Monday, November 16, 2009

King's Singers

If you know me, chances are that sooner or later you'll hear about the King's Singers. They're a British (check) primarily classical (check) men's (check) a capella (check) sextet. In other words they're one of the most ideal forms of music ever! I discovered them in 1998 after my family learned about the world of a capella music through the E.D.L.O.S. I didn't meet them until a year later. Now I've seen them in 22 concerts in four countries. I've gotten to concerts by train, car, foot, and bicycle. I've sold cds, gone to dinner with them, and stayed overnight with another fan because the youth hostel was locked. They know my family by name, tease me when appropriate (when is it not appropriate?), and have insisted that I be brought my dessert by a negligent waiter. And yes, they haven't been to Minneapolis since I've been here, but they insist they aren't avoiding me.
In Danville in 2001 with Paul Phoenix. He'd just made a crack about my height. He never ceases to crack me up, but is also capable of being quite serious. He also has a stunningly gorgeous voice. (Not a big surprise, but should be mentioned...)
In Danville in 2001 with Stephen Connolly. I think that Steve is the official prankster of the group and he's now in charge of the YouTube channel and the podcast as well. He's a fisherman, so Dad tied him some flies and this is the picture of Steve "with his flies open" HAR HAR HAR. Two years later we saw them again in Danville and he said he remembered nothing about the venue, then he walked into the lobby and remembered the flies. After the concert he told me I should contact him to see about getting tickets for concerts in Germany over my Easter holidays (I was at the University of York the coming semester), which led to some of the craziest travel adventures I've ever had!
In March 2002, my friend Stefanie and I drove up to New Albany, IN with my dad to see the group again. Dad made the most fantastic dinner ever (which he usually does, only now he gives some of the food to the guys too). We managed to get a group picture, but with a side of funny. I am doubled over laughing in the middle picture because Gabriel is about to fall over. Stefanie cracks me up, cause she's just standing there beaming in all three pictures, not moving. Obviously, the three of us on the right were having issues.
As previously mentioned, in spring 2004, I was in Europe and I had a month "off" to study for exams/travel around Europe. I did a bit of both. The King's Singer were touring around Germany and Austria for the first week of my vacation, so that's where I started. I logged a total of 1750 km (according to Google Maps). My first day was a bit of a disaster, since my Eurorail pass wasn't validated and the people in the station didn't know what to do with it. I ended up arriving in Waldsassen Germany (pop. 7500) about 5 minutes before the show at Waldsassen Abbey. The next day I walked for an hour before someone gave me a lift to Shirnding. A completely UNSOLICITED lift I will add for the sake of my mother. That they had decided to offer before they could have possibly known my gender... I will say though, that despite lying to me about the bus service to Waldsassen, I did sleep in one of the most comfortable beds in my life there. The next day my camera died, but I went to Klagenfurt, Austria, then back to Germany to Munich, Darmstadt, Karlsruhe, and Brackenheim.
I hadn't planned to go to Karlsruhe or Brackenheim and had no accommodations lined up. (Steve had talked me into it in Darmstadt...) Karlsruhe is a large university town, so I was fine, but Brackenheim is a village. At one point I planned to sleep in the cemetery. I was sitting in the parking lot of the church when the guys arrived. They invited me to sit in on their rehearsal and Robin Tyson handed me his camera and asked if I could take some pictures. Christopher Gabbitas had just joined the group (less than a month earlier) and they had no pictures of the group with Chris in them. So I took these pictures, which Robin graciously emailed to me a few weeks later as well.

This was my favorite and appeared on the group's homepage for quite some time. I can't find it there now, sadly. Dad used to tease me that I should have asked for credit...but I think I've gotten enough else though.
If you were wondering, this post's been in my head because the guys are doing a concert on Wednesday with Mika, who I'd never heard of before. (Mika is apparently a pop singer. Here he talks to Liane Hansen.) In one of his blogs, though, Paul mentioned some of the lyrics of a Mika song they were learning. I am now officially addicted to the song Rain. Thanks Paul :)


Reid said...

You forgot the part where you were invited back to the hotel room of the hottest member of you favorite band but declined! Groupie fail!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Reid, and I saw them once! They came to Olaf for a concert!

Simon said...

Heh, I remember you telling me about some of those travel adventures. Particularly the time you almost slept in a cemetery. I admire your dedication.

Katie said...

Reid - Yes. I neglected to tell that story. Although you forgot the part about how the offer was just platonic (as I understood it at least) because I couldn't find a room and was something along these lines, "Well, if you can't find anything, we've got large rooms." I really should look that up in my journal. But it was a groupie fail. I did have breakfast with all of them the next morning though if that makes it better. (After having dinner with them, hanging out in the bar with them, and then sleeping in my own room...ALONE.)

klarastan - Occasionally I do kick myself :) One of their former members, Tony Holt, is on the music faculty at Olaf, so I think they try to go there more frequently than some other schools. They'll be in St. Cloud in Feb and then they're heading to Concordia College in Moorhead to record an album.

Simon - Ah yes! You were party to some of those stories at the time. I think I would have died of fright sleeping in that cemetery. The only hotel in the main village had a big sign on it in German and the door was locked. I went by it about three times, but no one answered. I still don't know why not. It all worked out in the end. At some other point in the day, the guys were going to help me catch a ride back to Stuttgart with their manager where I would've been able to find a hostel.