complicated.
A few more people are volunteering to try out the solo part in Longer. I wonder whether Jeff is actually really expecting us all to do it eventually. Gulp!
We’ve also worked quite a bit on And So it Goes. We’re revisiting and polishing Blue Skies, Deep River, Dance in the Street, Memories and Kum Ba Yah.
Older established ones are still practised: Nellie the Elephant, I think It’s Going to Rain Today and Wonderful World.
Pretty new are: Under the Boardwalk and Walk a Mile.
Ear-worms have their place
I often find that if I almost know something it will wake me in the night and I can’t sleep again until I’ve convinced myself I actually know it. Of course, I don’t – there are usually some problematic bars or a few of the words missing. I’ve even had to resort to getting up and going and having a look. Not good. And this was supposed to be a hobby?
There is of course, a better cure – learn it! So the next day I’ll go through it at least twelve times and sleep better the next night.
We have to. We’ve so many important gigs coming up. We’re at a critical stage now. We go somewhere and folk like us and invite us somewhere else. We’ve got to make sure we’re at least as good the next time – if not better.“I’m being picky,” says Jeff as he makes us go through the diction or the phrasing of a particular line again and again. Well, thank goodness he is. We need to get it that right. And actually, if he’s going into that much detail, isn’t this a sign that we’re getting there?