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…

John writes:

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.

DejaVu band - PAWA Arts Jam

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

DejaVu band - PAWA Arts Jam

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 :


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:

DejaVu band - PAWA Arts Jam


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.


Ref: rtsjm




A round of applause is worth a million anti-depressants – DejaVu at the PAWA Arts Jam
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