1,000 flock to hear InChorus and Dougie MacLean

It was standing room only in Peebles’ Old Parish Church, as the Royal Burgh’s choir InChorus sang beside the Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean at a packed Christmas charity concert. Ken Morrison of the town’s Rotary Club sent us this review of the festive night.

Saturday night in Peebles, and the entertainment choices are the quarter-finals of Strictly Come Dancing, the X Factor final or the InChorus Christmas Charity Concert. I and almost 1,000 others, from as far afield as Portugal, are very glad that we opted for the last.

The choir, smartly dressed in pink and black, immediately got everyone into the Christmas spirit with their rendition of Ding Dong Merrily on High.

What followed was a unique mixture of the modern and classic, including Something Inside So Strong, Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire, plus a clever medley of modern songs based on the Police classic Every Breath You Take, and finally a unique arrangement of Coldplay’s Viva la Vida.

It was also great to hear the capacity audience belting out two of the most popular Christmas hymns, as their input to the musical extravaganza.

I’m sure every minister in the land would love a congregation of this size over the next few weeks.

The very special guest for the evening was Dougie MacLean who delivered what was clearly, by the reaction of the audience, the highlight of the evening – Caledonia, a song that is known and loved throughout the world.

The other guest group, the Amber Knights, possibly Peebles’s very own boy band consisting of one lad from the Scottish Police Choir and three from InChorus, displayed their harmonic skills with three numbers, the best of which was definitely their arrangement of Crocodile Rock.

The evening closed with a song which I am sure has been voted in one of many polls at this time of the year as the best ever Christmas song, Fairytale of New York, and it proved to be a great end to a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

It is a great credit to the area that a choir of this quality and versatility can be developed and so well supported.