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Oh What A Night

Well that was quite a night at the Denny Civic Theatre, Dumbarton. The concert was called “The Great American Rock Show” and featured “The Springsteen Sessions” and “The Billy Joel Experience”.

The venue was packed and it was Loud. The Springsteen set was first and the choir members had free seats to watch. It was loud and proud. Personally, a little too loud for me, but the audience loved it. It was over an hour long with pretty much all the well known Springsteen songs. The choir were not involved with this section so we were able to sit back and enjoy.

We were involved with the Billy Joel set, which was more to my taste. It was not quite as loud and you could listen and really enjoy some very clever and complicated songs. Alan Ryden is a superb musician and can really play and sing the Billy Joel songs well. His backing band were also excellent.

We were on stage about half way through the set and, apart from some technical issues with the number of microphones, it all went very well. We were split into 2 groups, one on either side of the stage and to be able to get closer to the microphones there were supposed to be 2 microphones for each group. Unfortunately there were only one and when Alan started the song, we did not even have them! The sound man certainly had issues getting a microphone for each of us, but he made it by the skin of his teeth.

One of the things you get used to, and in fact we are encouraged to do so by Aileen (our Musical Director), is to listen to each other so that we can keep in harmony etc. Well, that is just not possible in this scenario. We had no sound monitors so we could not tell if we were OK or not. So, we gave it ‘laldy’, a Scottish expression, and hoped it was OK.

So we came on in the dark, lights came up and we were on stage to sing the backing for “Goodnight Saigon” and then left to stand in the wings whilst Alan sang another song. Then we were invited back on stage to help the backing for “River of Dreams”. What a great song to get the audience involved with. After that, back to the wings and back into the theatre where we could watch the rest of the show.

The feedback from the audience to our “efforts” was very positive. After the show I spoke with Alan and he was enthusiastic about our performance and said he would be looking to us in the future  for further backing assistance. That can’t be a bad thing.

As I said at the beginning it was quite a night. We all totally enjoyed the experience and thanks must go out to the 12 guys who turned out for the show in the middle of their summer ‘hols’.

It is certainly something ‘different’ for the choir, just singing in unison providing some backing to a full band. Anyway, back to ‘normal’ come September. Anyone interested in joining us would be more than welcome. Details of where and when we rehearse are on the web site and if you would like to contact us to have a ‘chat’ then please use the “Contact Us” page on the home page of the website.


Richard Chambers,

Choir Chairman/Secretary.


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