Sunday, 7 February 2016


It's been another long old day which started with a car journey down to Pimlico with Llio and Nathan. They were heading to rehearsals for Beyond the Fence and I was booked in to run NYMT auditions at Westminster Under School less than half a mile away. It was funny to think of the two sessions running simultaneously.

We met some great kids. As usual. I was running the singing sessions. I don't really have any filters when I'm in these sorts of situations and tend to say some pretty outrageous things to the auditionees. I hope they have fun, however, and that they learn from my bizarre ramblings. We finished one session a little early and were able to run a Q and A, which I was pleased the young people really used to ask questions about the industry, largely about auditioning.

The only former Brasser in today was Laura, who was our original lead actress, Eliza. She sang I Make the Shells, which was fabulous to hear. It's funny: when someone sings a song from the actual show they're auditioning for, it's quite hard to think of anything to ask them to do again differently, so we simply sat back and enjoyed the experience. Poor Charlie the pianist got his knickers in a twist having to sight read the song in front of its composer. I didn't help matters by stopping him twice: once to slow him down and once to correct a mis-read accidental! He's a brilliant pianist, though. I was watching him today and marvelling. He plays really loudly which really gees up the singers.

We went from Pimlico to North London for an evening playing ABBA Monopoly with, of all people, Stef from the alternative rock band Placebo. Stef, like the left-field psycho-balladeer John Grant, is an unlikely fan of the Super Swedes and we owe the evening to a chance conversation we had when I lent him my cello for a gig where I told him my friend Jim Zalles had sent me details of a version of Monopoly with ABBA songs instead of street names. Stef instantly went out and ordered it, and the invitation to play it came a couple of weeks later.

We had a blast and met some wonderful people many of whom had seen our wedding which was rather lovely. It's actually the first time I've ever finished a game of Monopoly, and, quite rightly, Stef and his partner won, although, at one stage, it looked like we had the game in the bag. It's amazing how quickly fortunes can change in that game!

It's been quite refreshing to have a full day off from Beyond The Fence but we will have to work very hard tomorrow to compensate. Band rehearsals start on Tuesday, and there's still a bewildering amount to do!

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