Return of the Strach

It was a return whose profile paled into insignificance compared to, say, the prodigal son in the New Testament parable, or the rekindling of Robbie William’s career with band Take That. Neither was it an event which’ll shake the British music industry to its very foundations; producing vast column inches, penned with prurient glee by editors of tabloid entertainment pages.

No, yesterday evenings ‘return of the Strach’ to rehearsals with Garforth Community Choir remained bereft of the pomp afforded to Robbie and old Prodders (as the prodigal son was fondly labelled by his pater, ecstatic at his boy’s reappearance).

Not that GJ Strachan minded. His penchant to attention-seek more than fulfilled by the muffled cheers, kindly words and well wishes of his choral colleagues on reclamation of his rehearsal room seat.

These likeminded people, who share the middle-aged crooners love of performing contemporary songs en masse, warmly welcoming back the hirsute man who’d been conspicuous by his absence (or is that absent by his conspicuousness) since July. A benevolent greeting which brought a lump to his throat….. Or at least that’s my excuse for ‘cocking up’ part of yesterday evening’s inaugural song, Rockin Robin.

If truth be told, though, his errors weren’t consequential of a throatal obstruction, moreover his lack of foresight to ask the group’s musical director Liz for the lyric sheet pre-rehearsal. A lacklustre approach which left the wannabe Sinatra (Frank, not Nancy) floundering through the verses of the lament.

With the rehearsals being recorded, Strachan chose to stand gormlessly gawping in silence during Rockin Robin’s verses, only joining his colleagues sing the chorus whose locutions were already residing within his idiosyncratic sub-conscious. If the songs weren’t being recorded for posterity, he may’ve adopted his normal eccentric and fundamentally foolhardy approach of replacing lyrics he doesn’t know with the word Sainsburys.

The above strategy which, during previous Christmas family get togethers, has seen the 50something northern Englishman treat guests to drunken festive refrains like ‘It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Sainsburys’ and ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Sainsburys’.

This reliance on using the supermarket moniker to overcome lyric knowledge voids, a sort of Tourettes which mercifully hasn’t thus far manifested itself whilst participating in rehearsals or performances with Garforth Community Choir.

Consequently, this tic means it’s essential I’m fully au fait with the prose of each song prior to the 30 strong group’s Christmas Concert performance on 7th December. Failure to do so will result in my unavoidable withdrawal from the performance. I wouldn’t dream of risk embarrassing my choral chums by standing floundering for words, or indeed croon “Sainsburys”, should lyric memory loss strike mid-performance.

It has to be said, after messing up. on Rockin Robin, I think my grasp on the subsequent songs was better, although I did have paper copies of the song at my disposal at that point.

Subsequently, bearing in mind it was my first time singing the songs chorally, my contribution to the groups rehearsal of the refrain Proud Mary, along with Mary’s Boy Child, were performed with greater degree of accomplishment….. Although, to be honest, that accolade wasn’t difficult!!

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