Wednesday, 30 April 2008

... at a bus stop opposite Putney Heath

I have just been to visit with Ramblin’ who was on good form. By the way it was Ramblin' who put together the Free Tibet pic on our home page. Over a couple of cups of tea we listened to some music while we chatted about the origins of Stone Henge and the sword and relics found at the site at Sutton Hoo, mental illness involving hearing voices, collected psychedelic experiences and a host of things interesting and challenging. He always shows me his latest photos and I am always surprised by some quality or small thing that draws the eye. I left later than planned, as usual, and headed home for the bus. The bus stop is opposite the edge of Putney Heath.
Soon after arriving at the bus stop I met a young guy who was obviously very unwell mentally. He began a rant about the music business and the internet thieves who rip him off by stealing his tunes. He told me he made his tunes in a studio somewhere and the business people tapped into that and they can get it all. Four months ago he was arrested for carrying a firearm in Clapham Junction. It was all over the news at nine oclock in the morning. I remember it well. He told me that he wasn’t carrying one but they, the police had confused him with some one else who was carrying a weapon and who was pretending to be him. He kept telling me “ They know. They know everything”. He told me how he didn’t need any one and as he continued the rant he became more and more animated. He told me any one who is going to call the police and say a man has a gun when he does not have a gun must have a plan. He said “He didn’t care because God had a plan for him and so that was it. When I get to Wembley I’m gonna stand up and tell every one I did this by myself”. He continued “ I am my own body guard and every thing. I am my own business and I don’t care about them thieves business”. He waved his arms around, swore a lot and paced up and down as we waited for a bus. I wondered if we were going to get on the same one. Eventually a bus came up the road. He put his arm out and I watched as the driver looked hard at him and drove on by. I asked him why he thought the driver had done that. He said “ He knows me and he knows who I am”. He asked me if I had seen him on TV with a young local rap group I used to work with some years ago. He didn't know about this and had no idea who I was. I wondered how they might have hooked up with him and can’t wait to see what the clip was about if it actually exists anywhere other than in the guys mind.
I could see that to passers by this guy seemed very threatening and they moved as far from him as they could as they passed. Suddenly he asked me if I was part of the music business. I answered “No” in the same moment his bus came. I said, “Take care” he said “ You too man”. He disappeared inside the bus and was gone. I wondered how his difference impacted on his life on a regular basis.
There is no simple moral or out come to this story. The streets are full of unhappy people it is just that they don’t all come up to you and say so. To be mentally unwell is a double affliction. As well as having to contend with their illness a person also has to put up with blatant prejudice engendered by the fear many people have of all mental illness and all sufferers. In a time like ours you might think we would have evolved to a point beyond this but sadly we have not. I think that as a society perhaps we will be judged in the future and may be for ever, by the way we love our children, our elders and the most vulnerable. Being at all different can make you very vulnerable. Its is hard to imagine us ever getting it right while we live in a place where teenage men kicked a twenty year old woman to death because she dressed in the "Goth" style.

The competition continues. Leave your entries either at the foot of the blog or in the previous one. What is Art thinking ?
Usual rules. As many entries as you like with different names.
Leave suggested captions in the comments section. Art will be the sole judge of the best caption. The winner can email postal details and we'll send you the ONE picture disk with extra tracks . Competition ends on Friday the 9th of May when I expect the EB Band will be rehearsing.

copyright e d g a r b r o u g h t o n 2008

Friday, 25 April 2008

Sami flag

The muse is upon me. My very dear friend Ramblin’ has sent me a link to a folk music site that contains some lovely Yoik.
This is the ethnic vocal style of Northern Norway as performed by the Sami people. When I first heard this beautiful music it struck a magic chord in me and I some times include a little of my interpretation of the form in our shows. I really would like to jam with some Yoik practioners some time. I am going to do two things about this. First I am going to ask a Norwegian friend to pave the way, if possible and the second thing I am going to do is demo some ideas I have had for my own material incorporating the Yoik style.
It seems that Yoik is probably one of the last forms of European tribal music that is still very much intact and is practised in much the same way, with same motivations and spirit as it always was. Wonderful!
Mean while check out I’m in love(again).

We had a band meeting at my place yesterday. The main agenda was the ongoing recordings and how we are going to revise the web site etc, etc. Every thing seems to take us such a long time We are all looking forward to the Norwegian shows scheduled for August this year. It will be some time before we return to these shores to perform, probably next year when we plan to tour the new songs in a revised show. Mean while it is very pleasing to play the odd one off show to fans in Germany and Norway and we’ll be going back to Greece some time next year. We are adding new songs to the live show all the time and will be rehearsing in May when we hope to add still more. Of course our main priority is to record and then record some more. Luke and Steve have been working hard on the programmed stage of the song Six White Horses.

Early versions of 2 new songs I made with Luke on the EB Band Myspace - In the Bloom and Ice on fire

Poor old cloggy Prescott it seems he is after all, a little bit more interesting than one might think and not just a prat. Gordon Tax ‘em Brown gets worse or is it me? What happens to these people? I’ve temporarily lost interest in their machinations. It won’t last and will pass but I am so sick of the disappointment of this government that I am going take a sabbatical from stressing about UK politics for a while and practise my Yoika . Still, recession is on it’s way and we will see the big wake up soon.

Chinese arms ships off the coast of South Africa bearing arms for Zimbabwe. No surprise there though.

BEIJING, April 25 (Xinhua) -- China's central government department will meet with Dalai's private representative in the coming days, Xinhua learned from official sources on Friday.
"In view of the requests repeatedly made by the Dalai side for resuming talks, the relevant department of the central government will have contact and consultation with Dalai's private representative in the coming days," an official said.
"The policy of the central government towards Dalai has been consistent and the door of dialogue has remained open," he said.
"It is hoped that through contact and consultation, the Dalai side will take credible moves to stop activities aimed at splitting China, stop plotting and inciting violence and stop disrupting and sabotaging the Beijing Olympic Games so as to create conditions for talks.

Yeah, of course, I almost forgot, the Dalai Lama is a seditious rebel bent on violence and sabotage whereas the Chinese Government is a benign and stabilising influence who will liberate the Tibetans from their medieval misconceptions. Presumably they will also liberate the people of Zimbabwe by supplying arms to their crazed dictator. When a UN rep recently met with the syphilitic Mugabe the rep suggested that the thousands of homeless might be temporarily housed in tents supplied by the UN. Mugabe's answer was "Arabs live in tents not people from Zimbabwe" and he declined the offer.

I have found a one off sepia ONE picture disk Ramblin’ made for a competition. I must have missed it when I burned the last copies. I am going to put all of the ONE tracks and some new songs on it. The best caption for the photo below will win it. What is Art thinking ?
Usual rules. As many entries as you like with different names.
Leave suggested captions in the comments section.
Art will be the sole judge of the best caption. The winner can email postal details and we'll send you the disk. Competition ends on Friday the 9th of May when I expect the EB Band will be rehearsing.

copyright e d g a r b r o u g h t o n 2008

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

A light dusting of the white stuff on Sunday the 6th of April 2008
Low tide on the river Orwell

This is my kind of place. It is a tidal, inland stretch of a large river. The estuarine shore is cold and damp at this time of year but full of atmosphere and interesting things to look at such as the fallen tree. I plan to fish for bass here some time soon.

During the the1980 Olympic Games which were held in Moscow, the USA boycotted the games because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The Olympic Committee decided to award the games to Bejing in spite of the growing world opinion against the Chinese occupation of Tibet. Currently in Tibet torture is a common practise. Forced sterilisations of women who cannot pay fines imposed for having more than one child, are a common occurrence. The procedure is primitive and the “patient” has to pay for any medical needs the day after the procedure. Women are some times left severely disabled by this barbaric practise. Thousands of Tibetan people have been imprisoned in forced labour camps. Many have died in what has been described as systematic process of genocide. The freedoms of the Tibetan people, both cultural and religious, have been severely curtailed. Still they remain constant to what the Dalai Lama calls “ The middle way” in the hope that reason might prevail through peaceful negotiation and intervention by the larger world community. Sadly this has not been forthcoming so far.
I expect and hope the recent problems around the Olympic torch parades is only the beginning of a growing world wide movement against Chinese human rights violation both at home and abroad. Asda is currently selling a Chinese made DVD player for £22. What is the real cost?
This guy is waiting to hear from YOU -
and so is this guy -

As a life long and recently disillusioned cycling fan it was wonderful to see the gold medals pile up for the UK track cycling riders in the recent world championships. Quality racing and all drug free? It is highly likely that the whole British squad is clean. It will be interesting to see if the 2008 Tour De France can resurrect itself from the gutter as far as performance enhancing drugs is concerned. Either way it is time to pump up the tyres on my beloved Bianchi and hit the roads, especially all the flat ones for a while.

I get some strange correspondence, mostly by email these days and here is a short sample from an old friend of the band who used to live in Leamington Spa and now lives in Germany. Bob is also a musician. We go back to the earliest days of the EBB in Warwick and Leamington Spa but only really got back in touch after the EBB re-formed.

----- Original Message ----- From: Bob Poole To: Broughtons

Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2008 5:43 AM

Subject: Strange dreams

I am asleep in the bedroom. The kids are sleeping next door. She is out again somewhere, not sure who with. The radio is playing softly in the hall. The Dubliners are singing "evening over rooftops" with sweet 4 part harmonies. Suddenly the song has a strong connection to Ireland and Irish inner city problems. I get out of bed and walk into the hall. I fumble with the loose CD's there looking for the Edgar Broughton version of the song as I need to hear it again. There are plans ahead to protest and lobby the government to fix a big problem with Derby's river where it runs through a deep gorge. A newspaper catches my eye with a photo of a man playing the piano under water and how it is feared that he has drowned.
Hey Rob, check the time of this email. It is 6.30 in the morning and I just woke up remembering this dream. The thing is, this kind of thing never happens to me and I am not drinking or smoking or anything. I have never felt more normal and everything is fine with the world so why the devil do I wake to a crazy dream involving your song so strongly?
I must sound like Digger! (Another old friend from the early days)
Hope you are all well.
Best wishes
Bob Poole
You do sound like Digger ha ha ! AND this is the kind of thing that happens when you become at all involved with the EBB. At least your dreams seem quite innocent and not too dark. It could be worse mate. I hardly ever dream these days. I just fall into a deep comatose like slumber - eventually.

The most worrying thing is that you say you "never felt more normal". Oh dear Bob this could be very serious.
Lovely to hear from you.
Best wishes


Been thinking. I did give up cigarettes. That could do it.

When are you coming over here again? Your new fans have been asking. Especially the girl with the long blonde hair.
Never happens tome anymore. Girls used to fancy me once!
Best wishes
Bob Poole


Spring is almost here and the fish are spawning. I have heard that it is possible to catch a carp on a lure at this time of year though I don't know any one who has done so. While fishing for pike with lures on a favourite lake, I caught the specimen pictured above. I knew it wasn’t a pike as soon as it took off but was shocked to land a carp. Beneath the surface of any fish holding fresh water a war of attrition is waged by the predatory species at this time of year. Carp will eat small fry where as most other times of the year they are not predatory. During the day light hours and the first hour or so of dusk whole sale carnage is usual. Happily it mistook my lure for a real fish. You can judge the size by comparing my glove and tools in the pic. The fish was quickly returned to the water unharmed after a swift photo or two. I will always remember that catch and it was on the last day of the fishing season. Amazing!


copyright e d g a r b r o u g h t o n 2008