2 Shades of Grey

Songs from the soundtrack of your life

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Costa Coffee session in Burnley

2 Shades performed a 2-hour set at Costa Coffee this week. It was a low-key affair with minimal kit – just my Washburn electro-acoustic guitar – but a great opportunity to try out some new songs and some we hadn’t performed for a while. 

It was also a chance to see how well my Fishman Loudbox Mini acoustic guitar amplifier’s vocal channel performed. It was excellent and using the TC Helicon harmony voice processor in stereo mode, an Electro Harmonix B9 Organ pedal, and a Boo Tremolo pedal, there was sufficient variety in sounds to support the eclectic 31 -song programme which included standards, pop songs and a couple of blues-orientated songs.

New to our set was Homeward Bound, When I Fall in Love, Mountains of Mourne, Sixteen Tons, and Here Comes the Rain Again.

An enjoyable afternoon which we shall be repeating.

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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!)

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Top Tunes for mourners in UK

figures_carrying_casket_1600_wht_13761I’ve posted on this before but it’s good to get an update.

Co-operative Funeralcare has carried out a survey of families’ needs. It seems half of all funeral directors have been presented with playlists on various media platforms in the last year and they are updating sound systems in crematoria and other venues to cope with this.

The idea seems to be that music that was particularly meaningful to the deceased is played during the service.

Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” has been on the top spot again or the last couple of years overtaking the Monty Python’s “Always look on the bright side“.

Time to say goodbye” by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli was the second most popular song followed by Eva Cassidy’s version of “Somewhere over the rainbow“.

Religious music was represented by Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd” in fifth place.

Other songs include Bette Midler’s “Winds beneath my Wings“, Vera Lynn’s “We’ll meet again“, and Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable

Traditional hymns like “Abide with me” and “All Things bright and beautiful” are also represented in the favourites.

I can’t say I’m over impressed by the list which is not much different from the last time I posted on this , except the sports themes have dropped off the list and I’m surprised Robbie Williams “Angels” isn’t still on the list.

I think the songs show a distinct lack of imagination. What about Stairway to Heaven or Knocking on Heaven’s door? Endless Sleep or Back to Black?

Or songs that actually meant something to people not songs other people thought they should have. Where are the Stones or Beatles songs for example.

The funeral service is also keen to point out that it’s not only music that can be personalised but also caskets, hearses and memorials. The mind boggles.



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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!

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Top two photographs courtesy of Ken Stott.

Featured charity was Pendleside Hospice.

And here are the posts from 2014 and 2015