2 Shades of Grey

Songs from the soundtrack of your life


Leave a comment

Rockin’ on for charity

One thing about old rockers – and I’m talking about those musicians that were around in the sixties when groups really took off and there was someone with a guitar on every street corner – is that they like to keep on playing.

We can’t all do world tours to top up our pension plan but we can do some good in the community and I see lots of evidence of that.

My friend, and ex-vocalist with the Avalons, David is a member of The Can’t Sing Choir in Congleton which comprises just seven men but 40+ women.

The Madhatters: David on guitar with Ken, Clive, Dave and Peter

To introduce some variety in their programme the choir’s MD asked David and some of the male singers to perform several songs with David’s guitar accompaniment.

It worked well and David said the “boys took a liking to being in the limelight“.

So when a local dementia support group “Golden Memories” asked them to perform for them they jumped at it. (It’s a worthy cause 2 Shades has performed for in the past with David guesting with us).

They sing a mix of songs mainly from the fifties and through the sixties.

And their name? Well I’d sent  David a copy of the photograph taken at our Pendleside Hospice gig.

When David’s wife saw the picture of 2 Shades wearing hats she thought it looked stylish, as did the members of the group.

So hats it was – which gave birth to the name Madhatters. And now they have more similar gigs in the pipeline.

David posing with my guitar in the early sixties

So it’s good to see my old fellow musicians still performing, and often for good causes.

On a personal note David didn’t start to learn to play the guitar until he retired but is now a fine player with some tasty guitars.

Back in the early Avalon days he wanted to hold a guitar (like most pop idols of the day) as you can see from this posed picture.

It only took him 50 years to get round to learning what to do with it but proves it’s never too late to learn something new (and that’s good for your brain too by the way as I posted several years ago).

 

 

 


1 Comment

2 Shades plus 1 entertain local hospice patients

2 Shades of Grey entertained patients and staff this week at Pendleside Hospice.

Cancer care is a cause close to their hearts having performed at Macmillan coffee mornings in the past and also fund-raising for the hospice by playing at a local pub.

On this occasion they were joined by percussionist Roy Shoesmith, former drummer with Mike’s old group The Avalons (see archive) who last played together in 1966.

On these occasions we encourage community involvement in the performance and include a pop quiz based on 60s favourites from the Kinks, Beach Boys, Sam Cook etc. and expect them to sing along.

The Pendle-ettes didn’t let us down!

The music ranged from standards by NKC and Ella to Tex-Mex, country and latin and included a tribute to Glen Campbell with three of his best Jimmy Webb penned songs.

Everybody enjoyed the event so thanks to everyone who helped: Margaret and Gemma and the other lovely staff.

And also thanks to Roy for stepping in at a few days notice to help us out.

 

Hospices rely on donations so if you want to support them go to https://www.pendleside.org.uk/


Leave a comment

2 Shades of Grey perform at 43rd Worsthorne Arts & Crafts Fair

2 Shades  were delighted to perform for the fifth consecutive year at Worsthorne Arts & Crafts Fair.

The music was a mixture of standards. pop classics, latin and country.

Pop classics were represented by the Everlys, Billy Fury and the Beatles – “All I have to do is dream”, “I’ll never find another you”, and “Obla-Di Obla-da”. And a modern pop song by Rag and Bone Man “Grace”

Country flavoured songs from Rick Nelson and the Highwaymen – “Hello Mary Lou” and “the Last Cowboy Song”

Latin flavoured “Besame Mucho” and “Ten Guitars”

Standards? “Let there be love”, “I’ve got you under my skin”, and “Every time we say goodbye” by the likes of Nat King Cole, Sinatra, and Ella Fitzgerald (and covered more recently by the likes of Michael Bublé)

Just before the final song “Every Time We Say Goodbye” joint-MC Tony Cummings ( who had provided backing vocals) gave a reading of “In Flanders Field” as a tribute to the those who fell at Passchendaele, also known as the 3rd Ypres battle, which started 100 years ago to the day. (The poem had been written two years earlier after the second battle of Ypres but the imagery of the red poppies has stayed with the world ever since when remembering those who fell in war).

Another enjoyable evening which kicked off the week’s musical performances. Thank you everybody, especially if you joined in the singing (and save me some cake next time!)


Leave a comment

2 Shades guest at 41st Xmas Concert in Worsthorne

Last weekend saw the 41st Annual Christmas Concert by the choir and friends at St John the Evangelist Church in Worsthorne, near Burnley, Lancashire. There were two performances – on Friday evening and on Saturday afternoon.

The children’ choir from the local primary school also performed as special guests on the Friday night. The programme was directed by Martin Waterson and our friend Tony Cummings was the compere. P1040079 P1040081 P1040082

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first half of the concert comprised songs from the full choir with soloist Caroline Taylor, Paul Jennings (a monologue) and Ken Hollas plus the children’s choir.

Then 2 Shades of Grey performed opening with “Scarlet Ribbons“. Tony Cummings joined in for “Rocking around the Xmas tree‘ and two Everly Brothers songs. On the Saturday performance they substituted “Have yourself a Merry Little Xmas” for the Everly’s songs.P1040108

P1040088

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1040095

P1040092P1040085 P1040108To round off the first half the choir performed “World in Union“. During the interval a collection was made for the Water Aid charity and calendars featuring local photographs by the late Peter Hartley were sold to raise money for Pendleside Hospice.

After the interval the choir performed a cantata by Joseph Martin “A Winters Grace” which incorporated readings from the bible, read by Fr John Paul and familiar carols.

Christmas really does start in Worsthorne!

 


1 Comment

42nd Worsthorne Arts & Crafts Fair

For the third year running we were invited to perform at the annual festival and did so on two evenings.IMG_0524 IMG_0523

The acoustics in the church are always an advantage in embellishing our sound. P1030782

We performed a range of songs, old and new, from the war-time nostalgia of  “A nightingale sang...” and a song from War Horse to commemorate the great war on the 100th anniversary of the Somme offensive “Only remembered“.

We also performed “Things“, “Budapest“,  “Lucky Old Sun“, “Besame mucho“, “Tequila Sunrise” and a song lamenting the end of the Wild West, the Highwaymen’s “The last cowboy song”. We also included a medley of three Ricky Nelson songs and finished with “Dance the night away“.

Thank you all for being appreciative audiences!

P1030786 - Version 2

P1030796

Top two photographs courtesy of Ken Stott.

Featured charity was Pendleside Hospice.

And here are the posts from 2014 and 2015


Leave a comment

Should protest songs be free from copyright?

protestsongAfter the success of releasing “Happy Birthday” from old copyright arrangements New York lawyers are convinced that they can do the same for a couple of protest songs: “We shall overcomeandThis land is our land and free them for public use.

Mark Rifkin, one of the lawyers involved, says “There is a strong emotional element to these cases” as he seeks a judicial declaration that the songs belong in the public domain.

The case started when film-makers from a faith-based, non-profit organisation wanted to use We shall Overcome in a civil rights film documenting the history of the song and were asked to pay $100,000.

The lawyers claim that the song is an adaptation of an African-American spiritual with the same melody and similar lyrics sung in the late 19c.

Peter Seeger, the folk singer, registered the copyright in 1948 but that expired in 1§976. He regularly admitted that he was not the author (but no doubt collected royalties).

The lawsuit over This Land has been filed by members of a band from Brooklyn which fears it can’t release it without a licensing fee being paid.

The lyrics were written by Woody Guthrie in 1940. His daughter Nora insists that the copyright isn’t about money but “it has to do with protecting it from Donald Trump, protecting it from the Klu Klux Klan”.

The problem with folk songs, and blues songs for that matter, is that they are all derivative with singers claiming they wrote them when they didn’t. Only recently we had the Led Zeppelin case of “Stairway to Heaven“, not the first time the band had been accused of appropriating songs!