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 (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).


Leave a comment

Listening to new music helps dementia patients

nurse_helping_patient_walk_1600_wht_15034We all know that music has strong emotional impact on most people.

In an experiment run by consultancy 20/20 Research & Spirit of Creation (they aim to improve public services) people with dementia responded to music which had no connection with their lives in a positive way.

The care home residents in the UK were exposed to a live performance, followed by mp3 recordings, followed by a range of other music.

75% responded immediately the live performance, smiling and humming along. Afterwards they were observed at 2 and 4 week intervals. For the majority communication skills were better after two weeks although this did not last over longer periods.

However memory improved in both the short and long term with residents able to recall where they were, the time of dat, and people’s names – one of the most stressful things of them.

They could also recall recent and past events better and seemed less frustrated in how long it took them to perform everyday tasks.

The consultancy’s MD said “Music is very closely bound up with emotions and has the power to reach down into people’s memory and let them reconnect with the person they were before they became unwell

See also: The Power of Music


Leave a comment

Charity fund-raiser for Alzheimer’s Society


SCAN0055This is a good cause for a condition which many of us have been touched by.

I’ve blogged before about dementia and music and we’re more than happy to support this cause with our friends.


Do musicians stay sharp longer?


DSCF1131 You have probably heard that singer-songwriter Glen Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a couple of years ago .

The 77 year-old has had world-wide hits with “By the time I get to Phoenix” and “Wichita Linesman’ among many others both pop and country.

He announced that he’d made his last album “Ghost on the Canvas”, planned to make a farewell tour, then retire from music. He says he was diagnosed early in 2011 but had suffered memory loss for some time.

You might think that Campbell has done well to be able to follow his dream for so long in what is an inherently un-healthy occupation. So what has helped him to keep going for so long?  Researcher and neuropsychologist Brenda Hanna-Pladdy at Emery University School of Medicine gave tests to people aged over 60 to measure their cognitive ability and memory.

She found that those who had…

View original post 226 more words