"This is a song about medication. I gather a lot of that goes on here!"
Musicians: Marcus Bonfanti (guitar and vocals) and Laurence Corns (guitar and vocals)
On today’s Bridgeside Lodge musical menu were the magnificent Marcus Bonfanti and much-loved Spitz regular Laurence Corns, both on voice and acoustic guitar. Marcus won the British Blues Award for Best Songwriter in 2012, and a further two British Blues Awards for Best Acoustic Performer in 2013 and 14! It was sunny but a little chilly which kept some of the residents listening from indoors including D, whose stroke very sadly left him without movement in his face but who was on his feet moving to the music.
G said he was feeling deeply frustrated by Covid these days but music always helps him get through, and Marcus cracked him up with a cheeky introduction to a lesser-known standard – "this is a song about medication. I gather a lot of that goes on here!" Several residents joined us for almost the full session.K's carer explained that although he's deaf he gets a lot from the band‘s visual energy and the vibrations through the ground.
I spoke for a long time with Leyla, a lovely carer who's been at BSL for only a year, about what a baptism of fire the past seven months have been. She‘s a big music fan and was especially taken with Marcus's voice. G greeted us with a huge smile and became quite agitated when her carer tried to take her indoors, but we eventually won her round, smiling and dancing with her hands as the band played some Beatles, her favourite. Her quality of life is improving visibly each time we see her as her speech and movement gradually return. Leyla told me she's sure the music helps.
G told Laurence after the set what a special thing it is to have us here. Laurence thanked him in turn for being such a wonderful appreciative audience, and it’s true – we all come away from our days at BSL with a beautiful sense of the power and vitality of live music.