On Saturday 22nd February, the Pinkies had a busy day performing not one but two gigs. Soprano Sally-Anne tells us about the day and how she now finds herself unexpectedly into football. Over to
Gigs are like buses, we don’t do any for a while and then two come along at once … luckily geography was kind to us and we were able to perform at two very different venues, to two very different audiences. Firstly we went to the Greenwich Maritime Museum to take part in the “Out at Sea” season where we performed to a lovely crowd of families and children who seemed to enjoy clapping along to our music. It was a lovely atmosphere and it was fantastic to return again (we were there last year) and sing in a larger and more open space.
We then jumped on the bus and went to Charlton to make a bit of history as the first LGBT+ choir to sing at a professional football match. As part of their commitment to fight discrimination in all forms, Charlton Athletic FC welcomed us to sing at their annual “Football v Homophobia” match. We sang two songs before the kick off to a crowd of c 15,000, including Heather Small’s “Proud”, and I can honestly say it was one of the most wonderful experiences I have had as a Pinkie. We were also invited to watch the match. Having never been to a football match before, I did not really know what to expect, but it was a lovely and family friendly event, and for a person who claims to have no interest whatsoever in sport, I found myself being captivated by the energy and skill of the players.
It was a real honour to perform for the football crowd, especially as we were asked to sing the Charlton Athletic “theme tune” (if that is the correct word) “Valley Floyd Road”. Thanks to the Proud Valiants, the official fan group of Charlton Athletic supporters who identify as LGBTQI+ and their allies for inviting us and for making us so welcome. And thanks Paul for your hard work putting this together. It really was a historical occasion and I hope that we can take part in some other sporting events in the future to keep on promoting equality and kick homophobia into the long grass! And congratulations to Charlton Athletic for winning 3-1!
Sally-Anne Smith, Soprano