Sunday, 28 October 2012

gonna B good


See me at The Montague Arms..Saturday Nov10th ..289 Queens Road, SE15 2PA London. 

Edgar Broughton, Chris Bowsher(RDF) solo, The Balloons and Psycho Yogiplay at this legendary venue in aid of  


It's nearly time to get together with my MAD PRIDE friends for another instalment in the fight against welfare benefit cuts and the increasingly punitive policies of this coalition against the poor and the vulnerable.

''Want of money and the distress of a thief can never be alleged as the cause of his thieving, for many honest people endure greater hardships with fortitude. We must therefore seek the cause elsewhere than in want of money, for that is the miser's passion, not the thief's.'' 
William Blake

When I was a young and ernest rebel Blake’s words were noble and golden and fired me with purpose and inspiration. He was a visionary and commentator of huge significance.

His great understanding and exploration of the human condition was always fascinating to me and in my callow youthfulness I aspired to make poetry and music that provokes thought and awareness of the issues of our time. Like Blake I want to see the poor uplifted and transported from their drudgery and hardship.

I want to live in a civil society that values the difference in people and protects the weak and vulnerable. I believe that how well we succeed, as a society, in this respect, will prove to be the basis on which we are judged by those to come in England’s green and pleasant land.


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

See YOU there?

Are we seeing the beginning of the social engineering that will attempt to create a new order nation that will compete with the low paid emerging nations?

Is it possible that this Government and their friends want to create a new work force that will work for next to nothing, like robots with out rights?

Perhaps you might find this a little far fetched. You may be right to do so or you might be horribly mistaken. I am not sure but we are seeing the poor and vulnerable disenfranchised by the posh boys who have never gone with out a square meal or been forced to work for the minimum wage in a culture that puts the interests of the rich above all things,

This government is victimising the poor and vulnerable in the name of saving money while their banker mates are still not lending the money they were given to help small business and they continue to worm their way out of any accountability for the mess they helped to make.

I don’t need to list the endless examples of wasting our money by the ConDems that we see everyday.

We are all beginning to feel the effects of the decimation of public services. 

Social work has become reduced to the point that the streets are slowly filling up with people who should be receiving care. There is little on offer for those who need it most.

Hospitals are often understaffed and dirty. Pastoral care takes a back seat while the paperwork mountain increases for every one.

I have heard terrible stories from genuinely sick people who live in terror that their benefits might be removed and there have been several suicides when this has happened.  ATOS have been asking people what television programs they watch to help establish their intelligence level or to see if they could sit in front of screen and serve some function that could qualify them as employable. 

June Mitchell applied for sickness benefit.  When examined by ATOS, she complained of breathlessness and feeling tired.  She was scored zero points and found fit for work.  She went back to her GP, was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and died shortly afterwards.

A nurse in Scotland was so shocked at ATOS’s behaviour that she blew the whistle on them.  She said that people with serious lung diseases were found fit for work as long as they could sit in front of a computer, and that parents who attend with their children are automatically found fit for work.

If the Tories get their way, within five years the UK will have a smaller public sector than any major developed nation.


 From "compassionate Conservative to growth rainmaker" to state-shrinker, Cameron has gone through a huge change since 2005. But that is nothing like what lies ahead for the rest of Britain in the next five years. Prepare yourself for welfare to be downsized into American-style workfare, for public-sector jobs to be turned into a second-class employment and for services, from school to healthcare, to demand that users pay more to get something decent. The future is American.

We face the biggest attack in a generation on public services, pensions, the NHS, education, benefits, jobs. Virtually every aspect of society is being affected by the governments austerity measures and over 80% of cuts are yet to be implemented.
This can only be challanged if everyone stands together in one mass movement which says no to all cuts.
On 20 October 2012 the Trades Union Congress has called a national demonstration in Central London against austerity under the slogan ‘For a future that works’. The march will be led by the young unemployed.
We must work to make sure this is the biggest possible day of action against all cuts which brings together everyone in society who is being affected.
We expect people fighting austerity in France, Greece, Spain and other countries will join us.

If any one wants to hook up with me on the march on Saturday please email me

If you cannot be at the march you can still sign the petition at

See link below for info.  


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

boats trains and rain

I have recently returned from the north where I have been staying with my great friends John and Val near Wigan. John is my tour manager and fellow conspirator. Recently we discussed what seems to be the ever-growing tendency for people to chat through gigs. John has a theory that because folk have become accustomed to chatting on their phones about any thing, any where the habit has extended to conversation generally with out let or hindrance.
Of course this isn’t quite as significantly detrimental to a full blown electrical performance as it might be to an acoustic performance. I have been lucky or diverting enough to prevent people from chatting most of the time though there has been a couple of exceptions.
The last was at Burton where my good friend Peter Greening was promoting an event for the charity CRY. I should have known what was to come when Peter tried to get people to listen to his pre-amble about why we were there and what CRY means to him and his people. Twice he began and then there was a hush of sorts. How ever, as soon as Peter spoke many people carried on speaking at a volume that would prevent them having to listen. I began my set after the local rock band 5 days of November, which was an interesting dynamic. I battled on against a backdrop of babbling voices, which annoyed me, but it was even worse for genuine fans of good music (oh yes!) that had travelled some distance to support the cause and myself.

I had planned to play for at least an hour and a half but after an hour and ten and in the middle of a song I gave in to the noise and left the stage. I think some people including Peter and co were a bit disappointed that I finished early but not nearly as much as I was. I need the satisfaction of getting through the set and the simple courtesy that any performer might expect. They didn’t need me they needed some one who would provide the usual cheery nonsense that you might find at any small time corporate event. I know just the DJ.
For any one who thinks, or thought at the time, that I was being moody, I say this. Imagine you are having the best sex of your life and suddenly a voice in your ear is talking to you about the gap in your mortgage re-payments or that you might have left the gas on or ……. That is what it feels like when I can no longer concentrate on my job through the mindless babble. So there! I feel better now.

The Hi Fi Club at Leeds was better and I was better and every one loved me …. Ha ha! Swoon and I caught a cold. My special thanks to all of the staff and to Martin Dixon for a great sound and for the recording. Driving back to Wigan through the torrential rain that seemed to be a regular feature of the recent weeks, the satisfaction factor was back in abundance. I am always pleasantly surprised by the younger people who seem to connect with what I am doing as well as the women who seem to like what I do with an acoustic guitar more than what I did with the EBB. I know some of you guys prefer the full on electric stuff. I like it too but I am enjoying singing songs of the now that folk can relate to. Some times I only manage to do a couple of old songs and no one complains. It is very pleasing for me to have been able to construct and perform a new set of songs in less than a couple of years. This will feed into the full electric show planned for the end of 2013.

So I am staying one and a half miles from a canal and a river but the water is very coloured from the excessive rainfall and many parts are flooded. Even though I have assembled a very small travel set of lure fishing gear it would have been a waste of time so John and I go exploring local music shops. At Dawsons in Warrington I try the new Roland synth guitar stuff. The pick up for the system is mounted on the tattiest excuse for a guitar I have ever seen but I progress through the pedal presets and just when I am getting some where the manager of the shop decides to play some music from the counter where he is languishing. The assistant was quite helpful but I decided to leave it and go elsewhere. Usually people turn music off so you can try gear. If several people are trying stuff then there will be an unavoidable clash of sounds but I never had a member of staff play some recorded music before. I reckon he didn’t like my virtuoso cello impersonations. Seriously though – Poor show Dawson’s. By contrast the experience when shopping at a small music shop in Wigan was a delight. Watch out big boys the little guys might well overtake you in the midst of the new reality. The evidence of shops left for dead is scattered through the northwest as it is in so many places I have been to recently.

The day after the Leeds show John and I left Wigan headed back in the direction of the Potteries. We set off on a dry sunny afternoon and wondered how long it might last. Our destination was The Black Lion pub deep in the heart of the Churnet valley and this was to be the venue for Kevin Hart’s 60th birthday bash. John and I had done a little research around this venue and we liked what we saw. The place has a steam railway, one of John’s big interests, and a canal and a river for me. All this within yards of the Black Lion. The scenery is spectacular and wild and surprising. The only access is by a small road that reminded me of my recent travels in west Wales. We were told that the only way out of the valley on some winter days is via a four wheel drive vehicle.
The gig was a delight. We finally met Katie who had put it all together for her dad. Katie was married a day before so this was a very special weekend for the family. We started off in a tent attached to the pub but after dining at nine we decided to move indoors as the temperature dropped to near freezing. Once ensconced I began a second part of the show. The acoustics were much better inside and I quickly warmed to the task. I really enjoyed meeting the family and their friends. They are lovely people and made us very welcome. The pub staff came into see the last part of the show and it was great to play for some younger people who had no idea who I was or what has gone before. It was very interesting to get their very positive feedback.

It was fascinating to listen to gig stories from Kevin and his brothers and mates who had followed my path down the years. This gig was special for me from all aspects.

Next day after an early breakfast ( for me) we set off back down in the valley with the sun shining. John checked a couple of old diesel engines but no steam trains were running. I caught a little perch on a lure under the canal bridge to the pub. I later cast the lure into a bush where unfortunately it stayed. A weak knot let me down. Ah well! It’s only stuff.

It was time to head back to London and then back to Wigan for John. We’d had a very interesting time. It is all part of a learning curve and the steepness of the curve lessens as time passes. There are so many possibilities I want to play with. This year is almost over from a gigging perspective though I might be going off to play in Athens in December if the guys there can arrange it. I want to see what is going on there for myself. Meanwhile it is time to continue band rehearsals with Bob Poole and Rick Medlock. 

I have lots of enquiries re A Fair Days Pay For A Fair Days Work 2013 shows so if you want one book now for the best summer dates. I'm off to Norfolk for the weekend to play a FDPFAFDW on friday so see you then Jim.

I have just received copies of the EBB live at THE FABRIK Hamburg 1973. This features Vic Unitt on guitar. It is an historical piece that I am sure will be of interest to many of you. Thanks to Tom and all at Sireena records for digging it out and putting it all together. The cd will be released in Germany on Oct. 26, in UK on 12th November.

I have just taken delivery of the ZOOM A 2.1 acoustic guitar effects pedal so that should provide some fun when I can find the time to play around with it. I'm still teased with the possibility of acquiring the Roland synth guitar system and I should be getting my new Apple Mac music station this month. I have waited for the new model on Luke's advice. He is becoming quite expert with his Mac.

Last but not least on the 20th of October there is going to be a huge march against the cuts in London. Be there if you possibly can. Over the weekend and next week I will be setting out some of my thoughts on this and trying to make arrangements to meet up with some of you. We can see what damage the posh boys are inflicting. The recent proposals to further impoverish legitimate welfare claimants during the Tory Conference are unnecessary and despicable. 

PS > Should the title of Lance Armstrong's book IT'S NOT ABOUT THE BIKE be changed to It's not about the bike it was about the performance enhancing drugs?