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GALS: Transports of Delight

Wed 29 Oct 2003 In: Music View at Wayback View at NDHA

GALS Concert AGS Centennial Theatre Sat 11 and Sun 12 October 2003 Conducted by Stephen Bowness and Margaret Robertson, accompanied by Craig Blockley. What makes GALS concerts so distinctive? Is it their theme-based programmes humorously drawn together by MC David Steemson? Is it their variety of material and presentation? Or is it simply that they enjoy their music, and their enthusiasm for it is infectious? Probably all of the above - and more. The variety of style in their concert this weekend covered an expanse from Schubert's Serenade to the Paul Simon Classic, "Bridge Over Troubled Water", from a Beach Boys medley to a distinctly New Zealand composition blending the verbal humour of Barry Crump with the compositional genius of David Hamilton. Then there were those great touches of humour we've come to expect of GALS, such as the "bloop bloop" effects in Yellow Submarine and the train sounds in "I'm a train" - now there was a song sung at a really exciting tempo! And the camp sailor antics in the HMS Pinafore chorus made it a great throw-away item drawing peals of laughter from a very appreciative audience. But if participation was what you had gone along for, then Raine Shirley's accordion sing-along would have given your vocal chords and your hand-clapping the workout they had been looking for. She really buoyed the audience along in the pub-favourite partner songs "Tipperary" and "Pack up your troubles". As in previous concerts, GALS provided some really magical moments, particularly in their unison singing and 4-part homophony. If there is something I would like to see them improve on next time, it would be more security on independent lines, and better intonation on the longer sustained notes. Nevertheless, the spontaneity they injected into songs like "Route 66" and "Chattanooga" was really exciting. And the impact of singing their closing number from memory was quite remarkable. Let's see more of this, choir and conductor (and accompanist even) throwing way their scores with "gay abandon" and connecting even more with their enthusiastic audience. Jack East - 29th October 2003    

Credit: Jack East

First published: Wednesday, 29th October 2003 - 8:45pm

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