Well, we had a benchmark to hit – when I first arrived, they had songs like ‘Santa Baby’ and ‘Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree’ playing on the stereo – so we soon got down to singing. We performed a mix of much-loved carols and songs we’re currently rehearsing for our exciting Christmas Concert (coming up on Saturday 17th December.) Indeed, we pointed out to the lovely staff at the Emporium that this provided us a great opportunity to rehearse in front of a live audience.
When we got to that well-known first line ‘Good King Wenceslas looked out, On the feast of Stephen,’ Steve joked that he was the king. (Indeed he was, for in that carol the tenors and basses are essential for guiding the ‘page’ through the dark winter’s night with the words of the ‘sire’ – “Mark my footsteps…”) We were also treated to some of Kris’s side-splitting jokes – but I’ll spare you from those!
Speaking of Kris, luckily his piano was behaving itself more than it di the last time we sang at these venues, when it kept voluntarily bursting into disco drumbeats. And I must say, the lyrics “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas” and “They said there’ll be snow at Christmas…but instead it just kept on raining”, (from the beautiful song ‘I Believe in Father Christmas’ we’re rehearsing), seemed very apt, considering how rainy it has been over the past few weeks!
We soon finished our set, and received a much-appreciated applause from our small but select audience. And I can’t go any further without mentioning the brilliant array of Christmas jumpers that the Phoenixes had come clad in. Reindeer, snowmen, stars, polar bears and gingerbread men/women were on show – Linda and Merridan had even come wearing Xmas earrings. Merridan had also brought along her gorgeous toddler, who was so well-behaved, and added a lot of jollity to the occasion.
We then headed round the corner to Tesco, where the shelves were already packed with festive goodies and people were still out doing their evening shopping. The cheery Jan greeted us and we set up by the entrance. On such a wet, chilly evening, it was so nice to warm our voices and souls with some Christmas songs to mark the start of the season. Jan told us that she saw lots of shoppers singing and bopping along to us as they headed round the store – we got some money in the pot too, which is great!
Thank you so much to Jan and to Dawn Woodward from the Emporium for hosting us this evening. Fingers crossed come December we’ll have some frost at least and hopefully a bigger audience. Look forward to seeing you then!