Concert sets Xmas off with a bang

Hastings Old Town church, St Clement's, was transformed into a magical candlelit setting for a midwinter concert that set the Yuletide season off with a bang.

Wednesday, 21st December 2016, 11:51 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 2:58 pm
Juliet Russell SUS-161220-103350001

The ancient Old Town Parish church was packed to the rafters with an audience keen to experience the spectacular Midwinter Candlelit Concert, performed by the talented men and women who make up the Hastings Vocal Explosion Choir on December 10.

Now in its third year the choir was led by Juliet Russell, who is also the founder of the local choir which is based in Hastings.

The performance is most definitely not what you’d expect from a church concert. Juliet’s pure, hauntingly powerful voice is nothing short of exceptional; add to this lady’s performance the vibrancy of the energetic ensemble choir and multi-talented musicians, who create a sound which comprises of music from across the globe, and its easy to see why it’s such a sell out.

Violinist Garry Blakeley with some of the members of the Vocal Explosion choir SUS-161220-103652001

Violinist Garry Blakeley, who has been described by musical group Feast of Fiddles as ‘one of the best in the country’, and multi-instrumentalist Edd Blakeley whom the BBC hail as ‘a rare talent’, along with the choir’s beloved ‘house band’ make this an extraordinary evening of bespoke and traditional world music combined with the interpreted sound of the ancient Celts .

Bedecked with candles, St Clement’s Church was also decorated in traditional greenery. With its amazing acoustics and a sense of ancient midwinter celebrations long since past the atmosphere was positively electric.

A Vocal Explosion performance is passionate, evocative and takes the audience on a fabulous journey which is guaranteed to draw you in and lift your spirits and you will leave wanting more.

For further information on Vocal Explosion, forthcoming performances or if you are interested in joining the choir, visit the website at:

Violinist Garry Blakeley with some of the members of the Vocal Explosion choir SUS-161220-103652001