Choir of alternative angels

The Southsea Alternative Choir
The Southsea Alternative Choir
Pan Parade Steel Band entertaining shoppers in Commercial Road, Portsmouth. Picture: Keith Woodland PPP-171119-160221006

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A group of Portsmouth music scene alumni have joined forces this Christmas for an unusual take on carolling.

The Southsea Alternative Choir will perform a series of fundraising concerts on Saturday and Tuesday.

After touring the streets and pubs of Southsea in last year’s festive season, singing a set of Fleet Foxes songs, the choir is back for Christmas 2011 with more artists and a wider ranging set list.

The aim is to creating a festive, singalong concert. But, instead of performing carols, the choir sing classic tunes by artists ranging from Brian Wilson to Blur and Primal Scream to The Pogues.

‘The idea is to create a Christmas carol-singing choir atmosphere, but without the religious inclinations,’ says alternative choir boy Jim Lines.

‘Instead of dreary Christmas carols, we’ll be singing classic 1960s tracks by the likes of Brian Wilson, the Beatles, The Kinks and The Band, as well as more contemporary indie classics from bands like Blur through to Fleet Foxes.

‘Along with organised concerts, we’ll be doing some good old fashioned street busking,’ he adds.

Joining former Ricky frontman Jim (who had three UK chart entries between 2004 and 2006), the choir also includes the talents of former Chimes and Bluesky Research members Sam Richards, Matt Gill and Charlie Waddington, plus former Kid Idiot duo Sam Davidson and Ashley Hills.

They are led by photographer Stuart Scott, who brought the choir together to raise money for Samuel’s Fund, a charity raising money for five-year-old Samuel Deakin-Mant from Cosham who suffers from cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair.

The choir will be busking on the streets of Southsea tomorrow, starting on Palmerston at 4pm and concluding at The Belle Isle on Osborne Road.

On Tuesday, they will conduct a mini pub tour of Southsea, including an extended set from 9pm at Little Johnny Russell’s on Albert Road.