Wednesday, 13 July 2011

up date

Summer, or the weather that passes for a UK summer at this time is racing by but I am seeing and enjoying some lovely parts of the country on the FDPFAFDW gigs. Glastonbury seems a long time ago and the miles have flown by. I am really enjoying train travel at the moment though the detour by car to Glasto and Mollington with Dave and Luke was a treat. Dave is great driver and has a proper attitude in all things important on the road. He is also a little bit nuts, in the nicest possible way, which makes for the perfect travel companion in my book of the road.
I feel I should explain some thing about the fair Days Pay For A Fair Days Work shows. I want folk to understand that it is really what it says it is. I will play for any one for ONE day of THEIR WAGES plus a bed for the night, travel expenses (I have a senior citizens railcard to cut travel costs lol!) and some supper. It does not matter how much you earn. People shouldn’t consider what they think an acceptable sum should be. That is the whole point. At the same time I realise that not every one can afford to give up a day of their wages for me to play for them or would want to. I can see how it wouldn’t be a priority for many, especially in these times. That said, I am prepared to play a benefit show for any worthy cause excluding animals lol. As long as its aim is to raise money for people I’m in. For this I would require only accommodation, if necessary, travel expenses and my supper. There would be no fee involved. But it has to raise money.
photo by bev edwards
Some years ago some guys from the Wolverhampton area asked the EBB if we would play a benefit for Amnesty International, a cause close to my heart. In the distant past we had played many benefits where a bunch of folk did no advertising nor made any real effort to raise cash because they didn’t have to guarantee a sum of money at the end of the night. So I emailed the benefit boys and told them the gig had to raise a minimum amount and this must be guaranteed as a payment to be received by the band on behalf of Amnesty International. The amount was sensible but I never heard from them again.
So I’m up for playing for free but it has to be useful. It has to raise cash for people who need it. People have raised cash for charitable organisations at the FDPFAFDW shows and at a recent gig the audience raised £600-00 for SHELTER. Magnificent. Of course I feel great about it because this was an outcome from the original idea I hadn’t considered. Win, win, win.

The FDPFAFDW gigs will continue to be available and in September I will be offering more summer time FDPFAFDW dates for 2012. Mean while there are still a few winter dates available if any one would like to book one.

I’m getting on quite well with my new Tanglewood folk guitar. Its a gem though I think I need the action lowered so it is just a little easier to play but it sounds very good. So far I have chickened out of using the nylon strung classical guitar for my solo performances but that will be addressed at the CASTAWAY gig at the Duchess in York on the 18th of August. I want to include some one off performances of bits and pieces that I have been playing around with for a long time. I will be including a few performance items that will be very different with the theme survival and victory with a stripped down tool box. There will be some new material and of course, some old songs including some golden oldies. 
I will publish the programme for the evening here on The First Supper a few weeks before the event and it will be available at the gig. This will be a one time only concert performance so some of the material will never be performed again. I have arranged for this to be a seated concert so book early to be sure of a seat.

I have been diligently recording all of my recent shows and I feel sure there is a nice little album scattered across the eight hours of music including Glasto. I have also been recording some low down dirty music demos as a contrast to the solo stuff and towards the new project for 2012.

A week or so ago, on my way back from a gig, I finally met up with Steve Krakow from Chicago at St Pancras International Station. We’ve been trying to do an interview for a few weeks now and this was the last chance. Strange to be sitting in a café talking about the old days and the new days, Wavy Gravy, Pearls Before Swine, Radio Head and the EBB. With some luck we’ll be hooking up in Chicago for a project and a gig or two. Back home now he wrote “the streets seem so much wider--and no beans with breakfast??? what???”
Next Stop Stavanger in Norway for a few days with Jarle, Torgeir and family. The International Division of The First Supper and AFDPFAFDW? This should be special. I’ll tell you all about it when I return.

Well the fishing has definitely taken a back seat for this summer. No time for it though I have been near some very fishy waters on my travels. I have explained to some of my hosts that it would be a little churlish to go off fishing while I am their guest lol. Ah well! I have some time in September when I will be hunting bass and fishing from a boat on The Norfolk Broads for a big pike.

LATEST FROM 38 Degrees
Yes! Together we've done it - Rupert Murdoch just abandoned his bid to takeover BSkyB. [1]
This is a huge turnaround. Only a few days ago David Cameron claimed it was impossible to stop the BSkyB deal. [2]
Then, nearly 100,000 of us emailed our MPs demanding the government act. Suddenly, late yesterday, MPs of all parties united to tell Murdoch to call the deal off. [3] And this afternoon, Rupert Murdoch finally caved in. People power worked!
This is a huge breakthrough, and a huge moment for people power in the UK. We're powerful because we work together - so let's decide together what we do next. Should we do more work to clean up politics and the media? Should we work together to protect the NHS or the environment? Or something else?
Have your say - take two minutes to set the future direction of 38 Degrees here:

People power has finally pushed politicians to stop bowing and scraping to media barons. But Murdoch is a crafty and determined operator. He'll probably be planning his next move – we need to plan ours as well!Is there more we could do to make sure the collapse of the BSkyB bid is a real turning point? What else could we do to secure higher media standards? How can we make sure that politicians never again put media barons before us, their voters? Or is it time to move our focus back to other issues?
Now there can be no doubt that democratic protest is viable via the Internet. No excuse not to express our dissatisfaction with government and the bankers who continue to thrive while the poor and vulnerable pay for their mistakes. They have spent your pensions and they have squandered your taxes for years and years.
A couple of years ago people receiving disability/incapacity benefit were able to enjoy a scant few of the good things in life. Not as much as the typical “Walkie Talkie” (Ian Drury's label for the non disabled), though before the cuts people legitimately receiving benefits could exercise some limited choice in their lives.

Cuts to their benefits and a general decline in resources and services since then has significantly reduced the quality of their lives. Many of the elements that made life bearable, and in some cases even possible, have been removed. What kind of logic dictates that, in real terms, they should be the ones who pay the highest price in the battle to reduce the national deficit? I believe the eventual backlash will prove to be more costly than any savings made by penalising the very poor and vulnerable.


love is the thing - heartfelt - angels singing I'd put a ring on any ones finger
take me dancing let's take a chance on you being my hope - my salvation
I can't walk or do anything much - I know - theres no illusions
take me dancing let's take a chance on you being my hope - my salvation
I don't want to be exluded - I need to be included
I know you can't be me - but I hope you can see me
take me dancing let's take a chance on you being my hope - my salvation



Anonymous said...

Well done Rob. You are real in a manifestly unreal world.

Anonymous said...


Just shows what can be done when we band together,

Anonymous said...

Yes! Indeed we can make change happen with more participation from the silent majority. So come on good people. No excuses sign the petions on 38 degrees you can support. 38 Degrees is fantastically important. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.


Tim Dale

Anonymous said...

People with disabilities should have a quality of life I do not for one minute dispute that. Sadly there are people who take advantage of the benefit system and claim disability living allowance or incapacity benefit to avoid the job market. In my life I have come across people who openly boast about the amount of money they get in most cases as a result of their 'depression'. Depression is a serious illness and should be treated as such but it is also extremely difficult to either prove or disprove. i don't agree with means testing as this is humiliating and demeaning for genuine sufferers but I also do not think it fair that many claim benefits to which they are not entitled. To me they are as bad as the person who robs a disabled person of say their handbag. It is a really tough one.

Anonymous said...

We all know some people make false claims for benefit entitlement but I think that should not be the main concern here.

The piece refers to the removal of rights around benefits legitimately claimed and received in the recent past. The piece is about taking the resources from people who genuinely need them while the quality of life of the people who caused the problem and political administrators who made it worse remains unchanged.