Throughout 2011, the Concerts in Cathedrals series is celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Royal British Legion. Over 40 cathedrals in England and Wales will host concerts, with the Central Band performing five of them.
Southwark Cathedral on the south bank of the River Thames was the venue for the Central Band’s second cathedral concert. This was a “home gig” for the band who rehearse just eight miles away in Norbury, South London. Former ‘All Angel’ Laura Wright joined the Central Band to take the audience on a musical journey through the past 90 years.
The programme contained music from ever decade of the Royal British Legion’s existance. From the Dixieland sounds of the 1920s, past the swing, marches and popular songs of the 30s and 40s. There was a revival of 1960s Beatlemania and even a nod to Abba’s famous 1974 Eurovision success, before a tribute to the late John Barry with his music for the film ‘Out of Africa’.
With the Central Band accompanying, Laura enchanted the audience with ‘O Waly Waly’ and ‘Lavender’s Blue’, songs from her new album ‘The Last Rose’. Finally, the concert was brought into the 21st century by the Central Band’s rendition of ‘You Raise Me Up’, featuring a barnstorming flugel and trumpet solo by Tim Mulkern.
The evening was rounded off with the Central Band, Laura Wright and the audience combining to raise the roof of the cathedral with the hymn ‘I Vow To Thee My Country’.
The Central Band will be playing in three more cathedrals in 2011:
- Lincoln Cathedral – 25th June
- Truro Cathedral – 24th September
- Rochester Cathedral – 1st October
As part of the Concerts in Cathedrals series, the Central Band have already played at:
- Canterbury Cathedral – 7th May (Read the report)