By Michael Crosswaite
The Choir With No Name celebrated their 3rd birthday by presenting a mind-blowing set in East London’s Brick Lane.
Not sure what to expect and having slight trepidation regarding a night of music preformed by a choir made up of ex-rough sleepers, we found our selves amongst a packed audience inside the trendy rock n roll venue 93 Feet East. This crowd was made up from a complete cross-section of society, and they clearly had high expectations of the entertainment to come.
The Choir With No Name consists of roughly 30 members. They have 3 musicians, a keyboard player, a bass player and a drummer who are led by conductor and musical arranger Marie Benton.
They opened their set with a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday (The Stevie Wonder Song). Marie conducted the choir throwing her self at it with great gusto and enthusiasm despite being injured and on crutches. The crowd went wild!
They followed with their version of Absolute Beginners and continued to steam through a set of classic and poignant songs, delighting and enthralling their audience. Soloists took turns singing different sections and the musicians played their instruments with great skill and panache.
This night turned out to be fantastic. Birthday cake was handed out. This gig was a wonderful celebration of the transformative power of music. The Choir With No name is definitely to be recommended!
By Sara Kurikka
The Choir with no Name celebrated their 3rd anniversary louder and louder at 93 Feet East on Brick Lane with a growing number of very exciting streetwise singers led by Marie Benton – who threw away her crutches to join the party together with a fantastically harmonized audience. A night of energies, singalong, fun and games – without forgetting the birthday cake nor those dancing moves!
Stevie Wonder’s Happy Birthday kick-started the busy night, and even fitting the whole choir on stage has become more and more difficult as it has grown through popularity. It’s a choir consisting of women and men from all backgrounds, aware of the vulnerabilities arising from homelessness and sleeping rough. Don’t Give Up, You Can Go Your Own Way, Don’t Stop Me Now were amongst the uplifting tunes heard, and were things for all of us to remember and enjoy.
This was an evening that “took us somewhere else” as a member of the audience rightfully put it: higher and higher into positive mental stages. A very exciting birthday making us certain that there is surely plenty to look forward to. “Wonderful!” Thank you! See you soon!” were amongst the comments by the satisfied audience. It really was all good – so of-course we want more! An encore – please! Por Favor!