We were thrilled to host our second Birmingham Festival with No Name last week, hosted by our amazing Choir Manager Sally & Choir Director Pete, ably assisted by our fantastic Brum volunteers and choir members. Friend to the choir, Martin Sketchley, went along to see what it was all about...
'Saturday March 25th saw this year’s Festival with No Name, this time held at St Paul’s Community Development Trust in Balsall Heath. The team worked incredibly hard to decorate the venue in a welcoming, bohemian style appropriate to the event, at the heart of which is Birmingham’s Choir. The atmosphere was relaxed, and the whole evening seemed to go without a hitch. Although what is it they say about swans and paddling? But any gig that has tea, cake, hot dogs for a pound, seats, as well as being held for a great cause, has got to tick a whole lotta boxes.
The highlight of the evening was of course the Birmingham Choir with No Name itself, performing a set that included Rag ’n’ Bone Man’s Human, Our House by Madness, and REM’s Everybody Hurts. All those on stage clearly had a wonderful time, performing with gusto. Choir Director Pete obviously has the knack of bringing out the best in everyone, although how he manages to do this, be in every other band going and get changed half a dozen times is anyone’s guess!
Every act on the bill gave the gig their all. John Napier’s minimalist performance was warm and gentle, while Single Mom were like a miracle of mermaids (and one merman), delivering the most incredible set, including rousing support from the Choir on Rise Up. Single Mom were also accompanied by a cherub with a cello and harmonies to die for, who possibly stole the show – an audience in absolute silence is always a good sign. The Strangest Feeling and Two Bob Ted were excellent as ever, performing tight, punchy songs with a distinctly Brum feel, while ADHD brought the evening to an energetic climax.
In some ways the whole event was a bit like something from a feelgood movie. People overcome adversity, culminating in a challenging collaboration to produce something heartwarming and magical. Hugh Grant could have stepped on stage at any moment with his coy smile, and mumbled something along the lines of honestly, it was really nothing… But that’s the thing: the Festival with No Name isn’t from a feelgood movie. It’s real life. And it’s really something.'
We raised £1400 to help support our choirs, which is incredible, so a huge thanks to everyone who came along, as well as all the amazing musicians, chefs, choir members and volunteers who made the day so awesome! A special mention goes to Pret a Manger for providing delicious sarnies for our members too. We're very lucky to have such an amazing bunch of supporters. Thank you.
Re-live the magic and check out some photos from the night... (Photo Credit: Ken Harrison)
Dissenters featuring CWNN
CWNN accompanying Dissenters
CWNN take to the stage!
CWWN Brum's Choir Director Pete Churchill
We love a full stage!
Brum CWNN choir manager, Sally Debiage
(Photo Credit: George Daley)
The Strangest Feeling
Two Bob Ted