The Electric Theatre sits in the middle of a roundabout in the centre of Guildford, raked seats and a sound system that the in house tech Chris has finely tuned.
On the journey I bought a bag of chips from the shop and they were so bloody awful I threw two thirds of them away. Lesson learnt – don’t buy chips in Surrey – not a patch on the battered ones near my studio in Dudley.
Anyway, things pick up from this point on – it’s a super easy load in, with a proper bay and all that and within 30 minutes of arriving I have sound and I’m feeling in the flow. Maybe it’s easier ‘cos I played last night, maybe it’s ‘cos the drive was only 2 hours today, either way I enjoy the rhythm of the day and relax into it.
The 20+ voices arrive on time and I hear them warming up in the bar. I’ve worked with Guildford Vox once before – about 6 years ago at a Church in town, and I’m excited to hear Anna’s arrangements for my new songs.
Anna Tabbush is an inspiring musician, choir leader and songwriter. She holds so much harmony in her head, and I’m in awe as she draws it out in strands, patiently reminding individuals of their colour and painting the choir with the all the shades they need to make this rainbow tonight.
We open the show with ‘You Brought The Sunshine’ and I feel a welcome glow from the audience. Things feel aligned tonight and I settle down to enjoy the choir’s set.
“may this King see the hardship of his people”
A week on from the big day and the lyrics of Anna Tabbush’s new song to mark the coronation hit home. A moving piece that congratulates our new King with a firm hand, reminding him of the struggle so many are facing.
Their vibrant take on Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Everywhere’ bounces across the stage like a sound engineer riding the pan knob – with bass and alto’s sparring with playful ‘ooohs and ahhs’
They close with ‘Always On My Mind’ and they all come back to me, all those little things I should have said and done and I wonder if I ever will. I always want this song to last forever whilst I’m listening to it. It wraps me like an old jumper that I don’t want to take off even though it’s a bit hot and I don’t miss the drum fills that are on the Elvis version.
My own gig is a joy. And the fact that even here, the morning after I am still able to type that tops me up with a little more of the joyful juice. It felt like the perfect environment, the perfect audience, I felt well held and loved even by the collaboration with the choir, all the pieces of the puzzle were there and we put it together, together.