Tuesday 28 August 2018


Beverley Lyons
IT was a one night only performance but Soul Nation Choir showcased a month’s worth of vocal power at their Edinburgh Festival show.
The passion filled troupe headed up by vocal coach and ex boy bander Chris Judge already count Susan Boyle, Tom Jones, Paolo Nutini and Lulu amongst their celebrity followers and collaborators and it’s easy to see why.
Choirs are aplenty but Soul Nation are at the top of their game and boasted a repertoire of songs ranging from gospel standards like Higher and Higher to pop and rock anthems like Justin Timberlake’s Cry Me A River in their set.
Their All Fired Up gig at the Gilded Balloon Debating Hall saw a full house as the ten strong choir powered through anthems including an emotive mash up of This Is Me from the Greatest Showman and From Now On.
The buttery vocals of Chris and the gang made songs like Ain’t No Mountain High Enough and Shackles by Mary Mary seem like a walk in the park. 

The troupe were joined onstage by beat boxer Bigg Taj and gave a modern twist to classic songs like 
Stand By Me.

They even managed to have some extra fun interaction during the performance with ‘karaoke’ style singing by plucky audience members. 
It all added to the feel good element of the evening and it’s easy to see why the choir who were the featured vocal in the Red Hot Chilli Pipers version of Avicii’s Wake Me Up are a favourite at high profile gigs as well as weddings and theatre shows.
Roof raising anthems like I Believe I can Fly and Walking In Memphis really showcased the individual voices that make up this passionate group.
By the time the inspirational performers sang their trance fuelled rendition of Set You Free (as featured on their recent River City wedding appearance), and a finale featuring west end star Brian Leys performing Circle of life from Lion King, the Debating Hall was filled with a plethora of Affirmatives. 
It’s a big yes for the talents of Soul Nation. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Friday 24 August 2018

The Lyons Share: From The Dolls to Matt Baker with Overwatch gossip in Glasgow

IT was great to bump into The One Show’s Matt Baker in Glasgow on the 12th anniversary of the show. 
The first episode of the BBC flagship show was aired on August 14 2006 and although it’s made down south, it was nice to see Matt up here. 
Matt was one of the surprise guest presenters for the European Championships, taking over from Clare Balding who was also here. 
I say surprise sports presenter, but anyone who knows his history won’t be that shocked. 
Matt is an ex gymnast and was a Junior British Champion who was heading for the Olympics before illness (anaemia) meant early retirement at 14.
Matt who was staying at the Village hotel while here told me he loved being back in Scotland and couldn’t wait to catch up on the atmosphere of the European Championships around town. 
My mum was with me at the time and he gave her a wee wave as she smiled at him from her seat. 
He’s so well known to those of all ages from his Blue Peter days to his Countryfile shows and he’s set for even bigger things.  
He arrived on Friday for the tail end of the event but managed to squeeze a lot in before heading back down south for the One Show celebrations. 
He actually studied drama in Edinburgh before applying for his job on Blue Peter and left before his time at Queen Margaret College was over so it was nice to see him back.

SCOTS comedians The Dolls were hanging out at The Barras this weekend - posing like haddies for photos for their new show The Dolls Dragged Up. 
I love a wee walk round the stalls looking at the vintage delights on offer - and it’s been great to see some new shops pop up there in recent weeks. 
But I couldn’t believe it when I walked into Gayle Telfer Stevens and Louise McCarthy who make up the vocal comedy duo. 
The two quintessential Glesga cleaners  were not alone - Glasgow drag queen Reba Martell was in tow. 
She’s no relation to old singer Lena as far as I gathered. 
Anyway the three of them looked like a sight for sore eyes in the best possible way in their brightly coloured overalls and dodgy make up. 
River City star Gayle told me their last show sold out the top Scottish venues in just twenty minutes. 
Co star Louise who is due to appear in country music film Wild Rose can’t wait to star in the next Dolls Show which is now on sale throughout Scotland. 
It’s called The Dolls Dragged Up and this one looks set to be a smash too. 
The girls are keeping tight lipped about the plot line but I couldn’t resist asking for a wee song sing with them on the streets outside the Barrowlands sign. 
I’m sure some of the passers by thought it was just a normal day down there. 

I had a wee laugh when I met the Netherlands gymnastics team during the European Championships. 
They sported tops emblazoned with the words NED Gymnastics.
It made me imagine there might be prizes for necking a bottle of Buckie while chibbing someone at a street corner, or wearing a Burberry baseball cap whilst pulling up one leg on your tracksuit bottoms and running up and down the park. 
There could also be a prize for how quickly you could steal a Berghaus jacket while vaulting over a fence. 

FANS of Overwatch video game will be chuffed to hear that I met with the brilliant Lucie Pohl in Edinburgh during the festival. 
I’ve actually had the pleasure of meeting the US German born comedian and actress a few times through the brill publicist Mel Brown who looks after Lucie during her shows there.
We’ve even sung karaoke together. 
This year though, Lucie was here for a holiday after working very hard on some new projects. 
She is the voice of Mercy from the video game Overwatch which has received Universal acclaim. 
You might also recognise her from Red Dwarf. 
She’s due to come to Glasgow Comic Con in September but has also just been revealed this week as a new voice for World of Warcraft’s new Battle for Azeroth game where she’ll play pyromaniac Rixxa Fluxflame. If you’re not geeked out yet you soon will be. 

I partied with influencers including blogging mummy Mama Reid and instagrammer Abbie Blyth at Fake Bake’s latest night out. 
In the ultimate girlie soirée., a small posse of us including were treated to a delish dinner at new Scots restaurant Mharsanta (meaning Merchant in Gaelic) followed by a trip to the cinema. 
Everything was Mamma Mia themed including the cocktails and the food - and throughout the night we listened to Abbas finest songs. 
Our trip to the cinema caused a few looks as we made our way in a stretch Hummer complete with disco lights inside. 
And once inside the private room at the Odeon Quay that Katy Perry hired when she was last here we had an endless supply of sweeties from Glasgow company Sweet Sookcess. 
The sweeties weren’t the only candy to catch everyone’s eyes - and by the end of the cinema most of the girls had fallen for Young Bill played by actor Josh Dylan. 
Few know that he has already treaded the boards in Scotland appearing at the Edinburgh festival in 2013.
And he cites a Scottish accent as one of his strong points in his CV - so he’s practically one of us.  

I had the pleasure of hanging out with Barras Square Yard cafe owner Roddy McPherson and his chums at the weekend. 
He’s got a wee cafe that’s frequented by bikers and people who come for a chat and a bit of counselling. 
Roddy who has led a colourful life in institutions says he always has time to listen to other folk. 
Amongst the gang I met on the day were great tattooed man Andrew and Frankie with the red beard. 
They looked like something you’d see in a picture postcard. 
Frankie asked me to tell you he’s looking for a good woman while Andrew wants peace and harmony throughout the world. 

Monday 6 August 2018


ANDY and Jamie Murray’s famous mum Judy was at the centre of a blaze drama this week. 
The famous mummy who is also a Strictly Star was giving her talk to an audience at the Theatre Royal when the alarm went off at the venue. 
I was in the crowd and there was sudden panic on everyone’s faces as it dawned on everyone they had to get out of their seats. 
As Judy and her interviewer rushed off the stage, we scrambled to get to an exit and the safety curtain came down on the stage. It was all very rushed and as we exited the theatre we were told to stand in the other side of the road. 
Judy herself remained composed as she stood beside the fire engine that arrived on the scene. 
Thankfully it was a false alarm  and after thirty minutes of waiting outside we were ushered back in. 
Judy and her interviewer joked that someone might write a headline about her being carried to safety by six burly fire fighters. They also joked that more people had entered the building than had left. 

She told theshowbizlion.com later: “We've had a great evening even though the fire alarm went off midway through the second half which was a bit of a challenge but they came really quickly and we sorted it out and everyone got back in.”