At the Pop-Up Choir we do a lot of things – pop up at King’s Cross station to raise money for the Samaritans, provide vocal accompaniment on the Royal Festival Hall stage during a beat boxing – organ bonanza, our own Masters of Pop gigs… But, we don’t really do Christmas – not in the traditional choir sense anyway. We have a total of 2 (3?) Christmas songs in our repertoire that get reeled out about once a year when the right request comes in. We tend to have much more fun singing our regular pop/rock/soul/hip-hop repertoire.
This year when the fantastic folk at Brixton Community Base asked us to sing at their fundraising Christmas party, how could we say no? They do amazing work in the community in Brixton; from getting young people into the arts, to fun sporting activities, and managing a fantastic array of local community projects. They also frequently host our Pop-Up Choir Saturday workshops. We explained our non-Christmassy repertoire thing which they were more than happy with, so it was set.
We decided to combine the event with our own Christmas party (Christmas parties Pop-Up can do!), so the evening started in one of Brixton’s yummy eateries. A long table full of excited Poppers, decked out for the occasion in their finest reds, greens and Christmas jumpers, tucked into food and cocktails to gear us up for the evening ahead. We managed a very quick sound check on stage before moving to the stairwell for a quick rehearsal – decidedly more cosy than our regular outdoor pre-gig rehearsals!
Time to dust off those Christmas tunes and see how they sound. We got a little addicted to the joy and goosebumps brought on by the glorious sounding Carol of the Bells and just had to run through it one more time…Here’s how that sounded later on stage:
The event was wonderful; full of friendly people whose hearts are definitely in the right place – the community. We saw a scary film made by young people at Brixton Community Base, enjoyed singing along to some great live music and tried our luck in the fun raffle and auction. We were pretty happy with our set as well, and the audience also seemed to get into it. Many thanks to the fantastic Lisa for her excellent musical direction, and all our super-talented soloists!
The Pop-Up Christmas party then went on to less wholesome things of course – cocktails and dancing to our beloved 90s and noughties tunes elsewhere in Brixton.
So that’s a wrap for 2015 in Pop-Up land – we’re really excited about all the plans afoot for 2016 so stay tuned!