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Sunday, 1 June 2014

Fiona's D-Day Normandy Tour, Liberty and Going Mobile!

Hello every-one this is my last post before I head out to Normandy so I just wanted to fill you in with the latest news. If you would like to see me on stage both my shows have become public events. The first being the 6th June in Arromanches at 1600 hours or 4pm for us Brits. I will be on stage out side the D-Day Museum performing my "We'll Meet Again" ATS show for 45 mins just before the BBMF flies over. My other public performance will be taking place in Ste Marie du Mont also at 1600 hours on the 7th June out side the church. For this show I will be performing my American swing show "GI Jive" and including some wonderful songs from the Hollywood Musicals.
Getting around on the 6th June might be difficult if you don't have a special pass. The French police close the roads as a security measure due to the fact Arromanches is expecting royalty. So if you are not staying in Arromanches it will be difficult getting into town. By the 7th the roads will be open again so seeing me in Ste Marie du Mont might be easier. My third show is on the 4th June at Manoir de la Fosse aux Loups nere Cartigny L' Epinay. This show is private although I have a feeling the whole village has been invited by the Chateau.
For those of you who follow me will know I'm launching my new D-Day Commemorative Album "Liberty!" as part of my Normandy tour. I'm very proud of this CD as I'm presenting it in a DVD box with 2 souvenir post cards. Each copy has my signature on it and if you would like a copy they will be on sale after my shows. The good news is even if you're not able to see me in Normandy you will be able to buy a copy from the 3rd June by clicking onto the CD page of my web-site at
I spoke with Rachel my web-designer today and she has been working really hard to make my web-site mobile. This means what ever devise you look at my site on be it a mobile phone, tablet or PC it will contract and expand accordingly making things easier to see and read! My CD page will be up dated and it will be possible for me to send out CDs to you anywhere in the world. We have added a Pay Pal button which will convert money and make international transactions possible. At the moment it is only possible to buy one item at a time this way but in time Rachel and I will up grade to a mini ecommerce system - but in the mean time we were keen for you to be able to buy now and keep things current.
I head off down to Portsmouth tomorrow and sail on the 3rd so this will be my last post until I return on the 11th when I will be keen to share all my news and photos with you. I have a meeting with Rachel as soon as I return, with the the web-site going mobile I have to be taught how to blog again as we have up graded to word press. In the mean time I will post up a few photos onto facebook and my Arromanches video which was taken when I sang there in 2012. If any of you have video cameras or able to take photos I'm always thrilled to have any footage or records of the events I perform at so please do get in touch.
Thank-you for following - I really must go now as I still have a bit of packing I must finish off.
Toodle Pip and See you in Normandy!

Friday, 30 May 2014

How to buy Fiona's New "Liberty" Album!

Fiona Harrison's New Album - "Liberty!"
Just to keep you up to date I had a meeting today with Rachel my web-designer and she has just set up a Pay Pal account for me which will make it possible for you to purchase my album anywhere in the world. We will still be keeping the order form and cheque faculty which many of you know from having ordered from my web-site before - but as so many of you are now following me from abroad we thought it was about time that we went a little more international friendly. My website will be going  mobile and the date Rachel is aiming for is next Tuesday 3rd June. So this is the date when the Pay Pal button will be installed and you will be able to see the new album on my web-site by clicking the CD button.
I shall be on a ferry heading over to Normandy that day so I've left everything with Rachel so I know all will be well. Of course if you come to my shows in Normandy you will be able to purchase a copy from me directly after my performances. I couldn't think of anywhere better to launch a "Liberty" album than Normandy so I look forward to seeing you all. I will be on stage out side the D-Day museum in Arromanches at 4pm on 6th June just before the fly past performing for the Veterans in ATS uniform "We'll Meet Again" and on the 7th I will be in Ste Marie du Mont performing outside the church at 4pm my American WAC show "GI Jive".
About the Album
This is s a special commemorative CD which I'm presenting in a DVD box with two souvenir post cards. I've included a couple of popular French songs "J'Attendrai" and Edith Piaf's "Mon Dieu" + the Band of Brothers Theme tune "Requiem for a Soldier" which was specially arranged for me with a sutle La Marseillaise twist. Other favourites include my War time sing-along medley with songs such as "Who do you Think you are Kidding Mr Hitler", "Roll out the Barrel and "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" plus my US Army medley too with, "This is the Army Mr Jones", "Deep in the Heart of Texas" and many more.
If you would like a copy do check out my web-site on the evening of the 3rd June by which time everything should be up and running. In the mean time I must dash as I have to be in London tomorrow morning and I need an early night.
Thank-you for following and Toodle Pip!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Norfest, Weimar to Westminster, The Album and Normandy!

This weekend I have been busy trying to tie up all those lose ends before I head off to France so this week is going to be something of a dash prepping. Sunday was super as I was invited to sing for Norfest by my friend Julius which was being stage at his families home at Norcott Court near Berkhamstead. I didn't realise until I got there that it was Julius's Birthday - but he looked to me like he was having a wonderful time and thank-you ever-so for baking the lovely scones Julius they were fabulous and ever-so Yummy! I particularly enjoyed the home made jam - you certainly know how to spoil a girl! ;-)
It was lovely seeing Julius again after all these years as we met way back in 1989 when we were working on the musical Annie together - my doesn't time fly! While I was at Norfest I put together a 1940s & 50s show mixing Big Band and Swing, Musical Theatre with Rock and Roll. I even finished my set with Edith Piaf's "Mon Dieu" which I've included on my new album "Liberty". After my show Julius's father Peter Rost presented me with his book "Weimar to Westminster" which looks like a fascinating read. To be honest I've not seen much of the book since my mother picked it up but what I have read is very interesting. Peter was born in Berlin and was one of the first to go to school under the Nazi regime and obliged to conform, aged six, by participating in the Hitler Youth. With a Jewish father and a blond Aryan mother, his parents marriage no longer had legal status under the Nazis. So his family joined the flood of refugees to England in 1937. Despite being an outsider during the war and the disadvantages of a disrupted education, Peter Rost managed to get to University, became a financial journalist and a Member of the London Stock Exchange, before becoming a Member of Parliament. One of the passages I found very entertaining was when he talked about his national service and I quote :-
"It was to be the RAF, my preferred choice. The reason was not because I had ambitions to fly, but - please don't laugh - those who knew the score and had been through the ordeal, had told me that life in the Army for National Service recruits was somewhat harsh. The uniforms were rough and "itchy"; the bedding did not include sheets; the food was inedible. The RAF on the other hand, was gentile, soft and civilised - a middle class elite "set"! Cotton shirts and collars, white sheets, no lugging around heavy rifles and back-packs. It sounded so much less daunting than the alternative. Well I soon discovered the truth! Even the RAF's first eight weeks of square bashing was rough and tough".
Ha ha - I sometimes think I could do with a bit of square bashing as I march like a chours girl with a bit of Ballet thrown in! The last time I was was singing in Arromanches I was wearing my ATS uniform and somehow I ended up in the parade. I must have looked like Tinker Bell!
The latest new on my album is that today I was able to pick up my inlays for Liberty and I've already started putting "Liberty" together. I'm still waiting on the post cards which will arrive Thursday so it's all starting to come together. I've made up my corsages which will go on my dresses and much of my wardrobe for France will be following a Red White and Blue theme. I will of course be taking my ATS and WAC uniforms which I shall be wearing for my Arromanches and Ste Marie du Mont shows.
With regards my shows -  it looks like you will be able to see me in Arromanches on the 6th June after all.  I've been asked to take my show from the Veterans Marquee onto the main stage out side the D-Day Museum which is where you've all seen me play before. I will be on stage at 4pm 1600h with my ATS Veteran's Show and on the 7th June you will be able to catch me in Ste Marie du Mont out side the church at 4pm performing "GI Jive" my American WAC Swing Show. So I hope you can all make it along. On the 4th June I'm  booked to perform in Cartigny L'Epinay which is a private party being held at Manoir de la Fosse aux Loups. So as you can see D-Day and Normandy is going to be very busy.
Well that's all my news for now. Keep Watching and Toodle Pip!

Friday, 23 May 2014

Jellied Eales, House Parties and More on the New Album!

On the Road Again!
This week I have been out and about performing a real mix bag of shows from my first WW1 show to GI Jive, my US WAC show to Pearly Queen. In fact when I turned up to do my Pearly Queen show on Thursday the venue had gone to town with a selection of sea food from jellied eales to oysterss and the audience sang along with every-one of my numbers, especially "The Marrow Song" better known to us all as Oh What a Beauty!. I even included "My Winkles Fallen Out" because yes you've guest it they even had those too!
I'm now all set for the weekend which I've been rather looking forward to as it's the first one in ages where I'm not having to dash away somewhere. However saying that I do have a House Party on Sunday which is being hosted by my friend Julius at Norcott Court. Julius and I go back years when we worked on the musical "Annie" together in the summer of 89 and it will be lovely to see him again after all these years. I have a great show planned and I will be including some of my new songs and arrangements which I'll be taking out to France in 10 days time. Gosh is it really only 10 days away. In fact even though I only have one show this weekend the time wont go idaly by as I have all my show plans to do and lots of loose ends to tie up before I hit the road running again.
Rather thrilling my new album arrived today from the CD duplicator so I'm just waiting on the inlays and post cards which will arrive early next week. What I've done is to produce a special D-Day Souvenir album which I'm presenting in a DVD box rather than in the standard CD Jewel case. This album comes complete with two souvenir post cards. One of me in my ATS uniform and the other one in my American A2 flying jacket. I've not released either of these photos before or indeed the cover photo so they come to you fresh which might explain why I've done so many photos shoots lately. For those of you who follow me on facebook will know I always like to put up lots of photos and although you may have seen some of the others from the shoots which are similar these haven't been seen before.
Next week is going to be a week of making sure all is well for France. Connie goes in for a service just to make sure she is tip top and I'm back in the hair dresses making sure I look my best too.
Time for Bed Now as I want to get up and go for a good run tomorrow morning!
Thank-you for Following and Toodle Pip!

Monday, 19 May 2014

Sell Out at Longhope and Fiona in France!

Me at Longhope Church in a 1941 Jeep!
There are times when I look back over a weekend and I ask myself how did I ever manage to achieve so much in so little time and last weekend was just such a case. On Saturday I had two bookings one an afternoon show in Milton Keynes and the other an evening performance in the charming village of Longhope in Gloucestershire. I knew it was going to be tight going from one to the other but not impossible and with help from my friend Paul things couldn't have gone better. I've been teaching Paul the art of being a sound engineer and as he drove it gave me time to eat my sandwiches in Connie on the way over. Paul is doing a fabulous job and I certainly couldn't have managed Saturday without his help. Thank-you Paul you were wonderful! As a diabetic I have to make sure I eat properly and the amount of energy one uses for shows can be great. It's not just the singing but the setting up and getting to which can really burn calories so I have to make sure I always have my Lucazade with me just in case!
Tina and the Longhope Committee!
In fact Saturdays shows couldn't have gone better and Longhope had really gone to town. My show was a sell out and the church had been beautifully decorated by the committee. I had been booked by the friends of Longhope Church who run a theatre club. Up to now they have been engaging singers from the West End, so with it being the 70th they decided to do something different and went with a 1940s theme. The whole village came out to support the event and the profits will help to pay for the fabric and maintenance of the Church. When I took the booking I just assumed I would be in a Church Hall so I was thrilled to find out that the show was taking place in the Church it self!
Mike and his Jeep at Longhope Church!
I love singing in Church and the committee had even rigged up a stage and lighting for me which was fabulous. One local chap Mike even arrived in his 1941 Jeep so I hope very much I will have the pleasure of returning to Longhope some time in the future. Last Saturday couldn't have been more perfect, so thank-you to Tina who found me on line as both Paul and I had a fabulous time!
Tina had booked Paul and I into The Farmers Boy Inn which is just down the road from the church. It won pub of the year in 2012 & 13 and if you are ever looking for somewhere to stay in that area I would recommend it. They have a wonderful restaurant, wine, pie and cheese shop so do check out their web-site
On Sunday Paul and I headed off to the Cotswolds as I had a show to do on the way home. In fact on the 19th July I will be returning to the Cotswolds as I've been booked to perform at Redesdale Hall for Moreton in the Mash's WW1 event. Oh that reminds me speaking of WW1 events I have my first WW1 show to do tomorrow and I really must go over some of my words and new arrangements!
Me at The Farmers Boy Inn
Since returning home things are really starting to take shape for France. My new CD is being pressed and the front cover is at the printers being printed. I received an e-mail today that due to the number of people expected in Arromanches on the 6th they may well take me out of the veterans marquee and make my show public by putting me on the main stage outside the D-Day Museum. Ofcouse nothing is final and things are changing from day to day so do keep watching my blog and I will keep you posted as events develop. It would be great if they did put me on the main stage as I know so many of you were disappointed that you would't be able to see me in Arromanches as the Veteran's Marquee is private. So fingers crossed and I shall keep you posted!
That's about all my news for now. I have another busy week with a mix bag of shows from WW1, Pearly Queen to WAC.
Thanks for Following and Toodle Pip!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Off to Gloucester and Liberty!

As ever I'm in a bit of a dash as I'm determined to get to bed at a descent hour tonight instead of working through to 2am as I have been doing so the last couple of weeks. I've more or less caught up although I do have a few contracts to do and some WW1 song sheets I must type up for a client.I'm really thrilled my album is coming together beautifully and today I bought the licence from MCPS which you have to have for recorded work. I also delivered my master to the CD duplicator and Rachel was able to finish off all the art work which I popped into the printers today. So all being well I hope to get everything back next week and packaged up ready for my album launch in Normandy. I've called the album "Liberty" and I'm very proud of  the way it's turn out. It's a special D-Day souvenir album which I've package up differently but more on that later. In the mean time just so you know I will be sailing out to France on the 3rd and my first show will be taking place on the 4th June for a private party at a Chateau. Then I'm heading over to Arromanches for the 5th and 6th - I'm booked to sing for the Veterans in the Veterans Marquee. My main public show will be on the 7th June in Ste Marie du Mont outside the church at 4pm and this show is open to every-one. My other two performances are private events and not open to the public so if you would like to see me this is the place to catch me.
As for this weekend I'm off to Gloucester. I'm booked to sing for the Longhope Theatre Club as up to now they have been engaging artists from the West End but decided with it being the 70th they would like a 1940s theme. So I'm all set to go "We'll Meet Again" with a touch of Hollywood for act two.
I've a show tomorrow and also another one on my way to Gloucester before I entertain the Theatre Club. On Tuesday I perform the first of my WW1 shows which reminds me I still have a few words to learn with my new arrangements.
Time for Bed - Thank-you for Following and Toodle Pip!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Back in the Studio and the Bealieu Belles!

Me with the Beaulieu Belles!
Do you ever get the feeling there aren't enough hours in the day to do all the things you need to do? Well I get that feeling constantly and I can't believe France is only less than 3 weeks away! Crikey so much to do before I go!
These last few weeks haven't just been about performing shows but I've been working really hard on my paper work and sorting out the inlays for the new album - which reminds me I must fill in the form for the licence. There's so much to producing an album and today I saw Rachel's designs for the front cover which are coming along splendidly.
Last weekend I was in Northampton and Milton Keynes performing for a Ritz Tea Party and yesterday I was over in Great Baddlow near Chelmsford in Essex singing for The Beaulie Belles WI. It was a group meeting and the Belles had gone with a 1940s theme. Every one had come dressed up and the ladies had decorated the hall beautifully with lots of interesting displays. They even asked me to judge the hat competition which was to design a hat based on an
Working with Richard in the Studio!
inspiring woman. The winning design I choose was a mortar board which was inspired by the makers teacher. Teachers can be so inspiring and when I think if it hadn't been for my music teacher Miss Short at Leighton Middle School I probably wouldn't be a professional singer today.
On Sunday I made a fleeting visit to see Richard in the recording studio as I wanted to tie up a few of those loose ends before my album goes into production. Not long now! I've named my CD "Liberty" and I'm really pleased with the balance and mix. So many albums are so heavily produced these days that they loose the human element. This album is very me and something I'm really proud of. So I'm looking forward to launching it in France during my D-Day tour. So if you are out in France over D-Day don't forget you can catch me in Ste Marie du Mont at 4pm on 7th June. I will be performing out side the Church and this show is open to every-one. My Arromanches show on the 6th June is a private event so not open to the public but don't forget you can see me on the 7th.
This weekend I shall be performing in Gloucester in the village of Longhope for a Theatre Club so I'm looking forward to that very much.
Time for me to go now. Thank-you for Following and Toodle Pip! 

Friday, 9 May 2014

My New Show Reels!

Wouldn't be Loverly!
This weekend I'm all set to do a couple of Spring Time and Putting on the Ritz type shows so I've been busy putting together my play lists and costumes. I'm rather thrilled to announce Rachel and I have just up loaded a couple of new show reels which were filmed by Micheal Ross when I sang at Wythenshawe Hall for their Victorian Day. So if you haven't yet seen them do check out my facebook page you can click straight onto my video channel here on my web-site by clicking the You Tube button. I will be returning to Wythenshawe Hall on 27th July for their 1940s day so I'm looking forward to that very much.
Once again this week has been a very busy one not only show wise but sorting out wise too. I have been burning the candle at both ends some what working on the CD cover designs and writing. It's the writing I find so difficult and something most people would only take a few minutes to do I have to spend hours on - but despite that I always get there in the end. Sadly we have been a little held up with the photographs this week but I saw Rachel today and we've worked out a plan B.
This year has filled up splendidly with the D-Day 70th and WW1 centenary. August has gone crazy with 34 shows booked in so far. I'm starting to run out of days and it's rather exciting to know that my web-site is attracting so much new business. 
Oh gosh I've just notice the time and I really must get to bed.
Keep Watching  - I hope you like the new videos and Toodle Pip!