Harmony group hits the right notes

Lionheart Harmony
Lionheart Harmony

Sing it from the roof tops – a north Northumberland-based barbershop harmony group has released its first album.

And while the debut project involved hours upon hours of rehearsing, fine-tuning the repertoire and recording, members of Lionheart Harmony believe it was worth it.

Something For The Weekend features 18 songs, ranging from pop hits to folk numbers and barbershop classics, all in that iconic A cappella sound.

It’s a delightful throwback to years past. But this debut album suggests the group has a bright future.

Formed around seven years ago, Lionheart Harmony currently has eight members.

There’s tenors Michael Tweed and Cheryl Camm (a couple of her arrangements are on the CD), as well as Simon Johnson and Jamie Day (both baritone) and Mick Lock and Sid Porteous (both bass).

Leads for the octet are Gary Steward and Gary Brown.

And Brown, who joined around half-a-decade ago, believes the album will hit the right note with listeners, even those who aren’t strictly fans of the genre.

He said: “We are really pleased with the album. It is all acoustic, no instruments, just voices.

“Albums aren’t cheap to produce so it took us a few years to collect some money and make sure we had a big enough repertoire and we were happy with the standard of the songs.

“The album is a mixture of the old and the new, relatively speaking. It was important for us to choose songs which people recognise and connect with.”

Indeed, the album, which was recorded at Newcastle’s Blast Recording Studios, features well-known tracks such as Goodnight Sweetheart and Beatles hit When I’m 64.

Gary added: “A lot of the tracks are ones which we are comfortable with, but there were others that were more challenging.

“One song on the album, Recipe For Love, was one which we always struggled with when we were rehearsing. There was something that was not quite right. But when we went into the studio, we sang it the best we ever had and did it in one take.”

The album, £8, is available from Alnwick’s Wagonway Road Post Office or the town’s G Penrose & Sons.

BE PART OF LIONHEART

Lionheart Harmony, which is due to record a fund-raising song for the Aln Valley Railway, is always on the lookout for new members.

Gary said: “We are a close-knit group, it is a great social thing and we actively encourage new members.”

The group meets every Wednesday in Longhoughton from 6.30pm and anyone wanting to join should speak to Gary at Wagonway Road Post Office, Alnwick.

Lionheart Harmony is also happy to perform for people.

Gary added: “If anybody ever wanted to book us then they should get in touch. We don’t have to perform to a captive audience necessarily. It can be as a background for when people are arriving somewhere, for example.”

The group also has a Facebook page.