Whose gig? You may well ask!

The ICU Liberty Singers celebrated 2 years of happy singing together by meeting up for a social rehearsal on the Saturday afternoon, followed by a bit more social stuff and a gig at Portello Lounge in West Bridgford.

Photos Ali Johnston

The time the ICU singers spend together is really precious because we usually only meet on zoom. We have tea breakouts but it’s not the same as being together in person. And the singing is totally different when we are together. We sang four songs at this gig and it’s the first time we’ve sung them without the safety of other voices (ours) mixed into the backing tracks. I think the song that stuck with people most was ‘Fix You’ where we took the instrumental break to go and give each other a hug, just as we did in the video we made when we recorded it virtually in 2021.

It wasn’t all sad and moody songs though. We started with ‘Rather Be’ and also sang ‘Wonder’ and finished with ‘Shut up and dance’. The audience reaction and the smiling faces of our singers was amazing.

Before all of this, my little choir The Liberty Bells (no Beau on this occasion) had sung their 4 songs. They’re used to hearing each other as they rehearse own person at Beehive Hair Salon in Ruddington just once a month – the four songs they sang were ‘Angeleyes’, ‘Manic Monday’, ‘Ghost’ and ‘Mrs Robinson’ which they learned in just 3 sessions.

What I love about his group is their willingness to learn, to get out and show what they can do. We’ve had a handful of new singers join this term and they’ve blended seamlessly in with the others. On this occasion we also had 2 ladies sing solos as part of the ‘Ghost’ song. It’s really not easy to stand up and sing on your own and they both totally smashed it!

It was then time for ‘Mission Impossible’. Is it possible to bring together 2 choirs who have never sung before to create three songs? Even when one choir has been taught online and the other face to face? Will it work? It started well with a spot of commando rolling across the floor….

The sound blended. Both choirs has agreed last minute to sing ‘The Rose’ without any backing – and that’s tough. It was beautiful – many, many people commented on it from the audience.

We totally loved this gig. Massive shout out to Portello Lounge for looking after us. Massive thanks to all the audience members some who came from the West Bridgford choir to watch and listen.

And thanks to our singers – some of them travelling a very long way to be together and sing together.