Singers of all abilities welcome at launch of Hackney’s Tuneless Choir
PUBLISHED: 13:00 23 January 2019
“It’s wonderful to be in a group, singing like no-one is listening.” Talibah Rivers talks to us about the many different benefits of joining the Tuneless Choir, which holds its first session at Chats Palace on Thursday January 31.
If you can’t sing, you’re in. That’s the mantra adopted at the Tuneless Choir, where the only focus is on singing out your favourite tunes loud and proud.
Obviously it’s great if you can hold a note, but event organiser Talibah Rivers wants to extend a warm invitation to anyone who just loves flexing their vocal cords – in the car, in the shower, at a karaoke bar – as the Choir comes to Hackney’s Chats Palace from January 31.
“Tuneless Choir is aimed at people who feel too intimidated to go to a choir that’s even for beginners,” explains Talibah.
“We’re for people who just want to sing as part of a group and enjoy it. I want to spread the message that singing is fun and being tuneless doesn’t mean you miss out on the great benefits of singing in a big group. It’s really helpful for people’s confidence and well-being, and if things go wrong, we just laugh.”
Rivers decided to launch a Hackney branch of the Tuneless Choir after people from all over London started attending her original group, at Vauxhall’s Tea House Theatre.
Although she lives in south London, Rivers was born in Hackney and is excited to bring the choir to Chats Palace; a venue where she first begun singing herself.
“There are people from Hackney who come to my Vauxhall group, so it made sense to start one around here,” adds Rivers.
“It’s a nice community thing and I’m really looking forward to the first session – it’s got a lovely village-y feel to it.”
A typical Tuneless Choir session attracts a broad range of singers – “from millenials up to our oldest member, who is 82” – and the group cover around eight songs from the likes of Tom Jones, Adele, Oasis and Doris Day in one evening. Sessions will run every other Thursday from the end of January.
Rivers has led Tuneless Choir appearances at Lambeth Country Show and Paddington Station, where the group raised about £130 for the Rays of Sunshine charity in 20 minutes.
So if you like the idea but still need some gentle persuasion, Rivers is adamant you won’t regret having a go.
“Just try it once!” she says.
“You’ll get a really warm welcome and most really enjoy it. After you’ve done a few songs, everyone is usually smiling – I choose songs that are fairly upbeat and I know which ones work to raise the energy levels.
“It’s really hard to take that first step – you’ve got to be a little bit brave about it – but everyone is in the same boat at the start and you tend to get a nice crowd of people.”
Tuneless Choir starts at Chats Palace on Thursday January 31, then runs on the same day every other week. First session is £15, it’s £10 thereafter. Call Talibah on 07752 522 636 for more details.