July 2011 – Pride Not Prejudice, Leeds

Here’s a lovely write up by Sara Cox from August 2011’s edition of Shout! magazine for our 2011 annual concert. ‘I am what I am’ was the rip-roaring anthem that boomed out from the stage of Leeds College of Music on the evening of Saturday July 2nd, as each individual member of Gay Abandon came together to show that Pride, not Prejudice should be the number one message of the day. The audience was treated to a diverse mixture of music from the more traditional ‘Go Down Moses’ to Chumbawumba, Amy Winehouse and Bronski Beat. From the thundering choruses of the main choir to quieter, emotional, solos and even a ‘boy band’, conductor Jane Edwardson and accompanist Andy Fellows presented the message through music that each and every person in the world should be proud of who they are. A moving slide display showed those who had fought throughout history for just this message to be adopted, and a tongue-in-cheek reworking of letters from Mr Darcy and Miss Bennett added a humorous interlude. Even the interval became part of the celebration, with graffiti boards provided to record audience thoughts and colourful homemade fairy cakes to tempt taste buds. The whole evening was a triumph with more than enough to satisfy every sense. Be sure to put their next date in your diary!

September 2008 – Leeds Met University

We received a warm welcome at the Leeds Metropolitan University ‘Staff Development Day’ where we sang a very enjoyable gay set to a fun audience who were clearly invited to represent diversity in Leeds. We think ‘Culture and Diversity’ were the theme of the day and certainly the other acts also fitted that theme, but where were all the white middle-class non-disabled straight staff and their families to experience this rich event?