2 Shades of Grey were honoured to be asked to be the closing act at this year’s Festival. Barrie and I had played at Worsthorne Carnival as part of the Uptown Band (technically the Uptown 5 as we were missing Don on keyboards and our second sax player) in 1989! So this was our 25th anniversary re-union in the village 😉
Mindful however that there were more important anniversaries to consider with the commemorations this week of the 100th anniversary of World War I Barrie called on his resources to make it a more wide-ranging programme.
We opened with a couple of Jazz-flavoured tunes, “Fly me to the Moon” and “She“ before Bobby Darin’s “Things” got the members of the choir in the audience providing superb backing.
Barrie and I performed the Beatles’ song adopted by Dementia Friends this year “With a Little Help from my Friends” before Tony Cummings joined us to duet with Barrie on the Everly’s “Let it Be Me” (the second French song of the evening Barrie pointed out).
As our recognition of the sacrifices made during the Great War Tony Cummings then orated an extract from Michael Morpurgo’s “Private Peaceful” followed by local trumpeter Jim Hoyle playing us into “Abide with Me”. When we finished you could have heard a pin drop, very moving and not a few tears in the audience.
Jim stayed with us for the final section of our programme. First he demonstrated his versatility with a fine piece of Tex-Mex trumpet playing on the Mavericks‘ song “Dance the Night Away” which had the audience clapping along.
Our finale was that great Civil War song written by Robbie Robertson and recorded by the Band (Bob Dylan’s then backing group) “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”.
Jim introduced this with a muted rendition of a short piece of “Dixie” – the de facto anthem of the Confederacy – which was very evocative. Everybody joined in on the choruses enhanced by Jim’s trumpet. A rousing finish to the evening.
Thanks Jim (left of picture), Joanna (centre) and Tony (on right) for your excellent contributions.
On an historical note the UK lost almost 900,000 servicemen in WW1 and the Americans 600,00 in their civil war – abut the same proportion of the population at the time.
But there is also a local connection as the Civil War led to the Cotton Famine which lasted throughout that war (1861-1865).
There were 300,000 men. women and children employed in the cotton industry in Lancashire alone and it’s estimated that there were half a million people starving and destitute in Lancashire because supplies of cotton from the Southern states dried up during the war.