I was last in Bristol 25 years ago when I was hosting a promotional event for Club 18 – 30 Holidays! Well, that was an intriguing chapter in my life, but this time I’m back with Europe’s longest established LGBT choir and my first trip away with the Pinkies.
Everyone’s very excited at our guest appearance with Sing Out Bristol and the chance to preview a whole new bunch of songs that we’re just introducing to the repertoire, but by the time I get to the venue for the afternoon rehearsal the air is stiff with tension and complexions are looking too wan. Ironically, this is the joy of Pinkies folk. We do what we do because it is tremendous fun, but equally there’s a real determination to do it as best as we can.
Attention to detail is all and every member of the choir seems to notice that I’m not wearing our decorative rose. One by one they come by to let me know, so much so, that the umpteenth person has his head royally bitten off. Unfortunately, that just turns out to be our MD, Murray. Ooops! “Sorry old love, first night nerves”, I soothed, swiftly reattaching the maestro’s bonce.
Finally rosed (bless you Jerome and Rachel!), flies checked, mine and everyone else’s (just to be sure, y’know), we step out on to the stage to a lovely, warm Bristol welcome. They seem to like us before we’ve even sung a note. No turning back now, so it’s eyes front, baton down, and we’re off as our voices fill one of the nicest acoustics we could wish for. Oh, the joy of sharing music, and to do it as part of the Pinkies family, pure bliss!
Even better, to be looked after so well by our Sing Out Bristol cousins, who, let’s not forget, are the evening’s lead performers. A most natural and gifted bunch of music makers as we find out when we join them for Lou Reed’s ‘Perfect Day’. It feels like we’ve always been making music together. A perfect day for sure.