Close Shave Chorus is extending its boundaries – and how! – this weekend (October 26-28) when the 18-strong ensemble…with wives, partners and sweethearts as the principal supporting cast…all heading off by bus – then plane – then another bus – to the joys of the Walled City of Derry.

The attraction is the Derry International Music Festival, which draws entries from as far afield as Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Germany, Colombia and Norway.

Our boys are entered for the national section, mainly against Irish opposition but also an eightsome (four men, four women) from Edinburgh called, not surprisingly, Octavoce,, plus a choir from Torquay.

We’re in action on Saturday morning , singing last of four entries (Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and the Monkees’ Daydream Believer) Then in the Popular/Jazz/ Gospel section in the afternoon we’re on first of nine choirs (Adele’s Make You Feel My Love and the Sheerin/Bieber collaboration Love Yourself).

After an evening of meditation and prayer (shurely shome mishtake? Ed)…and an extra hour in bed… we complete our weekend efforts in a competition restricted to 12 singers – My Love is Like a Red Red Rose and the Proclaimers’ fiendishly difficult Five Hundred Miles.

After that, according to our hard-worked organisers, Jim O’N and Gerry McG, we have a knees-up, and return on Monday.

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