Sunday, 24 April 2011


The ship is sinking. You have to decide who will be in your lifeboat. It is your lifeboat because you had the power to take it and that is exactly what you did, for better or worse. You saw the panic and anarchy among the crew and passengers. You decided to make your move and now you have 20 seats available for people whose future is in your hands. Who will you allow in and why? I am sure you will agree this is a situation you hope you will never face in reality. No pressure then. It’s only a game.

Make a list of ten friends and family that you would share your lifeboat with. Then add ten people who you don’t know personally but who fit your criteria for having a place in your lifeboat. You might favour the young or the old depending on your own bias or you might base your judgement mainly on people’s abilities to make a useful contribution for the good of the group. You might decide that a mix of people’s values and skills would be the deciding factors in your decision-making.

I have used this little exercise on many occasions, within the setting of small group work with young people. It is a useful tool for exploring why we value some folk and not others and how our behaviour, as perceived by others, can have a huge impact on what is on offer to us. It is one way for a group or a couple to find out some fairly important things about each other in a relatively short time.

So, there we are, your good self, your twenty chosen ones and me. Oh yes! I forgot to mention I was here first. It was my island until you lot came along. But don’t worry I will go with the flow, for now. After all, I'm looking forward to all of it. Still, I don't suppose any one is going to let me get by just singing for my supper. I think I will have to pull my weight in other ways and get my hands dirty along with every one else. If I catch lots of fish and do lots of night watches please may I sleep in late?

No big Marshall stacks or even 80 watt Peaveys to reinforce my music. No big sound behind me to make it right and to obliterate any nagging self doubt. Just me and my voice and ….please let my guitar have survived the landing.

Last night I was playing with my new phone which has an application for helping a person get to sleep. It is basically a set of sampled sounds including the gentle lapping of waves on a tropical shore, rain fall, air conditioning fan, a stream and a ticking clock. Aaaaargh! A clock ticking is guaranteed to keep me awake. I hear a rhythm and then a bass line and it just gets worse and worse but, the ticking clock sends most babies to sleep.

The ticking clock evoked thoughts about a very crazy in your face song from the EBB album Superchip. The song is called Not so funny farm. It bashes along at quite a pace so that the words spew out as though there was only just about enough time to fit them in and that is how I remember it.

I began singing and speaking those words to the ticking phone in my hand. The phone clock ticks away at 60 ticks/beats per minute ( you knew that). This is at least half the speed of the Superchip track so that was a big change. Though slow and radically different from the original I could see how it might work. I realised that if I ever performed the song like this it would probably be the first time any one heard all of the words. It got me thinking about other new ways of doing things differently as part of my new show. I think I might be onto some thing.

Pass me a piece of roasted yam. Put some wood on the fire while I clean the fish. By the way, has any one got a charger for my blackberry?

Ah! ………………….That won’t work, will it?


p.s. I recently bought some fishing tackle from a Japanese supplier. He sent me an email with information regarding the shipping status of my purchase and added the quite poignant URL below at the end of his email to me. He is based in PLAT and is very anxious to assure me that my purchase will not be radio-active and that his part of the island is safe.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

some thing close to my mind

Hi Folks,

If you are in London on Saturday coming and looking for some thing different then check out the Madpride gig below .............


Come and support our vital cause and help marginalised people have a voice against the media prejudice that brands all welfare benefit claimants as ‘scroungers’ and have a great night in the bargain. People concerned about the changes in the work capacity test are encouraged to contact the MENTAL HEALTH RESISTANCE NETWORK to get advice about how to deal with the tests and how people will be affected or to join the campaign and support our cause.

For more info on the event call 077 577 15035


Facebook - http;//



MAD PRIDE – 07542459321

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


I have just been catching up with the dialogue in the comments on the previous post. I am very pleased to see the debate is ongoing. In some ways, I think it is part of my “job description” to provoke and evoke as well as inform and entertain. It is true I wrote the “job description” and made it up as I went along but still, I see no good reason to change it.

Since I put my own website up and began my solo endeavours I have had lots of requests to do interviews, especially around the fair days pay for a fair days work gigs. That seems to have struck a chord with lots of people. I picked my way through the interview requests and decided I would only do three. As usual I have talked at length about the band, politics and where I am now.
One of the interviews was shot on video and a guitar was produced to enable me to sing a few songs. This was unexpected so it gave things a little buzzy feeling. I like that. One was based on supplied questions to which I wrote my answers another was an audio interview that took place outside the British Museum. Catch the Tea ceremony there if you can. I will place links to these interviews at very soon.

Time was when interviews were the province of radio, tv and the music press and unless you were in vogue or flavour of the week the exposure for an artiste through these channels was very limited. Now there are dozens of online music magazines and fan sites which provide a platform for the likes of yours truly.

You might have noticed that the gigs page on my website has opened up with a few dates. The first public date will be at Glastonbury Festival on the 24th of June this year. Luke will be playing that one with me and then next day I will be playing a FDPFAFDW gig so that will be a contrast. We have had a rehearsal and we are both very excited about performing a new show together.

On August the I8th I will be playing a date at The Duchess in York. I will be performing a show called CASTAWAY. This will be a one off performance that won’t be repeated. I can assure you it will be very different from what you might normally expect from me though it will include a lot of vintage material. At some point I will be posting the programme here.

People are still booking the FDPFAFDW gigs that begin in May. Remember, it doesn’t matter what you earn or what your income is, if you will pay me the equivalent of one day of your pay, pay my travel expenses, feed and accommodate me then I will come and play for you at your private event. I have been asked if there is bottom limit that would make the thing uneconomical. The short answer is no. In the new reality everything is negotiable.

I will be recording all of the acoustic FDPFAFDW gigs and a compilation will be available at the end of 2011. I plan to take advance orders for a cd copy of individual shows, from any one attending who wants one.

I am recording new songs including the one that nearly got away. I wrote about it in my earlier post -The anatomy of a song. Over the next weeks I will be putting bits and pieces on the Works in progress page of my website.
So, the sun is shining and its high time I got out on my bike. In a day or so I will be setting out on a small adventure, a voyage of discovery when I hope I might be lucky enough to catch my first sea bass of the year.