Since I first wrote about Pop Chorus in 2017 we have seen the most incredible rise of this popular community choir – the creative brainchild of Yula Andrews who is the choir director.
Smashing it yet again – Pop Chorus at Latitude 2019
Since I joined the choir in Jan 2017, I have watched the stages we perform on get bigger and bigger, along with the audiences.
The rise and rise of Pop Chorus
By 2018, with a sell out summer show at the Ipswich Corn Exchange and a charity CD that made the UK charts already under its belt, Pop Chorus found wider fame when the choir was invited to perform on the BBC stage at the presitigious 2018 Latitude Festival.
A festival that would see Pop Chorus on the same billing that advertised headliners The Killers, Solange and Alt-J.
There was also a surprise set by Liam Gallagher of Oasis that year.
With crowds of around 40,000 attending this annual music festival at Henham Hall in Suffolk, the 2018 performance at Latitude was Pop Chorus’s biggest, most prestigious gig to date.
In the year that followed, Pop Chorus went on to perform a sellout gig at the Regent Theatre in Ipswich.
And in the spring of 2019, some of us sang backing vocals on the commercial pop track – Walls, a brilliant experience for all involved.
There were also the usual numerous Pop Chorus appearances at various events around Suffolk, making Pop Chorus one of the busiest performance choirs around.
And then came Pop Chorus at Latitude 2019.
With the huge success of the 2018 appearance at Latitude, Pop Chorus was invited back to perform on the BBC Sounds Stage at this years even bigger festival.
Once again, Pop Chorus found themselves on the same billing as some heavyweights in the music world. This year, it was Latitude headliners George Ezra, The Stereophonics and Lana Del Rey; another coup for a community choir that only a few years ago, had 8 members who sang together for fun.
So I was really pleased to be there at Latitude this year recording the entire day in pictures.
The galleries that were on here gave a flavour of the whole day.
Those galleries have now been moved to Amazon Photos – you will find the links to the images as you go through this post – just click the link for each gallery – but don’t forget to come back!
Some of us braved a ridiculously early start to be at BBC Radio Two’s Saturday Breakfast Show with Dermot O’Leary, live from Latitude.
Pop Chorus had been invited to open the breakfast show live on air with Elbow’s ‘One Day Like This‘, arranged by Yula in five part harmony.
The recording took place in the Lavish Lounge, a magical setting in the woods on the Henham Estate, complete with retro sofas and lamp shades hanging from trees.
Of the 80 singers performing on the BBC Sounds Stage for the choir’s main performance – only 30 were able to perform on Dermot’s show.
And those lucky 30 had to be on site at the crack of dawn (well, almost!) to be ready for the radio performance
I managed to snap a few shots as we all waited, in the early morning soggy dampness, to be taken to the Lavish Lounge, bleary eyed from being up since Good-Heavens-O’clock.
There was a bit of a trek from the car park to our meeting point, across ground still soggy from the night rainfall – but we were prepared!
With wellies, squelchy trainers (or in some cases, open sandals and wet toes), we waited for Latitude’s people to bring the wrist bands that would allow us into the Lavish Lounge area.
Despite the early start and bleak weather, there was lots of laughter and camaraderie, which is the norm in Pop Chorus.
We stood around wondering if we would be getting a soaking during the Breakfast Show broadcast as the weather wasn’t looking brilliant at that point.
Gallery 1 – A few pics of the early starters
The pictures are now stored on Amazon Photos – click on the links that follow, for each of the galleries.
And then with wrist bands finally in place…there we were…in the Lavish Lounge ready for the sound check, Dermot O’Leary and a live performance on Radio 2.
The pictures in the gallery below take you from the moments when the choir assembled in their positions ready for the show, the soundcheck, the performance, the audience, meeting Dermot (who was quite happy to clown around conducting the choir), the artists who followed Pop Chorus (Jason Manford and Konnie Huq) and the waiting around under the trees for our escort to the BBC Sounds Stage ready for the main performance.
Gallery 2 – The Radio 2 Experience
Being a fly on the wall allowed me to capture the spirit of Pop Chorus both on and off stage.
In the final shot of the previous gallery, everyone is singing along with the Sigrid track being played at that moment on Radio 2. This was totally impromptu while we were all waiting to be taken to the next performance and is typical of the free spirits you find in Pop Chorus!
Which takes me neatly to the next gallery where you will see the sharing spirit inherent in Pop Chorus.
What you will see here are typical scenes from any big performance where Pop Chorus members do each other’s make-up, hair and nails before going on stage. And yes, the guys love a bit of bling too!
You’ll also see Yula’s pre-performance briefing, various groups of Popsters, and finally the long snaking line as we all queued waiting for the cue to go onto the BBC Sounds Stage for the main performance.
Gallery 3 – Backstage before the main performance
And then, after all that waiting, the main event, Pop Chorus at Latitude 2019…..
The pictures you see here take you from the first moments on stage when everyone was assembled in their places, through to the sound check, the virtually empty marquee at the start, the performance, the massive crowd that filled the marquee when Pop Chorus started to sing, fan reaction shots, all the way through to the finale.
Gallery 4 – Pop Chorus at Latitude 2019 – The main show on the BBC Sounds Stage
So that’s it – that was Pop Chorus at Latitude 2019, except of course for these guys…
Some of the Stage Crew and of course, the Stage Manager Stonesie, possibly the most courteous SM in existence – these guys were the most happy and helpful backstage crew ever.
Well done to Yula and her Pop Chorus at Latitude 2019 – you smashed it yet again – I wonder what will come next?