On 7 June 2018 the Pink Singers attended their 35th Pride in London parade. This year the theme of pride was #PrideMatters. Pride in London is always a very special event for the Pink Singers and matters a great deal as it’s what brought our choir together all those years ago.
This year like any other we walked the streets of our fabulous city, holding hands, with our heads held high and singing our favourite songs for the people of London. We were joined by Pinkies old and new, friends and partners and even some of the Pinkie babies in their best rainbow outfits.
To celebrate Pride season Heathrow Airport invited us to sing to travellers as they arrive back in the city. It was the first time the choir had performed in an airport. Simon tells the story…
It was up, up and away for the Pink Singers as we participated in our first “Pride Events at Heathrow” on Sunday the first of July 2018. Around forty Pink Singers fastened their safety belts and boarded the Heathrow Express early that morning to take part in the event. After a quick briefing from the ground crew, our first set took off in Terminal Five at 11.45am.
We had a great response from the surprised passengers in arrivals who found themselves serenaded with songs from our summer concert including This Is Me, Waiting for a Star to Fall, Rainy Days and Mondays, Freedom 90, Set Fire to the Rain, and Proud Mary. It was cabin doors to manual as we flew over to Terminal Four and delighted the unsuspecting arrivals there too. After that we returned our musical director to upright, folded our piano keyboard away and disembarked in an orderly fashion!
On 27 June 2018 the Science Museum, in collaboration with Pride in London, opened it’s doors for an evening of LGBTQ+-inspired Lates. This colourful evening featured live performance, talks, music, activities and even a silent disco. The Pink Singers followed on from queer cabaret act Rhys’s Pieces and performed a short set of songs from the June concert to an audience which filled the exhibition room.
Gay Star News said ‘Europe’s longest-running LGBTI choir Pink Singers stole the show on the ground floor with their repertoire of anthems, including What’s Up by 4 Non Blondes’. We had a fantastic time and hope to be back next year!
On Saturday June 16th The Pink Singers will be singing songs from our 35th Birthday mix-tape. What songs would be on your favourite compilation?
We thought we’d take the opportunity to introduce you to another handful of the Pinkies Management Committee – those stalwart volunteers who keep the Pinkie machine motoring forward. We asked them what three songs they’d have on their mix-tape, and why.
Paul Simon- Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes. My favourite song from my favourite album. Conjures up memories of long summer afternoons. Frank Turner – love Ire and Song. My mum and I have almost groupie status over Frankie T! This song speaks to my inner activist- it tells us to keep fighting the good fight no matter what. The King Blues- I Want You. All songs that include Robson and Jerome must be awesome eh? They unfortunately didn’t authorise the Pinkies the use though! Fab to sing on long (or short) drives!
Train – drops of Jupiter – I love this song as it reminds me of my good old university days. Gregory Porter – More than a woman to me – well it’s obvious isn’t it? It’s written about my beautiful fiancee Tracey Button 😍 Jack Johnson – Banana Pancakes – takes me back to my backpacking days lying on a beach in Fiji listening to this album over and over again – amazing!
“Who do you think you are?” The Spice Girls. This song was released in my late teens, and I see as my ‘coming out anthem’. It was played in the gay bars in Belfast in the late 90’s and will always be synonymous with the time in my life when I was discovering a whole new side of myself, having moved to University and experiencing what it was to live by myself and the freedom of embracing my sexuality. And yes, I can do the dance moves. “All about you” McFly. This is such a sweet romantic song, and very much describes a very simplistic and altruistic sense of being in a relationship. It’s a proper karaoke favourite of mine, and in 2009, My husband Ben and I danced to it as our first dance as a married couple. “Both Sides Now” Joni Mitchell. The Pink Singers sang the most heart wrenching arrangement of this song in my first season back in 2014. The song is quite emotionally raw, and it provoked such a physiological response in me every time we sang it. My heart beats faster and I get goose bumps every time I listened to it, and it still does. It is by far my favourite ever Pinkies song that we have performed.
Now is the time to snap up a ticket for our Mix-Tape concert in June. Get them now – they’re hot! This week we’ve introduced a group discount – 15% off the top two ticket prices for group bookings of 8 or more people. Check out this promo video from an excited @TotallyPatsyMay
The 14th Various Voices was held in Munich and 92 choirs took part, from 23 countries. For the “pinkies” it was a chance to renew old friendships and make new ones, and for some it was their first chance to experience the wider LGBT choral world. As the oldest LGBT choir in Europe, the Pinkies’ performances are always well attended and receive a great reception. However, it does mean we put a certain amount of pressure on ourselves to give an outstanding performance for everyone!
Our repertoire in Munich gave us the opportunity to perform songs from a diverse range of musical styles, from the wondrous “Oh Radiant Dawn” for which we received many, many compliments, to Old Pinkie Favourites “Set Fire to the Rain” and “Proud Mary” with full choreography. For me one of the highlights was to see 3 members of the choir perform solos at their first Various Voices.
It was also exciting to see the range of performances from other choirs: from the sheer polish of the established American choirs, to the enthusiasm and joy of the choirs who were attending the festival for the first time. I can only imagine how the choir members from Ukraine, Poland & Turkey felt being part of such an inspiring and emotional 4 days.
Prior to joining the Pink Singers in September 2012, I had always wondered “Why join an LGBT choir?”. Having attended the last two Various Voices, I see that although the countries we live in may all be at different stages in terms of equality and justice for LGBT+ people, we are all travelling on the same journey. The one thing we all know is that singing as part of a group is something very special, and being supportive of other choirs in whatever way we can is a privilege.