19th Oct, 2018

Shirley man and friend 50 years older to perform in aid of Age UK Solihull

Felix Nobes 14th Apr, 2018

A SHIRLEY man and a lifelong friend have teamed up for a special inter-generational performance in aid of Age UK Solihull.

With half a century between them, Matthew Long from Solihull and friend John Walton from Lincolnshire have formed an unlikely musical partnership.

According to the pair, they hope to break down some of the stereotypes, placed on both the young and old, centred on an inter-generational divide.

The event takes place on Thursday May 24 at Solihull Methodist Church Hall from 2pm.

There will also be a performance from local dance group ‘Ladies Who Dance’.

Matthew says: “Our friendship was never highlighted in the first instance by an age difference. We shared much common ground through mutual passions and career paths. The fact that there is a 50-year age gap between us made no difference.

“We first made contact through a mutual friend, Malcolm MacFarlane, editor of the International Bing Crosby magazine and first met in person at their 2013 meeting in Leeds, UK.

“We quickly realised that we had a great deal in common. In addition to taste in music, we also had similar career connections – being passionate about radio, drama and other vocations connected with the Arts and Entertainment.

“In 2016, we established a Facebook Group Page in the hope to bring together people of a wide variety of backgrounds and of course, age groups.

“The page has received good support and we have several hundred members currently.

“Since then, we have recorded an album together titled “What’s 50 Years? …Between Crooners” which consists of 16 songs – 7 solos each, plus 2 duets – one of which, is an original song written by John, especially for the album and the wider project”

Matthew and John, supported by a 4-piece live band, will be performing two 45-minute sets, comprising a mixture of musical numbers centred around a light comedic dialogue, highlighting and analysing some of the stereotypes associated with age.

Tickets to the event are £6.00, which includes refreshments. There will also be a raffle.

All money raised is for Age UK Solihull, helping to support local older people in the Solihull borough.

Tickets are on sale now from Age UK Solihull’s Fundraising Team, The Core, Solihull Central Library. Call 0121 704 7842 for debit/credit card bookings.

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