2 Shades of Grey

Songs from the soundtrack of your life


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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.

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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Rockers like Reisling, really?

wine_glass_toast_1600_wht_3574That’s according to a study carried out by a wine company so maybe not the most unbiased source.

The study claims that the type of music you listen to directly affects your taste in wine and that drinkers sub-consciously buy wines that complement their favourite songs.

So fans of Katy Perry and Rihanna drink Sauvignon Blanc whereas those who prefer Arctic Monkeys or Motorhead (an unlikely pairing I would have thought) prefer Reisling.

If you’re a classical fan you prefer Gewurtztraminer as you listen to Beethoven or Bach.

Charles Spencer, an experimental psychologist at Oxford University says there could be some truth in this as wine and music pair well together as music changes the taste of the wine. “Heavy wines demand dark, heavy music and Sauvignon Blanc matches lighter music”  He says that the kind of music people listen to makes them pick wine with similar properties.

“When you are choosing perfume you are often asked what your favourite colour is …… as this helps to identify the which scent you  might like“. It’s even been proved that the  type of music playing in the wine shop will bias your choice and that people buy significantly more expensive wine if classical music is playing rather than the top 40 as it influences them to look for more quality.

The wine company which carried out the survey say that “Sauvignon Blanc is a very accessible wine, light and zingy, and you could say similar to pop music. When they go together the experience is better and it’s the first choice of more than half of popular music fans” . They say rock fans prefer Reisling because of its classic petrol flavours (not to be confused with anti-freeze of course) and claim that one of their sommeliers says that the opening riff for Sweet Child of Mine by Guns and Roses sounds like Reisling.

The firm has created boxes of wine that come with Spotify playlists which include the likes of Lily Allen, Miley Cyrus, and Kylie Minogue to listen to while they drink their Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet Sauvignon. For those who prefer rock music 70% chose Merlot or Reisling to accompany the Stones, Nirvana, and Kings of Leon.

Gewurtztraminer is the least well known, an acquired taste, and is said to build in flavour like a classical crescendo. The wine company say that this Alsace region wine is the thinking person’s wine because it’s not so well known but has fantastic wines. The tunes to listen to as you drink this wine include The Marriage of Figaro and Air on a G String.

According to the survey hip-hop fans are the least fussy and will drink anything!

Much as I respect the work of the psychology team at Oxford University this does seem a bit pretentious. What happened to rock staples like champagne, whiskey, bourbon and beer!