The final English Magic exhibition opened on the 11th October at the Turner Contemporary on the seafront in Margate. Of course the Melodians were invited to open the exhibition with a concert. There was a packed gallery for the concert and the Melodians played at 2pm and 4pm. The added attraction in Margate is that the Turner has a resident 80 strong choir called ‘The Big Sing’. The Melodians were invited to do 3 pieces accompanied by the choir as part of a project called Soundslikeart. They went down there the week before for a full rehearsal with the choir. The 3 joint songs were received to tumultuous applause.
As you can see the gallery was packed with fans who wanted to hear the Melodians and also the choir.
The Melodians played all the music from the English Magic film plus a number of their other favourites including Bohemian Rhapsody.
You can see videos of 3 of the pieces by following the YouTube link on this page.
The Melodians visited Bristol Museum and Art Gallery on Saturday 20th September to give a 45 minute performance at the ending of the English Magic Exhibition and run a workshop for anyone interested in learning about steelbands. This was arranged by the museum after the success of the English Magic opening event in April. The English Magic Exhibition will be opening in Margate on 11th October. See the Projects page for more details of the Margate event.
It was obvious that the crowd had already seen the Melodians in April and had seen the English Magic film many times. They were really excited to listen to the Melodians live again. The Melodians were overwhelmed by the reaction of the audience and thrilled to get a standing ovation at the end of the performance.
Some of the comments received after the event from the audience and the Melodians:
“Thanks again for ‘Saturday’, it was a really loving atmosphere and perfect ending to the show! Happy to hear you all loved it too”.
“It was a great vibe today – I really enjoyed it!”
“Standing ovation…! What more can I say!
“We appeared very well received!”
“So good to know that people have listened to the Abbey Road recording over and over again and came especially to hear us in some cases (as I was told)!”
The UK tour of the English Magic exhibition started at the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow on the 18th January to 30th March. It then moved onto the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery from the 12th April and will finish there on the 21th September. The final leg of the tour will be at the Turner Contemporary in Margate starting on the 11th October until 11th January 2015. The Melodians have already played at the first 2 legs (see photos below) and will also be playing at the opening of the exhibition in Margate. Also see the Projects page and links to read about the exciting performance that will be taking place in Margate on October 11th which will include a unique collaboration between the Big Sing Choir, based at the Turner, and the Melodians Steel Orchestra.
William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow Thursday 6th March
The Melodians played on the 6th March during the first leg of the English Magic tour. Whilst there Jeremy Deller presented the Jeremy Deller trophy to Cheynne for the Melodians ‘Most Improved Player’. This is a new award which had to be delayed from the Christmas concert but this was an ideal opportunity for it to be presented.
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery Wednesday 9th April 2014
The Melodians were a key part of the opening of the 2nd leg of the English Magic tour which took place in Bristol at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery in Queen’s Road.
The Melodians Christmas Concert was held on Saturday 14th December 2013 at Henry Cavendish School in Balham.
All the family, friends and supporters of the Melodians turned out in force to support them and enjoy the evening.
The special guests for the evening were Gavin Nicholas – The High Commissioner for Trinidad and Tobago, Councillor Mark Bennett – The late Mayor of Lambeth, Jeremy Deller – creator of ‘English Magic’ and Alexandra Hardy – the Head Teacher of Henry Cavendish.
The programme was an exciting mix of old favourites and the latest pieces that the Melodians have learned. It finished with the most recent and interesting addition to their repertoire – Bohemian Rhapsody by the legendary Freddie Mercury which completed the programme to thunderous applause.
The concert was followed by speeches and the presentation of awards.
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