Wearing your pullover with the V neck at the back might well set a new trend in fashion. Wearing the said pullover walking up and down the aisle of the church as a sidesman would have been good practice for an elderly guy’s future cat-walking exhibitionism. This is what happened to a mate of mine this December. I would think the congregation neither knew if he was coming or going. Its a wonder no one in the congregation tugged his sleeve and commented on it. Perhaps they were all too polite, perhaps many were confused. Perhaps many were asleep.
Anyway, this leads me into a rant about Carol Singing – the Downside.
Carol singing is OK indoors next to warm radiators but to stand in the street and do it in a flapping wind and with little light AND the roar of traffic – well that’s another thing. Two weeks ago I was on an outside stage, alone and playing a keyboard. The choir were in front of me but on the ground below me, all standing with their backs to me facing the conductor, a rather rotund lady who when sitting on her tiny umpires chair resembles a rather crumpled beech ball. Needless to say I could hardly see her signalling to me, whether to prompt me to begin playing or gesturing to tell me a song was being sung out of sequence. (The choir had to perform a game of Chinese Whispers to get messages to me.) To cap it all there was little light on the stage – I had to turn the music stand 45 degrees right to catch the murky rays of one single lamp and the music itself, faded copies from the umpteenth copy of a copy, were barely readable, each page held in a misty grey plastic wallet. Talk about pressure!
The whole thing started with Jingle Bells, BUT the sound engineer, seeing I wore hearing aids, turned up the speaker system (the one facing me) so that the sound of each single piano note was more like the sound of a bullet piercing a sheet of metal. It completely riddled me! In desperation I gestured to the Sound ‘Engineer in loud Cartoon pictures (“take the *Kung-Fu sound down eleven floors”).
The choir are what I call the “Brillo-pad Choir” on account of their silver perms – and that’s just the men. There are a few passengers who travel 2nd class (back row) but in the main they are OK with a very good alto section, many of whom can read music.
We had a fair street crowd to begin with but half way through lost many who were on route for the official lighting up of the Christmas lights by some fat toy-town Mayor.
Is it worth it? Well it is for many of these elderly guys; there is a strong community spirit among the choir and we ended the term with a social event and a Christmas Carol quiz which I may post separately to fill the void and to annoy Christina ha ha. But to be stuck up on some scaffolding in a cold wind and with little light ….that’s tough.