There’s something about a Sunday afternoon in Manchester in the rain. It’s special when you’re holed up in smart cocktail bar and taking part in what is rapidly becoming a quite prestigious arts festival. So yes, there we were, at Proof in Chorlton, taking part in the Chorlton Festival.
We were one of three acts. First we were treated to another a cappella performance by the Melodico Ensemble. Fabulous voices and a really impressive version of the James Bond theme. And what a surprise! They also did Let’s Do It, quite a similar version to ours, and Joshsua, a considerably different one from ours.
They were followed by Paul Twine who played Spanish guitar for about forty minutes. The chat in the bar soon subsided and everyone listened carefully to the gentle tones that somehow went so well with the soft summer rain flowing down the window.
Then it was our turn. All eyes were now upon us. Okay, so we probably at that point outnumbered our audience. The bar is small. The weather prevented us from spilling outside, yet because we were there and the other performers and their audiences, the place was full and the atmosphere was energetic.
It was an intimate performance. It had to be. Space was limited. We almost had to stand in a circle so eye contact was mainly with each other.
“I like the fact that you performed in the middle of us,” said one young lady. I gave her one of our cards.
“Oh, I can’t sing,” she said.
“You’d be surprised,” I replied. “Besides, you might want to hear us again.”
This same young lady caused trouble by asking for an African song. Well, we haven’t done one of those for a while. It turned out not to be a problem: everyone still knew Wasma. It also meant we did two encores.
We performed a varied selection – including Kiss the Girl, Deep River, Kum Ba Yah, The Way We Were, Deep River, Wonderful World, our Here, There and Everywhere / The Long and Winding Road medley and Love is the Sweetest Thing. Of course we also had to include Let’s Do It and Joshua.
The audience was warm and friendly.
It was a fantastic afternoon. We hope we can come again.