Rainbows in Summer: The Rainbow Chorus

A study in extremes, from a winter concert cancelled by the ravages of storm Deidre, to the hottest day of summer so far, the Rainbows never fail to deliver an entertaining evening of song. But this time there were elements that raised the whole to a new level. It’s a common truth about the city’s LGBT+ choirs as they grow, and this time there was real evidence of growth. The city’s choirs are not of course in competition but that drive for excellence certainly spurs them all on.

The theme of summer however was more evident in the temperature and decor than in the choice of material. There were a few old favourites that the choir and followers love to hear, and on this occasion they reached new heights with them all.

This I would attribute to three things. Firstly excellent sound quality from a team of engineers who clearly had made great efforts to get the best from the choir, maybe a little too much reverb from time to time, but overall a very professional job. Secondly the choir were absolutely on top form as an ensemble, perhaps the tightests I have heard from them and as always the fact they actually look like they are enjoying what they do – it all adds to both the sound quality and the experience. Finally the soprano section of the choir have never been better, some soaring top notes were bang on the money and there was a new confidence in their voices – an absolute delight.

Full marks for soloists too and in particular Jude Clarke who nailed those top notes in Pie Jesu and Chick Atkinson who knows how to add rock and soul to the choral form.

Highlights for me though were Seal Lullaby, You are my SIster and Shenandoah with a complex arrangement that always brings a tear to my eye.

Once again I fear, too many speeches overall that break the flow of the music, and irritating lighting that serves no purpose whatsoever.

That said this was a well belanced and beautifully delivered evening of song.

St George’s Chruch Kemp Town

29 June

Andrew Kay

Rating: ★★★★★

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