Norwich Pride’s History Month concert honours Labi Siffre

Norwich Pride members celebrated Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) History Month with a concert in one of the city's oldest buildings.

The group held its second annual LGBT History Month concert at Jurnet's Bar, on King Street, with over 50 people packed into the cellar bar.

The Sing With Pride choir sang a range of songs from its repertoire and had special guests, including Caspar James, performing music described as 'queer calypso'.

The evening was funded by a grant from Norfolk County Council's LGBT Icons scheme and dedicated to British singer, songwriter, poet, activist and campaigner Labi Siffre.

The Londoner has released 11 albums and in December 1995 was one of the first people in the UK to enter into a civil partnership – with Peter Lloyd, who he met in 1964.

Shelly Telly, spokesman for the choir, said: 'To celebrate his (Siffre's) work we sang two of his songs, 'It Must Be Love' and '(Something Inside) So Strong'. The latter was an anti-apartheid anthem and has been covered by artists as diverse as Kenny Rogers, the Flying Pickets and Marcia Griffiths.

'Because it's a song against oppression and bigotry, it's also a favourite of the London Gay Men's Chorus.'

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The choir is always looking for new members, with musical director Mary Lovett aiming to create a relaxed atmosphere in which people can learn to sing.

Everything is taught by ear and there are no auditions, with all welcome, whatever their ability.

Ms Lovett said: 'Norwich Pride Choir is so much more than a choir, it's an opportunity to come together make music, have fun, make friends, eat cake, and as a result of all that it provides a valuable sense of community.

'Norwich has a very creative and active LGBT community and it's great that the pride choir has evolved from it and is going from strength to strength.'

Nearly �100 was also raised for the choir at the concert from a raffle, cake stall and games.

Choir practice is on Thursday evenings, between 7pm and 9pm, at the United Reformed Church on King Street.

The first rehearsal is free and from then on costs �6 per session, or �4 for concessions, or �40 and �24 per block of eight, with the next set of rehearsals starting on Thursday, March 22.

For more details about the choir, go to http://singwithpride.shutterfly.com

Are you holding a community event? Contact Evening News reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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