2 Shades of Grey

Songs from the soundtrack of your life


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Pendleside Hospice tea party

Two Shades of Grey were invited back to Pendleside Hospice in Burnley to entertain at a tea party.

They played a stripped back acoustic set 

My acoustic setup: Fishman Loudbox & Gretsch Penguin parlour guitar (+ a Boo Tremolo pedal)

featuring 19 songs from the artists below.

It’s always satisfying to support a good cause like this and the audience really got into the singing and talking about the songs.

Not everyone has the time or confidence to volunteer but you can support the hospice shops.


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2 Shades back for 44th Worsthorne Arts & Crafts fair

Monday saw the Millstone Folk Band entertain with acoustic tunes from across the British Isles.

Tuesday saw the Contempo choir raise the rafters.

Wednesday saw 2 Shades  of Grey back at this annual event, which was dedicated to the memory of Tony Cummings.

We played an eclectic mix kicking off with a song almost older than us, Tennessee Ernie Ford’s classic “Sixteen Tons” (first written and recorded by Merle Travis in 1947). Then an Eva Cassidy take on “It doesn’t matter any more” –  better known as the 1958 posthumous Buddy Holly hit written by Paul Anka.

Then a medley of songs from one of our favourite bands the Drifters: “Under the Boardwalk”, “On Broadway” and “Save the last dance for me”. If you hear a reference to Rudy in one of the songs it’s because he was their lead singer who died the night before they were due to record “Boardwalk”.

We dedicated the Carole King song “Crying in the rain” to Tony as he’d sung Everly Brothers songs with us on several occasions and gave a nod to Elvis with the brilliant Marc Cohn song “Walking in Memphis”.

Then we finished with a Tex-mex medley comprising “Crazy”, “Tennessee Waltz”, South of the Border”, and the Maverick’s “Dance the Night away”, where we were assisted by Amy, the conductor of the Contempo choir on tambourine.

Thanks to Barrie’s wife for brief video clip. Enjoy! 


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2 Shades (plus 2) entertain again at Pendleside Hospice

2 Shades were happy to be invited back to Pendleside Hospice, near Burnley, to entertain the patients. We could have played a set of Xmas songs as it was snowing outside but instead performed a range of standards, pop and country songs including a Tex-Mex medley and a Glen Campbell trilogy.

We were ably assisted by ex-Avalon Roy Shoesmith on percussion (his second gig with us at the hospice) and our friend Tony Cummings who duetted on “Glory of Love” and “Let it Be me“. As usual the audience were invited to sing along.

See earlier post on Hospice


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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 (see picture below).

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).

 


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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.

See earlier post re Hospice

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