Hat tip to the Bishop of Buckingham for this one…
Last night we had our now traditional late July trip down to Basingstoke to see the annual Basingstoke Tappers show with our friends Catherine on stage, and her husband Phil hard at work keeping the whole show running smoothly as stage manager.
In pre-publicity the show, Beyond the Sea, had been subtitled ‘Cruising with the Tappers’ – but the theme had broadened somewhat giving pretty much of a world cruise, taking in places including London, Paris, Russia and Cuba to name a few.
After a break last year, the Chosen Few Big Band were back, and certainly earned their keep playing for every other number. It certainly seems to be more flexible in terms of routines to have a live band, as they can include short reprises to cover clearing the stage – something that is difficult to do with pre-recorded tracks, quite apart from the experience for the participants of working with live music. There were also a good number of contributions from Tappers regular Steve Pert, who took plenty of advantage of having the big band around to do some of the standards. Alongside Steve there was a new face for the shows in the form of Trisha Bassett an Ascot based singer. One of the dancers, Francesca McMahon also showed how far she has come since she sang for the first time in one of the earlier shows, performing a version of Midnight at the Oasis.
One of Steve’s numbers that caught Beth by surprise was when he performed Jump. Beth has only ever come across the original Van Halen version, whereas with a big band, Steve did the Paul Anka version, which like the whole album – Rock Swings – is quite a surprise when you’ve only ever heard the original.
Being the fifteenth year of the Tappers show, the Friday night performance was graced with the presence of the Mayor of Basingstoke, and there was a chance to reminisce over some of the past shows, and even a return to the amazing basketball routine from last year (and again nobody dropped the ball this time around either). What is a testament to the people in the company was when towards the end the members came forward grouped by how long they had been part of the company – although there was a good crowd of newbies, the majority have been dancing with the company for ten to fifteen years.
Certainly it was as entertaining as ever, mixing good music, cute moments with the real little ones, and even the odd quirky moments – the two penguins in the decidedly tropical Under the Sea I guess must have been on holiday!
‘The Chosen Few’ jazz orchestra @ the Tappers ’07 show originally uploaded by Tahbepet.
One of the skills of a good DJ at a party, especially your average Christmas party with a diverse bunch of people is picking the right music to play, especially finding the right era for the group. Whilst you can never hope to get music that will appeal to everyone, quite often you can hit on almost a critical era, that brings a large enough number of people to the floor to get everyone else dancing.
Last night we had Beth’s Christmas Party at the school, and we had quite the most dramatic example of hitting the right era I’ve ever seen. One minute there were barely six people on the dance floor, then the DJ sticks on Boogie Wonderland and within seconds almost everybody was up dancing!
It was a bit of a different occasion from last years party, but conversely it was much better attended. The food was a pretty nice buffet, pretty similar to what we have at Harvest Supper at Church, with cold meat, salads and jacket potatoes, and a selection of tempting puddings too.
Unfortunately we weren’t able to stay to the end since our buyers were due round to measure up relatively early this morning, and that was quickly followed by a choir duty to sing at a wedding up at the Church (with all Christmas carols not surprisingly).
Anyway, I’ve added the pictures I took during the evening, to the selection from the parties last week, so you can see what a load of teachers look like when they let their hair down!