If you want a night out this Christmas that is truly sensational, you need go no further than Alleyn’s School in Dulwich where the Massive Violins, based in North London, will be performing their genius versions of iconic rock and pop songs, with some operatic arias thrown in for good measure. The Massive Violins, incidentally, don’t play violins – they play cellos, which, they say, ‘are bigger and better’!
These seven singing cellists are truly unique. They manage to make each song they perform sound even better than the original and, by some peculiar magic, all their songs inspire joy and often laughter as well as being musically thrilling. They do a huge variety of numbers, from Elvis to Adele, via the Beatles, Queen, Simon and Garfunkel, Shaggy, Bjork and many many more.
Ricky Chatto, who founded the band, is particularly partial to the Beach Boys and says,’Good Vibrations is the best pop song ever written and the Beach Boys are the best band – apart from the Massive Violins, obviously.’ He started playing the cello when he was six and is still at it more than 60 years later. He has played in several London orchestras and has his own string quartet. He is also an instrument maker and built most of the cellos played by the band. When he’s not making cellos or playing them he’s a safety engineer.
His daughter Grace is well-known in the pop music world for her band Clean Bandit which has won multiple awards including two Grammys and the Ivor Novello Award. It has also had a string of hits, including Number One smash hit Rather Be and last year’s Christmas Number One Rockabye. She loves singing and playing with the Massives when she can and will be performing her special version of Santa Baby, among others, at the Alleyn’s gig.
There is so much to say about all the Massive Violins members, but not enough space. Briefly, Camilla is a music therapist and the most stunning soprano, Jess is an editor and publisher and a beautiful contralto, Matt is a film director and also a stunning soprano, Saul is a doctor and does a mean Mr Blue Sky, and Guido’s Elvis is better than Elvis.
Here’s what some of their celebrity fans say about them:
“The MVs demonstrably have fiendish talents and, while producing the sound of angels vocally and instrumentally, are also diabolically entertaining . . . [They] have fun like a stampede of energetic wild animals.”
George Hinchliffe of The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
“I LOVE the Massive Violins. Wherever they are I’ll seek them out.”
“I like them a LOT”
“If it’s a unique bobby-dazzler of an evening you’re looking for … seven cellists brimming over with great comic timing and a fantastic repertoire… unmissable.” Neil Morrissey
Book now to avoid disappointment.
The Massive Violins. MCT at Alleyn’s School, Townley Rd. SE22 8SU on Sunday 17 December at 7.30pm. Tickets £16. Children and young people of school age £12. Book online here.