Peak Voices were due to come and sing at Buxton Fringe but then Covid-19 arrived. Not to be daunted, stopped or discouraged, the group have put together a highly entertaining selection of songs from musicals, all filmed locally, outdoors and observing social distancing. A sort of West End Theatre meets the Peak District National Park.
Liz McKenzie, Rachel Callen, Gemma Flitter and Sue Morgan’s lively rendition of Mama Mia, started what was to be an original and entertaining show. It looked to me as if this particular song had been filmed near Bakewell, and trying to guess the locations for the songs was an added bonus.
The format adopted by the group was songs interspersed with interviews. Between the songs we learnt something about the group and about individual performers. The group, who have only been together about two years, was founded by Chris Blackshaw, who is also their musical director. As well as singing together in harmony each group member sang at least one solo and all the singing was of a very high standard.
Songs were filmed against the backdrop of fields, wild flowers, stone walls, cows, sheep and even a tractor! The film editing was slick and very professional, many visual effects being used to enhance the enjoyment of the audience, including a retro effect for Nic Wilson’s wonderful rendition of 'Don’t Put Your Daughter On The Stage Mrs. Worthington'. This song typifies the good humour and sense of fun that comes across in this concert. Credit must also go to the musical backing. I want to know exactly which stone wall the full orchestra was hiding behind!
The programme was carefully put together to give each performer the opportunity to make the most of their strengths and also to create balance. The group moved effortlessly between Nessum Dorma and Spamalot, even changing the words of the latter song to reflect our present situation. And, in the very best concert tradition the group have even recorded an encore that appears after the final song.
One Song More is well worth listening to and shows what can be done under Lockdown with talent and determination.
Music's not my bailiwick, but I really enjoyed One Song More. It's quirky and a little bit kitsch and not everything about it 100% works, but by the end of it I was absolutely rooting for them. So much more creative than just uploading a sound recording. I've learned something from them as well - I'd thought it was Valjean who sings the line "Shall I join my brothers there?", but they're completely right, it's Marius. Love the interpretation of Madame Thénardier in that particular number too.