Friday, 29 November 2013

post cards to a prime minister and other things

The above post card sent to Harold Wilson, UK Prime Minister from some where in Germany a long time ago.

'Dearest Harold, Here we are in Germany again. Hope you received our last card. Hope you can put a block on Enoch [Powell]. We don't dig your politics, any ones, but power to the people of all colours. Best wishes Edgar Broughton Band' 

The above photo was sent to me by Brian Sexton. Don't ask me where he found it though I shall ask him. It is always strange when I am reminded of the things we did back then that I have no recollection of until i see the evidence ha ha! It occurs to me that it was possibly a very stoned idea to send a post card to Harold Wilson especially as Brian says the other side of the post card had a 3D picture of a topless woman. Not very politically correct today but it might have appealed to the beer and sandwiches P.M.

Back then we were rampaging polit rockers as described by German media branding and young Mick Farren was a UK Panther who wrote prolifically and also had a band.
I set out on Friday last for the Borderline club in the heart of The West end. Last time there was sad and bleak after Mick collapsed during his performance. We few who remained were mostly quiet or made hopeful, positive noises but it was all in vain. I stayed until there was nothing else to be said and no one I wanted to say any thing to. Out side, in the world, it was humid and the sky was full of warm rain. The air crackled.
I feel sure we all went home slightly stunned and feeling blue that humid night back in July. I remember how good that dank, Blade runner, dirty city air felt when I eventually took the stairs, up and out of the club. The audience had long gone and I stood in Charing Cross Road just breathing and feeling how good it is to be in this world, for all it's grimness and dark iniquities. The rain poured down and I stood watching the folks rushing by. Just to be there and to witness it all felt wonderful. It is amazing how some things that might have seemed mundane and routine only an hour before, can seem to have become wonderfully fresh.

So back in the room. A quick and easy sound check and then off to the dressing room with no coat hooks to hook up with Here And Now for the second time. They are a very nice crew who play some pretty out there toons that really deserve closer inspection.A really banging outfit with passion and imagination. All sorts going on here with weaving analog synthy stuff that reminds me of the days of the incredible EMS VC3 modular synthesiser and other psychedelic wonders.

Time to roll. The sound guy got me off to a good start with a lovely onstage sound and I enjoyed every minute of it. The audience was attentive and mostly seemed to get me so I guess the out front sound was cool too. I poured it all out and got lost in the noise for a while. It was kind of cathartic. I wanted to out some of my own demons this night along with those of the gig that never happened. It was fun and the audience were very nice to me. I elected to play some very new songs including my song for Mick [The Sound Don't Come] and a couple of old ones. The time passed and I was done and it was time for Here And Now. I watched the band for a while. I loved the physical experience of the Here And Now's bass player knocking some very tight, chunky bass lines out of the sub woofer of the p.a. system, a few feet from where I stood. Lovely!

Time to go. I started up the stairs once more into the West End night. Outside it felt good in the crisp November air and I was buzzing from the gig. 
Thanks to promoter Jim Driver for keeping the faith and battling against the odds. I think Mick would have dug it.


Last night I played Billy Blake's birthday bash at the Ivy House in Nunhead. It is a great idea to celebrate the great man of the people on his birthday. It was the usual off the wall happening with some quite extraordinary musical and poetic offerings of hugely varying types. Some of it was quite riveting. Absolutely Mad! 

I had another lovely time on stage with another warm and very appreciative Mad Pride audience.  Some people here have interesting and deeply moving things to say. Some struggle but they don't given up the fight easily. 
I headed off into the night and on to the night buses.  I love that part. Off the stage and into the world where I am immersed in the intrigue of the night people, the lights, the all night eateries, exotic 24/7 shops and the constant flow of people from all corners of the world. I was buzzing on a bus as we watched the world go by, as we passengers passed through the world. Brixton was still bubbling with thronging peoples and would be for some hours to come. This is a great city.

So I have played my last gig for this year. Now I am going to take some time to advance one or two top of my list projects for the next few months and get some work done on the electric project in Warwick. 

Some of my own personal high lights from 2013 happened at FDPFAFDW gigs as they have since I began playing them. One of my better ideas, I think. So Fair days pay for a fair days work gigs can be booked for 2014 from the 1st of January 2014.


p.s. hi sue in brum. sorry you missed the borderline gig. hope you are recovering well from your recent op. x

Monday, 18 November 2013

mad with Billy

So it's nearly time for Billy's birthday and another cracking night out with the Mad pride squad. I always look forward to Mad pride gigs. Always interesting and entertaining. This one is free so be there and give your head a proper treat.
I'm playing the The Borderline on Friday so if you were at the last postponed gig or if you were not but you plan to make it on Friday then, I shall look forward to seeing you and hopefully we can out the demons from last time when poor old Mick Farren passed on.

I had a delightful time a week or so ago with a Fair Days Pay gig in Walsall and a private party in Lincoln. They were both birthday parties. The Walsall gig was at the very wonderfully appointed Black Country Arms which is a lovely old pub with real beer and a lovely atmosphere. Big ups to Chloe Anderton and family for putting it all together for dad John. Also a big up to The 58's Blues band who were ace. The second gig was in Lincoln for Kaz who was completely unaware of the plan to get her to a little church hall on a cold November night to meet and listen to me. It was the same in Walsall where John Anderton was also completely in the dark about arrangements for his 60th party. I love to see the surprise on folks faces when they realise I have come to play the minstrel for them.
I so enjoyed the Lincoln gig. The wooden floor and stone walls of the little church hall provided perfect acoustics for a completely unplugged gig. I was relaxed enough to run a few new ideas out and I was very satisfied with the results. I was fortunate to get the chance to chat with Terry Wellbourne, T.C. Lethbridge biographer and musician. Terry arranged the gig for his partners mum Kaz. Terry and I have said we would make some sounds together for a long time now and I hope it happens.

I am currently playing around with various pedals and gadgets to enhance the 2014 electric/acoustic show I am developing. I feel a little bit more of an electric vibe is imminent.

in the vibey Travel Lodge underground car park at 
Fort Dunlop in Birmingham

I had a very interesting evening on Friday past when I went to Rick Mantovani's studio to drop some pretty strange electric guitar utterances over some of his mega drone material. I had a great time but I suspect poor Rick will be ages sifting through and editing to pick out the parts that worked.

With out boring you with the wrinkly detail, I have been experiencing some of the not unexpected out comes of growing older. My ethos around growing old disgracefully has more than a little truth to it and probably more than you might expect. I am not sure this is of help. A sign of my times, and those of friends and colleagues, is that often when we meet we are almost biting our lips so that we shall not descend into a fully detailed litany of of our various ailments. I seem to have begun to visit hospital and my lovely doctor as often as I get into a fishing tackle or music shop these days. Still I fare quite well considering and so far, apart from a heart attack earlier this year, I am not doing so badly. Most recent episode and visit to A and E via 111, was a suspected detached retina in my left eye but it's not actually that. Oops! You see I am beginning to talk about the boring detail. Nothing too worrying though. 
The Internet plays a part in this. It is so easy to establish that ones inevitable demise is now imminent because digital doctor says so and that all the answers to desperate questions around my health always seem to point to the worst case scenario possible. I have scared myself stupid wading through reams of on line medical question and answer pages. Today I feel good and in good spirit. I am getting through a few important tasks which always makes me feel quite worthy. 
In London today the skies are grey. I fear it is about to get much colder out there so enjoy the relatively mild temperatures while you can. My bicycle leaning against the wall for days on end mocks me and my poverty stricken assertions that I will go for a ride soon.

That most despicable and plastic arcane ritual is about to descend on us all so I shall try to enjoy the days leading up to the woeful holiday of darkness and I shall ignore the ludicrous free market attempts to coerce me into joining in.