Northants Sings Out set for Delpare gig following Britain's Got Talent final

Northants Sings Out choir.Northants Sings Out choir.
Northants Sings Out choir.
After wowing judges in the final of Britain’s Got Talent, Northants Sings Out are getting ready to perform at the A Perfect Day festival next week.​

​The community choir took to the stage on the hit ITV show last Sunday and despite not taking the top spot, left with praise from all four celebrity judges for their version of Fatboy Slim’s 1999 hit Praise You.

The choir, led by Gareth Fuller, will return to the stage at Delapre Park next Sunday for the festival which is headlined by James Arthur.

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Looking ahead to the show, Mr Fuller said: “We’re ready to go with it. It’s one of those ones where when you’re doing shows at Derngate, it’s brilliant but there’s only a section where you’re going to do a certain style of music - but we’ve got some club bangers that we’re really looking forward to doing.

“We did the Silverstone Festival last year and the vibe was just brilliant.

“To be on the stage, supporting someone like James Arthur who is great, we can’t wait.

“We’re so ready for it. We’re pumped to do it and it’s going to be brilliant.”

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Northants Sings Out made it to Sunday’s final of Britain’s Got Talent having performed in the semi-finals earlier the same week.

On that occasion, they sang a version of Livin’ Joy’s 1994 hit Dreamer.

Their performance won them a place in the final three and despite missing out on the top spot, they made it through to the final on the public vote after the judges were split on who should progress to the final.

Talking about the experience on the show, Mr Fuller said: “What you see on TV is pretty much the experience that you actually get, it’s an amazing experience, the crew were amazing, the people are so supportive.

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“It’s a lot of hard work from what we have to do on our side to make sure we were great on stage but it’s been such an amazing experience, really brilliant.”

The profile of Northants Sings Out was boosted further during the competition when the Queen Of Pop, Madonna, shared a video clip of the choir singing her hit single Music on her Instagram profile.

Talking about the impact it had, Mr Fuller said: “It was surreal, it didn’t process with me straight away.

“We were trying the song out and we were filming a reel, that was it.

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“It was a shock. I was on my way to rehearsal and one of the social media girls from our team said ‘Madonna's only gone and shared it and we’ve been tagged in it’.

“All of a sudden, I was hearing we had a thousand views, then ten thousand, then a hundred thousand, then a quarter of a million.

“It was so humbling. I never thought anything like that would happen.”

Choirmaster Gareth Fuller was born in London but moved to Northampton as a child, studying music at the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust.

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Back in London as a teenager, he worked with the East London Community Gospel Choir and was asked to direct it when he was 19.

He said: “At the time, the choir was working with people like Sting and Pavarotti - back in the mid and late 90s you started to have choirs backing pop artists.”

After teaching in schools and colleges in London, Mr Fuller moved back to Northampton after meeting his now wife and began working with different community choirs.

“As a musician I struggle to just ‘be okay’ with something that sounds ‘alright’,” he explains.

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“It’s gotta be proper or not, it’s got to be right - there's no two ways about it.

“I was with the Royal & Derngate Community choir and the Wellingborough Community Choir and they were getting to a really good standard.”

The origins of Northants Sings Out date back to Mr Fuller and his wife discussing putting on a show featuring members of different choirs from across the county.

The first performance saw around 100 people from different county choirs coming together at The Castle theatre in Wellingborough.

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He said: “It worked really well and we thought, ‘there's something in this’,

“Is there a way we can change the perception of what people think a community choir is supposed to sound like.

“Can we start to give ordinary people the chance to be able to sing on bigger stages, to sing to a higher standard and be able to do more things.

“We didn’t think it’d become something we’d take to Britain’s Got Talent but we wanted to do a show every year where people could come and listen to some good singing and hear everything from Bob Marley to Coldplay to gospel music.”

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Featuring hundreds of singers from all walks of life, Northants Sings Out is made up of voices from across Northamptonshire including mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, senior local government workers and primary school teachers. 60 members of the choir have previously performed on BGT.

None of its singers, who are aged from 25 to 65, come from a professional vocal performance background.

“I think what is unique is the choir is a group of ordinary people that have been given an extraordinary experience,” explains Mr Fuller.

“It doesn’t look like a 60-year-old is going to be able to just groove out with a 25-year-old on a dance track like Show Me Love, but through the music they're able to do it.”

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When putting together a set list for a performance, Mr Fuller explains its akin to being a DJ, adding: “You've got to think about what your crowd is going to be like, you've got to take them on a journey with you”.

Besides the songs people will have heard recently on Britain’s Got Talent, the choir has been rehearsing tracks by acts including Birdy, Coldplay, Aswad and Emeli Sandé.

“The best thing about directing a choir is watching the process,” he adds.

“It's about nurturing people. Some of these people have been with me for 17 years.

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“You see people walking to choir with their heads down, they’ve had a hard day, a hard week and you see them lifting their heads up high and they walk out of the door feeling great.

“As a director, it’s such an amazing feeling.”

Aside from performing to a TV audience of millions on Britain’s Got Talent, choirs under Mr Fuller’s direction have performed with the likes of Elton John, Luciano Pavarotti, Sting and Eric Clapton.

However, another highlight came in 2022 when he took a choir to Knebworth to perform Roll It Over, Let There Be Love and Come On You Know with Liam Gallagher’s band.

He said: ““To walk out on stage and not being able to see where the people finished because there were so many was amazing.

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“I think that was a career highlight for me definitely to be able to do that for a couple of nights.”

General admission tickets for A Perfect Day Festival cost £48.50 before fees.

Tickets cost £35 for under 18s, £25 for under 13s, £98.50 for VIP access and £230 for the premium package.

Premium parking is also available for A Perfect Day and costs £15 before fees.

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For more information, visit https://www.aperfectdayfestival.com

In November, Northants Sings Out will return to the stage in Northampton to perform a 10th anniversary show.

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