The Retrosettes are a vintage themed band based in Manchester who play Rock n Roll, Pop and Soul tunes from the 50s, 60s and 70s. The quintet, with both male and female vocals from married couple Paul and Helen, have been performing for Music in Hospitals & Care since 2017. We speak to Paul about their experiences.
What made you want to become an MiHC musician?
Both Helen and myself have had grandparents who suffered with dementia and so we were very keen to get involved with the charity. We had heard from other local musicians what a rewarding experience it can be, so we were keen to start performing for Music in Hospitals & Care.
What are some highlights?
We have had patients who have been catatonic on arrival who have suddenly got out of their seats dancing and singing at the top of their voices! Some of the care home staff have been in tears at seeing how animated the residents were during the concerts, as they have never seen them behave that way before. Some patients get up and dance, many know every lyric, and some just silently enjoy what’s happening in the room. Out of all the concerts we have performed for MiHC, there haven’t been any without a heart-warming or laugh out loud moment.
You have been involved in our partnership with Age UK in North England funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, which involves live music sessions designed specifically to address social isolation and loneliness in older people living in the community. Have you enjoyed these sessions?
These sessions always have a special atmosphere. There is a sense of community spirit in the Age UK centres with the staff and patients all ‘in it together’. These are the performances with guaranteed dancing and laughter throughout, lots of request from the audience and when we play someone’s favourite songs they are on their feet for the rest of the concert! My own Nan has been in the audience for a couple of these sessions too which makes them extra special for us.
Please give today to help improve the health and wellbeing of children and adults through the healing power of live music.