Any time of year, you can find us here
Musicians: Ben Hazleton (bass) Pete Wareham (sax) Marcus Bonfanti (guitar)
Bridgeside Lodge seemed strangely quiet when we arrived at lunchtime on Tuesday. We learned that a number of residents were self-isolating, either with covid or to avoid contracting it. "We'll play it by ear" - no musical pun intended, but it's a phrase that fits perfectly for us as we often have to react on the spot to unforeseen obstacles. On a day that felt a little gloomy, some uplifting music was more important than ever.
The trio of Pete, Ben and Marcus kicked things off with some ragtime and blues numbers and were speedily joined by resident CN and her sister, resident DW and recent Bridgeside Lodge arrival JG who danced enthusiastically with her friend who was visiting. She's an artist and we could clearly see the artist coming out in the way she moved to the music.
We couldn't bring guitarist Marcus Bonfanti to Bridgeside Lodge without having him visit BSL's resident bluesman JC. Marcus hadn't been to BSL for over a year but nevertheless JC welcomed him like an old friend and they were soon rocking out as Marcus' booming vocals and jangling guitar spilled out in to the corridor - causing carers and cleaner alike to poke their heads round the door.
While we always bring a wide range of music to BSL, we sometimes find that a specific song holds significance for a particular resident. Over the years we've learned that resident FS is an Eagles fan and that Hotel California is his absolute favourite. After Ben and Marcus finished playing it, they asked if he had any other requests, after some thought he said "Hotel California". An encore ensued...
Because there were so few residents around, we soon found ourselves back in the ground floor lounge, chatting with the friend of a resident who had arrived for a visit which couldn't go ahead because she was self-isolating. She and Marcus had both lived in Liverpool years ago and they discussed the city and which bits they'd lived in. This led on to a challenge of "songs by Liverpool bands other than the Beatles" Marcus & Ben obliged with a funky version of The Zutons' Valerie.
We finished the day by persuading Marcus to play one of his original songs which will feature on his new album, due for release this year. It was a heart-felt song to his daughter which left us all feeling contemplative. No video of this - you'll have to wait for the album!