First week back at work!

Hello everyone. Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year! 

As you know I had a very busy December, 31 gigs in that month! Phew I just about managed it, so after my final gig on the 28th Dec I took a well deserved break to the Isle of Arran, Scotland for the new year period and also had a break from social media. Since I came back from Scotland I’ve been busy learning new songs for the various types of shows I do, organising my bookings and catching up on general admin stuff. 

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My first gig of 2020 was last Friday at Kendal Care. As always after the busy festive period, things can become a bit flat. So I worked hard to entertain the residents and get them singing a long. It was an enjoyable afternoon and I did a couple of requests from family members of the residents.

The next day, Saturday I was back singing at the Strathmore Hotel. I’m delighted to be back for another year doing Saturdays all year round and Wednesdays til Summer. The evening was the liveliest and busiest I’ve ever seen there. I think there was a big group of people who came together and they were just wanting to dance. So I adapted my music to suit the audience and found I quite enjoyed it as I was singing songs I haven’t done in a while and as the dance floor was packed it was a real buzz.

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On Monday I was singing at a lovely little place near Milnthorpe. I sang here a few months ago and I’m delighted to be back here in May for a 1940s show to coincide with VE Day celebrations. It was a lovely afternoon and the residents are great fun, one lady in particular loves a good jive and she was up dancing for several songs.

 

On Wednesday afternoon I was back singing at Holehird in Windermere. The theme was Country and Western, so we had a great time singing classic country songs from John Denver, Patsy Cline, Dolly, Tammy Wynette and even a little Shania Twain.

The staff here are always great and dressed up and encouraged everyone to join in. In the evening I was back at the Strathmore, it was a lovely night and although not as busy as Saturday I had quite a few up dancing.

This evening, I’ve just come back from singing at Great Eccleston WI. Wow what a night it was. The ladies were absolutely lovely, I had some musical requests and even threw a bit of Gilbert and Sullivan. I also sang several uptempo pieces towards the end and nearly everyone in the room got up to dance. It was a really great evening.

Tomorrow I’m back at the Strathmore and next week I have some acting work as well as a Classical Crossover Show in Southport!

Have a great weekend everyone.

Rachel xx

Happy Christmas everyone!

Well this is my last blog til after Christmas so I just thought I’d have a quick catch up and round up of the weeks events and wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Unfortunately I haven’t got pictures of all the events I’ve sang at this week, as some were taken by people from the various events and there haven’t sent them to me yet!

On Monday I was singing at Short Breaks Christmas Party. It was a lovely afternoon and certainly very lively. I sang a mix of Christmas music and party music and had a few people singing with me, a few playing instruments and dancing. They were a fantastic audience. The party was organised by my friend Joanne who manages Short Breaks, which provide a service to support adults with learning difficulties. Joanne’s husband Michael was also performing.

On Tuesday evening I was singing for Lancaster Loyne Rotary at The Globe Arena. It was a lovely event and I enjoyed performing to this very appreciative group. I was invited to join them for dinner, which was absolutely delicious, hopefully I worked off all the calories when I was performing.

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On Wednesday I had two gigs, in the afternoon I was singing at Bushell House and in the evening I was singing at Hearts of Halton WI. The afternoon gig was lovely, a lot of relatives and friends of the residents came to join us, in fact it was standing room only and I sang a selection of Christmas songs and Carols. The WI event in the evening was certainly lively. Most of the ladies were up dancing for most of my set. Hopefully they’ll be some pictures to be uploaded from the event soon as one of the ladies was taking lots of shots.

7CD592CB-30D7-4658-BE6D-593AFB670408On Thursday I had two gigs in the afternoon and evening. The afternoon gig was at a Residential Home in Windermere. I always feel very welcome here as the staff are so friendly and there’s some lovely residents. It was a fun afternoon and I had a few residents and staff up dancing particularly when I sang some of the livelier Christmas songs such as Slades ‘Merry Christmas everybody.’ There was food and drink afterwards, and I enjoyed a cheeky mince pie and mulled wine. 

 

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In the evening I was singing at Bare WI. I’ve sang for several WI events recently and each one is always different, so I always make sure I tailor make my show to suit each group. I’ve not sang for this group before, but I had been recommended by Halton WI who I sang to the previous night. The ladies at Bare were lovely and such a big group. I think they said they have around 70 members and they meet at St Christopher’s Church Hall, which is really big, but great acoustics. I had been asked to sing a mixture of Christmas songs, carols, classical and to try bit of lively music. So I did all the requests and the mix worked really well.

F2AD42D2-B89D-4B43-9299-631C83C9C7E5On Friday I just had the one gig at Heron Hill in Kendal which was good as I was feeling quite tired. I was singing for the residents Christmas party. I’ve sang here lots of times so it’s nice as I’ve built up a rapport with the residents and staff over that time. It was nice to see one of the residents who was poorly last time back to her old self. This lady likes to join in with me and always makes a few song requests.

 

 

On Saturday evening I was singing at Church of the Ascension for a Christmas event. Normally as you may know I sing most Saturdays at the Strathmore Hotel, so this was a really nice change to do something different. There was quite a few people who knew me which was nice and the audience were brilliant. Father Damian and his wife Yvonne were very entertaining too and recited a story about the 12 Days of Christmas to great acclaim.

 

On Sunday afternoon I was singing at The Royal Kings Arms Hotel in Lancaster for some festive lunches.

It was a nice afternoon, very chilled out and gave me an opportunity to try out some different songs as the venue wants Jazz and Swing songs. I’m always happy to try out new ideas and I enjoyed trying out some new songs. It was brilliant to see my lovely friend Joanne and her husband Michael there too.

This week leading up to the 28th December I’m performing at the Strathmore every night until I have my Hogmany break in Scotland which I’m very much looking forward to.

So once again a very Merry Christmas to you all and a very Happy New Year! Xx

Thanks for following.

Rachel xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Party Time

On Wow what a whirl wind of a week it’s been, I’ve barely stopped to catch breath. But I’ve had some amazing gigs at some fabulous venues. 

On Monday afternoon I was singing for Clitheroe District Masonic for their Christmas Luncheon which was held at Clitheroe Golf Club. It’s the first time I’ve sang for this group, however I recognised a few people from other groups that I’ve sang at in the area, as I performed at a few places in the Clitheroe area. It was a lovely afternoon and I brought some Christmas cheer with my festive songs and mixed a few musical and 60s song requests that they asked for. My friend Victor took these lovely pictures above just before I sang.

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I had a bit of a dash afterwards as later on that evening I was singing at the most exquisite venue, Leighton Hall. No pictures can really do this place justice, as it’s just so beautiful inside as well as majestic looking from the outside. But despite it being so grand, it feels quite homely. Leighton Hall is owned by the Reynolds family and they do tours and hold concerts and other events. I had been booked to sing there by Garstang PROBUS, a group I’ve sang for several times and they wanted me to lead them with some Carols and Christmas songs in the Music room by the fire. When I arrived I was greeted by Mrs Reynolds who immediately recognised me from singing at Holehird where her daughter currently lives, which was nice and she was such a lovely friendly lady and made me feel at ease. It just goes to show you it’s a small world and you never know who you might meet at a gig.

 

The Carols and Christmas songs went down really well and the group were happy joining in and afterwards we had Mulled Wine and Mince Pies around the fire. It was a perfect evening and everyone felt festive.

6591C09C-E1FA-42CC-BE55-010E18E71F02On Tuesday afternoon I was singing at Darwen Masonic Hall for Darwen Fellowship Group. I’ve sang for this group for the past four years now and they’re a lovely group. But unfortunately over the years numbers in the group have depleted and instead of me performing on the stage, as they are normally on tables on the dance floor, they were just in the bar area this time. It was cosy, as the audience were closer to me, so in some ways it was nicer as I could interact more. But next year due to low numbers they are joining up with another group and having a joint Christmas lunch. It was a nice afternoon though and they were an appreciative audience.

E0B8DE87-4419-4F12-A71D-70E82554B3DFAgain I had another quick turn around as I was performing for Borwick and Priest Hutton WI. The WI had invited me to join them for their Christmas meal which was lovely. This WI had invited husbands and partners to join them, so it was a mixed audience, but they were absolutely fantastic and enjoyed joining in with certain Christmas songs. 

 

 

 

On Wednesday afternoon I was singing for a Christmas Luncheon at the Netherwood Hotel in Grange. I’ve often driven past this hotel, but have never been in and it is certainly an impressive building. I was singing for a friendship group and they were a nice audience and had a few requests for future bookings. 

 

In the evening I was back singing at the Strathmore Hotel, it was my last Wed booking before the Christmas break. But they were a great audience and I had some up dancing. 

A5DD51A4-6D16-4168-9D00-56520C1E562EOn Thursday afternoon I was singing for the K Shoes Pensioners Christmas Party. I’ve sang for this group many times, so it’s always nice to come back as they often give me song requests and if I don’t know them I learn them and perform them next time. As always they were happy to join in and had plenty of Christmas spirit. 

 

 

 

On Thursday evening I was singing for a fabulous group of ladies at Burton WI. They were a lovely group and two ladies in particular were full of fun and joined me to make a girl group.  

 

After the main Entertainment, they had their Christmas Supper, which I joined them for and a very unusual game that I’ve never played before, but everyone ends up with a present. After all this we sang a few carols together, fortunately I had the music to them and another lady had carol sheets. It was a lovely ending to the evening.

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On Friday afternoon things started to slow down a little thank goodness as I was getting very tired doing 2 gigs a day. I was doing a Christmas show at Milnthorpe. As always the staff and residents always make me feel very welcome and we had a lovely time dancing and singing a long to some of the livelier tunes. I’ve been booked for a few dates next year to sing there, as I’m getting plenty of bookings  for next year already particularly Dec 2020 which is about 2/3rds booked. 

 

My last working day this week was Saturday and I was back at the Strathmore for my last gig before the Christmas break. There weren’t many residents in the hotel and a few had gone to their rooms to watch the final of ‘Strict Come Dancing’, but there was a lovely audience of around 20 or so that stayed up and it ended up being a good night. 

Next week it starts again, fortunately I’m off for New Year though, so I will enjoy my rest then. 

Goodbye for now.

Rachel  xxx

 

Christmas Begins…

Hi everyone, hope you’ve all had a great week.  I’m right in the middle of all the Christmas Festivities, so I’m a busy bee. I’ve had some really lovely gigs this week in more unusual settings and I’ve more to come next week.

8A09726B-5836-4D7A-8788-D56DA22E83F7On Tuesday evening I was singing for the ladies at Barbon WI for their Christmas party. It was a lovely evening and I sang a mixture of popular Christmas Songs and sang some requests from the musicals, bit of country and some livelier pieces. The ladies were very welcoming and invited me to join them for supper and I was asked to judge the best wrapped present. I’m not always the most decisive when it comes to judging competitions, but somehow we managed to choose a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

A8C17E59-7359-4DDD-90D1-335032EC1DEEI was also given this beautiful flower decoration made by one of the ladies. 

 

 

On Wednesday I was back at the Strathmore. I had an enjoyable gig and sang a few festive favourites that went down well.

On Thursday I was singing at Renes in Lancaster for their Christmas Event. I’ve sang at this event for four years I think now and each time it seems to get even better. Tiffany, the owner asked me to model a dress, it was an absolutely gorgeous dress, as you can see on the pictures below. So gorgeous I ended up buying as an early Christmas present to myself. It was a great atmosphere all evening with all the customers and staff getting in the Christmas mood. There was even a visit from the gentleman who does The Cha Cha Plank Slide challenge, which raised some money for Cancer Care.

B0270381-E16E-43EF-BF5B-D56F41FD31B1On Friday afternoon I was back singing for the residents at Lakeland View. I did a Christmas show which went down really well. With most of them dancing, singing a long and joining in, in various ways.

On Saturday evening I was back at the Strathmore and as it was ‘Elf Day’ myself and all the staff on that night were dressed up inn Christmas outfits. The idea was to raise money for Alzheimer’s and Dementia, so we had a guess the name of the Elf prize draw. Which raised some funds.

 

Finally today I’ve been singing up at The Sun Inn at Hawkshead. There was a Christmas Fayre going on in the village, so it was absolutely packed and there was entertainment going on outside and many stalls. I was singing inside the pub and it was a lovely atmosphere as it caters for families and is dog friendly. I sang a good mix of Christmas music and some other popular tunes from swing, country, pop and squeezed in a classical piece. It was nice to have my mum with me and two friends Gill and Gordon who came up specially to see me. Pleased to say I’ve been booked to sing for four more dates there next year. X

From tomorrow I’m going to be even busier with gigs as four of the days I’m doing 2 gigs a day, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. I shall be ready for my day off next Sunday. Have a good week peeps and I’ll catch you all soon.xx

 

Rachel xxx

 

 

 

Start of Christmas Gigs!

Hi everyone just a short blog, as I’m heading straight into Christmas mayhem from tomorrow.

I’ve had a lovely week as I’ve had a bit of time to prepare for the upcoming gigs ahead, learning new Christmas songs and recapping on ones I already know and had a couple of very nice gigs too.

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On Tuesday I was singing at Kendal, it was a lovely afternoon and I mostly sang a selection of 50s and 60s and some musicals. As I’m back singing here in December and I’ll be doing a Christmas show for the residents I decided to leave the Christmas songs til then. I bought a lovely new 1950s Vintage Dress from The Exchange in a Lancaster, so it was nice to have the opportunity to wear it at Kendal. I had quite a few nice compliments from the residents and it brought back memories of some of the outfits they used to wear. That’s one of the advantages of wearing Vintage Clothes to sing in, I do find it seems to strike up a good conversation with the residents.

 

On Wednesday night I was back singing at the Strathmore. It was a really lively night, as there were a group of 9 ladies who just wanted to dance. So I mixed some dance tunes with my cabaret songs and added some Christmas songs in and it seemed to work quite well. I also sold a few CDs too, if anyone would like a copy of my CD do let me know, they seem to be selling quite fast.

 

3A4FC154-3DA8-453E-BFFB-016D855550BCOn Friday I was singing at the Parkinson’s group with the Gadabouts. We did a real good mixed show of Music Hall, First World War songs, songs between the Wars, Second World War Songs and then finished with some Christmas songs.

 

 
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On Saturday I was back at the Strathmore. As it was St Andrews Day (30th Nov) I included a few Scottish songs, it was appreciated as there were a few Scottish people in the audience.

 

From tomorrow I’m full steam ahead with Christmas parties for WI’s, Rotarys, Care Homes and private parties. But I have got a couple of public events coming up where you can catch me singing:

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Renes – Thursday 5th Dec from 5pm-9pm. This is always a great event and not to be missed.

 

 

 

 

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Sun Inn, Hawkshead Sunday 8th December from 1pm for Christmas Festivity.

 

 

 

 

 

That’s all for now, have a great week.

Rachel xx

 

Rock n Roll Show and Cabaret

Hi everyone. Its a much shorter blog than normal as it’s been a little bit quieter this week, but I’m enjoying having a little more free time before it gets crazy busy in December. I’m also busy preparing for all these Christmas shows and trying to do some work on my promotional material. So watch this space….

4F737B0B-C804-4747-881C-CA58F988DA9EOn Wednesday I was asked to do a Rock n Roll and 60s Show for the residents at Windermere. It was a great afternoon and the residents enjoyed the lively foot tapping numbers from that era. The staff and volunteers are great here too and always get in the spirit of things by dressing up. This is the  lovely Louise one of the Activities people pictured with me after I had sang. I’m pleased to say I’m back there again in January for a Country and Western Show, so after Christmas I’ll be busy putting together a country themed show. 

In the evening I was also performing my Cabaret at the Strathmore Hotel.

83CAAE36-251B-4A05-BB54-B8E6A23D2242On Saturday evening I was also singing at the Strathmore, but as the Hotel had been decorated for Christmas I sang a few Christmas songs to open my set with and end with. I find singing all Christmas for an entire evening can be a bit overloading, so I mix it up with other songs. I had a fabulous evening, the audience were wonderful and I had quite a few people up dancing. One couple liked Latin American and Ballroom Dancing, so I managed to sing a few songs that they could dance to. Unfortunately the dance floor is very small at the Strathmore, but they managed. I also had 2 couples that liked Jiving and they could certainly move.

On Sunday evening I was performing at Barrow British Legion. I performed there in August, so I had an idea what to expect. It’s a lovely club and very well run. I was doing 2 sets of 45 mins. I was hoping to do some Christmas songs, but the Compère said it was a bit early, I did manage to sing one though ‘O Holy Night’ which is my favourite Christmas song. They were a nice audience and listened and joined in when I needed them to in my first set and then most the ladies got up in my second set to dance. Which was a relief, as in club land the second set is the ‘dance spot’. It was also lovely to have some of my family in the audience as a few of them live in Barrow and come out specially to see me, big thanks to Auntie Margaret and Uncle Bryan, Auntie Doris and Uncle Peter, Auntie Jean and Lol and my mum of course.

 

Next week is my final week before the busy Christmas period. But like I mentioned earlier I’m busy working on promo material for next year and learning and relearning Christmas songs.

My next public event where you can catch me is at Renes, singing for their Christmas  Event on the 5th December. It’s always a fantastic event, so do pop down if you can.xx0F8DCA87-D366-4F95-A754-4A21E0901B7D

 

Goodbye for now xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Modern back to The Music Hall …

Hi everyone, well I’ve had a really mixed bag of gigs this last week and been singing such different songs and sang for various audiences, but each one has been very enjoyable.

756DEC1A-4C74-4299-BC28-D2E47DF9B726On Tuesday evening I was singing at Ridgmont House for Horwich Masonic Lodge. It was their 130th Birthday and it was a lovely evening. When we arrived there was a piano player playing lovely ambient music as the guests were enjoying their dinner. After dinner and speeches they livened up and a lot of them got up for a dance to the fast and the slower songs.

Heres a few pictures from the evening, it is a lovely building with lots of different rooms and I was made to feel very welcome by everyone. I did a wide range of music from light classical to uptempo pop.

On Wednesday I was back singing at the Strathmore to a lovely audience from the North East, it was nice it see a few regulars in.

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On Thursday I was doing a 1940s Show at a lovely Residential Home in Preston. It was part of the Remembrance Commemorations, so I wore my poppy with pride and sang lots of suitable songs to commemorate the brave soldiers. It was a lovely afternoon and nice to see the residents enjoying the music, many of them knew every word.

 

 

On Friday it was my mums birthday, but as I had a gig that evening we had lunch at The Carvery and later that evening my mum accompanied me to my gig. The gig was at Soulby Village Hall, just past Kirkby Stephen which was a bit of a long drive, but the audience were lovely and so welcoming.

On Saturday night I was back doing my cabaret at the Strathmore and then finally on Sunday afternoon I was singing at The Ring O Bells Pub in Kendal. I had been booked to do a Music Hall Show through to the 1940s and advised to keep it lively. It was a great success, the audience were absolutely wonderful joining in and supporting what I did throughout. It was also nice to have a few family and friends in the audience my mum, Jenny and Tony (Adam’s parents) and John and Carol. Here’s a few pics from the afternoon.

 

As you can see I had a few costume changes. I was doing 3×30 mins sets starting with Music Hall into WW1 and then into 1920s and 1930s glamour and then finally into the 1940s. Hoping I’ll get to come back here next year.

I’ve now got a couple of days off, so I’m going to enjoy them before I get busy again.

Have a week everyone and catch up with you soon.

Rachel xx