Wednesday, October 20

Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus: The Show Must Go On

- June 27, 2021

Billed as The Boys From The Chorus one of the city’s favourite community choirs, who happen to be from the LGBTQ+ community, have embraced the new normal and a return to live performance with a clever set of solos and a few duets – and a very successful confection this turned out to be.

Their normal offerings are usually peppered with comic sketches but on this occasion, in the ancient and beautiful surroundings of St Nicholas’ Church, they focused on song, not that there was an absence of humour, but on this occasion it came from the musical content.

Andrew Farr makes a fine compère delivering his parts with both wit and charm and kicking the whole off with a rousing rendition of The Show Must Go On, a poignant start to concert after such a long absence.

Kieran Moore then sang Out There from Disney’s Hunchback of Norte Dame, not a song I know but one I will now investigate and Farr placed it in the context of Kieran’s own life for us.

Sadao Udea then delivered a gentle rendition of Lennon’s Imagine, so often a trite cliche but Sadao always delivers a song using his acting skills, as a consequence this was spine tinglingly good, really first class.

Chorus Chair Nick Ford used his powerhouse of a voice to deliver Rise Like A Phoenix starting with barely a whisper but rising, appropriately, to take full advantage of his enormous range.

Lightening the mood Jon Taylor gave us a fine slice of disco with ABBA’s As Good As New, Jon never fails to instil humour into his performances.

Graeme Clark delivered I’ll Never Love Again bringing the mood back to a more moving and serious tone, perhaps a touch of bathos before the next song.

Who would have guessed that anyone would choose to sing Quando, Quando, Quando but Andy Williams did and he did it with aplomb, hitting every nuance and note and delivering a snake-hipped dance in the centre of a truly delightful and cheeky performance.

Sondheim’s Being Alive was beautifully sung by Rod Edmunds in a performance that seemed very personal.

The same could be said about Billy Joel’s He’s Got A Way About Him from Chris Baker dedicated to his partner of 18 years.

I’m no Britney fan but Jonfen Claxton made me think again with his number Everytime, and what a fine voice this guy has too! Another song for me to explore.

Of course no BGMC show would be the same without some humour so when Andrew Farr announced a long gone Eurovision win for the UK with Save All Your Kisses For Me we might well have been delivered a silly slice of campery – far from it. Rod Edmunds and Chris Baker returned to sing a very fine and gentle re-imagining of the cheesy hit – and it worked beautifully.

As an encore  Ford and Farr gave us I Finally Found Someone, a polished end to a superb return to the platform.

Hats of once again to Chorus Director – Joe Paxton, Music Director and Accompanist – Tim Nail and Assistant Musical Director – Jack Simmonds.

Andrew Kay

26 June

St Nicholas Church

Rating: ★★★★★

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