A quite terrific evening in central London - Skinners' Hall, Cannon Street - celebrating three anniversaries in the same family... all ending in zero; founding counter-tenor of The Kings' Singers, Al Hume is 70, his car (a beautiful Lagonda sitting outside in the lane) is 80, and his wife Diane, (I shall graciously say) is much younger!
Lots of excellent jokes along the lines of... how lovely to be celebrating the birthdays of the beautiful Diane, the old banger.... and the car outside! (tee hee)... (Al did have the good grace to laugh).
Diane and Al's son, Alexander gave a fine speech belying his youth, introducing Dad, who was also hilarious!
Lots of other luminaries there, including organist/conductor Simon Preston & fellow ex-KS, Brian Kay, but more of that later...
A tough audience, it might seem, but all was sweetness and light... our set was delightfully received, once Richard had warmed them up by giving them an audition!
The highlight of the evening was indeed a counter-tenor extravaganza.... we started off the foundations for The Lion Sleeps Tonight... and then Richard pounced on all the counter-tenors (+1) in the audience; eventually we had David James (the man who first gave me singing lessons!), Michael Chance, Mark Deller, Richard Baker, Al Hume and also his wife up onstage to sing the tune to the song... and what a glorious noise it was... climaxing in a husband and wife duet of the last line.
Lovely evening , lovely setting...