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 (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.

 

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


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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!)