So, as arrived to set up our kit, we were greeted by a welcoming and warm crowd at The King William IV ‘The Billy’ in Warmley, Bristol. We all had a great time, with lots of laughs and sunshine. After the gig, I started reflecting on how much fun we all had, and it got me thinking about the ‘morale-boosting’ qualities of music and how it makes us all feel. This was especially relevant when learning about the aim of Armed Forces day to provide a variety of events and activities to ‘boost morale’. With a brief bit of research, I found some interesting quotes and information about the relationship between music and morale, especially during times of war:
"In fact, music was an integral part of the war from recruitment to battle, to bereavement and finally to homecoming. Music woke the troops at dawn and sent them to bed at night. More important, music stirred patriotic spirits, directed troops in battle, buried the dead and celebrated victory."
Statesman Journal - The importance of music during the Civil War, Timothy Walch | Salem
Also in a more modern context the impact that music has on your morale at work, especially during the recent pandemic:
"Over 60% of employees who listened to background music at work reported being happier overall. This improved mood translated to their life outside of work. The introduction of music in a store, restaurant, or any other public-facing business can decrease stress, increase concentration for employees, and put customers more at ease. Improved focus, creativity, and motivation for employees are additional benefits of music in the workplace."
ReadWrite - Background Music Helps Improve Employee Morale In the COVID Age, Mitch Bishop
I feel deeply about the role that music plays in improving my overall wellbeing and morale in any situation, it continues to be a big source of fun and joy in my life. Us Cat’s feel so lucky to be part of music making, helping to boost morale and being together with people celebrating, having fun, and coming together and we look forward to doing lots more over the coming months.
Rachel "Top Cat"
The Platinum Jubilee whirlwind this weekend ended for The Cat’s Pyjamas with us opening The Big Lunch in Chipping Sodbury yesterday lunchtime. The Big Lunch | Eden Project Communities started in 2009, bringing together people from across the UK to celebrate with neighbours and community on the first weekend in June to enjoy a lovely picnic.
It was fab to join The Big Lunch gang after a few years out with the pandemic. The weather was threatening to rain but remained dry and bright all morning, which was a relief for all. It was great fun to stand upon their ‘Royal Balcony’ stage and perform to the crowds. The Cat’s particularly enjoyed the balcony fringe meaning that our feet were covered so we could keep our trainers on! Small things make a big difference, and we were jumping and jiving happily without our heels on!!
The crowd was buzzing, and it was great to see the numbers swell as our set went on. Many a happy face, a bopping mover, and a singing soul amongst them, which was a joy. We were grateful for such a wonderful, celebratory atmosphere, and all of us had a great time. Particular highlights included seeing family, friends and colleagues in the crowd; surviving the manic, fast-paced lyrics in ‘In the Mood’ and us all pointing out Katherine’s husband Chris as the focus of our attentions in ‘Sway’…poor chap, thanks Chris!
So, as I sit at my desk, thinking about lunch and my meetings this afternoon I will remember this weekend with much fondness and smiles. Thank you Ma’am. Xxx
Rachel "Top Cat"
Today was a great day in The Cat’s Pyjamas history. We got the fantastic opportunity to go and sing at BBC Radio Bristol in the studio and have a chat with the presenter.
After a chance connection through a Portishead Facebook group this morning the gang trooped into the centre of Bristol for our moment on the wireless, as part of the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations.
A mixture of nerves, excitement, and bewilderment we popped over the Suspension Bridge and got ourselves checked in with security on Whiteladies Road. In classic ‘Mum style’ we were massively early and spent a good 45 mins flapping between cold drink/hot drink/prosecco before opting for a glass of tap water and a wee!
The folks at BBC Radio Bristol were some of the nicest, warmest people and we really felt looked after. The presenter of the show Paris Troy was a bundle of bubbly energy and a real tonic. He really put us at ease, and we set too answering a variety of questions and doing some snippets from ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ and ‘Tico Tico’. We actually had a great giggle, and it was surprisingly fun.
I think today has given me the chance to reflect on the last 10 years of The Cat’s Pyjamas and some of the interview questions really made me think about how the power of music supports my wellbeing. As we talked about on the radio coming together to sing as a group has really helped us all feel ‘like ourselves’, ‘we have our own time’ ‘gives me a great sense of happiness’ ‘I no longer feel invisible when I sing’. All these are key challenges for many Mums like us, along with lots of others.
So today on this Jubilee Friday I wanted to give a big ‘Cat’s Pyjamas’ shout out to all the Mum’s out there…make sure you find your thing to make you feel special, you deserve it. xxx
Rachel "Top Cat"
Here's a little video celebrating what was a fun yet exhausting 24 hour Sing-A-Thon. The fundraising total is currently at £1560 so not lot to go to reach my target of £2000! All this money will go directly to The Children's Society and will secure my place in the London Marathon this October!
Thank you so much to everyone who took part, supported and donated through this crazy 24 hours!
We Cat's Pyjamas enjoyed doing an hour of our singing at the end of the 24 hours and by some miracle, I remembered my words.....well, most of them!
Right, now best get running!
Katherine (Classical Cat)