Wednesday, 1 April 2020

the silent enemy

Here I am self isolating in London the epicentre of covid 19 in the UK. I haven't been posting here for some time and to be honest I have enjoyed the break. I have been writing and recording my new opus and it creeps ever nearer towards completion.

Like most of us I have lots to say about this strange time we are living in. This lack lustre leadership has shown their contempt for us through the whole of their enforced austerity. If a small percentage of the money being spent now had been allocated to the welfare system and the NHS, we would be infinitely better off than we are today. We were told there was no money tree by Cameron and May so where are the billions needed now coming from? People might be forgiven for thinking that as soon as it was clear that the pandemic could and would infect the rich then billions could be found to fight it. Remember how Jeremy Corbyn's manifesto was reviled by the Tories as ridiculously expensive. If it had been actualised ten or more years ago we would not be in this mess of low capacity. Corbyn's manifesto was a drop in the ocean compared to the cost of fighting covid 19.

Some time ago the government was subjected to a test to see how a pandemic would be dealt with. It failed miserably and according to an ex Tory MP no steps were taken to address the issues high lighted by the test. Of course the most damning indicator is the lack of protection for NHS staff. A week ago the govt promised a heightened level of tests for NHS staff. The test kits are still unavailable. Yesterday the govt spokes person declared that testing kits were dependent on chemicals in scare supply. Today several companies have said that they have plenty of the chemicals required.

The UK Department of health wanted the UK to stay in The EU Early Warning and Response System to combat pandemics. No 10 has refused to stay signed up because they don't want this to impact on a clean break from the European Union.  

There is the possibility that farm produce will be difficult to buy if crops of vegetables and fruit cannot be harvested. Most of the Europeans that picked our food for us have gone home and most will not return. Many will not be allowed to return. So are all the Brexiteers who "wanted their country back" and the cessation of free movement of people, willing to get stuck in on the farm? 

Visas of foreign NHS staff, that are about to expire, will be automatically renewed. I guess even the Brexiteers don't want to die through lack of NHS staff so principals can be suspended, due to self interest, when it suits. Of course such consideration did not apply to the Wind rush victims of the government’s so called Hostile Environment policy. 

So we can all see the lack of transparency from our English government. The Scots seem to have a much clearer, honest way of communicating with out much back tracking. A more European attitude perhaps. I believe we should all be wary of the new powers that govt have afforded themselves. I fear that increased authoritarianism might undermine our basic rights still further. The Tories have stealthily whittled away many employment and civic rights long before this emergency. 

So what is good today? Still we are here. We love and breathe.
My local shop keeper has offered to deliver food for no extra charge. He even offered to keep a tab until I had cash. I’m not keen to visit an ATM yet. There is plenty of this unsolicited good will pouring out of people but there will always be a percentage of folk who are destructive and dangerous. They are ignorant and damaged and life has made them selfish and greedy or needy depending on how charitable you feel towards them. No amount of pleas to get in line, to save lives, will register with them enough for them to change course. At the same time the best of folk are working day and night to save our lives at great risk to them selves.

I hope there will be a great deal of new thinking after this. Some of us will be reluctant to spend money with the countless profiteers who see this as a commercial opportunity. I hope it is the end for companies such as Sports Direct, JD Sports and Witherspoons who only changed step when they were embarrassed into it. We don't really need what they sell. 

Actually this applies to much of the stuff in High St Stores. It isn't just the online competition hitting sales but I think it is also an underlying but growing lack of desire for what is on offer. In the same chain of shops in any town you can buy exactly the same offerings. A  great deal of the crap on sale is extremely detrimental to the health of the planet. Most of the shops will soon be flogging 5G phones. 5G technology and High definition streaming is adding to the carbon foot print of the world in a massive way. Apparently streaming produces the same carbon foot print as all air travel. So we have to make choices and this crisis across the world might focus all of us to choose more carefully and more safely in the future. 

NASA have announced that their satellites can film the earth more clearly than for thirty years. Can we halve air travel at a stroke when things return to a new normal born of a new reality? Do we need to drive a car so far, so often and with no passengers? Can we better care for our poorest and most vulnerable? We stand together now so can we stand together for a more meaningful and worth while existence for every one? We need to restore public services to a workable level and re evaluate who are the most important members in society. If we are to pay the top money to the best of us then who should get it? After this is all over I think many of us will have new ideas about that and the way this free market world has let us all down. 

With time to think I hope we might all challenge our own ideas about what is our status quo. I hope we can find new ways to be more effective with out doing so much damage to the possibility of a future for the youngest of us. I hope we can find some new happiness in the new reality forced upon us by the silent enemy and that our personal victories will encourage and sustain us towards a better place for every one.


Be safe.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

A righteous mission


Down the years the Edgar Broughton Band was always up for a benefit gig in a good cause.Nothing has changed and as you can see my son Luke is deeply in the mix with this one. I know he has worked very hard to make this work along side special folk who really care what happens next and what happens next to the people most in need of our help and support.
I will be the oldest performer at this gig, the youngest a fourteen year old young man. I feel honoured and proud to be involved and thankful, knowing that I can still support and physically contribute to some thing righteous. Enough said for now.

The links below will give you all of the info you need. Please come along and join with all of us on what I feel sure will be a very special and unique occasion. 

Event Page https://www.facebook.com/events/1218059158381604/

https://www.lesolidarity.co.uk/

https://www.after18.org.uk/

BUY TICKETS   https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4333706?fbclid=f



Break the dark

What have we done
to the children?
Why do some of them run?
from 
the light
can break the dark

Trees all shattered and white
In the ashes of  things
we  never needed
no one goes home tonight
the rain keeps coming
like we deserve it
I close my eyes I can see
The all fall down and the left behind
Those in gravest jeopardy
The all fall down for miles and miles

What have we done
to the children?
Why do some of them run?
from
The light
can break the dark
Some one to hold
to be held by
take you gently by the arm
When you’re hanging on by finger tips
a kindly word
can break the dark

Flags lie tattered and torn
In the of middle dreams
turned into nightmare
The seas are sick and tired
Shock waves coming
No where to hide
I close my eyes I can see
all will fail when few succeed
wont be enough to buy some time
The all fall down for miles and miles
Those in gravest jeopardy
The all fall down and the left behind
The all fall down for miles and miles

What have we done?



peace








  









Sunday, 29 September 2019

Underground in Eden

After a hard time getting through the screw ups before the British Airways flight to Prague we finally took off a couple of hours late.I won't bore you with the details. Suffice to say the increasingly limited infra structure and reduced airline resources has not limited their greed and tendency to overbook flights while cutting staff and increasing fare prices.

We were met in Prague by Teresa, the promoters daughter and Jimmy her boy friend. What a delightful couple they are and great company. The time would soon come when they returned from Broumov to Prague and we would miss their interpretation skills. Russia was the language people were forced to speak until the regime was finished and so English is spoken mostly by young people.
John my tour manager and I were happy to arrive at our destination near the Polish border after a three hour drive.

stanislav dasha, our hosts, and me

We arrived at the home of our hosts and found ourselves in a lovely garden peopled by strange statues and a very well trained German Shepard, a dog called Franky, short for Frank Zappa, who is one of Stanislavs favourite musicians. Frank was very well thought of in the Czech Republic after the collapse of the Communist regime and was made minister of culture by president Vaclav Havel, the dissident who became Czech President. Stanislav was also a dissident who served his people and went to jail for doing so. Therefore the title Underground Club Eden has a much more relevant meaning than it might in other territories and the term underground and its dissident connotations, still resonates through the Czech society, even though the communist vote in the last election was almost 13 percent. Freedom from communist rule was hard won and is a reminder that freedom should not be taken for granted. 
Stan once invited Havel to a family dinner at a nearby restaurant. The president turned up with a full security and police escort. We watched a video of the event. 

Stan and Dasha's home has a small hotel facility on the upper floor and this is where we all stayed. My good friend Walter Krucker was already waiting for us. We had previously met in Slovenia when Walter arranged for me to play a FDPFAFDW gig. He had arranged this public show also. It was great to meet up again and we were to spend a few long hours in the night chatting and drinking cognac. Dasha spoke some German so Walter a native of Switzerland was able to facilitate some translations through Dasha with Stanislav.

Eden a musical and social paradise

We arrived on the friday and I played the festival at Club Eden on the Saturday. I was concerned before the show that while most of the audience did not speak English my lyrics are important and my stories supplement the songs. I need not have worried the audience was a delight. They were attentive and warm and gave me a very good reception. My encore was Evening Over Rooftops which most of them seemed to know. It was a great experience me for me. The other bands were an interesting mix of mostly underground based music and a very slick top of the bill in the form of ex Lou Reed bass player Fernando Saunders.
The club has a great industrial atmosphere. It was a factory. It retains the post regime vibe and has a wall of pride featuring Havel and others and a wall of shame featuring the despots of the world. It has a few relics from the struggle scattered around the place. For any one interested in modern history and music this is a must visit place. Both John and I are very interested in history so it was a treat to be there.

Below are some of the strange creatures in the garden I referred to earlier. I believe that they are made from materials found at Eden when it was a factory and during its transformation into a club.





abandoned church on a hill

Next day after the gig we visited an abandoned church on a hill near Stan and Dashas house where The band Plastic People of the Universe played. They were jailed during the regimes hold over Czech. It was sad to see the decaying building which will fall to pieces at some time in the future. Some of the ceiling looked decidedly dodgy as we climbed the stairs to the roof. Stanislav had obtained a digital translator which worked well providing we had a phone signal. We also began to use Google translation which worked quite well for a freebie.

In a nearby forest Stan showed us a cross which he had carried there to commemorate the murder of priests by Czech soldiers. Stan is an amazing character.
Later on in the afternoon Stan took John, Walter and me to a carp lake where we chucked in a couple of hooks buried in bread balls and waited as is the way with carp fishing. We didn't catch but that is ok. Its fishing not catching  Its not for me. I like the action involved with Lure fishing and the mobile approach. It was a lovely evening though and very peaceful by the silvery pool in sunshine.
Next day we said goodbye to Walter who was headed home to Vienna. I am sure we shall all meet up again for another episode.

The high light of our last day was a visit to the beautiful Benedictine monastery in Broumov. Stan's friend Jacob is a guide at the monastery and John and I were given an exclusive guide to the most beautiful ancient building I have ever seen. It is amazing that this edifice was built in the middle of a wilderness on a single road running through it. The chapel was destroyed by fire and entirely rebuilt in 8 years we seems impossible now, never mimd about back then.

The monastery is huge housing a massive library of books where we looked at ancient maps of Europe including the UK. John is very keen on geography and maps so he was thrilled. The monks were treated very badly by the Russian occupation but the Russians restored rooves to maintain some records which ironically saved much of the brick work below from collapse.
Jacob was so keen to tell us the salient facts in a fairly short time and was a very articulate guide. He speaks for or five languages and loves to practise his English. We met up again for dinner that night and he was very useful as a translator now that Walter had left. 


the abbot with the devil on a chain

So we came to the end of a wonderful trip and after some farewells and photos Stan drove us part way to the airport in Prague. Later we met with one of Stan's daughters and her husband who was to drive us the rest of the way. What a trip! I won't forget a moment. Thanks to Dasha for her kindness and excellent food and thanks to Stan for being a special human being.

peace

Friday, 9 August 2019


Hi folks. Come along to the Half Moon in Putney, London on the 21st of this month. Take a break from the madness of living in the UK and join me in my madness. It’s a more entertaining experience and fun.  
New songs and stories from life. Folk songs for NOW. 
Come along and say hello. 



Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Hi Folks

It’s been a while.
I have spent most of the last six months recording and writing. I think I am more than halfway through a new album. Long way to go though. 

I’ve also played some very enjoyable gigs. We just got back from Clam Rock in Linz, Austria. This was an extra ordinary setting in a castle grounds. Barracuda who promote the festival, provide the best back stage experience for artists I have ever seen. The half hour massage after my show was sublime. It’s nice to be spoiled a bit., once in a while.

Misprint. I hate it when a screw up is down to me. If it’s what I describe as external then I can live with it. The massive anxiety, that used to play a large part in my performing experience, abated over time as I have learned to accept what I can’t change. 
So this down to me. Some time ago I posted new gigs on the site. I mistakenly put the date of the Summer of Love fest in Kent as July 2nd when it should have read August 2nd. Sorry for that.

I intend to begin posting here on a regular basis very soon but I am very busy trying to finish recordings right now.

Take care. Be happy. 


  


Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Be safe and well and have a massively satisfying new year



Well here we are again. Almost the end of another year. The gigging year ended very nicely for me. A trip to Haugesund for the Haugaland Prog and Rock Festival in November turned out to be special. I did  a few songs with new friends Arabs in Aspic during their show, and I had a great time hanging out with them. It is likely we will collaborate on a recording project next year. It was nice to have the roar of a band behind me and I really had a great time during my solo set at he Record Fair on the following day. I bumped into many old friends and made a few new ones. John and I had a really good time and John has a high opinion of Norway and the people.

Last gig was at the famous Band on the wall venue in Manchester with Focus. I enjoy playing their gigs and I like their audience a lot. I seem to be able to connect with them although my music is very much of a contrast with Focus. It really helps that the band are very friendly as well as interesting.

Apart from this I have been recording and recording. I seem to have become quite obsessed with the entire process and I am pleased with it all. I guess I am almost half way through toward the finished product. Luke will be heading this way soon to help out with some vocals and orchestrations. Certainly writing posts here has taken a back seat to the recording but so has the fishing so you know I am very serious about my next release.

COMPETITION

The winner of best caption for the cartoon above will receive a special mystery package in the new year containing a few goodies.
Please write your captions in the comments section below.


Have a fun holiday. Be safe and well and have a massively satisfying new year.




peace