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  • Writer's pictureUrsula Sagar

"Music is keeping us all going right now.”

Updated: Mar 6, 2021

Musicians: Laurence Corns (guitar and vocals) and Paddy Milner (piano and vocals)

The residents were out in force today as the weather held out for a lovely afternoon of music in the garden of Bridgeside Lodge, with the wonderful Laurence Corns, a regular at Spitz, and the formidable Paddy Milner. Paddy's one of the country's most respected blues and boogie-woogie pianists and leads the house blues band at Ronnie Scott's, as well as playing for Tom Jones, so we knew we were in for a treat!

Laurence kicked us off with a gypsy swing classic he’d appropriately renamed Coffee and Bagels, having just upended his espresso over his otherwise beautifully dapper suit, which raised a lot of laughs. Residents A, H and B were ready and waiting for kick-off, and soon Sh, a new BSL resident, joined Tanya for a boogie on the lawn! Hot on their heels came a steady flow of listeners including music-lovers G and S, who told us they were excited to hear the songs they'd composed with Laurence and Arthur in recent months. The boys covered a really wide range of repertoire from ‘20s to ‘60s and everything in between, with Paddy’s sparkling finger-twisters and Laurence’s beautiful singing and scatting rewarded with loud applause from both sides of the canal.

We chatted with G.H, and her son, who told us he'd rarely seen her so animated. G.H has a speech disorder and it was remarkable to see how her vocabulary had improved as we sang along with the lyrics of a full verse of 'I Got Rhythm', unthinkable a few months ago. Her son wrote a series of words in coloured pens for her to copy, and she added one of her own, 'love', which she showed us with a cheeky wink. Residents A and E.J told us how in their twenties they would go dancing every Saturday night at Shoreditch Town Hall to tunes like those playing now. We chatted about A's huge LP collection:

"I think these songs will last forever. It’s music which keeps us all going right now”

- Resident A, BSL

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