Success for ASAP!’s Keep Streets Live campaign in Liverpool!

Success for ASAP!’s Keep Streets Live campaign in Liverpool!

Christian and Jonny present David Kirwan, Senior Partner of Kirwan’s Soliciters, with a gift on behalf of street artists and performers in Liverpool whose livilihoods his public-spirited legal support has helped to safeguard.

(Cross-posted from The Association of Street Artists and Performers)

There is an autumnal chill in the air and the nights are drawing in, already the memories of summer are fading and winter looms ahead, a time when most buskers have to dig out their thermals and fingerless gloves. But despite the colder weather and the diminishing hours of sunlight, our spirits are high. More than three months after its introduction, and under threat of legal action initiated by the Keep Streets Live! campaign, Councillor Stephen Munby announced Liverpool City Council’s decision to abandon their contentious busking at a recent cabinet meeting. This climbdown is hugely welcome and highly significant. It demonstrates that a constructive campaign of opposition can make a difference, and represents a significant moment in the ongoing campaign to protect street culture. At long las common sense has prevailed. We hope that this council reversal represents the beginnings of a new culture of cooperation and compromise between street performers and the powers that be.

Early on into the campaign, Kirwans Solicitors offered pro bono legal support to our cause, and began a legal challenge which was instrumental in the policy’s downfall. David Kirwan, Senior Partner at the firm, described Liverpool’s scheme as “oppressive, irrational and disproportionate“. At our campaign’s invitation, Kirwans initiated a formal legal challenge in the form of a judicial review application on behalf of Liverpool busker Siobhan McDermott. We know that the legal pressure applied by Kirwans helped to focus the minds of the council, and hope that they will now abandon the use of coercive measures like threats of trespass prosecutions and restrictive license schemes. We look forward to helping them draw up a system which genuinely enhances city life, and doesn’t smother spontaneity with spirit-sapping regulations.

Nonetheless, there are still unanswered questions about the council’s attitude to our legal challenge. Why, for instance, did the council claim that they were always going to review the policy after a three month period? This claim is nowhere to be found in the notes from the cabinet agenda at which the policy was announced  and talk of ‘internal reviews’ only emerged after the scheme came under heavy criticism from Keep Streets Live!.  The legal challenge we launched by judicial review had to be done in the first three months of the scheme’s introduction or it would have been invalid. We think it is a little bit suspect that the proposed internal council review was to be after three months, precisely after a legal challenge would have been ruled out.

We are also disappointed that the Mayor of Liverpool is still maintaining that the policy was ‘lawful and reasonable’, despite the information that the Keep Streets Live! campaign helped bring to light, and the many contentious points we drew attention to (such as the Simon Cowell clause, threats of trespass prosecutions in public space, the unlawful ban on under-18s and the small issue that the 2003 Licensing Act was never intended to cover busking).  The council are continuing to send out mixed messages about the real reasons they dropped the scheme.  We hope they come to see just how unreasonable their proposals really were and how troubling were the implications for how our shared public spaces are managed. This will be particularly useful if any new policy that emerges from this episode is to have real credibility.

So how did we arrive at this victory? Beginning life as a petition, growing into a website, taken up by the large number of affected parties, and so ending, finally, in the High Court, the campaign could not have succeed without the generous input and dedication of a wide variety of people who lent their support over the course of the summer.

From the supportive members of the public who turned out en-mass on the streets of Liverpool for celebratory busks to help raise awareness for the campaign, to the devoted members of our legal team, to the many individual buskers and performers who wrote and spoke out with passion and eloquence about the injustice of the council’s decision, people from all walks of life came together in a common effort to stand against an unfair decision. We owe a debt of gratitude to the thousands who signed the petition, to the street performers who turned up to the celebratory busks against the policy, to those who took photographs and made videos, designed websites and flyers, or lent their supportive presence to our various events, to sympathetic members of the public and supportive voices in the cultural and artistic communities of the city, to our dedicated and tenacious legal team, and those journalists who took the time to uncover the real issues at stake in Liverpool. We could not have achieved this without you.

To date, the campaign has attracted coverage from online, print, radio and television media outlets. Early on the Musician’s Union gave us their support and offered to help Liverpool City Council draft a fairer street performance system. This was enormously helpful. The staff at Change.Org also provided valuable advice and insight throughout the campaign.

Liverpool’s restrictive policy on street entertainment touched on many wider issues, and these issues are not going away. What, for example, are our public spaces for? Who are they for and who decides what happens in them? To what extent should narrow private interests be allowed to dictate public policy, in other words? All these questions touch upon the basic issue of what we want our streets to be like.

Street artists and performers are just one group amongst many different users of our shared public spaces. We could also mention political activists, street evangelists, shoppers, skateboarders, street traders and many, many more. All have their unique part to play in the tapestry of our shared urban lives. We agree with Mary Portas when she says in her well-publicised report that

Our high streets can be lively, dynamic and social places…that give a sense of belonging and trust to a community1

We believe that street art and performance adds colour and life to our public spaces and needs to be encouraged and protected.


What Next?

The Association of Street Artists and Performers (or ASAP! for short)will continue campaigning for a vibrant street culture, and will stand against burdensome and unduly restrictive regulations whether in Liverpool, or elsewhere. ASAP! is a movement for all who have a shared interest in street art and performance, and who value our shared public spaces as places of community, interaction, diversity and spontaneity. We wish to draw our membership widely and work alongside all those who care about street culture. As long as you share our values and are in agreement with our aims, we are happy for you to call yourself an ASAP! member, and we are here to help and support you. There is no charge for membership, although we are preparing information packs that will carry a small charge to cover our admin costs to send out.

If you would like to join ASAP! please fill in this form, add a few words about yourself (if you wish), and we will be in touch.

Until then, Keep Streets Live!



  1., pp.3
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Singer-Songwriter/Professional Street Performer/Campaigner/Wandering Minstrel

62 Comments on "Success for ASAP!’s Keep Streets Live campaign in Liverpool!"

  • * YesterYears

    Q. What does the future bring ? A. Well its July 2016, Post-Brexit & we ( society ) are now on the verge of ‘societal’ regress to a state of ‘pre-globalisation’, ‘pre-post modern ‘late’ capitalism.

    Justs watched Andrew Neils Thursday night BBC1 ‘This Week’ programme, ‘him’ not presenting last nights show, just beamed in by media’satellite’ while on a ‘busmans’ holiday in the USA covering the Republican ‘Donald’ Trump Conventions.

    The issue of Jeremy Corbyins leadership bid ( the 2nd one in 9 months, he overwhelmingly winning the first contest, with the most ‘popular’ membership mandate ever ) is inevitably ‘raised’ on the programme. Predictably Liz Kendall ( not a ‘candidate’ this time round ) opted to sit on the fence with regards Corbyns recently announced 5 point plan to tackle with political ‘urgency’ eg. 1. Inequality 2. Neglect 3. Prejudice 4. Discrimination 5 Innumeracy .

    She went to remark when pressed by the shows ‘stand-in’ Presenter she was an Owen Jones supporter, proving to the likes of me & many other ‘critical’ ( neglected ) voices in this country that ‘polticicans’ like her are no longer ‘relevant’. Her, Angela Eagle, Owen Jones, the Andy Burnhams, Ed Milibands, Gordan Browns, Tony Blairs, the Mendelsohns et al, are just simply no longer ‘valid’ in todays politic. Their contribution un-welcome, indeed meaningless & no longer warranted, ‘New’ Labour compadres like Liz Kendall in their cynical ( downright dis-honest ) ‘undermining’ of Corbyn on ‘TV’ coming across as ‘barbarians’ nevermind so called ‘ social democrats ‘ .

    Tonight ( Fri ) it was presented on Channel 4 news that the iconic ‘global’ company Sports Direct have just been ‘pilloried’ by the ‘Skills’ Council’ for running an operation more in line with a ‘Victorian’ Workhouse than a modern-day business. Zero hr ‘work’ contracts, below min wages, six counts & you’re out draconian management ( & supervision ), women giving birth in the toilets, bans on workers going to the toilet for a glass of water etc is ‘typical’ of the global trend that has blighted ‘workers’ & their ‘human’ rights since the Thatcherite 1980s, Blairs ‘New’ Labour era.

    Its funny mentally linking back to the This Week Programme & Andrew Neil in America covering Republican Party Leadership developments, a Rabbi ( no doubt ‘right’ wing, pro-Israel Gov, & Zionist ) interviewed on Channel 4 news tonight ‘stated’ excitedly ( maybe ‘proudly’ ) that ‘Trump is not an Intellectual, he does’nt read books, but he is a Leader, he is a man of the people’.

    My ‘deep’ thoughts on the ‘Law & Order’ theme that seemed to prevail at the Rebublican Convention, dominate speeches & directly address ‘audience’ concerns is that ‘if the USA people were to give a ‘positive’ mandate on ‘Gun Control’ then violence & disorder on the streets of America cd be dramatically curbed ( indeed ‘halved’, practically stopped ! ) tomorrow. Yes, its as simple as that ! .

    Oooh yesteryear, long may you return, the 1970s, Starsky & Hutch, Love Thy Neighbour, yeah bring back the Commonwealth, get Liverpool back on the map. In fact lets ‘whiten’ busking while we’re at it, with ‘Guitar Shop’ Music ( yes the blues! ), forget ‘nylon’ string classical guitar, naagh too ‘ Eyetie’ ( Italiani ), ‘fingerstyle’ entertainment thats what we want, Blackpool Pleasure Beach style, Seaside in Skegness, The Laughing Policeman ‘Scarborough Fair’, ‘ Michelle’ , ‘ The Entertainer ‘ & a pretty dross version of ” Classical Gas’ done on a ‘broken’ up Tanglewood with ‘key’ changes courtesy of a cheap moveable ‘capo’ .

    Oh yes I’m looking at the ‘pic’ ( photo ) above, taking a long look & meditating ‘en’ frame quite nostalgically believe it or not. See the guy on the ‘far’ right ( I don’t know the other two, Solicitor, Busking Pal, never met ’em ! ) he’s what we used to call a ‘Symbolic Interactionist'( a common term in 1970s Sociology ) no he’s not an assistant at the local CAB office ! .

    • * Future Justice

      As for Hilary Clinton ( speaking of Trump & the Repbublican Leadership Convention ! ) now theirs a ‘poltician’ who’s past her sell by date ( in ‘real’ justice terms anyway ! ). No longer relevant too I’d say by ‘current’ trend political ( public ) standards & its interesting how despite the Trump ‘phenomenon ( incl him boasting, typically ‘manly’ boasts about the size of his p.n.s ) according to recent polls she’s struggling to muster the USA ‘womens’ vote.

      Mmmm ! ( methinks ) if I know women its probably something to do with her husband Bill ( ‘president’ post-grata ), his whole ‘sordid’ political affair ( historical legacy ) reading more like an English ‘saucy’ seaside picture postcard than ‘serious’ politics up to the ‘challenges’ of the contemporary post-modern world ( or as I say, is it now the ‘pre’ post-modern world we’re about to start living in ? I don’t know ! ) .

      • Notes

        Written ( see above ) in ‘memory’ of Hilary Clinton, the ‘archetypal’ political insider ! .

        • Further Notes ( The Chester Busking Association & The Busking Lady )

          I’ve always thought that epitome of the ‘successful’ modern woman & ‘acting’ 2nd in command at the Chester Busking Association ( apparantly ? ) Ann-Marie Wall aka ‘The Busking Lady’ would make a pretty decent ‘female’ presidential candidate ( if only England was a ‘republic’ ! ) . I tell you one thing, this Bi-Partisan Joan of Arc ( as I describe her elsewhere on this website ) shes got the ‘boobs’ for it, yeah wd out trump Trump on that score. Check out the ‘film’ reel ‘testimonial’ video featured on her Serendipity.Com webpage ‘link’ Twitter Site & you’ll know what ‘I’ mean ! .

          A self confessed ‘Bi-sexual’ wd also be interesting to note & analyse her first party political statement i.e. who’ she’d have going down on her during her first six months in office eg. the pretty new ‘secretary’ clad in contemporary office style eg. ‘rodeo’ denim jeans & bright red lipstick or the handsome ‘new’ male intern from Idaho in starched white collar shirt and stars & stripes tie ?.

          • Q. If nothing of the sort were to happen at all ? A. Then the ‘interpolated’ male sexual energy running rampant in her ( ontological being! ) must be of the more ‘reconstituted’, caring, sensitive variety ! ( for a more in depth understanding of this once ‘topical’ issue of gender identity read any ‘popular’ Cosmopolitan Magazine of the 1980’s ) .

          • Re-issues out no doubt very soon ! .

          • USA Style ‘Trump’ Consciousness ( today & the near future ! )

            Many ‘folk’ are expressing concern about the possible advent of Donald Trump as President of America. Yes, such ‘fears’ must be respected but whilst remembering ( ‘recognising’ ! ) that Trump ‘consciousness’ is already with us. Yes in ‘ de Toquevilles ‘ America ( ‘cradle’ of democracy in the New World ).

            The social fact is current socio/economic policy ( ‘civic’ situation ! ) in many USA states is one where the industrial ‘prison’ complex has been deliberately set up, just as that i.e. to make huge ‘profit’ from the politically self conscious ‘incararation’ of mostly black men but also some ‘poor’ white people.

            Fear not? No fear on! cos’ branded ‘fascism’ is already with us, or at least manifest in what can only be described as the politics of unbridled class ego ‘elitism’ ! ( & yes in ‘ de Tocqueville’s America – the land of the free ! ) . Whether its the Philadelphia ‘Krafts’ corporation take over of Cadbury’s in Bournville, Birmingham or capitalist’ neo-liberal ‘de-regulation’ of the city of London, Post Brexit its also worth recalling that the UK has been following ( adopting ) USA style Anglo-Saxon ‘economic’ policy for the last 20 or 30 years, one of the reasons ( it all going a bit ‘pear-shaped’ in the last 10 yrs ) ‘you’ can’t afford today to buy a house or your kids ( or ‘you’ ! ) are leaving University owing as ‘course’ fees & ‘living’ debt, the £ 50,000 ‘mortgage’ deposit equivalent ! .

          • * Even More Notes ( Mauist Busking Practice(s) in Liverpool Today ! )

            Keep hearing alot of anti-Corbyn ( pro Smith ) rhetoric coming out of the camp. Does’nt surprise me ( their major busking ‘activist’ spokesman seems to have a ‘habit’ of jumping ‘party’ political ship i.e. first abandoning Miliband, then the Green Party & now Jeremy the ‘current’ outstandingly membership ‘mandated’ supported Labour party Leader, ) & I know who the ‘real’ commitee Stalinists are too ( crazy Marxists suggestedly referred to by ‘him’ on social media, Streetslives ‘founder’ & self-appointed Leader that is ). I tell you its not the not the many ‘affiliated’ yg Corbynistas out there .

            ( See Liverpool Busking Guide & the ‘advice’ given to Buskers that they go thru’ Streetslive when faced with any problems not direct to the Council as is the case in other cities & towns ! ). In fact I’ve got another name for it ( this kind of contemporary Liverpool busking commitee style Stalinist set-up that is ) – Mauism !. Yes, it seems todays Liverpool busking scene is being attemptedly ‘shaped’ by what I can only describe as a street performing cadre of modern-day busking ‘Mauists’.

            ( Nb. Bytheway any ‘complaints’ about this comment or any other comment of mine, on this blog page or thru’out the website, don’t contact me, nor a Lawyer, please ring the council ‘direct’ help line on 0151 696959 & ask to speak to the ‘operator’, I promise she won’t keep you waiting ( ok it cd be a ‘he’ ! ) & she’ll come waltzing over in seconds, happy & willing to help you with your concerns ! . ) .

          • Sorry a slight correction ring 0151 696969 for help !. Thankyou .

          • Oh & as far as Brexit goes the ‘therapeutic’ advice is ‘ get over it ! ‘ cos’ the ‘authentic’ working class these days are not buying in to it i.e that overarching & ‘alienating’ supra’national beauracratic socio/ economic system called the EU. No its now time to tackle more ‘pertinent’ ( tho’ overlooked ) issues of ‘exploitative’ Landlords & ‘dodgy’ business men stealing the show ( & all the money to boot ! ), the issue of socially ‘unfair’ & ‘imbalanced’ influx’s of cheap labour ‘percieved’ as dealt with ( & expressed ) by the ‘national’ vote !.

            In the meantime let the ‘remnants’ of New Labour, Guardianista, Oxford ‘Owenites /Jonesites, regressive London ‘provincialites’ etc not be dragged into the streets, put up against the wall & shot ( or perhaps more civilly these days ‘tasered’, lethally aiming at the bladder area of course! ) but with due care, diligence & leniency simply cast off into to exile eg. somwhere like ‘Province’ ! .

          • More & More Notes ( The Professions, Middle-Class Privelage & the life of Riley ! )

            Want to know why Barristers, Drs etc are paid so much? Are you really naieve enought to think its cos’ of the social ‘utility’ value these ‘typical’ Middle-Class professon bring ? Well the truth is its because of the ‘market’ controls their ‘fellow’ professional bodies exert in terms of employment entry & ‘qualifications’ ( an ‘arbiitrary’ artificial status in many respects I might add ! ).

            Yes you always hear ‘medics’, law students when justifying their ( in reality ‘privelaged’ ) existence ( & £90,000 – £100,000 per year salaries for simply ‘advising’ on a tel helpline ! ), talk about the 7 years it takes to qualify, & the high ‘skill’ level they bring to the ‘market’ etc. Reality is tho’ as any ‘intelligent’ person will tell you ( & there are many of them, more than you are led to think ! ) getting a bottom-line 2:1 Degree in any subject is not that difficult, it well within the capability of most able people.

            Ok you have to apply yourself to some degree eg. understand the biology, the latin science terms etc but the ‘real’ bottom-line ? being given the opportunity to spend extensive time in study, garnering ( in your student ‘leisure’ ) interesting ‘medical’ /legal knowledge ?, is a ‘privelage’ not a stress. Truth is Q. life in the ‘professions’ ? A. Is the ‘life of Riley’! ( in true ‘comparative’ terms any way, that is when you make the ‘honest’ comparisons ! ) .

          • Apologes a correction eg. GPs can get £90 per hr for simply given ‘basic’ medical advice on a tel helpline. I recall the ‘professional’ fee paid out 10 or so years ago, whereby incoming 999 callers were ‘linked’ to on-line Drs as part of the New Labour shut-down on after hr & weekend ‘open’ surgeries ( & ‘night’ visits ! ) .

          • More, More & More Notes ( The Classless Society ? )

            Q. The classless society ? A. My Ass !

          • Even when ‘ambitious’ ( neigh lucky! ) ‘w/c’ kids finally leave home & ‘finish’ university as many av. parents ( tool-fitters & dinner-ladies ) will tell you, they soon ‘lose’ touch ( just as today’s ‘socialist’ old stalwarts i.e true Socialists & ‘veterans’ of the Labour party will tell you too ! ).

            In fact you know they’ve most definitely fled the pale, & yes possibly quite ‘lost’ when some years later they invite you to ‘dinner’ with the ‘live-in’ partner. When afterwards after ‘polite’ conversation it turns out they’ve ditched the Daily Mirror & started reading the Guardian ! ( yes, now Blairs ‘Babe’s regardless of gender or ‘sexual’ persuasion ! ) .

          • Of course there is an argument ( I call it ’empty’ rhetoric, & its corrollary, a warping of the mind ! ) that those left behind , actually form part of todays ‘new’ underclass. Tho’ tis true ‘cultural’ sands are to some extent a shifting, in fact I know a rather zealous yg Fabian univeristy ‘drop-out’ whose about to set-up the first ‘Gay’ Busking Association ( we’ve had the first Christian one! ) with an ex head ‘prefect’ from Public ( private ) school. What-oh!, I say, what-oh! .

          • In all ‘truth’ tho’ my guess is that in ‘reality’ like most ‘idealistic’ yg radicals they’ll have soon ( sooner rather than later ) abandoned their ‘free’living Bohemian ways, gotten married, & worked their way into ( ‘landed’ a, given on a ‘silver’ platter etc ) a cushy job in the ‘mainstream’ media, rather like that other public/political ‘gender’ bender, you know who I mean, Michael Portillo ! .

          • All at a time when the ‘rest’ of us have’nt got a pot to piss in, not even an ‘old’ victorian chamber pot purchased cheaply from the 2nd hand shop down the road ( i.e. Cash Converters ) when they’ve cut us off for not having the ‘money’ to pay the ‘inflated’ water -rates ( bills ! ) .

  • * Future Years

    Despite all thats said, all thats done, I genuinely do hope we can soon return as a ‘civilisation’, a nation ( nevermind ‘civic’ entity ) to a less ‘jaundiced’ view of Society & Politics. As too much public cynicism, unbridled ‘criticism’ of our ‘senior’ statesmen & public figures, no matter what the moral ‘justification, has that ironic capacity I note, to start turning in on, destructing & ‘de-civilising’ the Self .

    • Notes

      In the meantime I’m about to take up ‘Spanish’ language again, one day hoping to ‘read’ the works of poet Federico Garcia Lorca, in the ( his ) ‘original’ tongue ! .

      • The Guitar

        The weeping of the guitar
        The goblets of dawn
        are smashed.
        The weeping of the guitar
        to silence it.
        to silence it.
        It weeps monotonously
        as water weeps
        as the wind weeps
        over snowfields.
        to silence it.
        It weeps for distant
        Hot southern sands
        yearning for white camellias.
        Weeps arrow without target
        evening without morning
        and the first dead bird
        on the branch.
        Oh, guitar!
        Heart mortally wounded
        by five swords.

        ( Federico Garcia Lorca 1898 – 1936 )

        • Yes, the 7 day ‘working’ week ( mon – mon ) begins with ‘ample’ leisure time ( outside busking ) for tutors, training ( home ) & poetry ! .

          • Plus I guess I ‘can’ rest assured, what with todays ‘unpredictable’ politics ( some may say ‘chaos’, I would say ‘ thats a little unfair, if not paranoid ! ‘ ) that if London ( eg. places like Camden ) won’t have me ( or the likes of me ), then ( even if a last resort ! ) Liverpool will ( for that at least I thank you ! ) .

          • Amigo, El amor es todo lo que necesitas ! .

          • European Culture, Paris & Beyond

            I’m a lover of European culture from Bach to 19th century ‘romanticism’ esp. in music ( the Paris Academy ), to Art movies & beyond. Following on from that I’m suspect of much of American Popular culture, its ‘utility’ value & shallow ‘taste’ gauge.

            But I beware of slipping into ( wittingly & ‘unwittingly’ ) French style ‘intellectual’ narcisissm & ‘art’ snobbery. Truth is I ( & I know many others ) detect a definite ‘flaw’ at the core of this country’s national character ( tho’ maybe more correctly its a Parisian centred, Sorbonne thing ! ).

            * See. ‘Noam Chomsky On French Intellectual Culture’ YouTube .

  • * Notes

    On French style intellectual narcissism I re-state more accurately that I ( & I’m sure many others ) detect what is an intellectual arrogance ‘bordering’ on narcissism at the top of French Society & ‘elite’ national culture ! .

    • Conversely beware of the Arts & Civilizaton movement ( eg. Ivy league ‘societies’ ) in America, where at TedEx talks for example ‘European’ origin/USA emigre classical guitarists performing a concert in what looks like the ‘local’ library, stage mis-en-scene eg. shelves of books placed as ‘setting’ behind them, formally introduce their repertoire ( of 2 ‘cliche’ pieces ) by describing ( rather banally ) the ‘Alhambra’ as a city in Spain.

      See Ana Vidovic ‘TedEx Talks’ YouTube .

      • Philip Green, Mike Ashley & Alan Sugar

        Philip Green & BHS, Mike Ashley & Sports Direct ( = ‘overt’ business ‘crisis’ ), even ‘Borderlines’ like Alan Sugar ( some success but still ‘a Boss’ with a highly questionable work ethic & ‘ruling’ philosophy ! ), you know there are bound to be problems in the future if we carry on organising our ‘economy’, our society, around the ‘ Ego’s ( ‘dreams’ ! ) ” of psychopaths, narcissists, & ‘borderlines’ ( Nb. in the eyes of some ‘critics’, for them these people being not merely ‘incompetents’ ! ) whose ‘dream’ is to be millionaires . Not much of a ‘trickle’ down here I’m afraid save ‘commercial’ catastrophe, worker misery, & ‘philanthropic’ meltdown .

        • Ok I would’nt exactly call myself a ‘ fit & proper ‘ businessman at present, but there again I’m small fry, relatively inexperienced, & currently working on it ( genuinely ! ). However I do claim precedence to strongly say business is not about ‘celebrity’, but in the long-term, if successful, it can ( & ought to ) be about ‘honour’, publicly so if ‘deserved’ ! .

          • Yeah, do the right thing, Philip, Mike, the ‘jury’ being out on Sugar ! .

          • Its all about the ‘Company’ that you keep Alan, the company that you keep ! .

          • You know what ( * this time talking to myself ! ) ” Wake up out of the dream, its time to get a Life ! ” .

          • * Further Notes

            Plus you’ve got some ‘serious’ practice to do, a ‘schedule’ to keep up with ! .

          • * More Notes ( Ambition, Aspiration, Dream & ‘Commercial’ Realities )

            Talking of which & thinking of ‘commercial’ realities Q. Whats the ‘record’ on the streets for ‘takings’ in the case & CD Sales ? A. £1,500 or was it £ 2,000 I was told by a ‘violinist’ who achieved this ( not a ‘fantasy’ figure ) in a Scottish ‘Oil’ boom town one afternoon thru’ the perfomance ( & sales ) of classic instrumental ‘covers’ ! .

            This is more than the takings of ‘some’ aspiring ( obviously to a ‘high’ degree critically acclaimed & successful ) Singer /Songwriters I know currently gigging at their local ( ‘home’ ) town halls ! . Of course given the ‘realities’ of mass culture & the ‘Pop’ industry this cd all change if they ‘strive’ & persist to achieve ‘their’ dreams.

            In fact I’m having a ‘vision’ of millions, yes ‘millions’ in their sinewy & ‘resilent’ coffers ! .

          • Much more than that u a Star , u all are Stars ( a wonderful, ‘majestic’ galaxy of Stars ! ) .

          • Star-studiedly laden in hard-earned, diamond studded copywright ! .

          • ( Notes inspired in part by the Lord Mayor of Gloucester’s Speech, The Guildhall, Sat 3rd September 2016 )

  • A-Historical ‘Comic’ Justice ( ‘ The Millers Tale ‘ Geoffrey Chaucer )

    Post the 2016 USA Presidential Campaign that saw Donald Trump as the ‘clear’ victor ( & following a pretty ‘hot’ n heavy ‘dream’ I had last night pre the actual’ electoral results ) I – tho’ not being ‘superstitious’ myself – woke up this morning & even before switching on the TV ( breakfast news ! ) felt the strange compelling sensation to take a book off the shelves, one I had’nt read in over a year & dip into that ‘classic’ comic turn or should I say medieval ‘romp’ ( Nb. not ‘miracle’ play ) the i.e. ” The Millers Tale ‘ by Geoffrey Chaucer.

    A comic tho’ none the less ‘moral tale’ if you will, it warns of the impending calamity of tieing old age with yg age ( I.e. the ‘calamity’ of the older man meets/marries younger girl type relationship ), As such what unfolds is a very ‘funny’ story ( or ‘comic’ narrative ) about a foolish old man who is ‘cuckolded’ of his beautiful ‘maiden’ wife by a clever or ‘sly’ student ( Chaucers words not mine ) who has been lodging in their house. Below including ‘full’ translation is a taster ( ‘dramatic’ situation leading to full comic ‘climax’ ! ) of this classic English text,

    ” The Clerke was clept hende Ncholas
    Of derne love he coude and of solas
    ( 91-92 )

    One of Nicolas’s ( the ‘sly’ student ) talents is conducting illicit
    love affairs. Note ‘solas’ comes from the ‘romantic’ courtly
    tradition which Chaucer mocks & here he refers to the cure for
    love sickness as ‘sex’.

    ” For she was wylde and yonge and he was old
    And deemed himself as lyke a cokewolde ”

    John ( the ‘elderly’ husband ) is terrified Alisoun ( his yg wife ) will
    cheat on him thus making him a ‘cokewolde’ ( cheated on man )

    ” She was a prymerolle, a piggesnye
    For any Lord to leggen in his bede
    or yet for any goode Yeoman to wedde ”

    A parody by Chaucer of the Romance Genre which praised women in higher terms. The women in romance are worthy of the Gods, Alisoun is worthy of being a Lords Concubine .

    ” And privately he caught hire by the queynte
    And seyde ‘ Ye wis but if iche have my wille
    For derne love of thee, lemman, I spille ”

    Nicolas claims he will die if he does not have sex with her ‘echoing’ once or should I say parodying the more noble ‘ love sickness’ of courtly romance. The yg bachelor complains of love sickness but of course proper ‘romance’ lovers don’t usually begin by grabbing their ladies ‘ queynte’ or genitals.

    ….it was at this point, chuckling to myself, that I switched on the morning ‘news’, still rather drowsy from my own hazy ‘imagrey’ ( or should I say last nights fictive dream ). Now thats what I call ‘comic’ timing, the art of ‘comic’ reversal & the ‘proper’ relationship between sex, Gender, & Power !. ( Nb please not these are not the ‘musings’ of a yg man ! ) .

    • Note ( A Busking Public Health Warning )

      On a rather ‘gloomier’ note I had my MRI ( Brain ) Scan last Sunday ( at last cos its been more than a few weeks I’ve been ‘dangling’ in the air ! ) you know since the ‘suspect’ TIA hostpital referral I had ‘mentioned’ ( briefly described ) under the London ‘Liberty’ Blog last week. Not exactly a ‘good’ month ( conclusion to the ‘busking’ Summer ! ) this but in the interests of Busker Public Health & Safety ( still no ‘results’ yet, so its still touch & go ‘seriously’ ! ) I will be detailing ( explaining ) events in a forthcoming commentary.

      • In the meantime ‘dream’ on folks, all ‘busking’ artists & performers out there, dream on, from the bottom of my heart I wish you all the very best in love, happiness & success. Til then adieu ! .

        • Notes 2

          This is not a ‘vodovox’ recording ! .

          • See. Canturbury Tales ( Penguin Classics Edition )

            For a surprisingly modern, comically ‘bawdy’ take on a group of ‘motley’ characters en route ( on religous pilgramage ) to Canturbury during the ‘middle-ages’.

            Recommended further reading eg. ‘The Wife of Baths Tale’ .

  • Congratulations On Liverpool For Your Great Success ( Commiserations elswhwere eg. London, Birmingham etc for your ‘abject’ failure(s) ! )

    Oh the Millers Tale !, a great story, a fine book, but enough of lifes ‘hilarities’ right now, must get hold of myself, put the book down for a second or too, time now to congratulate Liverpool, its ‘activists’ & local street performers on its great success. A triumphant victory for ‘common’ sense & local democracy & a ‘fine’ example for Buskers throughout the country.

    Unhappily must be said tho’ & ‘truthfully’ cos its ‘tales’ of woe, misery, loss & ‘abject’ failure for ‘Buskers’ & many places elsewhere in the country. I’m not just talking about London here & eg. the whole Camden affair what with the ‘borough’ councils introduction of a ‘draconian’ ( i.e. operating under ‘strict’ conditions, where no one else save the ‘live’ street DJ & travelling puppeteer, can gain permissions nor get a permit ! ) busking licence scheme & the ‘failure’ to stop it !.

    No as for the ‘failures’ I also feel ‘compelled’ to draw attention to my home city Birmingham, already with a reputation for having the ‘worst’ social services in the UK ( i.e. bottom of the league tables for social work & care ! ) & today from a ‘social’ policy point of view faces possibly one of the worst growing social ‘street’ problems in the country ( I’ve ‘busked’ in quite a few places & I’d argue this place is currently worst in this sense ). Check out the city-centre & you’ll find it reminiscent of a ‘jungle’, not an ‘urban’ one, nor ‘natural’ earth primitive forest, but more like the one they’ve just ‘shut’ down in Calaise, France eg full of, or rather overpopulated to the brim with, ragged & deprived, imasculated human beings ‘aimlessly’ walking around everwhere, camped out with sleeping bags & rotten latrines.

    The situation so bad that the ‘local’ TV news ‘Midlands Today’ recently ran an article on how ‘rough sleepers’ are now spending the night on the Council Houses steps, the city’s Art Gallery etc, creating a ‘huge’ problem, what with the current ‘dominant’ homeless strategy of simply supplying these poor people with items like ‘socks’ & from what I can hear ‘choclates’ ! ( one cd get to really enjoy sleeping out on the ‘cold’ streets !, when is some kind ‘Soul’ going to start dropping off the ‘mattresses’, you know fine ‘goose’ ones, with soft down feathers ? ). Anwway its true, I ‘d say the town is currently facing a housing shortage tho’ just as likely perhaps linked ( drugs/addiction ) epidemic like no other ! .

    Ha!, ha!, ha! ( Gosh !,sorry about the digression still keeling over from reading Chaucers ‘Millers Tale’ & now ‘The Wife of Bath’ ! ). However back to the point, In one of the London Blogs eg. the London Blog ‘ Portobello Rd ‘ ( on this website ) I write about ( or ‘comment’, I’ll expose this ‘theme’ more fully on a future Blog of my own ! ) a recent experience of my being attemptedly ‘robbed’ whilst busking recently ( on Sat morning ), by the ‘Pidgeon’ Park, in Bham. I pass on some ‘indirect’ tips & advice on how to respond ( or should I say an ‘insight’ into how I responded ! ) in such a situation’. Please if you will ‘read’ over this ‘comment’ ( passage ) & see what you think, then in turn, if you will, & at your leisure, peruse the latest Blog by Chesters Busking Lady, on ‘Pacificism’ & why she is a pacifist. See. Twitter site .

    Then consider, after yourself having ‘meditated’ upon whats been said ( ‘written’ ! ), whether this philosophy is indeed the ‘wisest’ course of action to take as a ‘general’ rule & ‘principle’ of human manners & behaviour ( i.e. the belief that war or ‘violence’ are unjustifiable & ought to be settled by peaceful means ! ). Then if you will ( ok I know you don’t have to be told ! ) draw your ‘own’ conlusions ? ( by the way I agree with the Busking Lady, you know she not just a ‘perky’ wit & mind, she looks lovely – i.e. pretty ‘fit’ – in tight jeans & a Tshirt, ha! ha! ha ! ) .

    • Notes

      ( A few weeks later! – & recalled in a relaxed state of ‘recomposed’ tranquility or the symptom of an ‘overactive’, over excited imagination ? ) ” Buzz Off Buster ! ”, ” What was that, how rude, how dare you ! ” .

      • ( Not the sweet country song of a chirpy Nightingale one hot summers evening, no a more ‘ambiguous’ sound than that ) – Slap ! .

  • The Liverpool Echo, Elements of Style ( or Karl Klaus & the Principles of Jounalistic Information )

    Whether working seemlessly in the realms of ‘busking’ propaganda, or just like any other ‘journalistic’ practice one might find oneself ‘active’ in these days, one common expectation is, we all know that ‘style’ is king. Take Merseysides ‘local’ rag, the Liverpool Echo for example, & any aspiring reporter will tell you that, EB Whites ‘staff’ classic ‘Elements of Style’ is still required reading for all ‘writers’ in the bud.

    I however have just been skimming thru’ Karl Klaus’s more ‘literary’ take on the principles of jounalistic information where what counts is ‘freshness’ of the news, brevity, comprehensibility & above all ‘lack’ of connection between the individual ‘news’ items.

    You know ‘Kraus’ never tired of demonstrating the great extent to which the linguistic usage of newspapers paralyzed the imagination of their readers.

    ( Nb. this ‘comment’ contains some para-phrased extracts from sources withheld )

    • * See. ”Swindon Stop Attacking Street Culture” Blog for further ‘related’ comment after reading final ‘obituary’ & commentary below.

  • The Beatles, Abbey Road ( or Picture Postcard Perfection )

    Leonard Cohens dead, tho’ I’m not a fan of him nor of many other of the so called ‘rocks -scene’ poets, cited from the 1960’s to the present. Yes I remain quiet suspicous of all their work(s) , whether that be the more ‘raunchy’ like Patti Smith ( tho’ thru her love of & ‘popularisation’ of the boy genius ‘Rimbaud’ i might be pushed to show a touch of ‘respect’ if not grudging admiration ) or mere ‘prancers’ like ‘Morrisey’ of the Smiths, what with that ‘classic’ image of him – recently shown again on a NewsNight Tv Interview with Jonny Marr – aping around on stage, ‘posing’ as some kind of romantic with fingers clicking in the air & ‘rose’ sticking out of his arse ( neigh ‘back-pocket ! ).

    In fact when I reflect back on my life, recalling some of the ‘girls’, I knew back when, some who in their 6th form stupidiy fawned on this indie hippy ‘fascist’, indeed worshipped him, as tho’ he were a contemporary Yorkshire Poet or something, its not with the regret that I ever ‘knew’ these women, nor got involved with them, but that I only slept with them at most ‘twice’ i.e. 1 or maybe 2 times & then ‘truly’ waking up got rid of ’em, yes dumped ‘them’ ! .

    Oh God, all this ‘nostaligia’ & death has got me rummaging on other ‘period’ icons & popular cultural ‘images’. For example the that ‘classic’ rock ‘n roll record cover of the Beatles ‘ Abbey Road ‘ ( & praised by many as an ‘image’ of picture postcard perfection ! ). You know, & again unlike more than a ‘few’ others I’ve known in the past, I’ve been in a few ‘studios’ in my time, local ones that is, & tho’ they piqued my ‘natural’ curiosity, its but its never been a ‘personal’ ambiton of mine to step in one. In fact my ‘overiding’ impression ( ‘ memory ‘ ) of these places, padded & ‘muffled’ spaces, is an ‘associative’ one & in a rather peculiar kind of way they’ve always reminded me of ‘tattoo’ parlours i.e. ‘local’ Temples of ‘self-hatred’ ! .

    ( In Memory of The Mickey Greaney Band @ Abbey Road Studios December ‘ 95 )

    • * Note

      I knew the ‘guy’ well ( ok maybe not so well but we had our ‘moments’ together ). He ( Mickey ) a testament to the ‘fact’ that with a little ‘persistance’ you as a budding Singer/ Songwriter may too achieve the ‘odd’ half decent song & most importantly without trying ‘too’ hard. Yours may not be the most ‘perfect’ rendition but heh such is life, plus why care anyhows, you own the copyright & as those those famous lyrics wisely tell you ” Can’t Buy Me Love ”.

      • * Further Notes

        As for the ‘guy’ ( handsome Italian ! ) behind the Mick Greaney ‘rendtion’ I ‘truly’ love that man i.e. a ‘true’ Indie Pop Star, ‘stylist’, & yes a ‘great’ Actor. But not so much that ‘I’ desire his hairstyle – cool as it is ( on ‘him’ ! ). No ‘continental’ hair ‘bangs’ ( i.e. fringe ! ) don’t suit me. ‘me’ more suitably tilting towards I’d guess you’d call it the longer ‘Andulcian’ Corkscrew.

        As for my ‘current’ Hairdresser or ‘curl’ expert !

        [ Nb. After 2 yrs ‘loyal’ service I recently go into the shop for a ‘trim’ & come out with hair ‘bangs’ & just before I’m about to go on one of the most ‘impt’ trips of my lifetime i.e. a ‘guitar’ sojourn to Spain ]

        I don’t know if I can quite bring myself to forgive ‘you’. in fact I’m on the verge of shouting ( crying ‘angrily’ out loud! ) youre’ absolutely, most defintitely, much certainly ( well as certain as a human being ‘I’ve’ ever been & unless a ‘miracle’ occurs & I guess ‘yes’ all things are in a ‘way’ possiible eg. a ‘magic’ formula is soon found ) ‘fired’ !.

        I’ve got another ‘song’ going thru’ my head just nows, & I just can’t get it out of my mind, or more correctly I just won’t let it go. Yearning & sweet memories ( incl. old ‘stomping’ grounds ) merge with the present just l ike a lover, a passionate ‘unrequited’ lover. My soul burning, in ‘an’ ecstatic agony, I seek to pour water on the flame, to douse it out, a long release, a ‘feminine’ refrain, & up pops Micky Greaney’s ” My Sweet Love ”.

        • * A Few More Notes

          As if the pain won’t cease, got me tied up in its Lovers embrace & I manage to pick myself up with a ‘force’ having collapsed on the living room floor, march into the bedrom & lay face down on the bed; passion & nostalgia & the ‘now’ mix. These ‘lyrics’ then jolt the chaotic ‘seas’ of my imagination.

          I wanna wake up with you-ou
          I wanna be there when you open your eye-eyes
          I want you to be the first thing that I see
          I wanna wake up with you-ou

          I wanna lay by your si-ide baby
          I wanna feel every beat of your hear-eart
          And throughout the night, I wanna hold you ti-ight
          I wanna wake up with you-ou

          All the love inside me has been slee-eeping
          Waiting till the right one came alo-ong
          You can share the love that I’ve been keeping baby
          You can put the music to my so-ong

          I wanna wake up with you-ou
          I wanna reach out and know that you’re ther-ere
          I want you to be the first thing that I see-ee
          I wanna wake up with you-ou

          Do-do-do-dooo, Do-doo-oo
          Do-do-do-dooo, Do-do-do-doo
          And throughout the night, I wanna hold you ti-ight
          I wanna wake up with you-ou

          All the love inside me has been slee-eeping
          Waiting till the right one came alo-ong
          You can share the love that I’ve been kee-eeping
          You can put the music to my song

          I wamna wake up with you-ou
          I wanna reach out and know that you’re ther-ere
          I want you to be the first thing that I see-ee
          I wanna wake up with you-ou

          All the love inside me has been slee-eeping
          Waiting till the right one came alo-ong
          You can share the love that I’ve been keeping baby
          You can put the music to my so-ong

          I wamna wake up with you
          I wanna reach out and know (fade)

          ‘ I Wanna Wake Up With You ‘ by Boris Gardner

          • Reference

            An ‘extract’ from my Buskers Journal ” Rumpelstiltskins Loom ” on reading the fairytale of the same name & ‘reflecting’ upon, ‘brooding’ upon another ‘local’ female Singer Songwriter whom I know on passing i.e. I’m acquainted with.

          • Her long blonde hair blowin’ in the Summer air, her yg lithe body ‘swayin’ to the happy breeze.

            See. ‘Romford Blog(s)’ for further comments.

          • She who ‘say’s excitedly in her most recent ‘music’ video ” ooooo I feel naked ! ” , her ‘pale’ torso smeared with body paint. I would like to totally undress i.e. strip her of all her clothing & ravish her, like a corporate ‘music’ company that desires to re-release ( re-mix ) & mass market a classic record not for ‘true’ Arts sake & ‘fresh’ expression but for ‘commercial’ gain.

            See. Oxford Letters Blog

          • Byetheway you ‘pop’ pickers out there its Quiz time not Radio 1 ( Radio 2 style ! ).

            Q. Have you ever bought an album/CD because of the ‘art-work’ not the ‘content’ ?

            A. Mmmm yes to be honest I think I have ! ( yes, we’re often ‘seduced’ are’nt we, ha! ha! ha! )

          • ( * See. On Taste, Pop Culture & 21st Century Post Modernism ‘new’ article featured in i.e ‘appropriated’ from Mojo Magazine 2017 Eg. ” Beyond Adult ‘Orientated Rock & The Steady Rise of Radio 2 )

          • * See. ‘London Liberty ‘ Blog ( ‘archives’ ! )

            For some ‘resurrected’ views ‘angles’ on Busking in London e.g. the Southbank, Convent Garden & Radio 3.

          • * See. Liverpool Blog(s)

            Then back to Liverpool & ‘reflecting’ on the state of current ‘pop’ & Radio 1 plus ‘local’ government. For a ‘serious’ meditation ( post Cultural Studies, ‘Madonna’ etc ) on on the whole of British ‘youth’ culture as a matter of fact & pop industry ‘filtering’ upward & then downward onto the streets !.

          • In fact lets take a ‘tip’ ( artistic ‘wisdom’ ) from the not too distant past i.e. ‘modernism’ afterall ‘most’ people ( the masses ! ) seem to have missed it. At least on a ‘cultural’ level anyways & except in its ‘cinematic’ variation not ‘truly’ tasted it; plus no one deep down likes much ‘Modern’ Art ( i.e. Tate ‘installations etc ) the common man & ‘critc’ alike tending to sneer at it.

            So cum on, hear the call, lets devise the ‘programmes’, leaflet the ‘artistic’ manifesto’s & then ‘poster’ them to ( ‘glue’ them all over ) the civic cream alabaster walls of Liverpool Town Hall Eg. Beatles ‘Philharmonic’, Flaming Lips & Laura Mvula !.

          • Liverpool Festival No 6, Sept 2017

            Nb. Arts Organisers fixture me in if you will & I’ll play you a ‘few’ modern art guitar ‘etudes’. There again ‘don’t’ bother, whilst I’m a keen appreciator of the Arts truth is I’m not necessarily a big fan of local Arts events so ‘popular’ folks alternatively come & see ‘me’ for ‘free’ ( or should I say a ‘coin’ or two ) out on the streets where I’ll be playing more than a few continental ‘preludes’ this late Autumn ( i.e. Sept – Oct ). See you then !.

          • Aggh Oooh ! I’m off, its still only ‘late’ August & here comes the Tracy Emin Brigade marching ( beating the drum ! ) down the street & they ‘ain’t looking too happy !.

          • Bringing with them their own ‘unique’ brand of Art & ‘pathos’.

          • A New Art Collective ? ( ‘The Hyena’ – A Poem )

            Hello Poetry


            what the hyena cannot kill

            it will steal

            tallied on the gritted walls of our toil

            their bounty cultivated from the nothing we now possess

            and the bodies which must fall once their winter bites

            no time left to wail and gnash

            we must become as lions that rise

            and grip the throat of this thieving class
            you know who I’m talking about

            The Hyena by Paul Sands

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