Welcome to Polyphony Down the Pub!

 

***Next Counterpint in the Cafe: October 14th***

***Next Polyphony Down the Pub: October 17th***

***Next PDtP Sheffield, Manchester & Cardiff TBC***

 


Congratulations – you’ve found the home of

Polyphony Down the Pub

London’s Favourite Night of Renaissance Motets & Booze!™ 

&

Counterpint

London’s Other Favourite Night of Renaissance Motets & Booze!™

 as heard on BBC Radio 3’s The Choir:

 


If you are new to PDtP/Counterpint and want to find out more about the UK’s most exciting Renaissance-motets-in-a-pub events, check out our FAQs.

Sign up to e-mail updates on the left hand side of this page to make sure you don’t miss out on sheet music links and other useful info, and follow us on Twitter: @pubpolyphony & @counterpint and Facebook.

Looking forward to seeing you at one of our sessions; in the meantime, remember the strictly enforced:

5 Rules of Polyphony Down the Pub

1. Arrive when you want to

2. Leave when you want to

3. Sing or don’t sing

4. Drink

5. Avoid parallel fifths & octaves

Cheers

Kevin

PS We’re taking PDtP on tour over the coming months; if you’d like us to visit your hometown, get in touch via this page and we’ll see if we can sort something out!

A double hangover

That’s what you get when you do two singing & boozing sessions almost back to back. But the pain was worth it!

On Sunday, we put on our very first PDtP session in Cardiff, and to say it was a success would be an understatement and a half.

About 25 local singers turned up, and from the first Bach chorale to the final Byrd motet, the singing was wonderful, with real communication between everyone. We even managed to stick in a double-choir motet, which proved to be no problem for these guys.

I have to add that not only did the Cardiff bunch have such fine voices, they were extremely kind in extending a warm welcome to me, so much so that I felt at home right from the start.

We even had a bona fide audience for the occasion: three visitors from Chicago, Illinois had been googling for a choral concert in Cardiff and stumbled across us! They were very gracious in their praise and it was something of a treat to have a small round of applause after each motet.

I’m very grateful to everyone who came along on the day and I particularly want to thank again all of you who put the word out via social media, as it’s down to you guys that the session was such a success. (Thanks also to the excellent Rummer Tavern, which is as fine a pub as you’d ever want to find yourself singing in!)

We’ll definitely organise another session before long so keep an eye out for updates both here, and on Facebook and Twitter.

(By the way, my enthusiasm for singing with the Cardiff gang doesn’t mean I enjoy sessions with PDtP Londoners any less…)

So, with only a day to nurse the sore head, on Tuesday it was back to the melee of melody and mirth that is Counterpint in the Cafe.

It was another superb  evening of more intimate singing, with some fine moments of music-making. It was also lovely to see some new faces there and I hope we’ll see you at future sessions.

(Once the singing stopped, we enjoyed something of an after-party in the bar next door, during which we met the marvellous lead singer of the Noisettes among other interesting characters. But what happens at the after-party stays at the after-party…)

So, then: what next?

Our next Counterpint in the Cafe session will be Friday, October 14th. Booking will go live in two stages again: 9am on Saturday October 8th and 5pm on Monday October 10th. (The link will follow later this week.)

And then, the following Monday, October 17th,  we have the big event itself: our 2nd Birthday Party, during which we’ll be having even more of a knees-up than usual!

We’ll be singing the very best material from the previous 12 months, and, even better, you’ll get to choose the set-list yourselves, once I’ve figured out how to put together a poll-type thing.

Again, booking will go live in two stages (following the 24 hour sell-out of PDtP 23), with the first release at 9am this Saturday, October 1st and the second batch being released at 5pm on Friday, October 7th (links to follow). That way, if you miss out on a space, you still have a chance to go for #CafeCounterpint.

As well as all of the above, I’m going to see if we can set up another Counterpint in Kingston, so as you can see, there’ll be plenty of opportunities for you all to get into the singing and drinking vibe during October.

In the meantime, thanks again to you all for turning up each time and making it all such fun, and please continue to spread the word about us on social media.

Cheers

Kevin

Back from the summer break with a bang!

What a turn-out we had Monday night – packed to the rafters! And as usual, it was a super night of singing.

In among the motets and madrigals by well-known composers, we had one or two by less familiar chaps – one of whom caused something of a minor Twitter spat.

And while the full-throated singing was mighty, I’m not sure it was always sympathetic to the text when busking through something like Morales‘ Regina coeli.

But what the hey, you don’t come to PDtP for subtlety!

We were very lucky to have had the chance to sing Estêvão de Brito‘s Circumdederunt me in an edition by early music scholar Luís Henriques. Luís is a big supporter of PDtP and very kindly gave us permission to use his edition of this fine motet, with its rich harmonies so characteristic of Portuguese polyphony. (I highly recommend you follow Luís’ blog for his excellent posts on early music.)

While old favourite Palestrina was undoubtedly a hit, I’m  very glad that Brito’s work also went down well.

At the odder end of the spectrum was Verdelot‘s O dolce nocte, making for widespread perplexity concerning the text and its author.

But that paled in comparison with the reaction to the madrigal by Wilbye.

No, I don’t have a clue as to what the poem is about either but you can’t argue with the wonderful music!

It was great to see so many new faces in amongst the regulars and I hope we’ll see you all again at future sessions.

Speaking of which, our 2nd Birthday Bash is scheduled for October 17th so watch out for booking updates.

Sooner than that of course are PDtP Cardiff (still a few spaces left) and Counterpint in the Cafe; the first wave of spaces have all been taken but there’ll be a second release at 5pm this Friday.

Once again, thanks for your support and see you soon.

Cheers

Kevin

Counterpint in the Café is back!

Thanks to our gracious and obliging hosts at Travelling Through, Waterloo’s best bookshop, Counterpint in the Café returns at 6.15pm on Tuesday September 27th.

If you’ve never been to a session before, have a look at this page as they are a little bit different from our regular PDtP events.

Places are strictly limited and will probably go quickly. I know that a lot of you missed out on PDtP 23 so we are experimenting with the booking process to see if we can make it fairer.

Half of the spaces go live at 9am on Tuesday September 20th and the other half will be available at 5pm on Friday September 23rd; here’s the link to the booking page but please don’t book unless you know you can make the start time of 6.15/30.

Other updates: PDtP Cardiff is booking nicely with all bass spaces now gone, but there’s room for some more sopranos, altos and tenors.

PDtP 23 in London remains fully booked, with a full waiting list so if you’ve registered and you’re in any doubt about coming, please cancel  your booking ASAP. (If you are one of the lucky holders of a golden ticket, you’ll get the links to the scores tomorrow via e-mail, not via the website.)

Finally, in non-PDtP news, our friends in the Lisson Grove Choir are putting on a concert with a fantastic programme this coming Sunday so go along for a listen if you can.

You may recall that these guys are a sort of liturgical equivalent of PDtP in that they operate on a drop-in basis*: if you can make the rehearsal and the service then you’re welcome to rock up and join in.

I’ve sung with them a couple of times (you see, they really will take anyone!) and I’m sure they would love to hear from any of you for their current season so drop them a line via their website or Facebook page.

That’s it for now – looking forward to singing with many of you soon!

Cheers

Kevin

*One major difference of course is that they don’t get stuck into the beers until after the service…

 

 

 

Land of Song, here we come!

I’m terribly pleased to announce that thanks to those of you who got the message out re: a potential Cardiff session, that potential is now going to be realised!

 

pdtp-cardiff-poster

As an afternoon session, it’s a slight change to our usual schedule but all the other PDtP elements that you know and love (great beer, phenomenal music, so-so banter) will be in place.

Registration is now live via this page.

Please continue to get the word out to your Cardiff singing friends via Facebook and Twitter etc as it would be  great to make this as successful as our London, Sheffield and Manchester sessions.

Cheers

Kevin

PS Have you liked our Facebook page yet? If not, why not? Hurry up and like it.

 

 

Good to see you haven’t forgotten about us!

PDtP 23, which went live just over 24 hours ago, is now fully booked, apart from 2 last tenor spots. We also have so many people on the waiting list that I’ve had to close it.

I’m quite taken aback at how popular it’s proved to be, so thanks to everyone who has shown such enthusiasm.

Apologies to anyone disappointed at not being able to come along but we have plenty more sessions coming up (a reminder of the next dates are at the bottom of this post) and I’ll be announcing some Counterpint sessions shortly as well.

I know that some of you were unable to get online yesterday morning so I have a few ideas on how to spread the booking for future sessions, which I’ll explain when they are ready to go live.

If you have booked for PDtP 23 then can I remind you that you should cancel your booking straightaway if you think you may not be able to make it (see here for how to do this).

Thanks again for your interest and support!

Cheers

Kevin

***Next PDtP London dates; booking details to follow.***

  • Monday October 17th
  • Monday November 21st
  • Monday December 5th

PDtP 23 booking now live, plus the return of our Facebook page

It’s all happening, isn’t it?

Not only can you now book for PDtP on September 19th , you can also head over to our brand new Facebook page and give it a good old fashioned like, after which you’ll absolutely, positively never miss any kind of update ever again.

Don’t forget that I’m seeking potential interest in a Cardiff session on the afternoon of Sunday September 25th so get PDtP Facebook-liking and we’ll see if the message can reach the drinkers and singers of South Wales.

Cheers

Kevin

 

Possible Cardiff session, plus basses wanted

I’m going to be in Cardiff on Sunday September 25th so I’m wondering if there any PDtP fans based in or around the city who might be up for an afternoon singalong. Or do you have friends in the area who might be interested?

Drop me a line ASAP via the comments box below and we’ll see if we can set something up. (Please share via Facebook & Twitter if you can.)

Also, here’s the link to the booking page for our next PDtP London session on Monday September 19th; registration goes live at 9am September 3rd.

Finally, the excellent Orlando Chamber Choir are currently seeking basses to join them for their current season.

I’ve been to a couple of OCC concerts and I can tell you that they really are the business, so if you’re a bass looking for a friendly choir with some great repertoire then get in touch with them. (Added bonuses – the Orlandos love cake almost as much as we at PDtP love beer and they’re even more eccentric in their concert titles than we are!)

Cheers

Kevin