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Rock on, granny

November 23, 2006

When he was alive, my grandpa loved a good ditty. A Yorkshire man, his favourite warble was his rendition of ‘On Ilkley Moore Bar T’at’, but he was always humming or whistling some random tune or other. So I’m sure he would have loved to have sung with The Young @ Heart Chorus, a group of New-England pensioners who turned their noses up at sitting in corners smelling of wee and instead tour America, singing their versions of songs from Outkast, Coldplay, Radiohead and Jimi Hendrix.

With an average age of 80, the troupe (documented in last night’s Young @ Heart, Channel 4, 9pm) have found a whole new lease of life through music and song and certainly know how to rock. Lead by director Bob Cilman (who must be the most patient man on earth, with singers forgetting lines left right and centre), the chorus have their own band and support staff – a community project this most certainly isn’t.

My fave of the chorus (who has now left due to health reasons) was Frank (or Fred, the sound wasn’t great) who introduced us to his wife in true comedy style: “We’ve been together 55 years. We stay together for the children – she can’t have any and I don’t want any.” God bless him…

What was heartbreaking, though, was the way the chorus dealt with the death of various members of the group. The morning the chorus was meant to perform for inmates at the local jail, they were informed of the sad death of one of their lead singers, Joe. But in true showbiz style, they belted out their act, just hours after the news broke. After all, these guys stare death in the face on a daily basis, with many members talking of their near death experiences, as if it were a trip to Tesco. For them it seems, the show really must go on.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Clair permalink
    December 1, 2006 9:12 pm

    I saw the Chorus live at the Lyric Hammersmith. Undoubtedly one of the best things I’ve ever seen at the theatre, if not in life, evah.

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