The PAWA Arts Jam on 22 November is excited to welcome a band with a difference to play at our cabaret-style evening – it’s DejaVu! They are a music group working with people with mental health issues. Find out more about the PAWA Arts Jam and how to buy tickets at the end of this article – but in the meantime, let’s hear from DejaVu band member, John Oliver…
We are a group of musicians who got together about 15 years ago at the request of Islington’s Director of Mental Health to provide a daily programme of live music on the wards (including locked wards ) at the Waterlow Unit , part of the Whittington Hospital. We created a registered charity called Islington Music Forum with me being the Founder , Rick Ferry was Director of Music and the other musicians in the current band are part of the original group.
A wide range of musical genres
About 8 years ago, we were invited by the Manager of Sotheby Mews (a Pensioner Centre in Highbury) to create a weekly singing group and this continues to this day managed by Rick Ferry (guitar and mandolin), assisted by Walton McLeod from the West Indies playing guitar and Tom Coyle from Ireland playing guitar and mandolin. I play percussion and usually compere events when the four of us perform as the DejaVu band.
You will see we have been together for many years , have a wide range of musical genres and actively encourage audience participation from making requests to being on-stage with the band. We perform / run workshops two times a week at Sotheby Mews and are considered as their House Band.
Every week we hold our weekly singalong which usually includes dancing at Sotheby Mews and we also run a Poetry into Music workshop where we invite pensioners to bring in their poetry which Music Manager Rick Ferry converts to a song.
We have recently performed at Camden Mews Day Hospital which is for older people with mental health problems – it was brilliant and we are invited to entertain them again at their Christmas party sometime in December. All our band members write and record their own material, too. I would say the band is now at its peak – a real joy for me to be part of the best acoustic band in Islington.
Meet the gang
The basic Deja Vu band is as below:
Rick Ferry – guitar , mandolin and vocals from Derby UK (also our music manager)
Tom Coyle – guitar. mandolin and vocals from Ireland
Walton McLaren – guitar , vocals West Indies
John David Oliver – percussion , vocals , from Liverpool
We have close musician friends who occasionally join us :
Josephine Cox – vocals , cello from New Zealand
Barbara Mohrle – vocals , flute , accordian from Switzerland
Andy Walpole – vocals, guitar from UK Music Lecturer , Beatle Specialist
Rosie Litterick – vocals, percussion , from UK photographer , arts projects producer
Remembering we began as a mental health project, our first slogan/ motto was :
“ROUND OF APPLAUSE IS WORTH A MILLION ANTI-DEPRESSANTS”
Come to the PAWA Arts Jam!
See DejaVu strut their stuff – along with other great acts at the PAWA Arts Jam: please join us on 22 November for an night of cheery entertainment.
The line-up for the evening can be found on the PAWA Arts Jam Programme page
Here’s the what, where and when:
What: PAWA Arts Jam
When: Wed 22 November 2017 – Doors open at 6:30pm; Performance starts at 7pm
Where: The Chapel Bar, 29 Penton Street, N1 9PX
How much: £12 Advance ticket ¦ £20 at the door
Book your ticket now online at:
Photos: thanks to DejaVu
PAWA Magazine, is the online magazine of PAWA, the Pan Asian Women’s Association. The magazine shares news and stories of PAWA People and Projects supporting girls’ education across Asia.