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The Return

Having been away for eight days on an action-packed holiday, I had no time to listen to any tracks (apart from train tracks as it was rail holiday!). Therefore, on my return, I felt a little unprepared.

It does highlight the importance of practising and listening to the tracks, not only for my own peace of mind and satisfaction, but also to help my fellow trillers and not to get glares and comments from Eamonn!

As the sun was setting over the golf course we commenced with Waterloo Sunset.

This is a song by British rock band The Kinks, composed and produced by Kinks front man Ray Davies.He said he wrote Waterloo Sunset having had the actual melody line in his head for two or three years.

He initially titled the song Liverpool Sunset, but scrapped the Liverpool theme after the release of the Beatles' song Penny Lane.

The lyrics describe a solitary narrator watching (or imagining) two lovers passing over a bridge, with the observer reflecting on the couple, the Thames, and Waterloo station.

Eamonn’s version should be warm, big and expansive. The Ooohs should have length and be moving forward and not short and sharp. Smile as you sing them and you’ll be surprised how it does lift the sound. The key to success is to keep the smile going all the way through to the end!

Then the sopranos sing Sha la la – sounds simple. It is actually simple, but as usual, sopranos find it complicated and not feeling confident in the notes, it comes out sounding like bored backing vocalists. Homework, methinks!

On page eight, the Ooohs become Ohs. Make a note in your music score, so you are ready for the change in sound.

The song ends on one of Eamonn’s extended endings. These are easy as the words and notes are repeated, so you don’t need to look at your music; just keep your heads up and look at Eamonn for timings and ending on a crisp ‘s’ on paradise!

Ralph McTell becomes Streets of London charity ambassador 2018

The Streets of London followed. This is a song In Flagrante has sung before, so a return and refresher for some members, although new to others.

This, like Waterloo Sunset, is a modern-day folk song and tells a story, so enunciate the words so they are clear. Altos, who have the lead, remember the long introduction and don’t come in too soon.

While we had the opportunity, we returned to some songs previously sung like Bridge over Troubled Water. Not two lovers passing over a bridge as in Waterloo Sunset. The title concept was inspired by Claude Jeter's line "I'll be your bridge over deep water if you trust in my name," which Jeter sang with his group, the Swan Silvertones, in the 1959 song "Mary Don't You Weep".

Paul Simon named Johann Sebastian Bach's "O Sacred Head, Now Wounded" as inspiration for parts of the melody.

As this was a real In Flagrante oldie, only a few of us had sung it before, but there were enough of us to give it a go and Eamonn’s comment was ‘Not at all bad!’

In the words of Spike from Notting Hill, not bad, not at all bad

Praise indeed.

We will go over this in detail next week.

Daydream Believer was next. This needs to be kept bright by singing into the cheekbones and not in the throat. On the Bas and Dos, ping the first ‘b’ and ‘d’ and give them a journey and not sing them like individual notes. It’s not about volume, but about energy

Nights in White Satin Oohs need to be kept as a round sound.

Sopranos are there to be educated, we were told, and will continue to be given harmonies until we can learn how to sing them! A little extra homework here too!

Tip of the night – mark the last page of a song in your music with ‘END’, so you are not tempted to turn over the page to see if there is any more and spoil Eamonn’s piano endings.

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