Kinky Kabaret, Song Writing & Sting

Hello! Firstly, I have to talk about Kinky Kabaret on 17th Jan at Freedom Bar, Soho. As my first London gig, it couldn’t have gone better. The performers were incredible both in their performances and in how they approached a really rather random writer from the Midlands and agreed to learn his songs in one week with a small rehearsal.

Zoe Rainey was a complete delight. Now appearing as Nessa Rose in Wicked, she sang ‘Lifeline’ with such depth of emotion. We spent most of our rehearsal time combing through the lyrics to make sure she understood the character and finely tuned each turn in the melody. A truly beautiful performer who I was just blown away by.

Kieran Brown was up next to sing ‘If They Only Knew’. I had seen Kieran on YouTube and was like ‘Amy, get me that guy for the album’ … and as you know by now, exactly that happened. We spoke loads over email and text and I managed to meet with him a few minutes before rehearsing which, like Zoe, was an intricate exploration of this already complicated song. Kieran grasped the character immediately and I have to say just got it.

What was even more amazing is that Kieran then asked if he could sing the song at GIGGING FOR IT! Presents: Lessons In Love on February 13th in London. I immediately said yes and am still flattered that he even asked! Now cast as Cover Raoul in Love Never Dies, I can honestly say I am very proud of  him and his achievement and cannot wait to see him in the show.

I sang a brand new song called ‘In My Arms’ which was written for Liam Tamne and whilst I found the top notes a struggle (I’m a baritone, NOT Bruno Mars who likes to write songs too high for HIM!) I really enjoyed the opportunity to showcase a new song.

Finally the amazing Chloe Hart sang ‘Worthy’. A tricky one because Chloe took her bow in Les Mis and ran to Freedom with literally minutes to spare to rehearse once in near silence because the doors were opening! Not only this but any public who were aware of the song knew it in its original form performed by Kellie Humphrey. A TOUGH act to follow not least for Kellie’s moving vocals and dedicated approach and delivery of the song which made her, and many others, cry.

Chloe did, however, whip my most popular song into a frenzy with crazy controlled belts and subtle changes in the melody which make having your songs sung all worth while. The crowd went absolutely wild …. (more videos will be posted soon!) And a wonderful review from Chris @ M Magazine can be found here :http://chris.m-isfor.co.uk/

The trip to London saw us leave home at 3.30pm and arrive home at 4.30am with work in but a few short hours. However, having Amy, Shaun, Sarah and Rachel travel with me (as well as few welcome friendly faces from the past and present) made it such a special event. Maybe more soon to come!

And so now …..

Head down; keep writing. That’s all I’ve been doing for the past month and with very little progress. And I couldn’t understand why. How can I have written songs that make people cry and take them on a journey to a completely different place and yet when I need to I can’t find anything. Perhaps that’s part of the problem. I sat for hours looking over old lyrics and chord patterns and trying to create songs from bits of others like some kind of Dr. Frankenstein of music.

I was with my producer the other night pouring over ten takes of one of the songs to create a cohesive vocal performance for two of the completed tracks and then we began orchestration. Which was a disaster. I was approaching everything from the wrong angle hoping that everything in my head (a fooking BRILLIANT place to be most of the time) would come out onto paper or into Logic Pro and all would be done. Nope.

And that’s when I saw Sting: Live in Berlin on ITV3+1 at about 1:30am. WOW. He just sang and spoke about how his songs were stories. And THAT’S when it hit me.

All of my unfinished songs were stories that I had neglected and needed to get comfortable with again. And after a boost from my new amazing fanpage on twitter (who knew?) and Amy and fellow amazing composer Tim Prottey Jones (buys his new musical theatre album here :http://www.amazon.co.uk/More-every-line-music-Prottey-Jones/dp/B004CE9WOU) I began work on ‘Sin That I’m In’.

And that’s all you’re getting about that song!

On Sunday, we’re having a delayed Valentines as Amy has been away working and going to see Bobby Cronin at the New Players Theatre with Mark Evans, Leanne Jones, Liam Tamne and so many other amazing people as well as a surprise from my girl and a podcast interview with Stage Left Podcasts …. always working but always loving it!

As ever, I couldn’t do any of this without you so thank you – it means everything to me.

As Ever,

Chris

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