Singers with the DMU Gospel Choir have been sampling the life of rock stars as they tour and perform with legendary Leicester band Kasabian.
DMU Gospel Choir rehearsing before last year's King Power gig
Luxury coaches, fans cheering and clapping them in their hotel, hours of sound-checks and then performing at some of the biggest concert venues in front of sell-out crowds is a little different from life on the De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) campus.
Hot on the heels of taking the stage with the Leicester band in arenas in Newcastle, Glasgow and Manchester, it was the 02 in London on Friday and Saturday and ended with two shows in Birmingham over the weekend.
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Choir leader Ellah Kandi, a Pentecostal Chaplain at DMU, said: "It started when we used to sing outside the Leicester football matches and some of the band members heard the choir.
“They asked if the choir would be interested in singing with them and when Leicester won the league, we shared the stage with them at the Victoria Park celebrations.”
Kasabian's Serge and Tom when they announced last year's King Power gigs
That led to the choir performing in LCFC’s King Power Stadium for Kasabian’s huge homecoming gigs in May last year, and then being recorded as backing singers for two tracks on the band’s sixth studio album For Crying Out Loud, released this year.
Kasabian guitarist and songwriter Serge Pizzorno was so impressed he asked the DMU Gospel Choir to sing at his wedding in July.
“The band are really amazing - they are so humble and treat us like professionals,” Ellah said. “We feel like class performers.
“It’s a completely different experience to what we’re used to, we’ve never been on tour like this before – a luxury coach, staying in hotels, rehearsals, then soundchecks with the band, then more soundchecks with Serge and Tom, then the concerts.
“We’re getting the experience of being rock stars. It has been a superstar experience.
“Performing on the stage with them at the concerts was amazing. They’re not reserved – there was no limit put on us – we weren’t even mindful of how loud we were singing.”
Some of the choir, however, have had to keep their attention on more routine matters such as university course exams and the choir has rotated which members perform at each concert so that everyone gets a turn.
DMU Gospel Choir became something of a household name during Leicester City's legendary 2015/16 Permier League season. Media from around the world filmed them performing every other week outside the King Power stadium. They also reached the finals of the Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of the Year final in 2016.
Posted on Wednesday 13th December 2017