Saturday, 23 August 2008

My head is filled with the scent and flavour of this strange summer. With changing skies filled with rain then burning bright. What to wear ? Where to go? Rain bows and weather broken holidays in England. Tough in a tent with kids. Mean while Olympians strut their stuff in what seems an un real land in television world. One world – one dream and presumably one voice? Not if it says NO to barbarism and subjugation. The pleas for fair play and for no doping from the head man in the I.O.C, at the beginning of the show, seem insignificant compared to the pleas of the Tibetans for freedom of choice. But we must put all politics aside to get this I.O.C. opium for the masses. We must join with Bush with his jacket off in the crowd of torturers and bandits. He fits in well. This version of the massively intoxicating spectacle that will make us forget what is real and that which hurts us most is addictive. We will want more and more of it as is our wont.
Under an iron bridge there is a bed of lily pads with just one saffron flower. Olive shade turns golden in the intermittent sun-bursts. A cool breeze is blowing across the face of the slow flowing river, rolling through the flat land scape towards the nearby coast. Estuarine flocks of birds gather in the storm clouds overhead. Silver and white, they hover and dart in the electric greening. The changing light shimmers across the bending reeds. It is enchanting. Dragon flies skim the surface of the waters skin joined in airborne mating. They pause for a fleeting second or two to rest on a bulrush or reed. Life for them is rushing by and is always almost over. It is good here under weeping willows and silver birch. Far from the subterfuge and the entreaties of faces on the screen demanding we join in. I am quiet and happy. I am content and safe even though I know the madness of the world is only a text or phone call away.
A smiling bearded man gets off a plane in the UK still protesting his innocence. No one believes him. I know a man who taught him to sail and wishes they had never met. I met his fellow musical travellers who had hardly a good word to say about him. I know some mothers and youth workers who walked out of a works Christmas bash because the DJ played one of his records and couldn’t see why any one might be offended. I hope that the DJ knows better now.
Gordon Brown looked almost animated and very nearly passionate as he met with the UK Olympic team in Bejing. There is little else for him to be cheered about. If only he could apply the same thinking and implementation of the people responsible for the British Cycling team to the running of the NHS and Social Services to name just two. What you do Gordon is give the experts the budget they need and leave them to it. To be fair it is true that New Labour have done some things right. Police have brand new guide lines for dealing with rape victims which are considered by other professionals working in this area to be a real improvement. How ever new plans to turn Social Services into call centres in the next year or so will mean huge cuts in an already desperately under funded service. If this is implemented there will be an exodus of the best workers. Many vulnerable people will become isolated and unsupported.
In the distance I hear the throb of an air sea rescue helicopter heading to the sea. It reminds me of the almost nightly sorties flown by the police over my home. They are always accompanied by the sound of multiple sirens on the ground.
A large fish jumps in the gathering dusk and plops back into the depths sending ripples across the water in perfect circles. The wind has dropped. All is quiet and as we wend our way back to the ribbon road a new tune is running around my head.

Competion result. I like two entries and so the competition winners are

“One for all and all for ONE ”. From macedonut and

“You think I’m up. I’m down. You think it’s fair, you wanna share?” from Phil Robb.
Nice one folks. I guess I made it hard by ruling out the funnies but it was interesting. So guys send me your postal address by e-mail and I’ll send you the discs.

Finally this is interesting and comes via our good friend Jonathon Ashby


Copy right edgar broughton 2008

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Hi Folks. Luke has come up with his decision for the winner of the previous competition. In fact he has come up with a tie so two people get Rockpalast Live CD's. The winners are -
"You sure this is where that guy from E.M.I. said to meet him ?" from Peeramudsage
and "If the band hadn't missed the last train to Clarkesville their musical direction would have been very different". from pAUL. So folks email me and I'll organise postage of said CD's.

We have one more gig on the date sheet and then its back to the drawing board. Mean while I have been putting The Deliverance video together. I'll post it here soon. I have been writing new material and chilling. I managed to watch the Olympic road cycling races and the time trials which were a total joy but it has completely trashed my internal clock. I am truly on Rob time now which is frustrating for others and gets weird for me after a few days. I love it really. Just never got down with the early morning people unless it is in a very good cause or the start of an adventure. I can always rise then no matter how little sleep I've had or what time it is. I'm heading out east by the sea and rivers over the next few days. I plan to get lost in it all - regenerate and do what I like. More on this in the next post.

Mean while here is another competition. The prize is a full band width DVD of the Shaman Calling video plus extra unreleased ONE goodies. You have to invent what I was thinking in the photo above. I'll be the judge and I will favour non humorous entries just for a change. Leave entries in the comments of this post. Usual rules. As many entries as you like with a different name. Comp ends Thursday 21st August.

Today in London it feels like a Autumn. I hope you are all finding ways to enjoy what is left of this strange summer.


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

Tuesday, 5 August 2008


The competition is still running on the previous post. The album of the Rockpalast DVD is now available on CD and there is a signed copy waiting for the best caption for the photo above. Usual rules. As many entries as you like with different names. Comp will run up to the 12th of August. Luke will be judge for this one.

This phone photo was taken high over part of the northern Norway wilderness on our way to Tromso and Karlsoy from Oslo where we had a great gig at the John Dee. We flew over mile after mile of uninhabited land. The travelling was gruelling as we had little sleep but I'd had a great time in Oslo and felt energised by the whole thing. I can sleep any where but with views like the above I was glued to the window on the plane for most of the journey.We landed in Tromsa and boarded the ferry to Karlsoy along with our old mates The Strawbs who were also playing the festival on the remote island of Karlsoy. The weather was unsettled and we were a bit surprised by how chilly it was. After an hour or so of racing up the fiord on the superfast ferry we arrived at the harbour of Karlsoy pictured below.
This island is a magic place and I have never been any where like it. If you want to know more about the history and how the present community of around thirty people began to arrive in the 70 s check this link.

a coast guard boat watches from the fiord
Around 1500 or so people came to the island for the festival that had the theme of Solidarity for this year. Seminars, debates and work shops as well as music were all part of the menu. I like the aims of our hosts very much and the EBB's offering was very well received by people. The mid night sun peeped out from from behind the cloud just before the EBB took to the stage. Every one cheered as we all stood transfixed by this extra ordinary sight which has thrilled people for thousands of years. What a fantastic beginning for our show. Strangely as soon as we finished our show the sun hid behind the cloud for a while but by 2 am the sun shone softly every where.

The midnight sun

3 am in a garden
the view from the stage

There were times when the view in front of me and beyond the audience was actually distracting. I remember pausing a couple of times when chatting with the audience, not because I had forgotten what I was saying but, because the changing light on the mountains was diverting and enchanting. It was said more than once, by an EBB member that " You couldn't make this up could you"?

We were very weary as the day wore on and not scheduled to play until mid-night. I know some of us began to wonder if all the work and travel involved was worth doing. Extreme fatigue when a performance is required can some times seem to be almost too much to handle even for old pros like us. As soon as the sun came out we were so uplifted that we began to really immerse ourselves in the experience. We saw the light.

These coast guard guys were stationed off the island watching and listening. Check the electronic hard ware on the roof of the boat. I joked with locals that the crew must have done some thing really stupid and were punished by being sent to the arctic north to watch the hippies.

At 4 am we mustered at the dock to board a chartered boat back to Tromso. Captain Karto and his wife Julie were great hosts. Julie had made a wonderful feast for us and I drank my first cup of decent tea since leaving the UK. The boat was a fishing boat used by angling parties. Karto showed me all his lures and tackle and we both wished we could stop to catch some of the fabled enormous cod in abundance in the local waters. It was strange to be in the centre of some of the very best fishing waters in the world with no time to make even one token cast. Ah well! I will just have to go back there one day.
I wish all good things for the inhabitants of Karlsoy. I hope they continue to flourish in their wonderful wilderness. Living there would not suit every one. The winters are extremely harsh but I for one would like to give it a go. The place and the people will always have a place in my heart.
I will always remember the Afghani guy who, with his wife, came to talk with me after the show. He spoke about my rap in ODO when I list the people for whom the piece is dedicated. I say " we do this for the people waiting at borders with no place to go - with out a country - with out a home". He told me how he had gone to Norway as a refugee and was moved by the words and the sentiment and intent of the lyrics. I was very touched by his words. We embraced as brothers and I was content with what we had made in the far north.
My thanks to Steinar and Kris Gray and all who made it possible. Special thanks to Stein and Berit who looked after us in their home. As always, thanks to Spadge and Ric who take such good care of us on the road.

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