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  • Writer's pictureNathaniel Keen

"That was laaavly"

Updated: May 4, 2021

Musicians: Nat Keen (guitar & vocals) and Pete Lee (piano)

We started by playing the blues classics with JC who seemed upbeat about the ending of lockdown and cheekily described with pride how he'd had a whiskey last night at the pub. While we're not certain that this didn't happen the previous night, it's surely a throwback memory to a time when he used to love going to gigs where he lived in Northwest London. Towards the end of our session we proposed playing a Beatles tune to which he flatly refused, he's into the hard stuff.

Next we visited D who was reclined in her chair looking like she was in Las Vegas with her pink shades on, watching her pink-framed TV. After playing a selection of tunes she let us know that she likes pop music, so we decided to play a disco classic. Me and Pete launched into a rendition of 'Young Hearts Run Free' (high difficulty level for two fledging vocalists). D gave us a big grin, possibly aimed at our vocal performance but either way she was entertained. As we faded out on the last chorus we could hear her singing along, perfectly in tune and with all of the lyrics on point.

We ventured down to the second floor lounge to our biggest audience of the day. Amongst others in attendance were G, MB and M. We started with 'Blackbird' and several other pop songs before concluding with our big hit of the day: Dolly Parton's Jolene to which we had everyone clapping along. While this was all in full flow, M seemed quite agitated but when the song concluded, she grinned, started clapping and declared 'that was laaavly'.

We popped in to see EJ who mentioned that she was feeling quite fragile. After playing some folk ballads she was clearly moved by the sentiment of the story ('Georgie' - Doc Watkins). We chatted about the depth of emotion that melancholic music can lead us towards and how we're both drawn to experiencing music in that way.

However, in this moment she'd prefer not to jump into such us a deep reflective state and so we played a marginally less reflective song 'Danny Boy' and asked EJ for her help in singing the melody which she enjoyed.

On the way out we saw J in the kitchen area sitting there quietly resting/reflecting. When the first few bars of 'Buffalo Soldier' began, the corners of his mouth slowly curled upwards as his eyes widened and brightened. Within a few seconds I'd stopped singing and handed over the lead vocal feature to him. He belted out the whole song with beautiful musicality and a giant smile spread across his face which contagiously spread amongst the carers in the room. We spent the last 15 minutes challenging each other's Bob Marley repertoire. I definitely met my match.

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