Forgive this slightly off-topic message. I would say it has a musical connection, but that’s a highly dubious claim to make.
As many of you know, we (a chap called Lester Barnes who lives in my home village of Chelsfield, and I) write and record a ludicrous Christmas single every year; well since 2015 at any rate. There is a new one out – officially released along with a video tonight, if you’re interested. Actually it’s released tonight, whether you’re interested or not.
We feature as many local people as possible, plus a load of our musician friends. In 2016 we appeared on BBC 1’s the One Show (the only time I ever watched it, to be honest – what a pile of ****!) and last year I appeared on a bizarre BBC Radio Kent show which I am still struggling to understand. No matter how much publicity we get, each single consistently bombs commercially but we live in unrealistic hope.
The music goes under the name of The Belldrinkers, a name which we hurriedly penned to represent the fact that a majority of the participants met in the Five Bells, which is in the centre of the old village. There are in excess of 60 people on this new song.
Last year the song had a big band swing feel but this year we started out with an Electric Light Orchestra/Queen sort of groove, which somehow got a bit lost while we were writing and recording. The caliber of musician remains remarkably high (provided you exclude me!). Helen is of course featured on cello and we have some pro mates too. Tim Hayward regularly plays trumpet with the BBC Concert Orchestra and is on the single for the fourth year running. My cousin Thelma Handy who leads the Liverpool Phil happened to be playing a prom (Bartok Concerto for Orchestra etc.) in the summer plays the violin cadenza and first violin (she offered – I didn’t threaten her). And some of you locals may know Andy Barclay who is principal percussionist with the LPO – he foolishly had a couple too many beers with us and before he knew it, was borrowing a glockenspiel and sleigh bells from the LPO stores to press into service for us. Lester and I mop up any parts which other people aren’t playing. I think I play piano, electric piano, Hammond organ, electric guitar, 12 string acoustic guitar, violin and viola but I can’t honestly remember – we started writing the wretched thing in August.
The singing is very mixed in quality from superb stratospheric harmonies from my stepdaughter Beth, right down to a dustman who has a great sounding basso-profundo but makes the auto-tune overheat.
Anyway, if you search for The Belldrinkers on all the streaming sites (Spotify, Amazon, iTunes etc.) you can listen to all our singles including the new one: Back in the Pub Again. The video will go live at 8pm tonight (Tuesday 4th) and we are premiering it in the Five Bells Chelsfield at that time, if you fancy popping along. Otherwise you can check it out on YouTube: https://youtu.be/8ZZms3nfwI4.
If you’re on Facebook, you can follow it all on our page www.facebook.com/belldrinkers where we will post links to all sorts of stuff.
Anyway, hope you like it – please share the links etc. And click Like, where appropriate.
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