I love gospel choirs. I have always had this dream of being in an amazing choir, singing to my hearts content and enjoying the camaraderie and the harmonies.
In a parallel universe, I am indeed part of one. In reality, I have joined and left three and had one trial visit to pop choir with my friend Lauren, where we sang Spice Girls songs and did the actions, yet never returned because we giggled all the way through and everyone was so serious. It’s a serious business, it seems.
It’s taken me many years to realise that I enjoy watching choirs more than participating. I sing in an unknown key so was always chucked at the back doing the ‘la la’ bits. I now realise I’m the gal who is always ready for her solo, so I will keep my singing firmly to the bath or to Lucky Voice Karaoke (If you haven’t been, you must!)
However, last Saturday I was delighted to be invited along to watch a choir with a difference. A live choir singing along to the tracks of the movie Sister Act, whilst the film was played on a 30ft cinema screen. As if this wasn’t enough of a treat, it was held in the stunning setting of Westminster Central Hall. I mean, I couldn’t grab my habit quick enough (Disclaimer – I didn’t actually go dressed as a nun but props to the dudes who did!)
The event was laid on by Amacoast Cinema, and a 35-piece gospel choir accompanied the film. Upon arrival, we were ushered to the right hand stalls, but we could still see really clearly. After a few minutes the lights went down and we were treated to an amazing set by the ‘warm up’ band – four amazing soul singers who had everyone up on their feet dancing and singing.
There I was, on a Saturday afternoon, whooping away to some real soul classics. As a starter, I was feeling pretty much full of music and we still had a main course of the film itself to get through.
After the warm up set, the 35 strong choir walked on and sat in the stalls under the film set. Then the film started. I have seen it many times, but I don’t think I have ever sat and properly watched it. It’s a classic and Whoopi Goldberg is amazing as the club singer forced into a convent under witness protection. Out of her depth, she turns to her one true love, music – and reinvents the convent choir.
It seemed to take ages for any singing to happen, but when they did the film would be muted and the choir would sing the song from the film. At first it was a bit strange, but I soon got into it – the sound of the gospel choir filling my ears and the visuals from the film were fantastic.
We were treated to solo performances as well. There were a few wobbles from some singers, but that’s to be expected when pulling off such a feat, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. My highlight was the final song, when the choir ripped off their gowns and were all dancing along in bright tops. Everyone was on their feet and it was a real feel good moment.
Things have been very rubbish for me health wise of late, hence being away from the blog, but for that few hours I really let my hair down, sang along to the great tunes and had a great time.
Thanks Amacoast cinema, it was amazing… but I will leave the singing to you guys, because you nailed it! You don’t need me doing ‘La La’s’ in the back, that’s for sure!