Last year, The BlueBelles sang in St George’s Hall in Bristol as part of the 2015 Festival of Song. Clearly we made a reasonable impression as we were invited back again to take part in this years Festival.
This time, it was a slightly different event. Gone was the formality of a performance on stage in one of the finest Concert Halls in Bristol. Instead we took part in the song raids. Song Raids are a Gathering Voices speciality! In the style of the contemporary flash mob, in locations across the city centre, Clifton Village and harbourside. The BlueBelles were allocated 4 venues in and around Bristol Harbour. Our schedule was as follows:
11.30 The Matthew, 11.50 M Shed West Foyer, 12.20 Bristol Ferry Co. from Cascade Steps to SS Gt Britain, 12.50 Brunel’s Buttery. In typical BlueBelles style we all gathered in a cafe and drank tea, coffee and had breakfast. Some would argue we should have been warming up our voices in a more traditional manner, but eating and drinking in a cafe together is just so much more fun!
Our first Performance was on board The Matthew. The Matthew’ is a replica of the caravel ship sailed by John Cabot in 1497 from Bristol to North America. The replica was built between 1994 and 1996, and in 1997 at the 500th year anniversary, the new Matthew followed the same course as John Cabot’s ship did in 1497, and sailed across to Newfoundland.
Our first set on the poop deck included ‘ Sailing’ and ‘Sittin on the Dock of the Bay’.
After climbing down from the top deck, we made our way to the M Shed Museum and sang a couple of sets, first in the foyer and then right in the middle of the museum itself.
From the M shed we then had a short walk across the harbour to the Cascade steps where we boarded a ferry. The blue and yellow ferryboats began running in 1977 and have since become one of Bristol’s unique icons, a bright and friendly presence which can be seen all year round.
Singing onboard the ferry was not the easiest thing. Not only did the little ferry rock about a bit but the pitch of the engines competed with the pitch of our singing – just trying to find the first note was quite a challenge in itself. Nevertheless, The BlueBelles are always up for a challenge and this one didn’t faze them one little bit. We continued to delight the passengers with our renditions of Mister Sandman, Lollipop and Goodnight Sweetheart.
After a trip around the harbour, we disembarked just outside Brunels Buttery which is just on the harbourside and apparently one of the best places to get breakfast in the area. Our final set included another rendition of Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay – we virtually were, and also Baby Love.
We had a fantastic time singing around Bristol Harbour. After our last set, in typical BlueBelle style a few of us headed to the nearest restaurant and ordered pizza for lunch. Our aim as a group is always centred around having fun singing together. So if you know of any similar events where we could come and take part then do please get in touch. We love to hear from people and most important of all we love singing.
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