Think of a Conclusion Video

Part 1 – Avin it Large

This song was originally used as a pre-recorded playout track at the end of ‘Think of a Song’. It has no particular relevance or meaning but reflects the overall sentiment of the trilogy. It’s about a festival experience, at which I let go of my innate self-consciousness and – with a little help from my friends – cut  loose.

It’s inclusion here is for continuity. It represents the ending of the second show ‘Think of a Sequel’, in which it was performed live. This time, the audience come in as the track is played. This is the ‘end of the concert’, after which the band and I leave the stage. As you will see, we then drift back on to pack up. At this point, I notice the audience still in place and things progress from there.

The show seeks to pose questions about endings and departures. Specifically, it deals with death and renewal. We ask ourselves why endings are so uncomfortable and daunting. And we explore the notion that perhaps the end isn’t really as final as we may think.

On drums is the multi-talented Dom Bailey. Dom is a producer, keyboard player, guitarist, drummer and sound engineer. He mixed and produced my recent album ‘Invisible’, soon to be re-released under my ‘a Band named Brian’ moniker, at his Nine Volt Leap studio. The synths you hear come from the album version of this track and were synced to the live performance by Dom.

Daniel Whiston is on bass. Daniel is a writer, graphic novelist and bassist for the inimitable band ‘Mighty Dynamite’. Our connection comes via Mighty Dynamite’s former drummer Jason Albarin, who is name-checked in the song. The festival in question was Sunrise, at which Jason and I played in two bands: Plucky Purcell and Thompson’s Lovechild.

 

Nine Volt Leap

Mighty Dynamite

Plucky Purcell

Thompson’s Lovechild

 

 

Sing as One

If you were at last week’s show, you will know that the underlying message was  to make the most of our interactions while we can. We regularly neglect those that mean most to us. And we often miss the opportunity to let those that have inspired or helped us know how we feel about them.

The finale was this choral and dance piece ‘Sing as One’. Members of the Bath Spa University choir and BA Dance students worked together with Francis Faux (conducting), Michelle Rochester and Kara Herbert. The result, I hope you will agree, was quite magical.

The choir were originally going to be spaced around the hall, with the dancers moving out towards them from the centre. All would then move back to centre. We realised, however, that this was too complicated.

Francis suggested the choir should be together throughout, as the timing is both difficult and crucial to the piece. In the end, this turned out to be much better. The choir illuminating their scores from the darkness, with the dancers moving around them, created a very pleasing tableaux.

Sometimes an apparent practical obstacle can lead to a satisfying creative solution!

Bath Spa University Choir

Bath Spa University Dance

Francis Faux

Michelle Rochester

Kara Herbert

Sometime’s It’s Hard To Leave

5 Days & Counting

Do you find it hard to leave? Are farewells awkward? Do endings make you uncomfortable? You’re not alone.

 

Perhaps our reluctance to say goodbye reflects a deep-seated fear of the ‘big one’. Sooner or later, we will all bid adieu for the last time. But life is full of endings. And beginnings. Without one, we couldn’t have the other.

What really matters is what we do in the middle. The bit between ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’. Some people seem so preoccupied with their legacy they are unable to deal effectively with what is happening right now. They find themselves set on a rigid path and fixated on a single destination.

How much experience and diversity are we denying ourselves if we adopt this stance? Shouldn’t we simply embrace the chaos and go with the flow? Is it possible to have an aim in life but still remain open to new possibilities?

Maybe it’s time to explore the Fringes of your own perception:

Think of a Song, 29th May, Old Theatre Royal Bath, 8pm

Book Tickets

Tel: 01225 463362
Email: boxoffice@bathfestivals.org.uk

 

6 Days, 6 Strings, No strings…

Think of a Conclusion – 6 Days & Counting…

Thank you to those that have bought tickets and let me know. I hope you enjoy the free (ahem – no strings attached…) taster. If you have not received this, please let me know.

Apart from putting my mind at rest, it really is worth booking ahead. That way, you will have made a commitment and will not forget on the day (I know that happens, I’ve done it). And you know that your place is assured in what will be a unique evening’s entertainment.

Finishing touches are now being made. Without giving too much away, you can expect a one-off theatrical experience that incorporates story, song, surprise and serenity. The whole thing continues the deconstruction of performance explored in the previous two parts. And it will, once again, put you – the audience – at the heart of the show.

You can expect to be taken beyond your normal comfort zone. However, the aim is not to make you uncomfortable. In fact, quite the opposite. Come along and you’ll see what I mean.

Do let me know once you’ve booked. Thank you.

See you there!

Brian

Book Tickets

Tel: 01225 463362
Email: boxoffice@bathfestivals.org.uk

The countdown starts here!

Think of a Conclusion – 7 Days & Counting…

With one week to go until Think of a Conclusion, things are hotting-up behind the scenes. Final rehearsals are taking place, the press is amassing on my front lawn, autograph-hunters are hiding in my hedgerow…

Well, maybe not. However, it is time to book your tickets if you’ve not already done so. If the level of interest I’m getting via social media and actual social interaction is anything to go by, then this should be the best-attended ‘Think of a…’ show yet.

So, please don’t miss out. Get yourself a ticket and let me know (so I don’t keep pestering you about it). I really don’t want to be a nuisance but consistently people ask, ‘oh, is that soon?’, ‘when’s it on?’ and ‘surely it should cost more than that!’ (OK, I may have made the last one up).

Let me know if (if???!) you are coming. Forward me a copy of your confirmation and I’ll send you a little something by way of thanks. Think of it less as a bribe and more an appetizer!

See you there!

Brian

Book Tickets

Tel: 01225 463362
Email: boxoffice@bathfestivals.org.uk

Think of an Unsung Hero

I don’t know about you but I hate plot spoilers. For that reason, it hasn’t been possible to pay tribute to all who have contributed to my ‘Think of a…’ Fringe shows. However, I think it safe to give mention now to those that have helped provide the wow-factor in the previous two performances.

Francis Faux supplied the ‘secret choir’ that patiently sat through ‘Think of a Song’, awaiting their moment at the finale. This was an idea I had earlier on, then tried to ignore. However, like the impulse for the show itself, it just wouldn’t go away.

Spirited Sound

So, I asked Francis – just weeks before the performance – whether any of his choir, ‘Lucis’, would like to take part in an unusual event.  ‘I have a better idea’, he said; ‘use my students’. Which, it turns out, was a stroke of genius. They were not only open-minded enough to take this on. They were also talented enough to nail their parts at the first run through.

After that, it was just a question of trusting they would: a) show up on the night and b) have learned their parts. I needn’t have worried. They were astounding. The hairs stand up on the back of my neck just thinking about their wonderful, spirited sound. Don’t believe me? You can see the footage here:

Watch ‘Think of a Song’ now

Flair & Gusto

In ‘Think of a Sequel’ I had a different surprise up my sleeve. In that show, dancers were  hidden in among the audience. These sprang to life during the penultimate song, ‘Play’. Their task was to embody the song’s call-to-arms for the free-spirited. Which, of course, they did with flair and gusto.

Leading these were two long-term collaborators, Matt Cleary and Michelle Rochester. Matt works with pupils with severe learning difficulties. He is also a highly-respected performer and choreography. His recent collaborations have drawn on synaesthesia for their inspiration.

 Michelle heads the charity Make a Move. Through this, she tackles a whole range of mental and social issues using movement.

It’s not all just prancing about, you know…

Really Want to Know?…

So, who will be behind the scenes for this latest show? Well, I’d like to tell you but then I’d have to kill you. Alternatively, buy a ticket, come along and see for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.

Book Tickets

Tel: 01225 463362
Email: boxoffice@bathfestivals.org.uk

Tonight, Matthew, I’m Going to Be…

I saw an interview with Matthew Broderick yesterday, in which he was attempting to sell a West End show. He was finding it difficult to say why people should go, without giving too much away. I feel his pain.

Look at The Stars

Now, I’m not claiming that Think of a Conclusion will be full of Hollywood stars (Mr Broderick was already booked). However, I can guarantee a top evening’s entertainment, complete with songs, stories, surprises and… er… me!

I Want to Break Free

In a nutshell, this will be the ‘show beyond the show’. ‘Think of a Song’ looked at how we can break free from the shackles of our everyday, humdrum lives. ‘Think of a Sequel’ considered: having found our way into the moment, what should we do with it?…

Where Do We Go From Here?

Now, ‘Think of a Conclusion’ asks: where does it all end? Does it end? And – if so – what can we do about that right now? This show will raise a smile, a laugh, possibly a tear or two, a gasp, an ‘ooh’ and an ‘aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh’!

… Or my name’s not Matthew Broderick.

See you there.

May 29th, Old Theatre Royal Bath, 8pm

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So, What Do We Get This Time?

“In ‘Think of a Song, you left out the songs altogether… in ‘Think of a Sequel’ you had completely improvised songs… so, what are we going to get this time?”

Those were the words of my dear friend Jim, yesterday evening. We were in the pub, waiting to see the fabulous Arthur Smith’s show ‘Syd’. This, in case you don’t already know, was part of the Bath Comedy Festival. That is another of the terrific events we have every year in this fair city and it’s not too late to get along, if you have not already done so.

The One You Are All Waiting For…

Of course, the one you are really all waiting for is the Bath Fringe festival. This is the highlight of the year for any free-thinking, creative-living, novelty-devouring, arts-loving person. Of which, I know, you are one.

So, go on then, what’s going to be new about your show this year? I hear you ask. Well, quite simply, this time you will actually get to hear the songs in their original format. And how is that ‘Fringe’? I hear you ask (you do ask a lot of questions). Without giving too much away, the Fringe part comes with the theatrical setting and the -ahem – surprises.

No, I won’t spoil anything for you. But be assured, this will be a continuation of the deconstruction of what makes ‘a show’. So, once again, prepare to be: confronted with unusualness; challenged by broken taboos and discomfited by unexpected goings on.

Chiefly, though – as you well know by now – the key intention is to entertain. Not only that, but you will be uplifted, moved and – hopefully – inspired by what you see, hear and feel. Don’t believe me? Read the audience feedback from ‘Think of a Sequel’ (and that bit I didn’t write!).

See you there. Tickets are now on sale:

May 29th – Old Theatre Royal Bath – 8pm

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You Have Been Warned

I received an email from the Old Theatre Royal, in which they voiced their concerns about the forthcoming ‘Think of a Conclusion’. Why, you may wonder, should they be concerned?

Expect the Unexpected

Well, without giving too much away, let’s just say they were worried people may be confused by the unorthodox format of this year’s offering. I assured them that anyone who has been at a ‘Think of…’ performance before will be very much expecting the unexpected. But – just to be absolutely clear – here I am to provide a health warning:

WARNING: ELEMENTS OF ‘THINK OF A CONCLUSION’ MAY BE A LITTLE UNCONVENTIONAL AND CHALLENGING TO SEEKERS OF NORMALITY OR CERTAINTY.

Fringe Benefits

Frankly, if these two criteria are high on your priorities for choosing a suitable evening’s entertainment, I shouldn’t bother with anything labelled ‘Fringe’. I would go as far as to argue that the point of the Fringe is to provide a platform for performance of an extraordinary, challenging or risky nature.

Having said all that, should you choose to attend ‘Think of a Conclusion’ (and I sincerely hope you will), you will actually be rewarded with a higher quotient of songs in their original format than in either of the preceding shows. As before, these will be interwoven with a spoken narrative and laced with (SPOILER ALERT) surprise elements.

Provoke, Challenge, Entertain

If that’s not enough to whet your appetite, then I’m not sure what more I can add. Except to say that the evening will, once again, aim to provoke, challenge and – above all – entertain. Oh, and by the way: all has been squared with the venue management, whom – I must add – are always extremely accommodating and helpful.

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After the Curtain Comes Down

So, what does happen after the curtain comes down? When the show ends, is it the end? Or do the feelings, ideas and thoughts somehow live on?

A Bit Awkward

Ending anything can be an awkward affair. In fact, ending an awkward affair can be most uncomfortable of all (or so I’m told…). But why is that? Is it because we all harbour an innate fear of the big one?  Yes, I’m talking about death – let’s name and shame here. Is each goodbye a little prelude to the one nobody wants to discuss?

There are, of course, plenty of theories on what does happen after we leave this existence. Indeed, some are so attached to them they are prepared to kill those that have a different perspective. Which is kind of ironic, when you think about it.

Who Knows?

Well, it’s all fairly pointless really, since none of us can really know for sure. So, why not get on with the bit we do know about? It’s messy, frustrating, difficult, challenging, often depressing, enraging and more besides but maybe that’s the whole point. Maybe that’s what we’re here for; to run the gamut of all those feelings and emotions.

This next show will be attempting to explore all of that – and take you along for the ride. Or maybe the other way around. Maybe it’s you who will be taking me with you. If you’ve been to either of the ‘Think of…’ performances so far, you’ll know these things can never be for sure.

Everything is in Hand

Preparations are now well underway. The next posting will reveal a little more of what’s in store. But this will be a little tricky since – as you should now have come to expect – there may be  a surprise or two planned.

So, this could be  a little like a character actor from a new Bond movie sitting on the sofa with Graham Norton. Basically, not able to reveal anything at all.

Bet you can’t wait…

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