25-May-2014 La Meme Chose

“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” is an epigram by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr in the January 1849 issue of his journal “The Wasps”. It literally means ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’.

Let’s turn that on it’s head – “more of the same, but different”…

Take for example, Prudhoe. We lived in Prudhoe for many years – in fact we met there on July 26th 1969, Saturday afternoon at half past two, playing tennis in the park. We’ve been back again numerous times over the years – yes it’s the same town, but different… the park is long gone, having been bulldozed and excavated and goodness knows what else to become a car park for a supermarket… the vicarage is now a care home (yes, we’ve performed there), the shops that seemed interesting way back then now seem like any other small town… Jimmy’s old school at Eltringham (Station Gate) has been converted to a cottage with rented accommodation attached… Val’s old school is still there, and next door is a media centre (the Fuse) which has all the trappings of modern technology for all manner of artistic endeavours. And so it was that we headed back to our old home town to the Fuse to record an interview for Radio Prudhoe and we also arranged a recording session in relation to the Prudhoe Arts Week Festival – we’ll be performing at the Tory Club (Prudhoe and Mickley Unionist Club to give its full title) on Thursday 29th May (some time after 7:00 pm) and also at the Fuse Media Centre (some time after 7:30 pm).

And then there’s Anthony John Clarke at Cramlington Folk Club. We love seeing Anthony John perform, and we’re fortunate to count him and Julia among our friends. As always, he held the audience in the palm of his hand with the songs and the chat and a wonderfully engaging stage presence. This evening was also a bit different in that he was accompanied by Hugh Toner on piano and Julia also joined him on stage. And another difference – ‘on stage’ now means ‘on stage’ at Cramlington Folk Club… the same, but different. When the club was previously at this venue (then called The Hind) there was no stage but, after a few months dalliance at the Concordia Leisure Centre, now that they’re back (the pub is now called The Clef & Cask) there’s a proper little stage.

We had a couple of care home performances, one new and one return visit. Both good with joining in and clapping and foot-tapping etc – but the return visit had touches of pure magic… residents singing to us as we set up, during the performance there was lots of chorus singing, whistling along with some songs, laughter at the jokes (we kid you not, we’re not up to Anthony John’s standards, but some people do enjoy our humour), lots of positive feedback afterwards, communal singing with us while we packed the gear, and promises to return as soon as possible.

jivache-co-ukWebsite work has taken a fair chunk of our time too – again, ‘the same but different’…

The first one is the same ‘jiva’ but with an emphasis on something different in Care Home Entertainment – see it here: www.jivache.co.uk.

The second one is a commission that’s been on and off and on and off while the band/client sorted out who was (and is and will be) doing what. At present it looks as though we’ll be responsible for ongoing development of the website (www.devilswater.co.uk), starting by picking up the existing design as is from their current graphic designer and then adding content and improving the user experience while retaining the graphical elements already in place. Sounds like fun!

Next week promises to be more of the same, but different again.




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“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”

Well said Jean-Baptiste

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