2 Shades of Grey

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2 Shades guest at 41st Xmas Concert in Worsthorne

Last weekend saw the 41st Annual Christmas Concert by the choir and friends at St John the Evangelist Church in Worsthorne, near Burnley, Lancashire. There were two performances – on Friday evening and on Saturday afternoon.

The children’ choir from the local primary school also performed as special guests on the Friday night. The programme was directed by Martin Waterson and our friend Tony Cummings was the compere. P1040079 P1040081 P1040082

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first half of the concert comprised songs from the full choir with soloist Caroline Taylor, Paul Jennings (a monologue) and Ken Hollas plus the children’s choir.

Then 2 Shades of Grey performed opening with “Scarlet Ribbons“. Tony Cummings joined in for “Rocking around the Xmas tree‘ and two Everly Brothers songs. On the Saturday performance they substituted “Have yourself a Merry Little Xmas” for the Everly’s songs.P1040108

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P1040092P1040085 P1040108To round off the first half the choir performed “World in Union“. During the interval a collection was made for the Water Aid charity and calendars featuring local photographs by the late Peter Hartley were sold to raise money for Pendleside Hospice.

After the interval the choir performed a cantata by Joseph Martin “A Winters Grace” which incorporated readings from the bible, read by Fr John Paul and familiar carols.

Christmas really does start in Worsthorne!

 


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41st Worsthorne Arts & Crafts Fair

The festival theme was the 60s as demonstrated in the many displays in the church.P1020870

Of course being the sixties Burnley FC had to be featured!P1020868

And as musicians we were delighted to see reminders of the swinging sixties when British pop music ruled the world.P1020872

And with that in mind our set was very much 1960s flavoured.P1020884 P1020917

We kicked off with Chuck Berry’s “Memphis Tennessee” and the classic “Save the Last Dance” followed by a couple by the  Everlys, the second a duet with our friend Tony Cummings.P1020890

We were then joined by Caroline Taylor for that old Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood classic “Summer Wine”.P1020897

Then with both Caroline and Tony we performed that great Phil Ochs’ song “There but for fortune” (I love that three-part harmony at the end) and the Bobby Darin classic “Things“.P1020903

Barrie rounded off the first half with a great rendition of Tom Rush’s song – made famous by Scott Walker – “No Regrets“.P1020915

The second half was a 1960s medley with a quiz for the audience to identify the singer and the song.

So we rounded the evening off with songs from the Kinks, the Beach Boys, Sam Cooke, Little Eva, the Mindbenders, Cliff Richard, Herman’s Hermits and the Beatles.P1020923

Those were the days my friend!

A great evening enjoyed by everyone.

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You can read a slightly different take on the festival here.

Last year’s Festival


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40th Worsthorne Arts & Crafts Fair

P10006662 Shades of Grey were honoured to be asked to be the closing act  at this year’s Festival. Barrie and I had played at Worsthorne Carnival as part of the Uptown Band (technically the Uptown 5 as we were missing Don on keyboards and our second sax player) in 1989! So this was our 25th anniversary re-union in the village 😉

Mindful however that there were more important anniversaries to consider with the commemorations this week of the 100th anniversary of World War I Barrie called on his resources to make it a more wide-ranging programme.

We opened with a couple of Jazz-flavoured tunes, “Fly me to the Moon” and “She before Bobby Darin’s “Things” got the members of the choir in the audience providing superb backing.

P1000655A switch of tempo and Joanna Butcher joined us to duet with Barrie on  “Hallelujah” and solo on “Songbird“.

Barrie and I performed the Beatles’ song adopted by Dementia Friends this year “With a Little Help from my Friends” before Tony Cummings joined us to duet with Barrie on the Everly’s “Let it Be Me” (the second French song of the evening Barrie pointed out).

As our recognition of the sacrifices made during the Great War Tony Cummings then orated an extract from Michael Morpurgo’s “Private Peaceful” followed by local trumpeter Jim Hoyle playing us into “Abide with Me”. When we finished you could have heard a pin drop, very moving and not a few tears in the audience.

P1000657Jim stayed with us for the final section of our programme. First he demonstrated his versatility with a fine piece of Tex-Mex trumpet playing on the Mavericks‘ song “Dance the Night Away” which had the audience clapping along.

Our finale was that great Civil War song written by Robbie Robertson and recorded by the Band (Bob Dylan’s then backing group) The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”.

Jim introduced this with a muted rendition of a short piece of “Dixie” – the de facto anthem of the Confederacy – which was very evocativeEverybody joined in on the choruses enhanced by Jim’s trumpet. A rousing finish to the evening.

The church was full, everybody enjoyed themselves and they sold a lot of cakes!P1000658

 

 

 

Thanks Jim (left of picture), Joanna (centre) and Tony (on right) for your excellent contributions.

On an historical note the UK lost almost 900,000 servicemen in WW1 and the Americans 600,00 in their civil war – abut the same proportion of the population at the time.

But there is also a local connection as the Civil War led to the Cotton Famine which lasted throughout that war (1861-1865).

There were 300,000 men. women and children employed in the cotton industry in Lancashire alone and it’s estimated that there were half a million people starving and destitute in Lancashire because supplies of cotton from the Southern states dried up during the war.