3 July 2015

Warmer inside

It was cold weather, perhaps not so strange. Strange Weather Gospel Choir were performing for a mid-winter gig at Wesley Music Centre. Last time I heard them it was much warmer, during a Moruya Jazz Festival. There were smiles and one clearly beaming face, but the cold was insistent for this gig. But there's always joy in this music, and this was no different. They started with a few varied gospel songs with finger snaps and hand claps. Piano accompanied for most of the gig; some following African tunes added African drums and one was just accompanied by drums. Then a song that I particularly enjoyed: simple but from the Torres Straight, so not a thing of common international awareness. This and some others were open as singalongs. Then a more complex and layed tune, Irish blessing, and a finale with Weevily wheat, lively and amusing in 2. Just a gentle battle of the sexes, if I gathered it right, but it's obscure with lines like "I don’t want your weevily wheat, / Neither do I want your barley" even if they seem to want the fine young man, Charlie. There are serious themes here, too, but in our secular days they are easily missed (this is a gospel choir, after all). It's fun music. You can feel nothing but a desire to move and sing with the choir. Some didn't quite move with easy abandon but others did well and one face of especially beaming joy enlightened it all for me. Great fun, nicely staged and very infectious. They have their 20th anniversary on 15 November.

Strange Weather Gospel Choir performed at Wesley Music Centre for family and friends. Kimberley Steele (musical director) conducted and Lucas Allerton (piano) accompanied.

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