'IF you can walk you can dance; if you can talk you can sing.'

The African proverb quoted by Ged Faricy is one of his favourite sayings. 'Talk to a man he becomes your friend, sing with a man and he becomes your brother' is another favourite phrase.

For Ged, the best example of male bonding is combining voices and to basically 'Sing Your Rocks Off!' as demonstrated in the quirky title of the informal male voice choir he established three years ago after moving to Ilkley.

Although his career was in the corporate world, singing has been an instrumental part of the 69-year-old's life.

"I sing but I'm not musically trained. Singing is in your blood and the principle I have is everybody can sing but they don't sing either because teachers told them they couldn't sing or their parents didn't sing," explains Ged.

His parents sang in choirs, his siblings sang and he along with his brother used to sing as the 'Everlasting Brothers' - a tribute to the American singing duo, the Everly Brothers.

Before moving to Ilkley, Ged was part of the New Mill Male Voice Choir after he joined the choir with a friend.

Through the choir Ged made lasting friendships and he recently drafted in his pals at the New Mill MVC for a joint performance at the Kings Hall in Ilkley to raise funds for Spinal Research to support family friend, Rob Shelton who became involved with the charity after he was left paralysed from the neck down following a car accident 11 years ago.

Ged had been a member of the New Mill MVC for 24 years but after moving to Ilkley he decided to form an informal choir encouraging local men to get together and simply sing.

He explains many men would probably enjoy singing but don't often get the chance: mixed choirs tend to be more female orientated; repertoire can be another stumbling block as some song choices may not appeal to men.

Ged was also keen to set up a group where men didn't need any musical experience, nor do they need to read music. All they need is a voice and an enthusiasm to be part of something special.

The inaugural get together garnered a handful of singers. In the coming years the group has expanded to the 20 or so men who attend the weekly sessions held at The Ilkley Moor Vaults pub (The Tapps) in Stockeld Road, Ilkley at 7.45pm on Wednesdays.

Unlike other choirs, 'Sing Your Rocks Off' is understood to be one of only a handful in the country that is informal where men sing unaccompanied and are taught by ear and repetition.

"It is unaccompanied, there is no piano, no music, nobody needs to read music, they all learn it through repetition," explains Ged.

The repertoire is wide-ranging from sea shanties to pop classics. "By repetition they learn it and sing it together and they are often astounded by the results," says Ged.

"I have seen people with real emotion."

Ged also cites the emails he receives from those who appreciate being given the opportunity to sing. "I've got emails from people saying 'I have been told for over 50 years I cannot sing and you have made me realise I can - what a wonderful experience.'"

Singing can bring great benefits to health too - according to Ged. "Physically it is breathing, a bit like yoga. It is controlling your breathing and it is great for stress."

Ged says singing is also known to help with people with conditions such as dementia and Parkinsons.

It's a social thing too - people come together and that can be imperative when it comes to tackling the issue of loneliness.

"Singing in a group is very sociable," says Ged.

"I often say it is male bonding at its best - a real form of male bonding that is meaningful."

Ged understands the fear men may have of taking that first step over the threshold but he's hoping more men will try it.

"The difficult thing with men is to step over the threshold and come for the first time. So many people think they may come but they have a fear that says 'I will be exposed' 'people will hear me.'

Ged says they soon realise they aren't going to be put in he spotlight. "They just blend in and find out where they fit," he explains.

To find out more about 'Sing Your Rocks off,' or to get involved, call 07833 937254 or visit singyourrocksoff.com