Soundwaves aim for a vintage performance

It’s been a year of firsts for Blackpool Soundwaves. So far in 2014, the ladies harmony chorus have appeared on BBC Radio Lancashire,  debuted on Stanley Park Bandstand, and even gave a surprise performance at the wedding of one of their members.

But the biggest ‘first’ was a Learn to Sing course, held in February and featured here on altBlackpool. Before this took place, Soundwaves numbered 19 members – now they have a stunning 37!

As any X Factor winner knows, with success comes headaches – and in the case of this a capella chorus, it’s all about clothes! Previously, the members wore a midnight blue dress on stage…. but now there aren’t enough to go around, and that posed a problem for this year’s appearance at the national convention of the Ladies’ Association of British Barbershop Singers (LABBS) in Harrogate.

Soundwaves chairman, Sue Andrew explained: “We are frantically fundraising for new costumes, but with almost 40 members we will need a lot of money to dress us all.”

Musical director Samantha Roberts hit on a cunning plan…. why not let everyone dress differently? And when the song Second Hand Rose was picked as one of Soundwaves’ competition songs, it all fell into place.

A frantic search of charity shops, both local and national, ensued – and the girls are proud of their eclectic look. So much so, that they agreed to show off their finery in a photoshoot with altBlackpool snapper Chris Beard at the aptly named The Second Hand Rose vintage shop in St Anne’s.

Owners Melanie Jackson and Jayne Callaghan welcomed them with open arms and copious cups of tea – and the results can be seen here.

Mel said: “We were delighted to welcome the girls and loved their performance for us. The name of the shop was inspired by the song and was a song we remembered from our childhood.

“Jayne and I have been friends for over 20 years, and our mutual love of furniture and mid century design inspired us to open a shop that reflected our eclectic style and ability to introduce this in the modern home.  Our aim is to provide our customers with genuine vintage bargains as an affordable alternative to high street products. It is an Aladdin’s cave of high quality mid-century and retro-inspired furniture and accessories that complement the modern home – so the Soundwaves fitted right in!”

Now it is time for the girls to put the finishing touches to their set for the LABBS convention on November 1. In another first, they will have nearly 30 members on stage for the performance!


Images by Chris Beard Photography.

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