This Friday at the Greenwood Theatre near London Bridge will be my last public concert with In the Smoke. That’s 10 years singing with the same group, and for me personally the end of a hefty chapter of music-making.
In 10 years the group has seen various old friends moving on and talented singers joining the ranks but has never lost its appetite for a demanding new arrangement or an exciting original performance. We’ve sung nearly 100 songs (almost exclusive arranged by members of the group), we’ve made 4 albums, won many special awards at the Voice Festival (including winning it 3 times, more than any other group), hosted workshops, sung people down the aisle, sold out at the Edinburgh Fringe, and even created an a cappella musical.
I’m stepping aside with the keen sense that
a) I’m very lucky to have been so creatively fulfilled, challenged and indulged for such a long time,
b) that the group has probably never sounded so good (every single member takes a lead vocal at some point in the upcoming show), and that they are already lining up the next phase of exciting plans and musical challenges,
c) that, although I may never again find myself regularly rehearsing with more than a dozen people who each sport such a high level of musicianship, I know I’ll be hanging out with them whenever I can.
Thank you to all of the various members of the group past and present, to the friends and family who have supported us, taken the tickets, and listened to the anxious scheming, and to anyone who has ever come along to see the shows.
In a world where a cappella is more and more ubiquitous, I know there’ll always be one particular group worth watching (and listening to) that bit more carefully,