“You won’t be doing your weekly shop this time next week, will you?! Someone will have to do it for you!” said a voice just behind me. I looked around, holding a slightly green bunch of bananas. The Sainsbury’s self-checkout ‘trolley only’ aisle was busy but then it was a Saturday afternoon!
“Sorry?” I replied.
“This time next week? You’ll be on stage! Hyde Park?! The Proms!?!”
“Ohhhhh YES! I will be! Are you a Rockie? Are you coming?”
“I’m a Farnham Tuesday morning-er. With Tom. But no,” she sighed, “I couldn’t commit to this one, dates clashed! But I’ll be tuning in! It’s all very exciting! Good luck!”
“Well, I’m sorry you can’t come but thank you very much and thank you for listening instead!” I called as she moved to her checkout.
I went back to my bananas and various other important weekly supermarket necessities like a Cosmo magazine, 6-pack of Czech beer (for husband Stuart), some vegan cheese (was instructed by a nutritionist to avoid dairy), almond milk (see point before) and then my pre-proms list of items that will be coming with me on the PR tour this week which included 2 very important bottles of red wine; 1 for the PR tour Manchester hotel room on Wednesday evening, before the BBC Breakfast show the next day (to share with the team of course), and the other in case I drank that bottle before I left for Manchester…
I wondered if the Rockie in Sainsbury’s had noticed that I hadn’t been able to smile at her properly. I had just been at the dentist’s for the 4th time this week and my face was numb and drooping still from the injection I’d had. “Trauma to the right jaw!” the dentist had announced a week ago whilst I had sobbed in the chair as he had poked, prodded and investigated. He had then suggested an IV sedation and accompanying root canal which had then taken place on Tuesday. However, the pain hadn’t gone and I had been back there again today. After more x-rays, we had realised I needed another root canal on the tooth above. I had been clenching in the night. “Anxiety most probably. Is there anything stressful happening at the moment?” “Um……….” I replied.
This had happened before. I had broken a tooth in the lead up to releasing ‘Rock Choir Vol 1’ and going on The Soldiers Tour. I had ended up on monster painkillers for the whole tour and sadly now don’t remember much detail at all. I’m not going to let that happen again! The Proms event will be historical for us! Amazing and emotional! An iconic landmark event for Rock Choir! Such huge effort is being made by the entire team and so many of the Rockies. I can’t WAIT to see everyone together and to watch the Leaders with pride and observe the HQ Team beautifully managing the hidden minefield of logistics behind the scenes. And then, of course, to walk out on stage and see for the first time over 10,000 Rockies (and 30,000 of the public) all ready to sing with us and dance together! All of us as one choir! Leaving everyone on the famous Rock Choir high that will blissfully last for days afterwards and melt away some, or even all, of life’s issues for that precious amount of time!
And of course, we will be celebrating a new alliance with the BBC; a respected, historical and reliable brand with a standard of excellence running through its veins and its team. I admire the BBC for these reasons and I’ve loved working with them on this project! Anthony Cherry is the head honcho who is responsible for every detail and every angle of this event. He’s amazingly professional and thoughtful and has been on side with us since before we even agreed to take the event on! “Rock Choir is the epitome of British singing! Will you open the show and help me get our audience up and singing?”
“YES YES YES!” I had replied! And we get to do all of this with the support of the BBC Concert Orchestra?!!?? A dream come true!
So here we are. It’s only 1 week away. And it’s going to be AMAZING! The final rehearsals start tomorrow, the hotel rooms are booked, the travel arrangements confirmed, lyrics are learnt, outfits are ready and hair and makeup are booked. What can possibly go wrong? Nothing? In 13 years of Rock Choir I’ve learnt to prepare for every eventuality, so maybe just maybe I should invite my dentist to come and watch the event…………… just in case?!