Only Men Aloud in town

After a critically acclaimed sell-out tour in April and May 2009, Only Men Aloud are back with a very special Christmas-themed tour.

James Marston

After a critically acclaimed sell-out tour in April and May 2009, Only Men Aloud are back with a very special Christmas-themed tour. Today JAMES MARSTON chats to the choir's founder Tim Rhys-Evans.

ONLY Men Aloud are coming back to Ipswich.

Choir founder Tim Rhys-Evans said: “This is the second time we have performed in Ipswich and our second UK tour in six months. We had a great time at the Regent and we are delighted to be coming back with a completely different show.”

Tim said the show will be a selection of festive Christmas repertoire plus a mixture of songs from the first and second albums, and a few firm favourites.

He added: “The show will have a distinctly festive feel. All of our concerts follow like a theatrical production and it will be a hugely entertaining evening, we hope.”

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Tim said songs from the choir's second album Band of Brothers will feature in the repertoire.

He added: “The tour will showcase our new album which is being released on October 12.

“Our repertoire has always been diverse and the album includes opera and classical music as well as some epic ballads.”

Tim is particularly excited about a recording made with 80s pop icon Bonnie Tyler.

He added: “We have recorded Total Eclipse Of The Heart. It starts with the boys then Bonnie comes crashing in. She sounds better than ever and it has been a joy to work with her.”

Traditional carols such as Silent Night and O Come All Ye Faithful will be performed alongside songs such as Have Youself A Merry Little Christmas during the show.

Tim, 37, added: “It is going to be camp, Christmassy and lots of fun underpinned by some great singing.”

Only Men Aloud was formed in 2000 by Tim and in 2008, entered what was to be the UK's biggest choir competition to date, with choirs battling to become voted the best choir in the UK on BBC One's hit Saturday night show Last Choir Standing.

After battling through the rounds, Only Men Aloud were crowned the winners and the nation's favourite choir.

Tim said: “I started the choir ten years ago in January because I was concerned about how few young men were singing in Wales' oldest music tradition.

“There are about 18 to 20 in the group and nobody has left since we won Last Choir Standing.”

Many of the Cardiff-based choir have other jobs and the group can boast a pharmacist, gardener and teachers.

After winning Last Choir Standing, Only Men Aloud signed a five album, multi-million pound record deal with Universal Classics and Jazz. The choir's top 20 debut album was recorded over five days at studios in London, and achieved gold status within the first week of sales and went on to sell over a quarter million albums within the UK.

Only Men Aloud will perform at Ipswich's Regent Theatre on December 7. Tickets are from �20 and are available from the box office on 01473 433100.

Are you a fan of Only Men Aloud? What do you think of the group's music? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Only Men Aloud have performed for Prince Charles, Camilla and their guests at Buckingham Palace.

Do you have an unfulfilled ambition?

“Personally I'd like to go to the Oscars. I'd like the choir to be nominated for taking part in a soundtrack thats up for an Oscar. I'd also like the choir to sing with Barbara Streisand”

Are you married? Do you have children?

“No but I am civil-partnered.”

What is the highlight of your career so far?

“We have sold 70,000 tickets on our tour. Winning Last Choir Standing was a wonderful moment.”

What car do you drive?

“A Maxda MX5”

Do you have a Diva Demand in the dressing room?

“We ask for towels and water and fruit juice and some hot food. We are quite disciplined. I have a two- pint rule while on tour and no alcohol before a performance.”

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