While the Esk Sub Branch of the RSL may not be what one might describe as a performance venue, the more than one hundred ticketholders who arrived there on Sat 7th November could not have had a care. Nowhere else could they have been any more thoroughly entertained than when Kathleen Watts, Maree Lansdown and Sue Walker, who are the Sweethearts Of Song, brought their blend of upbeat and nostalgic sounds reminiscent of the Andrews Sisters and others to an audience who were left yelling for more.
Tom was billed to be the comic relief between the girls costume changes...telling Tommy Cooper jokes. However Esk Community Choirs own Toomy Byrne is peerless and doing what to him comes so naturally , with his own appropriate costume changes, Tom had the audience doubling up with laughter and tears.
Audience members were seated around tables decorated on a par with the delicious three course meal being served by the RSL's Leonie Elwell and her band of supportive angels.
As the big band music rose to the level of the heightened expectations, the audience hushed and the Sweethearts Of Song stepped up to their microphones, generating tears of a different kind as together and individually they sang their first bracket of well loved songs from the war years. Mains served and Tom, having now warmed the crowd with his comical quips, gave way to the girls whose opening number 'In the Mood' did just that to the already animated audience.
With Maree providing a lovely strong lead, Kathleen, both lead and soprano and Sue taking on the alto for a smooth blending of three part harmonies, the Sweethearts Of Song 'Boogie Woogied' , 'Chatanooga'd', 'Bei Mir Bist'd', and swooned through a whole bracket of Andrews Sisters songs that brought smiles and laughter to not only a generation during the 1940s but also to a room full of new fans in Esk's ERSL.
Following the drawing of raffles, the Sweethearts Of Song final bracket included an audience invitation to join them in a medley of war songs, the popularity of which have defied time and generations...and join in they did , raising the sound to a joyous level. Songs too beautiful and familiar to prevent a few listeners from quiet participation were solos performed by Kathleen, Maree and Sue. It was with a parting 'thank you' during their final number when the Sweethearts Of Song promised that somewhere, sometime 'We'll Meet Again' ...and they did - following a standing ovation, with an encore performance of ' In the Mood'
|In The Mood for a fabulous show.|
To Kathleen, who had the delightful idea that people would want to hear these beautiful songs from the war years, make it a fund raiser for the 2016 touring Esk CommunityChoir and then together with Maree, Susan and Tom, made it possible, goes so much gratitude.
To Leonie and Charlie Elwell and their Dream Team from the Esk RSL who ran with the idea and assisted in its success on so many levels, bounteous bouquets.
From the Sweethearts Of Song first practice before Choir in June, steaming up the windows in Kathleen's car, to snatched rehearsals mid week and longer ones on weekends, their successful journey is a testament to their love of singing, dedication and a lot of hard work. And finallya big 'thank you' to Alexis, Margaret and the best Choir in the world who always believed in them.