Thursday, 31 January 2008
Woz feels abit depressed is lighter now.
I as just return from sea. I loves to looks out cross the waves and mek me happy. Always meks me memory of travel and spectations for us adventures coming. The fishing is poor. The avarice and lack of forward thinking of the trawler men is emptying the sea. Recently a government minister visited a fishing port and was horrified to find that two thirds of the average catch is lost and dumped. When the last fish is gone we won’t be able to eat money. Yes I am disappointed as a sea angler but that is not the big worry. While I would place the responsibility for this waste with the regulators and the government culture of pandering to big business, I accept that some of the fault lies with us. All too often we don’t look at the big picture in our drive to secure what we want for our selves. We don’t fight for what is decent and ethical as we once did and so the silent majority is increased and our rights and possibilities for a more equitable way of going forward is diminished. The day the over lords see our complete dissatisfaction with the process of electorate participation they will do all they can to exploit it. We might not be so slow to protest then but by then it might be too late.
A couple of days ago I was fishing in the mouth of an estuary that accommodates one of the biggest ports in Europe. Only a few years ago this was a good area for anglers. As the tide ran down from the large town, up river from the harbour, plastic bags were caught up in our lines. Judging by the junk floating by and out to sea, the few plastic bags I caught were just the tip of the refuse iceberg. I use the term because in the strong ebb tide as it first began to turn, the junk was under water and invisible. I guess the people who threw it in the river would take the view that if you can’t see it and it doesn’t take £20 out of your wages on pay day then it’s o.k. I suggest to the culprits that one day it will cost us all a great deal so when ever I see them offend I will continue to tell them so. I guess it is possible for the reader to see me as a nutty old geezer lecturing transgressors for their own wellbeing. When I am even older perhaps that will be part of my mission when I am not touring with the EBB in residential care homes that have been taken over by the residents. Out Demons Out.
In spite of government assurances that they are spending more and more on our health and welfare we all know this is either a blatant lie or the money might as well be burnt to keep a few folks warm for while. The decline in public services is an epidemic which is eating at the very foundations of our culture of care. I know of at least one county in the south east that has removed all specialist social services. If I was living in another nearby county and became deaf I would be eventually referred to a consultant after a long process involving myself or some one prepared to help me, when seven workers would be involved in the decision making. The consultant would facilitate a hearing test and, for the sake of argument, I would be assessed as needing two digital hearing aids. Wow stereo! I am already completely freaked about losing my hearing and I can only just hear my two hundred watt Marshall guitar amplifiers so this seems a positive conclusion. But I then wait two years for the appointment to have my hearing aids and when I am summoned to the hospital I find I will get one hearing aid, worse I will have to wait another two years for the other one. For some a digital hearing aid is very difficult technology to get to grips with so imagine what the mono experience of one unit would be like. Would I be able to choose a left or a right one? There are even worse scenarios. Why are we so silent? Will we wait until we are, our selves, in dire need before we protest about a system that obviously does not care? Basically if some one needs meals on wheel and a few minutes time from a carer each day that is o.k. That fits neatly into what the government will pay for. This is because the government believes people will be happier staying in their own homes than being in a care home. How ever the implementation of policy suggests it is all about cost cutting. There is not much point being in your own home if no one cares. What else is the wealth of a nation good for if it is not used to help the vulnerable and needy. It will become increasingly difficult to get help for your self or a family member, unless that person is a child in which I guess no one of us should object. It might even be worse than we think. I believe that in the event of a major national disaster public services would grind to a halt and crumble.
Some demented educationist was ranting on the radio the other day recommending shooting should be on the curriculum in schools. He suggested that along with boxing this would teach discipline and respect for guns. I know kids who would fill the gun class but bunk off most others. Bring back the old village stocks I say. Then we can chuck rotten stuff at the purveyors of such dangerous nonsense. We should have a few sets of stocks in Parliament square in Westminster, wheel out the sadly lacking from the House and let the people loose with bags of specially selected gunk for a small fee ( all contributions and proceeds to be declared and given to real and worthy causes). Kids would go free. Ah! I feel better already.
Sad to say it seems there is not much enthusiasm for the First Supper -Two Nights on the streets of London event. Perhaps I should have said Spring would be a good time ( snigger! )
I suppose a lot of you feel even older than me. Oh well! I know three or four people who will be there.
Just after writing the last blog which I suppose gave a few people, at least, a little insight as to the current state of my head, ( I like to share my better days as well as the night mares with you all ) the EBB had an offer to play a festival in the far, far north of Norway in August. I don’t usually talk about a gig that isn’t confirmed but this possibility is very exciting. You never know I might catch up with Tindu the Rain Man.
This morning I went to see my doctor. We spent a few minutes chatting about the state of the nation. She seemed to need to tell me about her stress and her dissatisfaction with the way red tape and paper exercises are threatening the real work with patients which is her “reason for being”, as she proudly described it. It didn’t cheer me up much and yet it was good to share common ground and to find a comrade.
So what is the good news? Well – SHAMELESS is back on TV and …
More good news -There is a trend in the London City Business community that is encouraging. Highly educated young people are asking their prospective employers for portfolios detailing the company links to other companies. In some instances successful candidates have turned down jobs with companies who are involved with other companies they deem unethical. Others have taken less money to work with companies they deem ethical. Hope for the future?
Thanks for all of your emails recently. I answer them as and when I can so don’t be disappointed if you don’t hear back straightaway. I will get back to you eventually. Steve and Art have been sorting out Steve’s recording space and setting up equipment in readiness for the pre production and recording of the new album that has the working title Ice on fire. We have got the whole place to ourselves for a week so that will give us the chance to get settled in to a routine. As you probably know by now Dave Cox is not with us any more. I wish him well.
I think that is all for now. Take care of each other. We are all we have and all we need.
copyright e d g a r b r o u g h t o n 2008
Tuesday, 22 January 2008
The past few days have been a little out of the ordinary and in some ways quite surreal and strange …..
Three days ago I visited Helsa. We chatted and joked for a while. She sat cross legged with a small bowl on a cushion in front of her. In her right hand she held a short wooden rod wrapped in leather along half of it’s length. In the folds of her brightly coloured skirt nestled her favourite tingshas. These were small cymbals from the Far Off Sway in the mountains of Lhasam to the west of Rigaa. I sat in front of her and slightly to her left. She was very specific about where I should be seated.
We had sipped fine green tea from bowls made of a porcelain so thin you could see right through it. We ate a delicious soup made from local sea weed and mushrooms. We had exchanged news of the past days. I had told her about the the strange bird business on the train coming east. While hurtling along at speed, just before the great waters at Manstree, I saw what appeared to be a small black bundle of rag thrown from the roof of the train. It turned over and over in the fast turbulence as though thrown by some unseen hand at a great velocity. Suddenly wings appeared from out of the bundle and a great black and green bird began to fly against pale evening sky. I thought there must be some thing wrong with the bird or perhaps there was some thing wrong with me. It all left me with a feeling of sadness and darkness which I could not explain or understand. Soon we pulled into the station and by the time I had disembarked the dark mood had lifted. Helsa and I talked about birds in houses and the old dread of it symbolising an imminent death. She knew a lot about birds and told me she communed with them and other creatures of the field and forest. Her people had done so for centuries.
Helsa was a Markian of Sami from the far north. Her shaman ancestory and legacy was more than merely historic. She was a practising healer and vision decoder. She knew more about the modern science and practice of personality profiling than any one. These skills eventually brought her to near destruction at the hands of the Movro. The Movro were sophisticated and extremely cruel. They were technologically brilliant but seemed only able or willing to use their expertise and power to cause others to suffer. It seemed they had to destroy every thing not Movron and subjugate every one of any other grouping. They had caused most of the suffering in the great East European war. They professed a kind of righteousness based loosely on existing church doctrines but here was not a shred of compassion for any one except their own kin. They had the courage of Spartans but the failings of the old nazis. Like the old nazis they too set out to exterminate half of the world who offended against their crazed aspirations or opposed them in any way at all. Many of Helsa’s people were slaughtered in the name of the Movron revolution which came to nothing. Unlike the great invaders down the centuries such as the Mongols, Vikings and Romans, the Movro left nothing of value when they eventually moved on or returned to their home land
Helsa poured some more tea from a beautiful old pot which was decorated with symbols and characters of a by gone age. We sipped the fragrant brew and were quiet. It was nearly time. There is a quiet place in every one and every where. The old monk Lao Tse spoke of “Sitting quietly doing nothing”. The quiet is absolute. The stillness is breathtaking and the peace is perfect. It sounds very simple though it takes a great deal of practise to attain.
With out any indication or signal Helsa picked up the tingsha and struck them together quickly. The resulting chime was sonorous and crystal clear with many subtle oscillations which rang around the room. Helsa began to chant softly increasing her volume slowly. The words were very beautiful and touching though I did not know their meaning. Helsa would always say the words are vehicles for the sound and not important in them selves. She believed there was an extra dimension to the chant if the words were understood but only on an intellectual level which was not her main interest. She did not think it necessary or even very useful to know the meaning of the words. She claimed the words could be invented at the time by the chanter. She acknowledged other forms of chanting such as those used in the Tibetan tradition used words in form of prayers and mantras and these words were very powerful. She said she had seen her grand father chant while in a trance state using words which were given to him during the ritual and not of his own language. He had taught her to chant for the well being of the peoples at a very early age. It was unusual for a girl to be initiated in the discipline at all. When she was six years her grandfather had made a successful representation to the elders during the spring when the Tundra was green and mosquitoes filled the air with their distinctive sound. Grand father could drive them away. It amused her very much to see the clouds of insects standing off the settled families during meal times. It was as though he commanded the insects against their life instinct to bite and feed off the people. The people would still be living on the lands of their ancestors today were it not for the huge hydro electric damn which flooded much of the earth they had known for thousands of years. Their peaceful entreaties to the despoilers were unconvincing and disregarded. Eventually Helsa’s people were evicted from the homeland and became scattered all over Europa as refugees.
As the chanting began to rise in volume I heard several notes embedded in the main tone of her singing. It was a sweet combination of powerful knowing and ageless innocence and I wondered how she had maintained the ability to express such beauty after experiencing so much evil rained on her by the world and some of the men in it. Listening to the healing sound of this ritual was an extremely emotional experience. I wondered how a women like her could rise above the torture and degradation she had suffered at the hands of the Movro. The sound filled me up until I thought my heart would burst. Here was joy carried on the voice of an angel of the earth, a mystic woman who loved every living thing with a passion and deep commitment to the old laws and traditions of her great people.
Slowly my mind began to empty all thought and it was like falling asleep at the point when you are neither awake nor asleep. I could not move and sat on the floor as though glued fast to it. For a short time a dull ache appeared at the top of my neck below the skull but it quickly disappeared to be replaced by a deep warming glow that spread slowly over my head filling me with a feeling of contentment.
The chanting stopped. I had lost track of passing time. I had remained still in the quiet place for a while when I heard the ringing , singing bowl. Helsa rubbed the little wooden stick around the rim to make the long note sing. I had seen it many times before but never while in the quiet place. It was as though time stretched the note of the bowl and separated all of it’s intricate harmonics. I could hear them all and felt them individually and severally through my whole being. Then she began to chant again and we both saw Maleka the reindeer man. Maleka appeared as the Tindu or rain man dressed in moss and rainbows. He wore a necklace of large black and green feathers. He carried a skin drum painted with the fetishes of the shaman. He danced like a dervish and hopped on one leg while he croaked incantations. He punctuated his utterings with violent spitting. As he spat on the ground a steam of a blueish hue rose from his spittle. There was a faint smell of aloe and some spice I did not recognise. The Tindu began to beat the drum as he spat and incanted his runic prayers. We watched him turn black and then fall to the floor writhing. He lay there for some time during which I was completely unable to move. Eventually the Tindu regained his colour and sat up straight very quickly. He stood up and came towards me. He spoke to me in my own language saying just these few words but I will remember them forever - “Your gone people are well. Your child pain is yours to throw away to the far winds”. It was as though he knew my preoccupations and what troubled me most. Had the shaman as the Tindu crossed over to the place of the dead and brought back news of my passed people?
It was some time before I came back into myself. Helsa and the Tindu were gone. I never saw them again. This is what happened. That is all I can tell you. It is all I know.
copyright e d g a r b r o u g h t o n 2008
LATEST NEWS - Dave Cox is no longer with the EBB. Andrew Taylor will be playing the Bergen show in Norway.
Thursday, 17 January 2008
Number one for me is Jarle for conjuring up such wonderful imagery, a fitting way to brighten up an otherwise ordinary day. - I think he's bragging....her tits thrust up to heaven, and her back was arched like a bow
Number two is the silly Anonymous comment - Quick there’s no one around..... give us a kiss
Commended is Angela’s comment - Andrew - Do ya think Rob will let me sing You'll never walk alone for an encore tonight ?Luke thinks for a second and replies - NO ! - bastard !
Thanks be to everyone one else who shared their silliness, it's always much appreciated so don't stop!
If Anonymous and Jarle will write an email containing a postal address I will send the CD’s. It will take a couple of weeks because Luke and I have to add the unreleased stuff to the Cd s.
Saturday, 5 January 2008
Hi folks I am back with a big hello to every one in the 8 that will be great. Thanks to every one for their good wishes over the past weeks. I am more rested and enlivened though not fully fit. It is time to break out the winter cycling kit, pump up the tyres and head out on the bike. I am sure this year will bring the usual mix of up and downs but I hope your downs are small ( the odd puncture ) and your ups scale the heights.( shares in massive EBB album ). Seriously though, we in EBB world wish you peace and all good things.
The EBB is on the verge of confirming a show in Bergen , Norway for March 2008. That will be a nice little expedition. We have a long association with the Norwegians and especially the town of Bergen where we have passed some very happy times. Bandages was recorded in Oslo in the south. We enjoyed Oslo to the full. In fact we over did it on occasions. There are no plans to play any where else at this time which will give us an opportunity to re group and record the new material.
Belated congratulations to Shoreham Steve and family on their new family member. I had planned to turn up on their door step with Ramblin’ to perform a tune or two on the acoustic as poor Steve has been trying for ages to get to see the EBB. Sadly life conspired to thwart that. How ever, we are still up for it if you guys will provide tea. Happy days Steve.
It seems ages since I was writing this blog on a regular basis so it is good to be back and I will try very hard to keep it all up dated. I’ve got a couple of new songs under way one of which is almost finished. I feel to do a couple of unusual ( for me ) gigs in the street in 2008 which will involve the passing public and hopefully some Supperists. I really want to do some different stuff this year. I will also be releasing some new music into the public domain very soon as part of “my alternative strategy for 08”. This will be a collection of pieces from the archives and some newer pieces. With Ramblin’s help I am hoping to get a few copies of Small Group work available. I am also planning to do a bit of busking with a difference. I have been developing an idea to perform very short songs to passers by in the street but in a “neutral language” i.e. words that have no literal meaning what so ever. I have carried out a trial session to test the water and I was encouraged to develop the idea further. So look out for me. I might be down your way. I might rope in our Tony and crew to make the video.
Also in the planning stages are a series of events under the banner MINDS WIDE OPEN. This idea came about during a long conversation with a dear friend who never fails to keep the socialistic fire a light. We were discussing how people have become disempowered under recent governments with regard to public demonstration and expressive collectivism in general, especially in respect of new anti terrorist law implementation. Gordon did drop the banning of public demonstration in Westminster Square but he has been a bit quiet on other promised reform. Actually he looks a bit lost to me. The dreadful thought comes to mind that he might be missing uncle Tony. Any way my friend and I thought that some Supperists might like to participate on a series of events that would cover a number of bases. One of the objectives we have is to combine with others to increase our own self-awareness. So, who among the Supperists would be up for spending 48 hours in 2008 on the streets of London with a sleeping bag and not much else, on a Sponsored Sleep Out? My friend and I think London would be best for a starter, as I know the place and could arrange adequate support. So far it is just an idea in the embryonic stage and I would appreciate any feedback. I would hope the events might also be able to lend power to good causes as well as educate those of us taking part. All ideas / suggestions welcome.
I thought it might be nice to begin the year with a competition or two so here is the first. I have a couple of ONE picture discs made for me by Ramblin’ with extra un-released material. Just decide what Andrew ( road manager ) is saying to Luke in the picture at the top of this post and enter it in the comments section. Discs will go to Luke’s favourite two entries. There are only two of these ONE discs (I know – a bit confusing). Ramblin’ has added to this eccentric out put by labelling both discs one of ONE. Usual rules – make as many entries as you like providing they are all under a different name. The competition will run until Wednesday 16th january ( Lukes birthday ).
copy right e d g a r b r o u g h t o n 2008