mon 10/08/2020

The Choir: Singing for Britain Finale, BBC Two review - stirring songs from a garden shed | reviews, news & interviews

The Choir: Singing for Britain Finale, BBC Two review - stirring songs from a garden shed

The Choir: Singing for Britain Finale, BBC Two review - stirring songs from a garden shed

Inspiring finale for Gareth Malone's Home Chorus project

Mairin and Maureen, from Salisbury

Once again the incredible healing powers of Gareth Malone swung into action, as his quest to find a universal anthem for the Covid crisis boiled up to a climax (BBC Two). Considering that he’s been masterminding his Home Choir and his songwriting quest over broadband links from his garden shed, he has managed to tap into an amazing shared reservoir of pent-up emotions.

In this final episode he focused on “The Shielded”, people who through age or their medical condition have spent months under a kind of house arrest. We met 24-year old Mairin, who’s been looking after her 84-year-old grandmother Maureen in Salisbury since her regular carers stopped visiting. In Wolverhampton, 16-year-old Rae-Kwan has been unable to visit his grandad Lorenzo since early March, when normally they would sing together every day. In Devon, videographer Liam has been coping with the death of his father from the virus while not being able to visit his grieving mother. It was painful and poignant stuff.

Whether his final song, largely written by Rae-Kwan, was quite the empathy-sledgehammer Gareth wanted it to be remained moot, even though he proclaimed it “a Bond theme! and “a war cry!” What wasn’t in doubt was the power-surge it brought from his choir, whose collective energies crackled off the screen despite the fact that they were confined to their own little video-boxes. Even in this crowd, the awesome gospel-flavoured tones of Cardiff junior doctor Sara rang out loud and clear, as if they’d spliced Beyonce with Janis Joplin. Listen up, you A&R people out there.

The awesome gospel-flavoured tones of Cardiff junior doctor Sara rang out loud and clear

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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