Irish International Convention (Cork) – Members Feedback

Wilf Patterson

Just returned from IABS Cork, followed by a tour of Ring of Kerry, The Dingle and Bantry Bay.  Had a wonderful time at Convention.  I concur with all the accolades to those who help so much to make it a success, the wonderful performances on stage and those special memories.  One I would add is the generosity of “Spirit of Harmony”  to a man (+Sally Mc) applauding us into the warm–up area on Saturday evening to acknowledge our Golden performance in the afternoon competition.  Generosity of Spirit indeed: a credit to the organisation to which we belong and the hobby we love

Ian Gooding

Probably echoing others but I simply want to record publicly my personal thank you: to Peter for all the arrangements, directions, instructions etc., everyone got to the right place, at the right time, in the right gear and ready to go, plus the hotel was great. Terrific job; to George for the money counting when the exchange rate was constantly changing; to Kevan for waving his arms so efficiently and effectively and to Richard and Peter for their brilliant input at rehearsals; to Chris the enforcer but having now kissed the Blarney Stone I am finding it difficult to be quiet – I nearly broke my back bending over backwards to get my lips on the stone and I now know why few attempt it; and to Zac for getting us to the place we are now at.

I too had several ladies telling me in Irish and Scottish accents that we were fabulous, following our performance, and the standing ovations were indeed nice. Our Afterglow Performance reception was something other and I never saw Kevan again.

Singing at the hotel on Saturday night was a great a time but creeping into the room after 2am was not appreciated. I gather some were still at it at 3am and the Irish birthday parties, which so appreciated our singing – did they ever stop?


Paul Owen

I second everything that Ian has said. Personally, from Dawn and myself, we had a great time in every respect.The hotel and staff were great, the commaraderie between us all was such fun, and it was also nice to see Alan Goldsmith and Lady Goldsmith with us and to join in with the revelry of the mob! Special thanks to Richard Curtis and Peter Tatham for excellent organisation.Well done also to Kev L. for the waving of upper limbs.

But we must never forget WHY we can be successful and attain such a standard. This is thanks to a knowledgeable music team, and the fantastic passion and teaching of our M.D Zac Booles, many thanks Zac

Bryan Smith

So many great memories from Cork. Standing in stack between two Barbershop’s champs and a Grand Dad’s champ (next to Eddy) making up my own back row ‘quartet’, well I can dream!!!. Having Phil C hissing 3 inches from my ear like a demented snake during Kevan’s warm ups. Awe and wonder at Alan’s conducting at the hotel, bringing in every part at the right place for EVERY song. Friendly Cork folk who were happy to chat about anything as I just nodded and agreed, whilst only understanding 50% of the conversation. Getting to know John Ward who threw himself into character so the chorus could perform their contest song without changing a thing. All the lads who made the weekend special just by being there and all the partners who made sure some decorum was maintained. Plus, we sung unique arrangements very well. Well done Kevan. Just brilliant!

Martin York

For me the most memorable experience of many, has to be hearing Finest Hour singing Little Pal ..twice. The sincerity, believability and musical artistry those guys showed, you could almost touch.

Chris Blatchford

“Little Pal” on Saturday morning –   It was only at the end of the song I realised I had not heard the chords but had been drawn into the story and the pure artistry of the moment. Thank you FH for giving me a magical moment which I will never forget. I was in tears.

After that it was difficult to separate the many wonderful experiences during the whole weekend. Finest Hour were splendid (so many times……..)  and congratulations to Nick and 4 On Demand and the Grand Dads.

It is a pleasure to be part of such a skilled and committed team. On a personal note I would like to thank everyone for being in the right place at the right time with the right clothes (almost……) all of the time.

George Mckie

Got back earlier this evening.  What a blast! Friendly people, terrific audience, standing ovations, singing at the hotel, and enjoying  hearing Finest Hour’s excellent performances. Whilst I was elated that we won, the whole weekend was such a memorable experience that I am so glad we could all enjoy together. Very proud to be a part of Grand Central.

Keith Harding

Memories from Harrogate (2 years ago) flooded in when our name hadn’t been said and three and two had been announced (I felt sure we’d won that!) – it surely couldn’t happen again? Such a relief! Well done to us all who spent the money and made it worthwhile. Finest Hour – what a great effort they put in – and went down a bomb.
On a personal note (or should that be notes …. “dm di dm dum dum”) the reaction from my effort at the afterglow was amazing with many a vivacious blond (Rob) commenting – the last chorus – sung by the whole room of about 150 people is still ringing in my ears! 

Nelson Blackley

i)Being in City Hall  (with not too many in the audience) at just after 10am on Saturday and hearing Finest Hour sing “Little Pal” in their mic warming set. Absolutely stunning!

ii) The generosity of the Spirit of Harmony guys applauding us all as we arrived for the Show on Saturday evening. It really captured the comradeship that exists amongst Barbershoppers. Think that both choruses represented BABS very well.

Alan Goldsmith

Special moments – hearing Finest Hour over and over again (don’t know how many songs they sang but everyone was top drawer), hearing us declared chorus champions, the reception that we got in the afterglow, and then the spontaneous sing back at the hotel on Saturday night, just wonderful to sing to a group that had never heard barbershop before.

Phil Butler

Awestruck by Finest Hours performances throughout the week-end- you did yourselves and us proud.

What are you on? I want some.
Also more than pleasantly surprised that Cork is such a great place to visit  – We will return.

Rob Taylor

  • Most flattering moment was just after GCC had come off stage and a young blond woman said to me “You were fabulous”. I don’t think was talking about me personally, but it was a nice thought
  • Most relaxing moment was after I’d done my ‘Mood Setting’ spoken introduction to ‘Tomorrow’ on the Saturday Night show , without any cock up!
  • Most Enjoyable Stage moment was GCC’s standing ovation at the end of ‘Tomorrow’ on the Saturday Night Show
  • Most worrying moment was on the return flight when one of the cabin staff announced “We will hit the ground in ten minutes”
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