Friday, 24 October 2008

on Putney heath

Clip clop then stop to tarry a while – below me she heaves – a whinny quiet – she is well schooled in my subterfuge and stealthy guiles. There is the stench of Great London in our nostrils. Tra la lee – oh for a nose gay for my true love – an orange stuck with cloves or a fine lace square drenched in fragrant oil. Trot my lovely sure and steady – always ready with a fine pair of Spanish in my belt. Clip clop on flint newly laid – stop in the darkening glades here on the heath high above Putney. Dare we tarry my mount and me? Rest for one small ale at the Green Man and trade some trinkets out back of the bear pit. Alert I be always hearkened to the sounds on the wind while she below keeps us up above the dirt – thinking of the curly headed one, darling in the whirling skirt – a slip along hips like on a boat she be – ah I would take her down to Frenchy in the west for a month or two in summer. Alert I see a King’s man on a town mare stopped under a spreading chestnut. Lurking in the gloom and green and all plumed up like a high un. He sees we. I will coldly drop him should he call me out. He stares long and hard but doesn’t have the interest and we pass by unchallenged. He is looking for an easy life and me for easy pickings. Clip clop then quiet on softer ground. She pricks up her ears and we hear the Kings man heading off to Roehampton opposite ways to we. The glow of the lit up city far below beckons me to a tavern friendly to us in Wandsworth Town. Best be there by dark and best we make swift now. Caught by the man and me carrying would see me thrown in Newgate. Ha ha! My neck was made for a fine silk scarf and not for a hang man’s rope.
Days later I pull up at the Ragged Staff Inn for the night. The place is on a high hill above Swindon. I like to look out and below on the men who would bring me down. She said she’d be here. I ached to see her framed in the light of a roaring fire. Peachy cheeks rosy with life. She is sweetness, loyal and kind. I would never do her harm nor cause her hurt in any way. She is the one who keeps me safe and of good hope. Black curly hair, buxom and lovely in the fire light. Holding on to her. Feeling her heart beat. Mine is beating like a drum.

The pale sun of developing winter falls across Eland Towers the shadow of a ladder falls through the window across the living room wall. We’ve got the builders in for total renovation. Years a go I worked on building sites and have had an aversion ever since to all things dirty, cold, wet and windy. I don’t much care for D.I.Y. either and although I have some practical skills and a few tools I would rather leave it than mend it. Consequently Eland Towers has fallen into extreme disrepair but soon all will be transformed with all the exterior masonry fixed up, windows painted, a new kitchen and .... a new studio for yours truly. We’ll have a new bathroom by the end of Saturday coming so things are well underway. Adam is our main man on the job. He is a proper working class Brixton boy and it seems as though he can fix and mend every thing. He is also a very nice bloke.
The chaos here is at least constructive and we are looking forward to the end result with great anticipation even though it is a week or three away.
I am still working on the components of the new song and video Deliverance in the midst of the building work. I realise this has been a while coming but it will be worth the wait. I’d like to finish it by Monday.

I have had a spate of emails from UK fans recently asking about UK gigs and I have to say there will be no gigs this year. How ever, the new year is a different matter and the EBB will be looking to gigs in the UK and across the water. We have some very nice offers including a return to Gagarin the Athens club.
2008 has been a strange old year and in many respects I will be glad to see the back of it. I am going to spend the rest of this year having a nice time. It’s my 61st birthday on Monday coming and far from wanting to take things easy I plan to spend the next year busily engaged in new projects as well as finishing old ones off.
ONE is top of my list and Luke has decided to make a big push on his own material in 2009. In his own words “ I’ve finally got the songs”. I believe he has and I will be assisting him with that in the back ground as and when required and I have to finish my novel The Instantanium.
The agenda for the EBB is very much a work in progress at this time but all will be resolved and all revealed here as we move on through this winter which seems to be trying to provide some thing of an Indian summer in spite of what has felt like random weather for ages. Actually the two weeks holiday I took in September were among the best of the summer. The sun is shining warmly now as I return to this writing after a few phone calls and consultations with Ad’ the builder.

The western counties call. Me and Mary can hide down there with Frenchy and Gumbo. Likely lads light fingered and steadfast and safe to run with. We’ll meet in Bristol for rum n fun. Frenchy’s great, great grandmother was the notorious ship wrecker Belle of Trevellyan. They hanged her high for her work. He come from a long line of smuggling aristocracy. He’s a good man if you are in with him and a dreadful foe if you are not. We took a few coaches together and the stuff of lone riders down Bodmin way on the moor. We broke Gumbo out of Northampton jail just before Christmas one year with snow on the ground. The King’s men tracked us for two days but we lost them in a storm. Don’t get paid enough to follow the likes of us for long and they none too keen to catch up with us neither. We was took an held over a night in Symonds Yat on our way to Cardiff City but was let go for lack of witnesses to an alleged robbery on the road. Truth is Frenchy burned down the witnesses cottage and killed their chickens.
Mary slips her hand in mine and I feel good. Like a proper pair we stay close and snug together holding on to each other. Both us kissing and a cuddling until the lust come on her and she be like a wild ‘un. God bless the lasses says I and all the loveliness about ‘em. It’s Time to climb the wooden hill to heaven on earth.

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

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Our good friend Peter Jones sent me the above pic of 38 Kipling Avenue - Warwick where Steve and I grew up. We lived there until we came south in 68 or there abouts.
Peter took most of the early black n white pics of the band until we made the move to London. We re met up with Pete ( Tufty) a couple of years ago when touring in the west country. He has recently been to Warwick to visit his Mum and took the photo then. The photo arrived by email with a comment about global warming in Warwick as evidenced by the palm tree in the front garden. I can’t help wondering what my parents would have made of that not to mention the many weird and wonderful changes that have taken place since they passed. We live in times of the greatest change and all at a increasingly rapid rate.
According to a panel advising the UK Government on climate change the UK should cut it’s gas emissions by at least80% by 2050. Hmmm !

The head of the international monetary fund has said “The world is facing financial meltdown". The scramble to fix what should never have been allowed to happen in the first place is going through the gears. It is clear that we are all subject to the greedy machinations of the International money mafia and there is nothing we can do to avoid it no matter how hard we work to be secure. We are made slaves to a failing system. We will do as we are bidden because we have no option and we will prop up the financial institutions that threaten us all with our own cash. We all know greedy speculation is chief culprit in this crisis.
Good people who have lived and worked exactly as they were bidden by the rules of our society ( I have not ) are ruined or reduced by the very people they trusted. Their pensions have never been under so much pressure and their savings have, in the most extreme cases, completely disappeared. It was na├»ve to think that any banks were acting in any one’s interest other than their own but we have kept our heads down because life in our neck of the woods was quite comfortable. Is it time to look for some thing better elsewhere? A better more honest way of doing business. Perhaps we should look at institutions such as The Co – Operative society where there still appears to be some kind of socialistic ethic behind the purpose of their business. Some time ago I was very interested by reports that younger people looking for work in the city of London’s financial sector were querying prospective employers connections with ethical / unethical companies / organisations. I commend this trend and suggest we should all take a good long look before we leap in all our transactions and scrutinise the people we would work with or for especially with those who you entrust with your hard earned cash.

Thanks for all the interesting emails you send me. It is very interesting to read about events in our collective past that, some times, I can hardly remember at all. It helps to fit the pieces together over time. It is fascinating how different members of the band remember slightly different bits of the story and how collectively we arrive at some semblance of what actually happened. So keep writing your reminiscences, stories and news of the now.


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

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

I seem to have been away for some time. I needed a break from all things EB band including this blog. The last year has been some thing of a trial. Geese fly across the sunset sky high above the broad. My heart beats well again. Urban life seems to be not so attractive among the arteries of eastern waters where the Bittern booms and foxes cry in the dense foliage of river banks. Where a natural pace and rhythm slowly emerges in my day, colouring my thoughts , anxiety subsides. It is calming here in the wet lands.
Back in the day the millwright would climb the steeple of the highest church and look out at the windmills he maintained. If the sails were in the cross of Jesus position all was well. If the sails were in the position of the cross of St Andrew then he knew the windmill needed repair and he would set out to fix things. Same day service as and when needed. This was before telephones, faxes, texts or email. Occasionally the water swirls as a big fish surfaces. The sky is huge and the light magical. Long ships sailed these water when the Norsemen came to Miceni. Shallow drafted ships that could sail in a couple of feet of water allowed the hull of the boat to tip just enough to allow a warriors horse to step over the gunnels and on to land. Cormorants are every where. They seem to enjoy the kill swooping down to spear a fish only to let it drop back in the water uneaten.

Our boat throbs it’s way into the growing gloom of a small broad off the side of a great river. The sun set is now glorious as we settle for the last few casts for elusive Esox Lucius or even a small perch. The boat is still for the duration of night. I reach for my guitar. A song with out an ending is running around my brain. It, like the pike, has eluded me for weeks and it is time to progress it. Back in the world, a short step from where I am, Fiscal Chancellors and financiers are reeling from the first stages of the great illness. Their capital system is failing. Their greed and ours has shaken the models for capitalistic security and prosperity.

“Governments are brought down by the collapse of computer banking systems and the pirates who intercede at major transference terminals and make off with the credits are still selling rice to the dying of the ruined hinterlands, whose rulers have forgotten them in the race to go Western” –
Super Chip the final silicon solution.

It must be clear now that Governments have huge reserves in order to be able to shore up the failing profiteers. The Head of Leh-mans was taking as much as 5 mill in salary, per annum, over a period of six years. What would the US have done with the 700 bill allocated for propping up it’s failing banks had they not needed to? It is amazing what hidden treasure can be found by western governments and the nouveau rich of the developing economies when they and their pals decide they need it. Is Obama a threat to their world order? He intimated the possibility in his acceptance speech some weeks ago. We shall see. Is it reasonable to expect our hopes will be dashed with the usual disappointment of endless broken promises or will a new day dawn in the land of the free? It seems the needy shall not have much relief in these times and the promises of the good and great are hollow though still – unsung good works are carried out by many people who will not accept the increasingly selfish status quo of these days. They struggle as public servants to do what can be done with dwindling resources. On closer inspection Cameron appears to have little if anything helpful to add to the pot regardless of Labours poor showing in recent polls.

Recently during the days of The Hamar festival at which the EB Band performed a new friend gave me an old guitar. It is an unusual object and is hybrid of Fender jaguar and other parts. I restrung it and here it is in all it’s wacky glory.
It plays nicely and has a distinctive sound that is great for some chord work. So thank you Steinar. No one ever gave me a guitar before.

A new suite of video editing programs sits on my hard drive. I want to re-visit all my previous material and re-process it all but the Deliverance video project is now top of the list and should be finished over the next few days. Keeping busy defeats some demons. The music is almost finished and I have half of the video material. So, I’ll be getting on with it all then.


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