Response to Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Busking Consultation

Response to Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Busking Consultation

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea are consulting on bringing in a busking license which will be almost as restrictive as Camden. We have taken part in their consultation and have reproduced our responses here. You can take part in the consultation which closes on October 19th by clicking on the link below and using our responses as a guide if you wish. The more people who complete this consultation the greater the chance we have of persuading Kensington and Chelsea’s Councillors not to adopt this proposed scheme.

 

http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/survey/busking/snphase2busking1.htm

 

1.) Appendix A shows the pilot area to which the Street Entertainment (Busking) Policy refers to. Do you agree with the selected pilot area?

The Greater London Authority has convened a mayoral taskforce specifically for the purpose of agreeing a code of conduct for busking across London between all stakeholders. In the light of this process alone, which Kensington and Chelsea are part of, the imposition of a statutory licensing regime is highly prematureSection V of the London Local Authorities Act is a contentious piece of legislation which empowers local authorities to criminalise street culture, impose fines and seize musician’s instruments. The local authority has other statutory powers (Environmental Protection Act 1990, Highways Act 1980) that can be used to address problematic busking. The imposition of a licensing regime is contrary to the nature of busking as a spontaneous and informal cultural pursuit.

 

2.) Busking will not be allowed in the piloted area without a licence on Fridays and Saturdays from 10.00 to 18.00. Are these controls appropriate?

 

 

In the busking tradition performers typically perform in many different localities in the course of a working season. Busking licenses create unnecessary obstacles for travelling performers and always lead to a decline in the circulation of performers and greatly reduce variety. Camden have introduced a license under these powers alongside Hillingdon. If the 30 remaining boroughs followed suit the result would be the total fragmentation of the London busking community. Very few performers will have the resources to pay for 32 separate licenses, the result will be greatly reduced variety and quality of performances and the diminishment of the cultural life of the capital. A license regime also criminalises unlicensed performers who may not have been aware of the license arrangements and will be put off from coming to the Borough to perform. It creates an arbitrary barrier to the use of public space for the arts and would be resource-intensive to enforce. The threat of instrument confiscation and punitive fines is disproportionate to the issues that can arise from busking and is an unwarranted interference with Freedom of Expression under Article 10 of the Human Rights Act. An ongoing legal challenge to Camden Council’s license regime under Section V powers is being heard by the Court of Appeal on November 13th. These restrictions will be open to a similar challenge.

 

3.) On a Friday and Saturday, during the hours of 10.00am and 6.00pm the council will issue a maximum of 6 x 70 minutes slots per day, per location. Do you feel this number of slots is appropriate?

 

Busking performances differ in length according to the nature of the performance and the context in which it takes place. The Keep Streets Live Campaign Best Practice Guide recommends that performers do not repeat material in the same location but move between locations. We also recommend that buskers swap and share pitches informally. This scheme will lead to more co The proposed scheme is too prescriptive because it will lead to performances being cut short arbitrarily and doesn’t take account of the nature of busking as a primarily informal and spontaneous activity. The proposed scheme is too prescriptive because it will lead to performances being cut short arbitrarily and doesn’t take account of the nature of busking as a primarily informal and spontaneous activity. Some musical performances will be longer than 70 minutes, some will be much shorter. The booking system does not allow the flexibility and informality that is part of the nature of busking.

 

4.) Of the 42 slots available, each busker will be able to pre-book two slots per day. is this an appropriate number of pre-bookable slots?

 

Having to pre-book slots is unnecessarily bureaucratic in the first instance. Buskers typically turn up to a location and make an evaluation as to whether a space is suitable for a performance. They will then negotiate with other performers and come to arrangements in an informal way. Requiring pre-booked slots means that inevitably people will not turn up to their allocated spot but it won’t be open to people who could otherwise have used it. The scheme will have to be administered which will be resource intensive. Keep Streets Live Campaign strongly recommends not having pre-booked slots at all and encouraging buskers to swap and share pitches on an informal basis.

 

5.) If all the slots have not been filled in advance, then on the day before noon a busker can take up an additional slot provided that they have not already used that same site on the same day. Is this restriction appropriate to allow fair distribution of slots?

 

 

Some buskers will have a large repertoire which would allow to play different performances at the same location on the same day. Pre-booking slots is unnecessary and will, in itself, lead to an unfair and uneven distribution of slots. Existing statutory powers can be used against buskers who cause issues by not moving. The introduction of a licensing regime with pitch allocations and pre-booked slots will greatly reduce the vibrancy and circulation of performers.

 

6.) Do you agree that the council should allow street buskers to apply for an additional street trading license?

 

 

This question relates to CDs of busker’s music. Having recordings available to the public enhances the busking experience by allowing performers to make their music available to a wider audience and allowing the public to enjoy a tangible souvenir of the busker’s performance. Nonetheless, CDs are a secondary element to busking and should therefore be made available on a voluntary basis to those who wish to take one. Best Practice Guidance agreed between Liverpool City Council and the Keep Streets Live Campaign recommends that CDs be made available for a ‘suggested and voluntary contribution’. It is emphasised that members of the public are free to take a CD without making payment, just as they are free to enjoy the performance without making payment. Requiring an additional street trading license for busking is another layer of unnecessary bureaucracy which will put off performers from registering under the scheme, and discourages buskers from making their music available to the public to the detriment of the busking experience. Whereas for a market trader the sale of stock is the primary purpose of their business, for a busker CDs are a secondary aspect of the busking performance. This is an important difference that needs to be recognised.

 

7.) If you are a busker will you be willing to pay the initial £15 fee for a period of 6 months?

 

Whilst the £15 fee in itself is not prohibitive it accompanies a huge range of terms and conditions and restrictions that, taken together, greatly inhibit the ability of working musicians to make a living on the streets. It criminalises an informal cultural pursuit, it creates obstacles for travelling performers and it attempts to impose a highly formalised set of regulations upon an informal cultural pastime which has always relied on spontaneity and democratic access to public space. Busking adds vibrancy and colour to public spaces, increases dwell time for local businesses and is an enormous part of the visitor economy to London. Musicians should not have to pay for the privilege of providing free entertainment to the general public whilst enhancing the shared public spaces of the borough. The license scheme is a misconceived attempt to address problems that have been caused by a small minority of performers who could be dealt with using existing statutory powers. We recommend that Kensington and Chelsea engage with the Greater London Authority taskforce and agree a code of conduct for busking that works for all parties. If the aim is to attract high quality performers into the borough, this scheme will achieve the opposite. It will create a narrow pool of performers who are willing to sign up to the restrictions (who may well not be buskers in the traditional sense, and will predominately only perform within the Borough), and will deter many other performers from ever visiting. Over time it will greatly diminish the vibrancy and variety of street performances on offer in this part of London

 

8.) If you are a busker would you pay £40 for a period of 4 weeks to sell associated items?

 

Whilst we welcome the fact that RBKC recognise that ‘associated items’ are a legitimate aspect of busking, we recommend that buskers do not sell CDs but make them available for a suggested and voluntary donation. A street trading licence is unnecessary to that end and the cost of it is prohibitive relative to the amount of time slots RBKC are making available for busking.

 

 

9.) Do you have any further comments concerning this draft Street Entertainment (Busking) Policy?

 

On behalf of the Keep Streets Live Campaign of which I am the founding director I will send you a PDF document containing the best practice guidance agreed between the City Council, Business Improvement District and the busking community in Liverpool over a period of five months. It aims to give businesses, buskers and residents the resources they need to resolve disputes and to allow street culture to flourish. It could be adapted for use in Kensington and Chelsea at a fraction of the cost of the imposition of the Licensing Regime that is proposed. Keep Streets Live is part of the Mayoral taskforce for busking alongside RBKC and would be very happy to work alongside your officers and other bodies such as the Musician’s Union to agree a scheme that works for all parties.

This post was written by
Singer-Songwriter/Professional Street Performer/Campaigner/Wandering Minstrel

187 Comments on "Response to Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Busking Consultation"

  • Tom Flemons says

    Busking provides a lifeline for some of the most vulnerable in society.
    £15 plus conditions and restrictions is prohibitive to those who do not even have £5 to spare. Buskers of all abilities bring a humanity and joy to the streets that is lacking in most modern western cities. They deserve our gratitude and support and should not be treated like businesses or street traders.

    • I hear what you say Tony about the humanity and joy music brings to our lives and have to say one European city that manages to retain that ‘essence’ and this is clearly expressed in its music is Lisbon, and thats why ‘I’ have a particular love for Portuguese ‘Pop’.

      As a ‘jobbing’ Street Performer I’m regularly beset with the ‘bad’ energy that comes your way out their on the streets from town ‘officials’, certain Shopkeepers, Charity Sales Workers, ‘some’ Buskers, ‘some’ Street People, Street Preachers etc

      To begin the day in an ‘energised’ state, and clearly focused on goals ahead the first thing I do is put on the music of one of my ‘favourite’ Porteguese Indie Bands and run through my ‘regular’ callisthenic/cardio stamina excercise routine.

      eg. I play ‘ Cleansing Ghandharvas ( Prana ) ‘ – by Hiata
      ( Bandtrack on Youtube ) and then the fitness regimen begins.

      In the Evening when I return home, I ‘complete’ the day and rest my soul with the ‘romance’ & poetry of Portuguese Fado, the beautiful voice and sounds of eg. Mariza ‘ Meu Fado ‘ ( My Destiny ) or ‘ Amor Abre A Janela ‘ ( Love Opens The Window ) by Mafalda Arnauth.

      • Please Note.

        To get to the Hiata Video ( above ) . Type in YouTube Box – ‘Malignant Messiah’. Scroll down to video Hiata ‘Malignant Messiah’ ( blank tv ). Click on. The video will pop up and play.Then in right hand column you’ll see the video Hiata ‘Shallow Chemistry’ and then underneath the video Hiata ‘ Cleansing Ghandharvas ( prana ).

  • Paul Luxford says

    I agree with the answers above. Busking should be encouraged, as freedom of expression and as it enriches the experience of those visiting and passing through the city.

    • Thanks Paul. See below, some ‘corollary’ points regarding ‘busking’ on Londons, South Bank, ie, the announcement that the Busking Project are introducing a ‘downloadable’ tool that will enable performers to take ‘cashless’ payments.

      I’d like to just take the brief opportunity here to echo the words of Shashi Verma ” Oyster is not going away. There are people who don’t have a bank card ”.

      I’d also like to state very clearly and unequivocably here that I say this not as someone who has ‘made it’ but very much as ‘ the voice from nowhere!’.

  • Jonny says

    Please take a moment to fill in the online questionnaire if you get the chance!

    Thanks :-)

    • Geoff says

      I’ve filled it in. Let’s hope enough of us do so to get our point across.

      • Yes theres ‘good’ order, ‘bad’ order and best of all ‘spontaneous’ order i.e. no order all together ( * see Austrian Economist Friedrich Hayek ). Then its just a matter of ‘fit’ to taste. That at least is the point I’d like to get across!.

        Thank goodness there are a few places left in this country where you can do just that, that is play ‘freely’ and just as importantly do so without the ramifications of finding yourself being ‘dumbed’ down and consequently ‘submerged’ by urban Mass Culture ( See The Frankfurt School eg Theodor Adorno and ‘The Culture Industry’ )

        • Although I have to agree with other cultural ‘commentators’ and say ‘ Its impossible to watch Pop Artists like ‘Crystaline’ singing the American hit ‘Punks Don’t Dance’ and be in a ‘bad’ mood at the same time.

          It also confirms the intelligent words of a real wise ‘Mother Figure’ I once knew:

          ” When I was at school I found the girls ‘policed’ each others bodies/body image the most diligently. I bought my first ‘bra’ because a girl in my class said I needed one. I’m pretty sure it was an ‘AA’ cup hence I did’nt need one ”.
          ( Source Withheld )

  • Jason says

    “The license scheme is a misconceived attempt to address problems that have been caused by a small minority of performers who could be dealt with using existing statutory powers.” Nothing more needs to be said.

    • Yes there is more to be said on this issue Jason because I believe that the busking scheme currently proposed by Chelsea Council has nothing to do with addressing the problems of a small number of for example ‘nuisance’ buskers in the area but rather more accurately the councils motive is more blatantly cynically political.

      Chelsea Council are the political offiliates at branch level of the very Tory Government that has just introduced the Anti-Social Behaviour and Police Bill wherebye all it takes is 3 complaints from a local source and the local authority is obliged to take action – which we know on merely the ‘whim’ of a regional Police Inspector can lead to pretty deplorable unjust stuff like PSPO’s ( Public Space Protection Orders ) being used to exclude street performing in an area, or even the targeting of individuals for exclusion again on the basis of fairly flimsy evidence from highly questionable sources.

      Its very disturbing yet true of what was a fairly decent ‘liberal’ democratic society, that as things stand, one grudging complaint from a Shopkeeper, one spiteful phone call from a jealous rival, an act of discriminatory racial prejudice can effectively be upheld at Police level and used against one. A persons livelihood can be effectively destroyed, their working life taken in an instant by petty acts of psychological moral evil, all with very little accountability.

      Chelseas Boroughs public policy regards busking is ‘political’ because it is so clearly about ‘regulation’ rather than ‘cultural’ education and civil resolution. Problem minorities can be dealt with very easily right now under pre-existing legislation and the usual forms of civic management. Its always been very easy to move someone on who is caught making a noise racket, believe me as a Street Performer of some time now that city wardens, and police do it all the time, its just a matter of will, ‘political’ will that is.

      No, I think whats really going on here in Chelsea and Fulham is that the local political establishment is simply trying to give out a ‘kind of ‘reassurance’ message to its local constituency what with the current climate of the rise of UKIP and general elections coming up i.e. ” no need to worry about those Romanian Gypsies ( and fellow low life vagrants and the like, whether in the form of Street Musicans or whatever ) taking over here, because we’ve got tough legislation in place now to protect our streets and neighbourhood from such people and events ”.

      To back up my point, that whats going on here is ‘political’, about isolating particular ‘social’ groups rather than civic, just reflect for a minute on the situation in Camden. This particular London Borough Council has just got away with introducing the most ‘draconian’ busking licencing scheme in the country. How? well by first of all, successfully managing to pin the classic ‘negative’ label on Buskers, representing them in the press and public, as some kind of unruly ‘underclass’ responsible for much of the noise, nuisance and anarchy blighting the area of past years and therefore deserved to be shut down.

      The truth is they’re not concerned about the noise caused by a few ‘unruly’ street performers, no like Chelsea their licensing sheme is about politics, ‘electoral’ politics that is, a cynical set of political manouvres that plays on current public fears, prejudices and preconceptions about very specific social groups.

      No to me its clear and simple, Street Performers and Buskers and the like ?, with regards recent policy and legislation ?. Take a deeper look at the recent process this group has been put through and you’ll more clearly see that this does not represent some kind of fair subjection to civic mores and code, this kind of process has got nothing to do with civility, nor ‘proper’ conduct, the reality is they’ve been made political Scapegoats.

  • Jennifer Noble says

    I quite like seeing buskers when I walk the streets and tubes of London. Please don’t restrict them. In fact, they are the only people I give money to on the streets because they are entertaining.

  • Eva says

    £15 per one borough? What if one would like to play in all 33 boroughs? It gives £495 !!! Do the folks in the councils can count? I have degree in music performance and do busking 3 times a year just for the pleasure of playing and seasoning my material. The money I get are never more than £20. It doesn’t make any sense to pay for a licence.

    • Good point Eva, it would represent some pretty expensive red-tape for ‘jobbing’ Street Performers to have to acquire a separate licence for each of London’s 33 Boroughs – not to mention ‘one’ for all the other places and locations a Public Musican like me might wish perform eg Birmingham, Oxford, Warwick, Leamington Spa, Worcester, Stratford upon Avon etc.

      One possible solution of course would be the creation and implementation of a single ‘national’ busking licence ie. one that gives individual performers ‘free’ license to play in any town or city in the UK, the only stipulation or condition being that they be ‘genuine’ Sole Traders ( or in some cases limited Companies ) and of course openly accountable ‘tax’ payers!.

      • * Nb.On the Subject of Licences ( ‘National’ or Otherwise! )

        Please note that ‘I’ in particular do have an instinctive mistrust of both licences and licence shemes in general and for good reasons, both personal and historical ( see below ) :

        ” No person of colour could become an Artisan,
        Mechanic or Shopkeeper, unless he obtained a license from the Judge of the District Court – a
        license that could cost $100 or more ”
        ( from ‘The Life and Times of Richard Wright’ – You Tube )

  • Byetheway on the technicalities of a busking scheme for Chelsea I feel don’t know the area well enough ( as yet! ) to comment on specifics regards the creation of a decent and workable scheme in the borough ( for me this would be best left to ‘informed’ and interested local Street Performers ) but an important general point I’d like to make here, one based on actual ‘working’ experience, is that a Busker is going to need more than an hour or so on a spot to ‘seriously’ make money. Please Chelsea Council take this ‘economic’ fact into consideraton before finalising any decisions here.

    Stratford upon Avon has a first come first serve scheme that incorporates 2hr spots. Now this arrangement has to settled down to work pretty well for Buskers here because the town is fairly small so its quite easy to pack up on one spot and switch to another without too much mobility inconvience and messing around. As you get to know people you are also able, very usefully, to gather intelligence fairly quickly as to who else is around and on what spots this also helps smooth transition between spots. Both this factors are vitally important to actally making decent money out there as a Street Performer.

    Another quick point concerning Birmingham another place I know well ( I could cite a few other places but these 2 locations will do ) does by contrast have a ‘booking scheme’. My general experience of this is fairly good, it does have its advantages eg. security of tenure up to 2 weeks ahead you can be certain of a spot, very good for your peace of mind as a working Street Performer cos’ by nature the occupation can be very insecure.

    The one problem I have experienced here though albeit a while back was the issue of inconsistent booking practices by staff at the Birmingham City Centre ( now BID ) office eg. some individuals being allowed to book spots before the early morning telephone rule time of 9am. In other words you’d ring up bang on 9am for a spot to be told someone else has already booked it, and this when it did happen on more than one occasion was infuriatingly frustratind and of course morally unacceptable, the result the creation of some ill-will and distrust. Obviously in Chelseas case if the booking option is taken up, this is an issue to be aware of and of course at all costs avoided.

    • Of course alls not ‘perfect’ ( for me anyways! ) in Stratford upon Avon. The last time I was there, last October, performing on one of my ‘usual’ spots by the River Avon, on the Bancroft Gardens, i noted someone had painted in ‘white’ M16 on the pathway pointing in my direction. Also the local ‘amateur’ theatre ( or should I say one of the ‘regular’ actors, a guy with ‘red’ hair ) set up a ‘ghetto blaster’ outside their booking office ( which ‘faces’ the ‘official’ busking spot ) at ‘high’ volume, directly interfering with my playing.

      I was also visited by the ‘new’ Town Host Manager with a colleague, the first time all Summer, who claimed that I’d been on the spot for more than 2 hrs and wd I move, this was despite no one else being in town, no one in the vicinity desiring the spot or anything. I refused to move under the ‘circumstances’ and she and her ‘underling’ went off in a huff, shouting ‘ then she wd do what she had to do….’.

      No, the ‘busking scheme in this place does have its ‘merits’ however the prison-guard like over surveilance frequently ‘acted’ out by ‘Hosts’ on the schemes inception, still persists or at least can make the most ‘unexpected’ reappearances.

  • Oh and heh! Jonny I’ve just seen the Pics ( ‘tourist’ snaps? ), of ‘you’ and Julia Jones head of http://www.buskinlondon.com picured on Thames Estuary, as you say following the meeting of the Pan London Taskforce yesterday ( incl presentations by Council Officials from Liverpool on the operation of their ‘new’ busking code up there).

    Interesting promo!, for the ‘Corporate’ takeover of London that is, and the establishment of London PLC, Mayor Boris Jonson’s ( & who knows ‘future’ leader of the Tory part and PM of this country ) brainchild. Whats fascinating is being able to witness the ‘incorporation’ of the capital city’s busking scene as part of the last few steps/ ‘final’ stages of this process. Well done Jonny, for taking part in the meeting yesterday, you’re a real champion for Art and Culture in this country!.

  • Jonny says

    Keep streets live exists to preserve the spontaneous and informal aspect of art and music in public space against those who wish to either formally regulate it via mandatory licensing, or legislate against it all together.

    The various ‘stakeholders’ in London such as private landowners (Westfield, Land Securities, network rail, tfl), BIDS and the South Bank are not naturally receptive to the idea of spontaneous street music, preferring a curated model with quality control and vetting.

    The ‘busk in London’ task force was convened by Boris Johnson in order to make London the ‘most busker friendly city in the world’ and to bring all these stakeholders together around a common approach to busking in London, a difficult political undertaking.

    There will be a difference between how ‘busk in London’ operates in private spaces and public spaces. Buskers in public spaces (outside of Camden and Hillingdon which have mandatory licensing regimes) will be free to busk but asked to follow a code of conduct based on common sense. The GLA have taken a lead persuading Southwark and Kensington and Chelsea to (so far at least) not implement mandatory licenses in their respective boroughs.

    The rationale behind our legal challenge against Camden was to prevent a domino effect of section V mandatory separate licensing regimes across the 32 boroughs. It was a Labour majority council who introduced these draconian powers in Camden, so when a Tory mayor says he wants to encourage busking in the capital and asks buskers to participate in the task force that develops their policy, it would be churlish to refuse to participate on the grounds of political differences with a particular high profile Tory politician.

    • Thanks for taking the time to provide the expostition here Jonny, very useful!. I think that an interested member of the public ( an ‘outsider’ even who has stumbled upon this site ) will now have a more ‘clear’ idea of whats going on with regards policy and busking in London.

      Also regards for providing the rational behind ‘your’, Streetlives.org’s legal challenge against Camdens ‘Labour’ Council. Oh and er’ congratulations on the victory!. As for Boris Jonsons vision for busking in the capital, well I can only state here, I have ‘great expectations’.

  • I note that the London Busking Project are introducing a downloadable ‘toolkit’ to enable Buskers to take ‘cashless’ payments from punters on the street. A good idea in many ways, though useful for nothing less than the ‘common’ situation wherebye a passing admirer has no change handy but would still like to make a donation.

    Up here in Birmingham I know one long established, highly successful Street Performer, who uses an even more ‘efficient’ way for taking payments and that is by way of a ‘portable’ bankcard/credit card machine. If you work hard enough and become the kind of very. very good musician like he is then your bank or building society may grant you one. The contraption works amazingly well, someone wants to buy a CD, simply hands you their credit card and ‘swipe’ the money is in your bank account. I’ve seen 10/15 CDs sold in an instant by the performer in question who uses this method.

    I note that on The South Bank London, where ‘some’ of the Buskers planning to use this ‘new’ cashless payment scheme work, ‘new’ performers are subject to ‘auditions’. Auditions are held as part of the busking scheme in Birmingham too, though this is a situation towards which I’m becoming more and more sceptical about.

    I think Street Performer ‘auditions’ in general are becoming increasingly unfair and ‘meaningless’ not necessarily because of ‘elitism’ ( a common criticism ) but because they’re not stringent enough, and the truth is all you seem to end up with is an ‘artificial’, illusory, rather petty hierarchical pecking order. In this instance for me there is only one appropriate form of currency exchange for such Buskers – the ‘counterfeit’ dollar!.

  • When I stand back and begin to ‘imagine’, as I observe from a distance the Southbank location in London, the busking spot right on the banks of the Thames, I romantically dream about the existence of a really good ‘Accordian’ player, perhaps a sultry evening saxophonist or beautiful violinist from Eastern Europe, Prague even, ‘spontaneously’ set up and playing to the lovely backdrop of the river.

    This dreamscape suddenly broken, abrubtly woken up by the reality of the scene, what am I faced with ? Nothing more than a picture-postcard London setting of an ‘office’ temp with a ‘colgate’ smile & ‘flowery’ summers dress, strumming ( neigh thrashing! ) the ‘acoustic’ guitar.

    Is this what busking has become?, is this what street performing is really about? is this really Boris Jonsons vision for making the city the worlds busking capital?. No more setting up on the the way home from the Royal College, on the spur of the moment with a classical guitar, no more quick bursts of a set on the clarinet whilst on the way to play a gig?

    Instead all we have in operation here, in this potentially all ‘seasonal’ wonderful vicinity for Street Artists and Players is busking wrapped up as a kind of ‘alternative’ job agency where you telephone in and are then called into ‘audition’ and book. Taking a second look at the ‘agency’ style set-up in place here I see that its not ‘agency’ staff they want here either, no!, most definitely not, what they strictly require are ‘ office’ temps, and please do note, because there ‘is’ a difference.

    • Byetheay check out the recent interview featuring ‘Dawson’
      ( Busker and ‘ World Loop Champion! ) on ‘ London Live’ TV
      title – ‘ Buskers Soon Except Cashless Payments ‘ 11 March 2015. Here the issue of the ‘filtering’ of Street Performers on the South Bank is raised, echoing some of my points, ‘almost’ exactly!.

      • ”They realize at last that change does not mean reform, that change does not mean improvement ”
        ( Frantz Fanon – The Wretched of the Earth )

        Ain’t life strange?, briefly adding to this little ‘trilogy’ of thinking on the Busking situation on the South Bank, I have to express how I woke up this morning with an ‘alternative’ narrative running through my head to the ‘rags and riches’ stories of ‘wanabee’ popstars descending on the capital, with their ‘homogenised’ brand of ‘Street’ Pop.

        And how amazingly within minutes my thinking had already begun to change, me beginning to realise that perhaps ‘unconsciously’ what I really desired was just something a bit more ‘raucous’, something a bit more feistier to the usual kind of ‘popular’ platter you find on offer anyways.

        I certainly woke up out of my dream-state this morning, thoughts running gaily through my imagination, with the ‘semi’ conscious ‘preference’ for ‘the return’ of what many consider the authentic ‘rags’ of the street, spinning through my head.

        Yes, I really would, I honestly would like to see the ‘re-appearance of traditional street acts like the ‘one-man-band’ back out there on the South Bank entertaining the kids. Even the unassuming guy in the flat cap standing on the corner of the bridge, cheerfully strumming guitar and blowing the harmonica would be nice.

        Now I loosely know guys like this ( run into them on the streets, briefly met them elsewhere ), and ok may have had a few ‘character’ differences with at least one of this sort in the past, but heh! I’m happy to see them on the streets, as I do appreciate their down to earth qualities, and yes enjoy their natural ‘earthy’ performances.

        This is because for me at least these kinds of street-act do come across as ‘real’!. It would be just as nice to see the return of the ‘monkey’ and the Organ Grinder to places like the South Bank, on condition of course that we could find a way of presenting this kind of entertainment without being ‘cruel’ to the monkey.

        A final point on World Loop Champion Dawson and his street ventures around the world ( I see California USA even! ). Perusing his Facbook Fan Page I could’nt help but notice that he travels around with ‘a Bible’ in his suitcase. In fact it was this little ‘personal’ discovery of mine whilst searching his site that ‘triggered’ (reminded me of) the quote above by Franz Fanon. Thanks for that Dawson, you’re a Star!.

        • ” I do not come with timeless truths, my
          consciousness is not illuminated with altered
          radiances, nevertheless in complete
          composure, I think it would be good if certain
          things were said.”
          Frantz Fanon Documentary – Black Skin,
          White Mask ( king4daniella You Tube )

          • * DC Al Coda

            If you are attempting to follow the ‘train of thought’ from the eg. London ‘ Liberty ‘ Blog, please bypass the comments that follow immediately below to the statement ,

            NOW LETS START AGAIN, THIS IS WHERE THE BRAINSTORMING ENDS AND THE SANITY BEGINS

            & then carry on reading from the ‘titled’ comment ‘ Love On Portabello Rd ‘ .

          • Tho’ on your intellectual & ’emotional’ journey thru’ these ‘buskers’ columns do feel ‘free’ to take a look at the following ‘few’ comments Eg.

            1. ” Men Act Women Appear ” ( On John Bergers ‘Ways of Seeing ‘ )

            2. On The Busking Project

            3. ” Hatred Of The Bourgeiosie Is The Beginning Of All Wisdom ” ( Gustave Flaubert )

            4. The Prologue

            5. Beware The Pop Aristocracy

            6. On Celebrities Diaries

  • In the interests of ‘clarity’ ( and out of anxiety that I don’t appear to contradict myself on this issue ) I’d like to state openly here what my position is on ‘auditioning’ and Busking Schemes in general ( as well in relation to the recent/current ‘set-up’ on the Southbank. )

    Its clear to me that fairly ‘stringent’ action at times has to be taken to deal with unacceptable nuisance with regards Busking at ‘locations’ in certain towns and cities eg. certainly Birmingham and no doubt urban centres elsewhere like London. To combat this problem however I don’t think ‘auditions’ as such are the answer so I’d like to see the dropping of ‘auditions’ altogether with regards Street Entertainment, that is at least in ‘name’ only. As a ‘last’ resort, in certain ‘areas’, only if and when necessary I’d like to see street auditions replaced by ‘basic’ Street Performance ‘proficiency’ checks, done openly, ‘on-the-spot’, and with the least beauracratic interference ( and ‘jobsworthiness! )

    The advantage of the ‘basic’ check over the more ‘formalistic’ ( and pretentious sounding in a ‘street’ context ) audition is that the right ‘balance’ could be more easily struck between deterring the more ‘unscrupulous’ Busker and certain ‘types’ of ‘aggressive’ beggar that may take over spots whilst also undermining the ‘narcististic’ in-groups that can and ‘do’ emerge around so called ‘audition’ schemes.

    For me its vital that we do everything to deter these narcissistic formations sprouting and establishing themselves in the Street Performing scene ( I’ve detected these kinds of groups in Bath, currently in Birmingham, and spot their bad ‘seeds’ being planted in the South Bank in London.). What this soil urgently requires is a dose of ‘toxic free’ fertiliser to curb this ‘weed-like’ growth as well as put a stop to the ‘false’ ( and dangerous! ) ‘status’ hierarchies that go with them.

    • * Note

      As far as basic busking ‘competency’ checks go ( * please No To Formal Auditions! ) they need only apply to those using ‘amplification’, as for the guy/gal strumming ‘acoustic’ guitar on the corner (i.e.’unplugged’ ) they don’t need any checks, because their ‘style’ of playing can’t really ‘disturb’ anyone’
      (good or bad!). In this instance we can ‘cut-out’ the ‘beauracracy’ altogether!.

      • * Note

        Of course in the case naturally ( ‘crafted’ ) louder instruments eg, Trumpet, Bagpipes etc, well their performers, if & when neccessary may well have to go on the ‘list’ for ‘volume’ level checks that is, not merely ‘competency’.

        • * Note

          Although I have to admit, as a Street Performer, I’ve ( ‘personally’ ) never actually come across an ‘incompetent’ Bagpipes Player!.

          • * Note

            Finally, for those of us with a ‘sense of humour’ a little ‘loudness’ & ‘incompetency’ can be ‘fun’!.

            Not when situated right outside your shop or in the close vicinity of a couple of tables of ‘chill-out’ Cafe customers but when stumbled across ‘spontaneously’ in the wider, more ‘open’ public spaces eg. Birmingham High Sreet, or the South Bank in London.

            In Birmingham for instance where they do have a street ‘audition’ scheme I note that a ‘few’ quite awful ( below quality ) performers are ‘deliberately let through & I’ve witnessed one such ‘Karaoke’ Singer outside the HSBC Bank on New Street being jeered at, rolled up newspaper, & empty cola cans being thrown at him. Great fun, great entertainent, all ‘Bread & Circuses’!.

          • *Note

            Just one more thing, you’ve got to admire the ‘ingenuity’ ( & hard work! ) behind the ‘Busking Codes’ that have evolved elsewhere in other parts of the country that have helped shape a basic ‘civil’ order without undue beauracratic ‘interference’, over ‘control’ & downright snobbery!.

            Both Stratford upon Avon & York spring to mind here. Despite some criticisms what I like about Birmingham is how it combines both ‘anarchic’ & to a degree conservative ‘formal’ types of order.

            Eg. There are pre-worked out ‘spots’ & booking scheme options available but very much working alongside ‘first-come-first-serve’ come as you are, play anywhere cultures now ‘thriving’ in the city.

  • If theres one thing I’ve learned ‘busking’, especially as I begin to make ‘genuine’ progress, gain some success with the public and grow as an Artist, then its to keep the natural ‘human’ tendency towards ‘vanity’ in check and try to remain very ‘humble’.

    Its Good Friday today, just a few days before Easter Sunday – the Christian day of hope, yet I’m reminded of the stark fact that 9 million children die every month in this world and not a single one once passed away will ever be seen again by their distraught and terribly pained parents. Truth is theres no ‘magic’ wand for the child victims of embola, leukemia, meningitis, and certainly no ‘resurrection’, they simply die never to reappear in this world. And thats the reality, thats the way the world ‘naturally’ works.

    So why do children such as these die so tragically young and we live, well its not because of any superioty at all on our behalf, nor inferiority on theirs, its just a simple matter of ‘chance’. Plus the further truth that at some point in the relatively near future we will be following them, joining them in the grave that is. Where we too disappear from sight, soon to be forgotten!.

    This is why for me the only true way is to be as a human being is ‘humble’ – and thats whilst recognising that what with the human ‘ego’ that this simple goal can in itself be a ‘tough’ struggle . Its also points to why as a Busker struggling for space, struggling for existence in your ‘everyday’ work its also very important to keep ‘perspective’. The challenge for us as Street Performers is not to become too fixated with particular ‘locations’ and indeed battle on, once certain spots are secured, to secure further places in which to perform. To fight to extend our ‘gigging’ space so to speak

    I have no ‘fixed’ general principles or rules as to the types of busking scheme that should prevail, I have my ideals but recognise that conditions vary from place to place, each town and city has a different cultural milieu, and varied cultural/economic priorities and therefore more than a few possible alteranatives are viable with regards ‘final’ shapes and street performing set-up.

    Given this contextual reality, for me, the only healthy way forward is to be open to and embrace the ‘variety’ that does exist, so for example I’m very happy to look forward to my ‘busking’ week knowing that I may have a couple of days spots ‘booked’ here and there, whilst on other day I’ll be train journeying to one town at this time of the week and driving to this other place on that.

    To me this is the answer to the ‘busking’ problem, don’t get too attached to anyone place or town, join the fight to keep busking generally alive in this country, and get into the struggle in particular cities to ‘grow’ spots and get the number of playing spaces extended. And all this in line with the ‘spirit’ of the current law that designates busking most definitely formally ‘unregulated’.

    • Of course with regards all this talk ( see above ) about ‘relativity’ concerning ‘Street Performing’ affairs there is one ‘moral’ constant that remains in me when considering the sometimes fairly complex ‘ethical’ issues relative to ‘Busking’ and its varied ‘schemes’ and that is the core principle of ‘Truth’ and ‘Justice’. Long may it reign!.

      • And with regards this whole ‘Busk London’ thing ( & despite actual ‘outcomes’ of the process ) hats off to Boris Johnson for at least showing the good grace in inviting the likes of Jonny Walker to meetings and giving Streetslive a proper hearing ( a courtesy that was not afforded me when I attended a meeting in the Mello Mello Cafe in Liverpool last year ).

        Also full credit to Boris for having the ‘wisdom’ to see that London and Liverpool are very ‘different’ cities and that the devised busking ‘order’ in Liverpool may not wholly translate well in London and that in the capital there may be ‘valid’ alternative ways of doing things. As there are in other places such as Birmingham, Stratford upon Avon etc.

        Having said that I think that Mayor Boris must be held to account for what may turn out to be the most damaging outcome of ‘the encounter’ between himself and organisations such as Jonny Walkers Streetslive and that is ‘commercialisaton’ of busking and Street Performing in our urban centres.

        I look in at a distance on the current ‘tone’ and set-up on the South Bank and I say come on Boris, come on Jonny wheres the ‘romance’, wheres the ‘poetry’ ?, this is not what Street Performing is all about !. Come on boys!, there are much more possibilities for the ‘future’ of busking than commercial pop – & in Walkers own words, ‘ the streets are crying out for a bit of colour ‘ I might add a bit of vibrancy, a bit of ‘authentic’ folk expression, yes a slice of ‘real’ art and life!.

  • ” Men act and women appear ”
    ( John Berger 1972 )

    Heres a Busking Tale for you ( a ‘street’ yarn so to speak).

    Lets us Begin!.

    Hints of the sultry Summer nights to come as I took my ‘usual’ early evening stroll, after work, up and down the South Bank, one ‘warm’ April Friday night, that seemed to hallow the final ‘arrival’ of Spring.

    Oh and oh what a fine example of a promenade to stroll down this end of the Thames, a little ‘quiet’ though, perhaps too quiet. At other times of the day, entertainingly jolty, so full of life ( & ‘colour’ ) this part of the River Bank at first appeared quite empty, desolate even as on this end-day of the week, doubling up as the end of the Easter Holidays, all the kids, school-parties, families and happy ‘snapping’ tourists had gone home. Along with the ‘one-man-band’, the guy in the flat cap jollily strumming guitar and blowing into his harmonica, the acrobats, jugglers and other ‘street’ clowns.

    It was about 7.30pm when my attention ( full senses ) was/were caught/drawn , confused even by the high pitched tune of what appeared to be at a distance, a ‘choir-boy’ in full song. As I drew closer such sensual disarray began to ‘ease’ as the performing figure turned out to be a rather charming and ‘pretty’ young woman with a page-boy haircut ( like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music ) & musically equiped ( ‘armed’ ) with the vocal-range of a Church ‘castrati’ to match.

    As you’d imagine this time of night ( & weekend approach! ) and what with the ‘happy-hours’ and the ‘city’ folk beginning to pour out of their rather ‘cramped’ little offices, things around this area were beginning to get a little boisterous ( ‘girlstrous’ even! ). So it did’nt in one sense come as much surprise to witness the following events that took place. So common-place on a Friday night!.

    Looking on, our one and only Southbanks answer to ‘Julie Andrews’, and The Sound of Music, dressed in a ‘short’ ( high thigh length ) flowery spring dress and stood in really nice ( quite sexy even! Corr!), tastefully made, hand-crafted, beige ‘cowboy’ boots ( of the sort any Country Music Lover can now mail-order via Amazon from manufacturers in Tuscon Arizona or for half the price pick up a ‘fake’ pair from down Camden Market! ) soon found herself surrounded by a group of passing admirers ie. a small gang of loud & noisy yet ‘playful’ young ‘bucks’ on their way to a night out on the town.

    The inevitable shouts, requests for Oasis ‘Wonderwall’ were made and fullfilled by our ‘compliant’ performer. However & again quite predictably, given the reality here of ‘some’ pretty tanked up young ‘male’ adults/youths, things began to turn a little nasty, when the ‘short’ guy in the pack, the one with the ‘tinnie’ in his hand began to shout ‘ Get ’em off! ‘ in the Singers direction.

    I’ve always wondered how Dolly Parton, playing in those ‘rough’ Saloon Bars back in the Mid-West would/did ‘handle’ such scenes during the ‘early’ days of her career. To my surprise ( and I don’t imagine Dolly reacting quite like this ) with regards our ‘aspiring’ Country Singer on the South Bank. a look of sheer ‘disgust’ appeared to takeover her face, along with the ‘angrily’ ‘flushed’ cheek bones, a deep red hue that appeared to extend down her body, right up her cute ‘little’ dress & I can only imagine it her ‘labia’!.

    I thought at any minute this ‘solitary’ young woman was going to cry out ‘ Help!….! ‘. As I thought to myself ” here goes! ”, ” to the rescue! ”, however I halted in my tracks, and the thought suddenly struck me that ” Hell no!, what this budding young Starlet needs right now is either a Pimp or given the absence of a handy, ‘purpose-built’ escape ‘stage-back door’ & only the River Thames as her theatrical back-drop, with Spring current now blowing more like the beaches at Calais during D-Day, a helipcopter! ”.

    Ending

  • ” Women are like Birds of Prey ”
    ( Friedrich Nietzsche )

    • Speaking of which I ‘ve just picked up on on a ‘tweet’ by that inveterate on-line music lover Geopolitikal. ”Love ‘Nico’!” It says, expressing his heartfelt nostalgia for this Queen of the Underground.

      I don’t know about anyone else but I’m swayed by such passionate longing. I’ve got the album, wear the T-shirt ( & now I think I’m ready for the ‘inner’ revolution! ).

  • The Busking Project are an interesting ‘organisation’, claiming to be a social network and digital toolkit that Buskers can use in the street. However what with their 1288 Buskers, 463 cities, 64 countries and their avowedly ‘social mission’ lets hope they don’t turn out to be merely a bunch of ‘Art Control Wierdos’

    That is just another aberrant ‘social’ group bent on ‘power’ for powers sake and seeking to ‘dominate’ the world;alongside the Street Preachers, the latest ‘Street’ Messiahs, and all current God worshippers. Indeed, given the ‘fact’ that nobody goes to Church on Sundays anymore, perhaps The Busking Projects ‘real’ intention is to supplant and replace all those remaining devotees to the cult of Jesus.

    Their website ‘splash’ page states that they are not just motivated by pure profit but by a more ‘noble’ social consience. However I’ve noted earlier last year that their ‘founder’, an ‘ex- well known Pop Band member, is the running, as I understand it ‘commercially’, his own series of ‘motivational’ courses, workshops and ‘clinics’.

    As a concerned ‘humanist’ ( in the widest defintion of the term ) myself, I’d like to point out that Modern ‘Humanist’ Psychology has over the last few decades made great ‘scientific’ strides in the area of Human Potential, and as such & in the ‘liberal’ democratic ‘spirit’ ( & tradition ) to which many of these, the worlds top Scientists and Researchers sign up to, much of their work is available in the Public Domain and importantly ‘free’!.

    In light of this greater truth, my advice to all Street Performers and Artists is to ‘tap into’ this rich vein of knowledge, take these ‘resources’ that are the ‘general’ principles of ‘motivation’ and from them create and develop your own ‘ Copia ‘ ( see Rhetorical Copia ).

    • Man can not only be ‘exploited’ out of his want of ‘money’, but also out of his/her need for love & ‘belonging’.

  • Q. What do ‘you’ want me to be?

    A. An ‘authentic’ individual. A person with the courage and wisdom to harness their ‘true’ personal power & potential by 1. Playing to their ‘natural’ strengths 2. Doing what they enjoy.

    However, I do concede that I have of late been listening to quite a bit of Gillian Welch, Album: The Harrow and The Harvest, Track : The Way It Will Be!.

    • ” Simplicity, patience, compassion
      these three are your greatest treasures ”
      ( Lao Tzu – ‘Tao Te Ching’ )

  • Conversely and to all those interested in enhancing their self-image have you ever tried ‘hate’ ? According to the magazine Psychology Today ( See Article: The Pschopathology of Hate ), by verbally debasing the object of their hate, Haters can successfully enhance their self-image, as well as their group status!.

    Of course their are various subtle ‘life’ strategies wherebye a person ( particularly women, & incl. professional performers ) can get away with expressing their hate and so boost their self esteem. For example consider the ‘game’ explained by Transpersonal Psychologist Eric Berne in his famous book ‘ Games People Play ‘ i.e. Rapo ( or Buzz Off Busker, Kiss Off ). Its a great way to mask your deep ‘personal’ insecurities & like a Vulture feed off the humiliation of others, your victims!.

    ( See. ‘Rapo’ from ‘Games People Play’ by Eric Berne )

  • Of course ‘girl(s)’ if people ( eg ‘Guys’ ) out there begin to ‘seriously’ get you vexed, and really get you down. it could be time to *” take a leaf out of some strong women’s book and just strap on a ‘phallus’!. Far more potent!. ” (* Source Withheld )

  • ” Hatred of The Bourgeois is the beginning of wisdom ”
    ( Gustave Flaubert )

    Extreme prudery and materialism, being at once cynical & sentimental, immersing themselves in trivia, spending an age for example debating whether melon was vegetable or a fruit and whether it should be eaten as a starter ( the French Way ) or as a desert ( the English Way ).

    And oh how the so called ‘popular’ press can at the one minute be building you up and the other bringing you down. Can we really take the opinions of such people so seriously?. Can we really continue to let their verdicts govern what we make of ourselves?. Can our self-esteem be sensibly be surrendered to a group of Fleet Street ‘hack’ inquisitors?.

    ” Would a musician feel flattered by the loud applause of his audience if it were known to him that with the exception of one or two, it consisted entirely of deaf people? ”
    ( Arnold Schopenhauer – Philosopher )

    What matters is not what we ‘seem’ to a random group, but what we ‘know’ we are!.

    ( Paraphrased & ‘re-edited from the book ‘Status Anxiety’ by Alain de Botton )

  • ” We condition the body, mind & spirit to lose big ‘fears’ such as
    falling, being pushed, kicked, punched or grabbed or indeed
    hitting someone else.

    We see an attacker as an ‘injured’ soul with an excess of tension
    who needs healing! ”.

    ( An Introducton To the Martial Art of Systema )

    • * Testimonial

      ” I’ve been through a lot of stressful times in the last
      couple of years, alot of emotional problems, and this
      has been the one thing that has brought me through
      it, it has saved me! ”
      ( On Systema – Anon )

      • * Testimonial 2

        ”What is unique about our ‘club’ in my opinion is the
        ‘outdoor’ work, we do training sessions at
        Stonehenge and they are ‘free’ & we have regular
        woodland camps in Devon, South Wales & Sweden”
        ( On Systema – Anon )

  • *Prologue

    Just got back from busking in Stratford Upon Avon. The sun its still baking through the train window, I reach home a little drained, the journey back home feeling a little longer than usual. I think before I put my feet up, I’ll ‘pop out’ to the local shops & get me a few cans, of mmm let me see? I know Carling Black Label!.

    The sweet sun still shimmering outside, I’m reminded of the moment last year when the Chekov International Theatre were in town & that mysterious yet beautiful Russian Actress who had been sat watching me for full on 1hr playing on the park Bancroft by the side of the River Avon finally approached me.

    It was after my rendition of the Brazilian Standard ‘ The Dolphin ‘ by nuevo flamenco guitarist Nino Josele that she finally came over with the offer of a ‘free’ ticket for their theatrical interpretation of Midsummer Nights Dream as part of the World Shakespeare Season.

    I recall how without hesitation I accepted her gift and did get to see what turned out to be a wonderful, indeed ‘magical’ show full of the ‘stage’ humour & the ‘agit-prop’ one would associate with Chekovian drama.

    Back to the present, & in the moment, as I ‘push-on’ to the local Supermarket, by ‘natural’ ( or should I say ‘artistic’ ) association I begin to meditate on how some of the best ‘popular’ classical guitarists in the world are Russian. Some brilliant ones have popped up on the streets, on the corners in town squares like that of Nice, Souther France & on the grand piazza’s of Florence in Italy.

    And no!, ” this is no ‘shallow’ appearance ( no ghostly ‘apparition’ ) this ”, says that gentle whisper at the back of my mind. The Russians like we too the English have had a long ‘romance’ with the Meditteranean.

    • Bytheway any ‘serious’ travelling musicians out there, perhaps busking in Birmingham today, or maybe just passing through, are welcome to pop by and join me here for a drink.

      If you’re considering a longer stay then I ‘invite’ you to stay’ I can put you up overnight and then perhaps provide you tomorrow with a brief yet interesting ( days! ) tour of my home city.

      First I’ll take you to the Art Gallery that boasts the finest collection of ‘Burne Jones’ paintings in Europe and then to the south-side suburb of Bournville where we can take a quick ‘guided’ stroll around the Cadbury’s Choclate Factory & then a more longer reflective, ‘independant’ walk around what is this ‘rich’ historical area.

      Compared to elsewhere, here you’ll find some architectural, pretty ‘sublime’, examples of Arts & Crafts buildings and even ‘rarer’ specimens of the finest sort of social housing & all beneficient very much, of the particular ‘spirit’ of ‘Christian’ business philanthropy that once permeated the area.

      After this afternoon excursion & especially if you’re
      of the more ‘counter-cultural’ persuasion and fancy taking in a few of the ‘local’ bands over a bottle or 2 of Jack Daniels ( rather than ‘tea’ as there are no pubs in Bournville, due to its still ‘ Quaker’ influence and heritage ) then its off to my old stomping ground of Moseley.

      However do realise that even Mosely threatens to become ( is in the process of becoming ) a kind of tourist style theme park. The danger increased by the recent spate of ‘new’ developments in this place & many of its ‘colourful’ indigenous characters ( eg. aged beats, hippies, and hucksters from the 1960s/70 ) being driven out by ‘high’ house prices ( and ‘low’ rents ).

      Then if you’re hungary after the nights music and entertainment its time for a meal. Now I would consider taking you to the city’s ‘local’ ( on the edge of Moseley ) famous Balti Triangle. The problem is that the recent American ( USA ) Senators accusation that certain areas in Birmingham have become ‘ no-go-areas’ is true!.

      PM David Cameron spoke on TV of these words being ‘nonsense’, merely the rhetoric of some ‘crazy’ American, but I’m afraid that I took a look here only a month ago and I was honestly ‘shocked’ that the place where I used to go to ‘garden’ parties, visit friends, the place where the ‘Crusties’ etc used to live is now in acutal fact a total ‘Moslem’ Ghetto.

      Even the pub where I used to go with mates for ‘stop-overs’ is now a ‘ steakhouse’ , indeed all the ‘curry houses, once located here appear to have been transformed into ‘steak-houses’, & just up the road stands rather proudly a shining ‘new’ local Mosque.

      And yes the place is a ‘Ghetto’ in the very ‘real’ sense i.e. akin to the Jewish ‘ Warsaw’ ghetto in pre-Nazi Poland, or the jewish Ghettos you may have found in ‘pre-revolutionary’ Russia, prior to the ‘pograms’!. A country within a counry, a state within a state, an ‘invisible’ walled city within a city.

      To think this area was once a prime-example of what could have been a beautiful, multi-racial, multi-ethnic city. As a man of ‘duel’-heritage ( an Anglo/African, Mother from St Lucia – the ‘pearl’ in the Carribbean, a multi-class family of Merchant Seamen, Civil Servants, Politicians, and Business) in the place where I first ever ‘truly’ felt at home right here in Birmingham I’m in a strange way – though only of sorts! -, made to feel like an ‘alien’!.

      Finally, its back to mine ( if you will ), or if you ‘like’ I can ‘guide’ you to a decent local ‘hotel’!. More comfortable if you come back and stay at mine though, the couch ‘ as if by magic’, turns into a full length ‘double’ bed along with a spring loaded mattress. So yeah, please do, come back & stay here. Oh And goodnight! ” sleep tight & watch the bed bugs don’t bite’! ”.

      • * Note

        It would have been possible to stop off for a ‘drink’ en-route to Moseley at the rather delightful Cannon-Hill Arts Centre ( & park ) situated by the Warickshire Edgaston Cricket Ground.

        But since the South Asian Arts Group partnership and recent multi-million pound refurbishment the charming & intimate little court garden area adjacent to the now formally reduced ‘bar’ area is no longer there.

        It was designed out by planners & Architects, with a ‘new’ Selfridges, Bull Ring style large cafeteria designed in. In-line with the current so called ‘family’ friendly policy.

        • * Revised ‘Twist’ Ending ( Nabokovian Style )

          ” It was love at first sight, at last, at ever and ever sight ”
          ( from ‘Lolita’ by Vladimir Nabokov )

          • * Rhetorical Copia, ‘amplification’

            ”…Oh Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo.Lee. Ta. She was lo, plain lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock, she was Lola in slacks, Dolly in school….

            In my arms there is always Lolita, the rest is rust and stardust eg. the once ‘County’ Cricket Ground where today a ‘starship’ has landed, Janemans on the Ladypool Road, where art thou’ Janemans, my favourite Gujarati Restaurant with the best, most tastiest ‘vegetarian’ cuisine in the planet, Oh wheres Malcolm and Gary, & whats happened to The Prince?……

            Seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged Seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns!, ”

  • Alas! lifes pretty, though ‘fragile’ little bubble finally bursts & its time to ‘grow-up’ and watch my ‘favourite’ movies eg. Francois Truffauts ‘ 400 Blows ‘ & the You Tube Video of Gentil Montana In Paris ‘ Un Hombe y una Mujer ‘

    • And because they say ” a Mars a day helps you ‘work’, rest & play ” I think I’ll retire for now, put my feet up & watch my ‘favourite’ Ad ( *See ‘Mars Bar Winning’ TV Advert on You Tube)

      • Finally before bed-time to listen to my favourite ‘quote’ from the list I have pre-recorded on my I Phone eg. ” Today I believe in the possibility of love; that is why I endeavor to trace its imperfections, its perversions ” ( Franz Fanon )

        • And then I sleep, I slip almost immediately into a long drifting mysterious sleep where I dream of a small band of ‘schoolkids’ I pass by while on a ‘daytime’ stroll along the South Embankment by the side of the River Thames.

          They’re jumping & playing and burst merrily into ‘spontaneous’ song, neigh a ‘nursery rhyme’, they’re not good ‘tunesmiths’ but ‘the words’ chime out & they go something like this;

          ” Sutton for good mutton
          Cheam for juicy beef,
          Croydon for a pretty girl,
          And Mitchum for a thief. ”
          ( Folk source – Peter Watts )

          • I woke up this morning funnily enough with a ‘theory’ of tune-writing reverberating through my head & how no Public Musician can ever be entirely happy unless they become an Artist of at least sorts.

            Analyse a ‘nursery’ rhyme & you soon realise that the ‘truly’ creative part of any tune ( the part that you are only really required to ‘invent’!) is the ‘phrase’ i.e. the first ‘breathe length’ few bars of a melody, that represents its ‘basic’ building block ( or theme ) & once imagined is simply ‘developed’ into the full piece via pre-learned ‘repetition’ ( &/or variation ) techniques.

            The key to good ‘pop’ phrase writing is 1. Chordal Tension/Resolution & 2. ‘Catchy’ Rhythm ( ‘the jingle’ ). Any ‘basic’ ( triad ) chord is made up of 3 notes i.e. the 1st, 3rd, 5th (Maj/Minor). You create ‘tension’ & therefore melodic ‘colour’ by playing 2nds, 4ths, 6ths, 7ths intervals ( ‘colour’ notes ) from eg. the 8note major scale against your ‘inside’ triad notes eg 2 to 3/1, 4 to 3/5 etc. Experiment with these ‘tensions’ ( colour note resolutions ) & you’ll find your ‘ideas’ instantly become ‘melodic’ ( pleasant to the ear ).

            Its by creating a short ‘breath’ length phrase out of these ‘tension/resolutions that you ‘invent’ your basic theme idea ( the 2 are ‘synonymous’ ), & are used as the basic building block for your ‘whole’ melody.

            Expt with applying various melodic ‘rhythms’ ( or ‘rhythmic’ motivs ) to your melodic phrase & after a while you’ll come up with the ‘basis’ for a tune!.

            Read & learn ‘various’ practical melody development methods from ‘songwriting’ books ( ‘composition texts ) & thru these ‘repetition’ & variation techniques you can complete your ‘tune’/melody.

            Note that in many pop/folk songs not much development is necessary just a ‘basic’ colourful phrase & much repetition! for a ‘good’ melody.

  • * Note

    I also mention here that as there are ‘inside’ notes ( 1st,3rd,5th ) in a chord ( maj/min ) with melodic tension being created by ‘outside’ ( ‘colour’ notes 2nd,4th,6th,7th ) extreme tension can also be created by what are called ‘alien’ notes ( eg flat 2 or flat 5 etc ) these highly ‘dissonant’ intervals are common to Jazz styles but are also used pretty frequently in Pop/Rock eg Death Metal. Use your ‘ear’ & you can ‘paint’ some pretty interesting tunes with these musical tools ( ‘paintbrushes’ )

    • * Note

      One common error to avoid, one that I often witness committed by Street Musicans, & up and coming Singer/Songwriters is that ‘intuitively’ they’ll come up with a fairly decent tune but then make the big mistake of actually keeping it – so carried away are they, elated by their ‘first’ creations.

      The key to being a truly great Songwriter takes more discipline than that. Professional Studio Writers will write 100 tunes per day & toss out them all if they have’nt come up with that ‘one’ gem!.

      The key is ‘faith’ & persistance you simply keep going, for days if necessary, weeks, writing ‘whole’ melodies & throwing them out until you successfully come up with the ‘diamond’!.

      • * Note

        To understand ‘pop’ tune writing further its useful to consider the Art in its wider musical context. Its useful to see Pop music as a genre as ‘contracted’ whereas Classical Music ( or ‘Art’ Music ) can be said to be ‘expansive’.

        With Pop you’re by definition aiming to write a ‘catchy’ tune with plenty of melodic/rhythmic ‘hooks’ contracted into a typical 3min record/cd track. By contrast whilst some Classical music can be ‘popular’ ( i.e. have a recognisable tune as its theme eg filmic pieces like Cavatina, Beethovens 5th ) the conceptual aim is different.

        In Art Music the game is to take an initial ‘idea’ ( theme ) and then expand it. ‘Melodic development’ here meaning to take the basic building block concept ( exposition ) & ‘re-present’ it various musical ‘contexts’ ( development ). So in a typical ‘symphony’ you find the ‘initial’ idea ( or ‘exposition’ ) being run through different keys ( the whole spectrum ), played in different orchestral instrument groups, ‘fragmented’ ( inverted, broken up, fractured ) & creatively ‘re-worked’ into different patterns & again taken through the whole spectrum of the Orchestra.

        Of course in Classical Art as Pop eg. ‘tunes’, ‘expostions’ etc work within larger organising principles or frameworks called ‘forms’ eg Verse/chorus in Pop, Sonata Form in Classical.

        Musical form is the central study in Compositon Theory and the ‘real’ key to understanding not only Classical Music but how music works in general. Note all music can be viewed simply as a complex pattern of tensions & resolutions. ( my words these! )

        • * Note

          Listening to Classical music can be so beneficial for budding Songwriters because whereas a typical pop piece might have just one ‘basic’ new idea that is then developed into a pop piece, an orchestral work, a symphony, by say the composer Beethoven can literally contain 100’s of thematic ideas.

          All these can be picked up upon by the ‘creative’ musical ear & re-worked into phrase ideas for your own songs. Loads & loads of popular songs & tunes have been created along these lines by the best Songwriters. Please note that ‘standards’ show tune ‘creatives’ like Jerome Kern were themselves academy trained Classical Musicians.

          • * Note

            Of course one obvious ‘aesthetic’/spiritual benefit of listening to ( & appreciating ) Classical Music is that while the Pop Song can transport you sentimentall/emotionally in the moment, Art Music can actually take you on a ‘musical’ journey; one of lifes experiences once taken, you’ll never forget.

          • * Note

            To importantly ‘humanise’ all this theory & place it in some kind of ‘artistic’ context, its a good personal idea to take this kind of information & ‘internalise’ it, whilst remembering that the greatest Art is produced by ‘filtering’ craft skill through the ‘genius’ that is the ‘right’ brain or ‘imagination’.

            Take these ‘intervals’ ( inside, outside & colour notes ) and through an ‘ear’ training system such as SOLFEG not only learn all ‘chordal’ tension/ resolutions off by heart, but connect with them ’emotionally’. Let them arise ‘naturally’ out of your subconscious mind when processing & ‘interpreting’
            life experience, to fuse, enjoinder with the ‘words’ of your song’. ( My words these )

          • * Note

            The best way to ‘ear-train’ is on the Piano – the ‘lingua franca’ instrument. Its better than the guitar because at your hands you have the full ‘range’ of the orchestra, & consequently its full musical potential.

            Don’t be intimidated by the Piano nor its orchestral capacities eg. from the lowest ‘bass’ to the higest ‘picolo’. Take courage & take your time in becoming thoroughly intimate with the various musical charms & sounds at your disposal. Remember to take it slow, take it easy, this is a marathon not a ‘sprint’ the goal is to step by step, day by day familiarise yourself with all of musics ‘tensions’ & resolutions. The best way to do this is with least ‘tension’ in yourself, relaxedly & enjoyably. Learning music at this level can be fun!.

  • * Note

    Everything on the Piano is logically laid out making ‘interval’ learning easy to learn – again easier than on the guitar!. Once more it makes ‘note’ learning easy, and as such the ‘nomenclature’.

    You can say you’ve reached musics dizzying heights ( theoretically at least anyway! ) when you have successfully learned & ‘intelligently’ managed to ‘fuse’ these two skills together i.e. both ‘ear’ and ‘notation’.

    Nothing is more beautiful than the Art of Transcription, no moment more wonderful than when on the train travelling back home after a gig that ‘an idea’ springs forth to you & you just allow it to ‘naturally’ flow through you not onto ‘tape-recorder’ but directly onto paper. No experience is so ‘organic’, quite so sublime as this one, it has its own poetry.

    • * Note

      Ultimately you’ll want to get things down on both Guitar & Piano. This is not a big problem though remember there are some ‘technicalities’ eg notationally middle-C on the guitar is not the same as on the Piano. However please rest assured here since this is a minor ‘complication’ easily overcome.

      What might take a little more effort is devoloping your ‘poetic’ voice, thats if you’re a ‘wordsmith too!. There is no other remedy here for any ‘lack’ in this area than reading lots & lots of poetry, of the very best kind eg. Wordsworth, Keats, or later Pre-Modernist ‘women’ Poets such as Charlotte Mew.

      I also reccommend the ‘lyrical’ novelists such as F.Scott Fitzgerald, tho’ better still I’d try out Virginia Woolfs for example literary classic ‘The Waves’. Try listening to the ‘talking’ book version found on You Tube; & absorb ‘her’ music, her nuances of word, her ‘cadences’, the whole language of poetry.

      Read, read, & read again, ( listen too! ). Take the French ‘Symbolist’ poet Baudillaires advice & ” Intoxicate yourself! ”

      .

      • * Note

        ”The enemy of all Art is ‘boredom”, so after the 2nd or maybe 3rd repetition of a phrase, ‘vary’ it!.
        ( Art & Design Principles – A Theory of Aesthetics )

        • ” I think ‘the journey’ is where the beauty is! ”
          ( The Bodytribe )

          • Take the journey with an Artist like John Butler ‘ Ocean ‘.

          • Speaking ‘metaphorically’ of course; John is currently happily married to his ‘pretty’ & charming wife Emily Butler.

          • I love the BodyTribe Philosophy, but what is it?.

            Q. The BodyTribe Philosophy ?
            A. Intensity over ‘volume’ ( where Intensity = ‘challenge’ x investment! )

            In other words its not getting up in the morning & doing a bit of ‘squatting’ thats important; its waking up & squatting ‘properly’ that really counts!.

            We see how focus on ‘volume’ over intensity permeates public life & operates in politics all the time; office folk rushing around, yet on close observation doing nothing. We’ve got a name for it too, its called ‘red-tape’!.

          • * Note

            ” Do better. Better trumps more ”
            ( TheBodytribe )

            Heh, I’m learning!.

          • * Note

            Of course there are exceptions to the rule eg. In the case of the lazy & the deluded where people do less, yet remain crap.

            And Literature where a classic like War & Peace would be diminished if it were to be edited down in any way. Again Tolstoy’s tomb of a book is a masterpiece in which every word is made to count by him anyway!.

          • * Note

            The general rule still stands though, all great Poetry stems from mastery of the ‘single’ line!.

            So Dance around the room & shout it out; ” Better trumps more!, & again, & again! ”

          • * Note

            On reflecton the BodyTribe philosphy argues that the body is never lazy, only ‘the mind’.

            In this context the person could be viewed more accurately as being ‘de-motivated’, or in the worst cases ‘de-humanised’. Then its a matter of ‘repairing’ a broken will, re-connecting with your ‘natural’ confidence(s).

          • I love the BodyTribe philosophy, afterall whats the alternative? I guess you could ‘gloss over’ these ‘truths’ like with pretty coloured nail varnish or a nicely pressed suit ( or jacket, shirt, trousers & tie ) n’ things.

            You know I was ‘busking’ in Stratford upon Avon the other Weekend ( Sunday ) outside a Cafe when a couple of kids set-up on the corner to play. No problem with the ‘acoustic’ guitar it was just the ‘flamenco’ drum drowning me out.

            I had a few words, & then returned to my place, realising that It was really a waste of time leaving my spot. I don’t worry too much about these kinds of ‘conflict’ situation anymore, when they
            ‘do’ turn up.

            What are these predicaments?, the ‘antics’ of these kind of guys?, if nothing more than a cry for help!.

          • I say ‘kids’, 2 older ‘teenagers’ these two idiots!

          • * Note

            For more information on how to squat properly See ‘ The Flat Footed Squat; Humans Natural Resting Position ‘ by Daniel Vitalis on YouTube.

            Its true, ‘to squat’ properly is not only good for your ‘posture’, its also very good for your bowels!.

          • ” The body is a machine for living ”
            ( TheBodytribe )

            For Art & life I would add; Art and life!.

  • Beware the Pop Aristocracy!

    ” The powers that be pay decreasing attention to the highest cultural reach & being & quality of a nation, they are in that sense unfit to rule a ‘civil society’ .

    We may think the phrase about the love of human perfection excessive. Translate it adequately for our own ‘unrhetorical’ manners & we can see it neatly ‘ puts class to one side ‘ where it should belong’ & concentrates on what should be the very heart of these debates, ‘ a general humane spirit ‘. ”

    ( Richard Hoggart – On the general Humane Spirit )

  • * On Celebrity Diaries ( & Interviews ) & The Future of Pop.

    Somebody recently asked me if I had any ‘regrets’ in life, relationships etc. I replied yes, I wished I’d had a few more ‘one-night stands’, afterall no relationships at all might have rendered life a little too ‘colourless’!.

    I went on to add that also wished I’d ‘spontaneousl’y enjoyed myself more eg. gone to a few more gigs, watched more local bands, & if I was teenager, young man again today met a few more ‘starlets’, perhaps spent the night with them, so they could then write me up in their ‘diaries’ afterwards! & who knows compose a song about it?.

    • * Note

      Perhaps if this otherwise ‘brief’ encounter turned out to be a good ‘working relationship’, we might even be able to compose a whole ‘song-set’ together. And if as an up&coming Artist you also did a bit of ‘street performing’, create a ‘series’ of pieces that would be great for say an ‘early-evening busk etc.

      • * Note

        Calling all you, up & coming Starlets! I believe there are 2 ways to have ‘healthy’ sex & produce ‘vital’ & interesting subject material to write pop songs about.

        1. In a happy ‘marriage’ ( or genuine loving long-term relationship

        or

        2. In an adult ( short-term or medium term ) ‘ludic’ relationship, where sex ( with the ‘right’ understanding ) is relatively happy & can be ‘grown-up’ fun.

        All the rest is either ‘pornography’ or mindless ( ‘nauseating’ ) self-indulgance or perhaps more dangerously, serously unhealthy sexual ‘repression’.

        • * Note

          Ok there aways is the ‘ Ann Widecombe’ solution. But heh! , how boring, plus that book has already been written. So yeah, come on baby, & you can ‘dictate’ & I’ll type!.

          • * Note

            You know I’m getting quite fed up of the ‘celestine’ Monk lifestyle. Quite sick of living like one of the Monks of Mount Athos – with the exception of the low-glycemic / plant-based diet, really good for the will! – the solitary bachelor life is beginning to get to me.

            Just switched on the Radio 1 & I’m just as tired of those chart-topping songs of the Shrew aka ” You no good son of a bitch! etc ” that are currently dominating the the radio waves!.

          • * Note

            In fact I’m getting quite sick of Religion ( & popular ‘celebrity’ culture ) in general. My mind switching onto to some very important & pressing wider human topics.

            Especially after hearing a story on the tv news the other day about the painful plight of a Moslem Woman – raped multiple times by ‘Kidnappers’ on the Tai/Malaysia Border – who has just given birth to a child, a baby of whom she does not know the identity of the father & yet has decided to keep.

            A heartbreaking story this on the surface, in a ‘deeper’, very touching sense however, a testament to the very ‘real’ existence of a more ‘natural’ ( human- centred ) form of compassionate love!.

  • *On a more upbeat note

    At last! The message ‘methinks’ has finally got home!. See the song of the same name by Allesandro Appolloni ( Royal College of Music ) feat Emily Lee ( Southbank Busker ). A marriage made in Heaven & yes Brilliant!.,Top marks!, Allesandro ( with the help of Emily ) I think you’ve passed the course!.

    • And now Humanity awaits you ( eagerly! ). The world needs people like you, ‘creative’ spirits like yourselves!. No need to preach love, all the love is already there waiting for you, just be open to it, & recieve it, & then with a bit of luck you’ll learn to truly madly, deeply love back ( not just take the love of! ) these people yourselves.

      • J’Adore!

        • ‘Don’t Forget To Love’ ( Emily Lee ) EP Out Now!.

          • * 3 Reasons To Love Emily Lee

            1. A ‘confused’ child ( deep ‘within’ ) very much still in need of ‘un-conditional’ love, perhaps in part due to a ‘neglectful’ parent, her father maybe, who refused to teach her acoustic guitar when she was a kid ‘cos she was a girl.

            2. Sympathy for the ‘individual’ struggle & the Human Condition. She knows what she wants to do, but as the Roman Philosopher Seneca re-counted has ‘ hit the wall of reality ‘ & seemingly frustration ( & accompanying ‘downness’ from time to time sets in ). The hope? Out of ‘pain’ ( if you’re prepared to honestly face & suffer it ? ) comes growth!. ‘ From dark roots grow flowers ‘ says Friedrich Nietszche. Funnily its often then that you finder a better direction, a stronger identity, a ‘truer’ self!.

            3. From a male perspective ( though coming to think about it ‘female’ even !344*8! ) shes ‘hot’!. Check out the ‘recent’ pic featured on her Twitter page in her ‘bikini’ wwwwoooooweeeee!. In a genuine ‘sunbathing’ ( not pornographic ) way shes ‘organically’, ‘all womanly’ fit. In this sense, I don’t know if love is the right word, shes very, very fanciable!.
            Of course a very important ( ‘key’ ) quality for an ‘up&coming’ Starlet!

          • * Flowers

            ” One can dispose of ones ‘drives’ like a Gardener, & though few know it, cultivate the shoots of anger, pity, curiosity, vanity, as productively and profitably as a beautiful fruit tree on a trellis! ”
            ( Friedrich Nietzsche )

          • * Keats

            I remember reading, Bob Dylans well written ( & genuinely ‘insightful’ !) autobiography ‘Chronicles’, not long back & noting how this American ‘folk’ legend ( the ultimate ‘career’ pragmatist! – surprise! suprise! ) acted out an ambitious strategy that managed to ( ‘intentionally’!) avoid the streets, ‘function’ work & other ‘cultural’ distractions altogether.

            For many Dylan fans out there this may indeed now be their perceptive ‘frame’ on how to get on in the Music Business & for those who wish to follow in his ‘actual’ footsteps ( not Woody Guthries! ) & become ‘renowned’ Singer/Songwriters themselves, their preferred ( ‘adopted’ ) path to ‘ the top! ‘.

            For me though, the born outsider’, my desire for immediate ‘natural’ public connection & sympathetic lover of the poetry of Keats ( its contained wisdom and ‘feeling’! ), I think my preference is to ‘exist’ apart from the ‘mainstream’ music industry ( esp. the Pop branch ), choosing instead to stick with the ‘romance’ ( & big potential! ) of the streets.

          • *Note

            I also will have you know that I have a ‘predeliction’ for some, though maybe not all ‘aspects’ of the life & works, of the more infamous English romantic poet Lord Byron!.

          • And no! not his ‘exotic’ Turkish exploits but rather his more daring courtly ‘adventures’ closer to home!

          • * The Italian Riviera

            So yes Emily Lee you’re my kind of girl. Powerful ‘busking’ celebrity yet ‘sweetly spoken & charmingly down-to-earth, with a penchant for days out at the seaside eg Brighton.

            Though the kind of ‘radiant’ female ( lover! ) if you did get lucky with, in love! ( & the first date! ) you’d want to ‘whisk’ away for a long ‘weekend’ in the Italian Riviera! ( or ‘drive’ down with to Nice, in the South of France, taking a ‘brief’ passage over & through the Pyrenees & via Barcelona! ).

          • * The Monks Of Mt Attos

            On second thoughts, I think I’ll take a slight ‘cultural’ detour go & join the Monks at Mt Athos & Emily as for you you ‘naughty’ little girl , get thee to a Nunnery!.

          • *
            The ‘Monastries’ of Mt Athos have long been a ‘spiritual’ retreat for ‘the rich & famous’ – from Vladimir Putin to Prince Charles!.

            Today hailed ‘as’ a medical miracle, the success of this community of Greek Orthodox monks ( ‘ one of the healthiest in the world’ ) is being put down to its ‘ pared -down, ‘ rustic Mediterranean diet ‘, together with a reliance on home-grown seasonal produce.

            Which has led to an extraordinarily low rate of cancers, heart disease, & Alzeimers among the monks. Not only is the Monks ‘diet’ detected as ‘the key’ to them staying young & slim, its also the reason why they to live 10 years longer than the average Greek!.

            So calling all you ‘troubled’ Rock stars & ‘injured’ Pop souls, take the ‘royal’ ( & rational! ) road of ‘prevention’ rather than the cure, get off your pedastals – the stage!.

            Yes even ‘you’ the most ‘natural’ expressive ones, at least in the peak of your career, refuse even to be put on one ( i.e. a stage! ) when the problems/the crisis sets in, only to be later rather abrubtly, cruelly, humiliatingly ‘deliberately’ knocked down a little later! ( & publicly ‘villified by not necessarily the Gutter Press but very possibly, your ‘own’ Promoter! )

            No, slow down & take stock, instead of public ( & limelight ! ) seek wisely, healing solitude & ‘quiet’ sanctuary! ( & best before all these issues kick-in! )

            ( from ‘Don’t Forget To Love’ instrumental cover version – see ‘blurb’ by Nigel Snookes aka Romanza Rose )

            *Nb Article Sources
            The Guardian Newspapers & The Daily Mail.

          • *
            Of course there is one ‘obvious’ exception to say ‘troubled’ Star Artists take responsiblility & not letting themselves on stage ( nevermind not letting others play to your ‘ego’ & seduce you on there! ) & thats in the context of ‘nostalgia’ ( theatrical ).

            One has to recognise that there is a ‘genuine’ public demand to see some artist performers ( the ‘truly’ great ones ) & thats despite them obviously being past their stage/’artistic’ prime. Where a kind of public ‘grace’ is given, a genuine love & respect, ( current ‘weaknesses’ overlooked & forgiven! ).

            Its quite moving when you sit/watch & observe this ‘touching’ phenomenom occuring – a ‘true’ sign of artist status!. Eg. the Youtube video of Folk legend Bert Jansch, getting together ( & ‘final’ tour ) with ‘seminal’ folk figure Davey Graham springs to mind here.

            Graham probably ‘the best’ English folk blues player !( its ‘inventor’!), is clearly no longer his former self & most definitely at the post-stage of his illustrias ‘folk’ career ( he dies a few years later! ).

            Yet despite his ‘personal problems': alcoholism, drug addiction etc, the film ( documentary ) manages to ‘magically’ capture a glimpse of his early ‘genius’ ( & former ‘stage’ glory ), something ( a human quality! ) not to be ‘overlooked’, rubbished or derided!.

          • *
            Having said that ‘Self-image’ is an important ‘psychotherapeutic’ value to be looked into ( & examined ) here.

            The fact that an individual can find themselves loved ( worshipped! ) on the ‘outside’ ( eg on stage ) yet feel such low self-worth, self-contempt, hatred even from ‘within’!. How can this be?

            Again here we’re back to the important ( classic ) ‘moral’ dilemna of Self integrity ( or ‘authenticity’ ). The ‘real’ life case scenarios often are, its ‘either’ a matter of you’ve acheived success, yet feel like a ‘fake’ & its true! ( found particularly in the Pop World tho’ you also see it in Busking! – & in that case ‘you’d’ better raise your game, if you truly want to feel better ) or your success is well-deserved but you’re a bit of a ‘perfectionist’ & its not enough ( standards perhaps too high! ) & you still feel low!.

            The most interesting ‘dilemna’ ( a very ‘personally’ destructive one ) is when you’ve been messed up, rogue mentally ‘programmed’, & find yourself in constant battle between getting a handle on what can be said to be lifes ‘true’ standards ( the moral truth! ) & the ‘expectations’ of others or society’s ‘artifical’ standards.

            I’ve personally found that issues of ‘race’ & ‘racism’ plus the contaminating interference of ‘significant’ others can compound this problem, leaving you in that intolerable ‘no-win’ psychic/emotional state where no matter what you do ‘ it can never be right ‘

            ( * Note. In the USA yg/old black men always refer to ‘the man’ when alluding to the source/cause of this very ‘tortuous’ existential predicament ! )

          • *
            Michael Jackson & now Finley Quaye ( without excusing them of certain ‘personal’ responsibilites ) spring to mind here, of being possible ‘victims’ of this kind of ‘unfortunate’ circumstance i.e. of ‘the man!.

          • *
            Q. To beat the man ? A. You’ve got to get the ‘ego’ out of the way, you’ve got to get ‘real’!. ( Yes, thats where it all starts, lifes ‘true’ journey begins……. ).

          • Sadly, more than not though, only after things have already turned a little ‘nasty’, the very ‘real’ pain ( kick-backs! ) of lifes ‘tough’ realities ( humiliations ) been faced up to, the seeds of a ‘possible’ life reversal planted & an actual ‘healing’ process set in motion! ( ha!, ha! ha! such is life, that ‘cosmic’ black joke! )

          • Oh byetheay ‘no’ one dead yet? No one ‘seriously’ damaged ( i.e. irreparabley?), ah goood!. Then relax in peace, get on with your life & most importantly ‘forgive’ yourself!.

          • As for that ‘Promoter’, what a jerk-off!

          • * Don’t Forget To Love

            ‘Don’t Forget To Love’ – Instrumental Cover Version ( ‘arrangement’ courtesy of Nigel Snookes aka Romanza Rose ). Coming Soon!.

          • But, in the meantime, to love others, I realise ‘first’ of all, one must learn to ‘truly’ love oneself. So tonight I’m going to ‘eat’ like a Monk & its ‘Chickpea Patties’ for tea, that along with ‘fish’ soup. All in line with that principle ‘monasterial’ philosophy called, ‘purity of produce!’.

          • Its called ‘ The Mount Athos Plan ‘ & you know what I’m a seriously ‘ True’ Believer!.

          • Yes love at its exhilerating peak!

          • * Coda

            NOW LETS START AGAIN, THIS IS WHERE THE BRAINSTORMING ENDS AND THE SANITY BEGINS ( see below ie. ‘comments’ as continuing from the London ‘Liberty ‘ Blog previous)

  • Love on Portabello Rd ( The Begining of an Affair ? )

    Emily Lee – ” A twirl & orange squash. The breakfast of champions ”

    Daniel Mendes – ” Yeah, got the ‘ass’ of a champion too ( & I’ve got the ‘photos’ to prove it ! )

    Emily Lee ” Stalker ! ”

    ( Emily Lees Twitter Feed ‘extracts’ taken from Jazz Mino Twitter Site. Sun Aug 19 2016 )

    Emily Lee – ” Uberbitch! ”

    ( Date, time & location ‘withdrawn’ ! )
    August 21, 2016 at 7:46 pm
    Nigel Snookes aka Romanza Rose says

    Me – Hi Daniel., bytheway ( Nb. we’ve never actually met, don’t formally know each other ! ) that ‘pic’ of Emily, is there a ‘copyright’ on it, cos I wd’nt mind using it as not a ‘cover’ but an ‘insert’ in my ‘new’ CD ?

    ( Email communique sent at some later ‘Autumnal’ date )

    • Notes

      Script & ‘dialogue’ taken from my latest rather belated attempts at writing a ‘true to life’ contemporary drama ! .

      • Fujrther Notes

        My Editors getting a little impatient too ( if not downright cross ! ) threatening to ‘pull’ my publishing deal ( & contract ). But then what do you expect, from an ex-columnist with the Mail On Sunday turned literary agent/Thespian, philistine ! .

        • Even More Notes

          Getting book ‘illustrations’ ( penguin ‘style’ cover ) hopefully done by Portuguese Busker Susana Silva, apparantly she was a ‘trainee’ Web Designer before deciding to change her career direction to street-performing on the Southbank. Shame cos’ her ‘drawing’ work is very good, she’ll be a ‘Graphic’ Designer in her next life I’m sure.

          Love this womans ‘voice’ too, her ‘speaking’ voice ( if not singing voice ) portuguese such a ‘beautiful’ language, spoken & sung too, listen to the songs of ‘Fado’ Singers like Mafalda Arnauth, Mariza eg. ‘Meu Fado’ ( My Fate or Destiny ), ‘ Mon Amor Abre A Janela ‘ ( My Love Opens The Window ) & you’ll see what I mean, theres the living ‘artistic’ testimony.

          Locked out apparantly in the ‘rain’ yeserday on the Southbank Ms Silva, other Buskers allowed ‘inside’ to play. I believe Susana deserves more attention & ‘street’ credit too for being one of the first ( pre-Facebook ) to ‘promote’ the concept of street-concerts ‘live’ on-line via Periscope. Talented woman this, keep an ‘eye’ out for her, with a little bit more ‘push’ ( & pull ) she cd go far ! .

          • Even More & More Notes

            Just been watching the latest Buskers Music Video by SouthBank Busker Charlotte Campbell. A ‘social realist’ film fantasy shot on/in, you’ve guessed it the London Underground, whilst a little ‘fanciful’ ( photographically that is ! ) during the ‘open’ credits & first few minutes of the 1st scene, it manages to take on a zanily more ‘realistic’ hue by the 2nd Act ( or middle scene ).

            Nicely shot & edited makes one ‘warm’ to travelling by train at night, if not packing in the day job & taking on a ‘night-shift’. Furthermore it makes one wish one had gone to not drama but ‘film’ school !

            ( Nb. Speaking rhetorically of course, I’ve not been to ‘stage’ school of any kind. Speaking as a ‘creature’ of the 1970s & yg tv addict back then as a nipper & not just of Hammer Horror Films, no, no way, not on your Nelly )

          • Reference ( Film )

            ‘Night Tube’ by Charlotte Campbell YouTube .

          • Playwright Notes ( Themes & Dramatic Expostiton )

            Just been meditating on a few ‘themes’ for my work ‘ Love On Portabello Rd ‘.

            1. Gradations of Love ( Lover as ‘admirer’ ) eg. liking, admiration, naeive /innocent falling for, ‘healthy’ love, ‘fixated’ obsessive love, predatory malignant love ( stalking ), relatively harmless erotic fantasy, ‘abuse’ & pornography etc.

            2. Gradations of Love ( Lover as ‘object’ of desire ) eg. mutual liking & admiration, naieve / innocent receipt, mutual fancying & falling in love, genuine anxiety & fear ( feeling hunted & ‘trapped’ ), tongue in cheek ‘flirtation’ & object of fantasy, disingenuous manipulation & exploitation ( ‘outright’ sexual provocation & ‘psychologially ‘maladaptive’ games, ‘amoral’ self destructive participation )

            Dramatic Issue Q. How the ‘truth’ of such situations very much depends upon ( varies according to ) eg. context, psychological states & ‘interpretation’, the actual ‘motives’ of participants ( ‘actors’ in the scene ) & funnily enought ‘culture’ ( & society incl ‘onlookers’ ) etc ! .

          • Mmmm ( fr Playwrights perspective ) Comedy, Tragedy or somthing in between? I’ll have to feel this out, go with my ‘heart’ ( pure ! ) & deep seated instincts on this one, Art is truth ! .

          • I think I’ll consult the Muse for some ‘words of wisdom’ on this matter, some urgent ( artistic ) clarity on this whole affair ! .

          • ( Nb. Meditations On The Art of Popular Entertainment & Dramaturgy – A Writers Craft. Some Journal Notes. )

          • Playwrights Notes 2 ( Music Score & Closing Credits )

            Bytheway heres some ‘original’ English ‘romantic’ poetry for you, a fine way to ‘end’ a play methinks, ” Music Maestro please ! ”

            eg. ‘ Oom pah Ooom Pah theres music on the streets of London, oom pah oom pah, theres music in the air. Oom pah Oom pah theres music on the streets of London, lets leave it there, lets leave it there ! ‘

            ( a traditional London Air, lyrics Anon )

          • Playwrights Notes 3 ( ‘Film’ Sequel )

            Oh & aghhh !, the first ‘imaginings’ of the ‘sequel’, a full-on, ‘futuristic’ film fantasy, shot on Londons SouthBank, together with the latest ‘special’ effects !

            So hold on dear Viewer, please hold on & keep ‘following’, yes I know its hard, I know you can’t wait, but please……Oh yes please, please, please, hold onnnnnnnnnnnnnnn! ) .

          • Nb

            Tho a possible ‘film’ star, actress, starlet replacement for this particular movie ! .

          • Initial ‘screen-test’ shots are looking pretty good anyway, courtesy of Photographer Marius Dimian of the National Geographic ! .

          • Playwrights Notes 4 ( Future ‘serious’ long-term Dramatic Works )

            As far as ‘plans’ for any future ‘serious’ lg-term Dramatic works, I’m currently examining the script & starting to look at a possible contemporary ‘adaptation’ of the Edward Albee classic ” Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf ” ( just had a viewing of the ‘Popular’ stage version starring Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor too ! )

          • You see, you see, I can write Poetry ! .

          • ( well if I can’t I know somebody who can, shes’ not just a pretty Songtress you know ! ) .

  • Charlote Campbell ‘new’ Song of Hope ‘ Tomorrow ‘ ( The World, USA Politics, ‘Trump’ & The Land of The Fairies )

    The USA 2016 Presidential ‘election’ results are now final – & its ‘Trump’ the political ‘victor’. I’ve just checked Southbank Buskers Charlotte Campbells Twitter feed for an ‘insight’ into her thoughts & feelings on these ‘tumultous’ events esp. given the fact that she’s due to take her ‘annual’ busking late autumnul break at present with a 2 week holiday in Ohio, yes the key 18 electoral college state that last night was announced as going over to Trump & the Republican Party.

    I respect her ‘optimistic’ sentiment as always, as I do her obvious ‘committment’ to busking, & her ‘desire’ to take a well deserved ‘break’ but in this context her ‘newly’ penned Song ‘ Tommorrow ‘ ( …if today is not your day, theres always tomorrow ) I argue maybe pushing the ‘positive’ thinking button a little bit too far.

    For example what we all must realise ( both for & against tho’ more particularly those against !) is that Trumps victory today represents a ‘political’ quake in recent, if not World/USA ‘historical’ terms. He has just pulled off the most ‘amazing’ victory given that he is/was essentially a political ‘outsider’ ( before this election very much a ‘nobody’ ! ) that is now in a position to ‘control’ both not only congress & the senate but also with a ‘few’ key position changes ‘preside’ over ( politically ‘transcend’ ) the whole democratic system of checks & balances in America, this by getting ‘control’ of core institutions like the Supreme Court of Justice.

    All this ( a ‘seismic’ poltico/socio change for a country like the USA ) means that Trump may not only be in ‘power’ ( be the ‘acting’ Commander in Chief ) for 8 years ( given the current poltical ‘climate’ ) but also while in that ‘position’ be given full reign ( unprecedented ! ) .

    No disrespect, nor dissing of what is essentially ‘opinion’ here but I’m telling you, given current ‘reality’ this is now time for unbridled hope & optimism ! ( tho’ I have to say – on a ‘personal’ note, given the ‘facts’ of my actual health at moment , a ‘suspect’ TIA n’ all – I may soon be joining you, I may soon be seeking to escape/’regress’ too Charlotte, into the world of imagination, ‘ the land of the fairies ‘ ! .

    • Notes ( Charlotte bless you & may you find love in your life )

      Bytheway ‘no’ regrets, I wish all Buskers, street Artists & Performers all the best with their ‘careers’, warmly wishing them success in their hopes, ‘dreams’ & happiness. Most of all ‘love’, let you find & have love in your life & perhaps on the way a little romance & adventure & who knows ( with a ‘comic’ turn ! ) perhaps in Ohio eg. a little bit of Cowboy Romance or something ! .

      • Notes 2

        A concluding note & I hope that this does’nt mean a further note to my Physician later in the week, but back home In little ole England the temperature has dropped, & dramatically, colder, much colder this time of year than the last few 2, 3 or 4 ( ok this one was ‘colder’ the worst winter in 100 years, tho’ compensated by the fact I made ‘record’ money ! ) & yet despite current ‘health’ risks I’m compelled to go out & ‘busk’ later this week, in the freezing thaw, regardless of the 4, or 5 degrees. In this ‘personal’ ( not politically ‘international’ ) context theres not just ‘room’ for optimism its a ‘must’, its do ‘postively’ or die & for me its the only way at present ( the only practical philosophy ) to survive ! .

        • Notes 3

          I’ve got to ‘push-on’ despite having many secondary ‘sympoms’ flowing me at present eg mild ‘tinnitus’ in the left ear, tightness of the head, mild nausea, difficulty breathing etc some of these are ‘drugs’ side-effects, others are due to the fact that I’ve been unlucky enought to be suffering 3 or 4 ‘health’ problems at the same time

          Eg. a ‘virus’ ( heavy ‘tropical’ & like no other caught in Stratford upon Avon late Sept ) effecting my ‘ear’ & ‘sinus’, uveitis in the ‘right’ eye flaring up again ( first appearing earlier this year ) causing ‘uncomfortable’ pressure, what was wrongly diagnosed by Junior GPs ( getting an appt to see a ‘decent’ GP is a ‘game’ these days ! ) as an untreatable ‘ganglion’ in the right hand was finally X-rayed this week ( Tues morning ) as a ‘bone’ cartilage problem growth ! .

          Yeah, all this on ‘top’ of a suspected TIA plus further symtoms I contend ‘struggle’ with, but still need to go out & busk , & its approaching ‘real’ Winter now but still I go out ! .

          • I’m going out on the ‘streets’ ( Birmingham city centre ) later this week & I’m not giving up any ‘territory,’ ( if I’m there first to play my ‘solo’ guitar ! ) not conceding an inch to the likes of the ‘ultra’ loud volumnous Romanian Gypsy Band that ‘drowned’ me ( everyone, a whole ‘large’ busking area ) out a few weeks back, & I refuse to be driven out by ( or ‘fear’ ) the bad, thieving ‘street’ person(s) who tried to take my money eg. £5 in change within half-hour of my ‘busking’ on one of my ‘favourite’ spots when I returned to Bham after my longish ‘stint’ in Stratford upon Avon this Summer ! . No, I’m refusing to budge, I’m going out & I will play on, despite it all ! .

          • Yes there are ‘ Law & Order ‘ issues here & protestations have been made ! ( one ‘police’ officer recently advised me to not play in a certain ‘popular’ spot in town, stating quite truthfully that it was not a very nice place now, guiding me to New St instead, I thought ” What !, no-go areas for busking in town, now way ! ” ) .

          • Heres an interesting little social ‘experiment’ for you ( perhaps a pertinent lesson on ‘reality’ ) i.e. try ‘imagining’ that you get upon one ‘expectant’ morning ( sometime in the near future ) & the sun is’nt shining ! Q. What are you going to do then ? .

          • My ‘closing’ speech ( commentary ! ) .

          • * Reference ( see below )

            President Barrak Obama’s ‘Concession’ Speech to Donald Trump now downloaded onto YouTube ( a noble & ‘reflective’ homily on virtue in defeat, a ‘thoughtful’ tho’ delightful flight of rhetoric that I’ve consequently retitled ‘ The Sun Rising ‘ ) .

          • Eg. ( a ‘rhetorical’ extract )

            ” ..everyone is sad when you lose an election but the day after you have to ………etc etc etc ” .

          • * One Dollarmera ! ( One Dallarmeera, Theres only on Dollarmera ! )

            Yeah, look on the ‘bright-side’ of life, afterall the sun will always ‘rise’ tomorrow . Classic piece of ‘inductive’ logic this kind of statement & whilst not absolutely correct ( ie. one day the sun cd fall out the sky like a ‘burning’ led zepplin, yeah the ‘apocalypse’ ! ) theres an element of ‘predictive’ truth in this kind of thinking.

            For example just been to pick up my ‘7 day Heart Monitor’ from the hostpital ( part of a whole ‘series’ of ‘suspect’ TIA Tests I’m currently going thru’ incl. blood tests eg. 10 samples the 10th taken from my ‘right’ arm, no blood left in the other, EEG, Ultra Screen etc ) .

            Anyway everything working ok, I get back into Bham city-centre, look around the Xmas German Market, say ‘higheee!’ to the 2 Gypsy Buskers out today ( who I know & have had only ‘minor’ irritating conflict with in the past ) eg. 1 ‘elderly’ Sax, 1 Trumpet Player, it ‘raining’ however in ‘good’ spirits I pop into the ‘currency’ exchange shop to trade in some ‘busking’ dollars !.

            Wonderful ‘news’, the $100 dollar bill someone gave me when I was ‘busking’ last, is real ! & I’ve just picked up nearly £80 ( a ‘record’ single amount for me out ‘street’ performing ! ). So heres on yer Trump, the sun is’nt going to fall out of the sky this morning. Thanks to ‘Brexit’ too, the pound is at its lowest ‘rate’ ever, so I’m getting ‘maximum’ change for my ‘dollar’, yippee !.

            Once more I’ve just got back home & ‘once’ more checked out Charlotte Cambpells Twittersite & there she is face full of erstwhile healthy ‘colour’, ( blushing almost, yeah blushing pink ! ) in her latest ‘video’ upload, complete with & ‘merrily’ at her side , you’ve guessed her very own fella ( she says ‘ friend ‘ ! ), them both ‘dueting’ a cover version of Taylor Swifts ‘ Style. Yo ho! ho! I say, & once more Cowboy ” Yipeiyaay, Yipeiyaaaaay Lone Riders In the Sky ! ” .

          • References. ( See. Sesame Street aka ‘ 74, when Kermit the ‘frog’ met Lucille Ball ! . )

          • Add – On the question of ‘logic’ ( ‘inductive’ or deductive), Epistemology & ‘experience’, ‘scientistic’ hermaneutics & phenomonology as applied to ‘interpretation of ‘reality’ ( as opposed to ‘esoteric’ academicism & ‘divine’ revelation ! ) I will deal with the more ‘general’ issue concerning the ‘true’ nature ( incl overlap & ‘division’ ! ) between the ‘sciences’, arts & Humanities elswhere ( see London ‘Liberty’ Blog ) . Note in this ‘commentary’ I will be ‘criticising’ a recent article on this very topic featured the other day in the Guardian Newspapers.

          • Plus – Some ‘lessons’ ( in the relatively ‘innocuous’ Street Performing sense, in the wider human ‘context’ lucky mild comparisions ! ) on how ‘not’ to stop ( ok you get a warning, you ‘heed’ that danger signal ! ) when the going gets tough ( really tough, ‘life’ threateningly tough ! ) realising that you’re actually capable of more ( much, much more ! ) than you’re currently doing, just as long as you take the ‘right’ precautions ( See. health ! ) & do things properly !.

            Yes it is possible ( for each & eveyone of us ! ) to ‘fly’, soar even & without getting our wings burned, if we’re not led by ‘pride’ ( haughty ! ) but ‘true’ self-love, bridled with ‘survival’ thrift & ‘natural’ enthusiasm i.e. a desire to thrive, perhaps ‘flourish’ even.

            Of course the ‘Devil’ is with us ( to be confronted, & defeated within us ! ) the ‘reality’ ( gross truth ! ) social conditions ‘do’ ( bring many others ) & can bring ‘you’ down, yes it very much still might ( along with it your will ! ) thats why it never stops ( the politics that is ! ) until there is ‘full’ human liberation.

          • * Support Charlotte Campbell ( On Her ‘3-Day’ Facebook Ban ! )

            SouthBank Busker Charlotte Cambpell is ‘crying’ out for support via her Twitter ‘feed” over a ‘3-Day’ Ban Facebook have imposed on her Feb 24 2017 for ‘illegally’ posting a snippet cover of Ed Sheerans latest pop song.

            I’m aware Charlotte is a ‘big’ fan ( seriously big ‘admirer’ ! )but as for me I don’t know anything about Ed Sheeran or his music so ‘won’t directly comment on him.

            But I will ‘relay’ Ms Campbells Twitter message ( she apparanlty now on ‘holiday’ in Lanzorote with her Mom ) imporing her ‘followers’ & others to post on their accounts the ‘words’ eg.

            Dear All,

            Charlotte is currently ‘banned’ from posting. Facebook is a cruel beast. Back in 3 days. Love you all.

            On behalf of Charlotte xxx.

  • A Tribute To Charlotte Mew ( ‘Cockney’ Girl Poet )

    Oh what the 19th Century English ‘romantics’ called the ‘sympathetic’ imagination, for me conjuring up ‘images’ in the mind of Charlotte Mew ( the ‘female’ cockney poet ) & such literary classics ( gems ) of hers as ” My Heart is Lame ”. ”The Asylum Road ”, & ” In Nunhead Cemetry ” ! .

    Her poetry represented one of the great unshakling of women’s voices in literature. A ‘startling’, powerful voice, free of Victorians expectations of a ‘poetess’. Her sad beautiful poems are full of rendings, and breakings, and burnings ! .

    ( Charlotte Mew 1868 – 1928, Selected Poems )

    Red is the strangest pain to bear,
    In Spring the leaves on the budding trees,
    In Summer the roses are worse than these,
    More terrible than they are sweet,
    A rose can stab you across the street,
    Deeper than any knife,
    And the crimson haunts you everywhere,
    Thin shafts of sunlight like the ghosts of reddened swords have struck our stair,
    As if coming down you had spilt your life .

    ( from The Quiet Home )

    • Plus ( A Tribute To Norwegian Fighting Girls )

      Yes a very ‘special’ tribute to ( & recognition of ! ) the fighting girls of the Norwegian Army, not necessarily for their ‘battlefield’/War prowess tho’ of course that does not go unoticed & you can’t brush these ‘factors’ aside complacently, but their field-skills & ‘tremendous’ physical strength & ‘toughness’ ! .

      See. Norwegian Army Documentary – Special Forces Girls For Norway ( Jenter for Norge ) 1/2 on YouTube .

      • Jazz Mino ( busking ‘role’ model ? )

        London Busker ‘ Jazz Mino ‘ sets a kind of example here, I mean that & I ‘m not speaking facetiously. Take her relatively recent ‘video’ eg. Superwoman I kinda like its sentiment plus i understand she’s got the ‘writing’ bug & is even turning her hand to poetry, ‘brave’ woman ! .

        • As for her developing a poetic ‘sympathetic’ imagination ( her ‘focus’ being very much on creating ‘pop’ music ), well the jury is still very much still out ! .

          • Please realise of course that this type of fitness & training whether ‘popular’ Gym style aka Jazz Mino or Army ‘special’ forces ( ‘earthy’ & rugged as it is ) ironically is not necessarily the best type of health & ‘fitness’ one needs if you are ‘protect’ your self from having a TIA in the ‘field’ ( i.e while out ‘busking ), which I am ‘diagnostically’ suspected of having done so recently). Worse still in the ‘extreme’ scenario its not the most effective method to prevent eg. a full blown ‘ Stroke ‘ ( a real destroyer & yes the ‘end’ of all ambition ! ).

            No this rather ‘dangerous’ condition is often not due particularly to aging, nor ‘lifestyle’ excess ( Nb. ‘arterial’ disease, high ‘cholesteral’ etc tho’ can be a trigger ) but is often the result of far more ‘banal’, easily overlooked, causes. By nature ‘casual’ causes, & more riskily so ‘innocuous’ this condition can be having often ‘un-noticed’ or ‘overlooked’ effects eg. you can have a TIA i.e. temporary ‘blockage’ of O2 to the brain & brush it off as ‘nothing’ since the condition ( symptoms ! ) often only last 10 or 15 minutes & ‘subjectively’ feel very ‘temporary’ ( I was already suffering a virus when I experienced mine so if it were’nt for the fact I had a Drs appt the next day I likely ‘would’ have brushed it off & that cd have ‘spelt’ my ‘end’ ! ) .

            I intend to write an ‘extended’ commentary on my ‘TIA’ experience that occured on Bham New St some weeks back, the ‘secondary’ symptoms I had in Stratford upon avon the other week . ( Nb. I’ve been ‘out’ busking since, while on ‘medication’ – anticoagulants, whilst awaiting the results from an array of medical tests I’ve had. 4 different Hostpitals I’ve attended over the last 3 weeks, a couple on more than one occasion ! ).

            Don’t worry I will try to be fully comprehensive ( Nb. my health & sickness ‘insurance’ is going to rocket now, I don’t have any at present ! ) & detail the ‘main’ causes of a TIA ( describing my ‘experience’ further ) & their relevance to ‘busking’ ( See ‘comments’ under the London ‘Liberty’ Blog – very relevant cos’ believe me this condition if not taken ‘seriously’ & treated can lead to the ‘end’ of all freedom ! ).

            Plus I’ll fully explain the impt ‘precautions’ you ( an ‘every-day’ Busker ) can take to avoid this ‘dark’ condition & very simple they are too, easy ‘habits’ you can introduce into your busking ‘routine’ eg. I’d done the equivalent of 4 back to back ‘long-haul’ flights ‘out’ busking in Bham lately ie. four ‘continuous’ 8hr days of non-stop street performance in the cold 10am – 6pm & never even stopping briefly to ‘stretch’ my legs ( Nb. not ‘clever’ nor recommended, since complacency here cd kill you ! ).

            Very, very dangerous all this for me cos’ for the last 4 years busking this manner & fashion has been my ‘norm’, my usual ‘style’ or pattern of ‘street’ working ie. day after day ‘chasing’ spots & playing 5hr, 6hr, 7hr sessions & again completely ‘blind’ to the ‘dark’ consequences this approach to work can be if you ‘naievley’ ignore or are complacent regards the physical ‘safeguards’ !.

          • See. London Liberty Blog for a full ‘commentary on busking TIA’s,’my’ experience of one plus their causes & their effects ! . ( * Then wait, if I ‘live’ through this of course, patiently for the appearance of a ‘new’ busking site i.e. my own ‘blog’, not quite a diary, nor an ‘acivist’ site, but a ‘personal’ expression of experience & issues pertaining to the ‘life’ of a Busker plus various ‘personal’ insights into StreetPerforming, its culture & its ways ! )

          • Eg. From my street ‘observations’ if you want a ‘role’ model for the type of ‘activity’ that wd help you avoid a ‘busking’ TIA you cd’nt go far wrong checking out Chesters most beautiful & the best ‘ The Busking Lady ‘, her example really cd save you. But take my genuine ‘advice’ ignore or should I say ‘beware’ her orientation & ‘sentiment’ concerning ‘street-people’ & the homeless cos’ any ‘naievity’ ( or ‘limited’ perspective ) here, cd seriously ruin ‘your’ street ( ie. busking ) career ! .

          • Bytheway you may ask what am I talking about when ‘you’ check out her Social Media ( eg. Twitter site ) & see her cavorting about in a Charlie Chaplin costume with full ‘stick’ on moustache & tie ( unless you’re a woman of course, a certain kind of ‘female’ of the ‘kinky’ sort ! ). But from my ‘male-centric’ point of view, I tell you, she looks pretty damn good ( ‘fit’ ) in a tight ‘pair’ of jeans & T-shirt ( not forgetting ‘ the big furry jacket ‘ ! ) .

          • Got me thinking, I know Anne-Marie is a deft foot with regards the Charleston but wonder if she is a familiar with the Waltz ( or in ‘guitarist’ terms ‘The Vals’ ). If so one day ( as luck wd have it ) me & her are gonna work together ! .

          • * The Bi-Partisan Joan of Arc – a not uncommon ‘street’ archetype ! ( or Chesters ‘Busking’ Lady )

            I mention ‘pride’ ( haughty ) above ( See. Charlotte Campbell Comment ) as the ‘human’ prelude ( the dys – functional personality characterstic ! ) most associated with getting ones wings burned in life. Here by extension I’d like to ‘correct’ this statement, by ‘commenting’ that this ‘moral’ precept cd just as well apply to those deemed more ‘supercillious’ by nature amongst us.

            By that I mean those persons ( ‘characters’ ) not uncommonly found in the ‘busking’ community, both male & ‘female’, who possess this quality, the character ‘trait’ that cd be the key to their eventual downfall.

            Q. Who do I have in mind? A. Aghh well !, who come immedately to mind are those with a ‘penchant’ for mixing ‘political’ activism with wry humour eg. seeking to re-establish a ‘northern’ brand of Christian ‘neo’ pre=raphaelite aesthetic in places like Chester – the contemporary UK centre of the ‘miracle’ play, together with a ‘pique’ for spontanous ‘street’ dance, including flashing their ‘boob’s in public places, you know in passers byes faces ( unsuspecting ‘male’ fans ! ) , & who I have described elsewhere, & yes ‘critically’, I don’t renege on this description, as those ” Bi-Partisan Joan of Arcs ” ! ) .

            Ha! ha! ha! only joking Ann-Marie you know i fancy you really ! ( yes I do ! ) .

          • I may not love you ( of course you cd ‘grow’ on a man ! ) but I fancy you lots. Honest to God ! .

          • Lesson

            Q. Are you ‘camera’ ready ?

          • Nb. I note that the Chester Town Centre ‘dance’ video mentioned above has now been ‘taken’ off her website ( & even that has ‘vanished’ ! ), ‘Silly’ Spoilsport no need to behave like that ( i.e. to sulk ! ) I was only ‘jokiing’.

            Clare Wall – Chesters Busking Lady aka The Lady With The Green Hat, Modern Millie ( a highly entertaining official stage show by the way ! ) I’m now going to have to ‘rename’ her ‘street’ Act ‘Silly’ Spoilsport ie. not ‘Sally’ as in Aunt Sally, but ‘Silly’, yes ‘Silly’ Spoilsport !.

  • Song of Hope ( A Tribute To Big Issue Sellers )

    A song of hope in these rather ‘heady’ days of test & for some ‘trauma’on the streets. Indeed a mighty ‘tribute’ to the Big Issue Sellers who ‘promptly’ turned up on the scene when they heard that I’d been ‘robbed’ when busking the other Sat, on the pallasade opp the ‘photo’ shop, adjacent the Church ‘pidgeon’ park in Bham city centre.

    The news soon got around when some guy seemingly ‘high’ on alcohol ( ‘street’ Gin ) decided to make a grab for some ‘change’ eg. £ 5.00 exactly that morning at 10.30am/11am. They ( these ‘noble’ two ) certainly tempered my ‘original’ welcome to Bham ‘street-performing’ with the ‘warmly’ welcoming alternative tsound of ” you all right mate, that b..s..d did he go for your money ”. That was the ‘voice’ of the first Big Issue Guy who soon turned up on the scene.

    ( Back Story * I’d grabbed the guy, him having gone for the money, & decided rather than take him down i.e. with a hand twist ‘dead’ lock, just hold him firm & get passersbye to call the police. The strategy – in this instance worked – as soon as he realised the ‘police’ wd be called – a elderly guy stopped by & began to call ’em for me – he let go !. This was after ‘audaciously’ aggresively shouting out ‘ I was robbing him ‘ when I refused to let his ‘hand’ go & demanded the money back ) .

    The beautiful morning light grew even brighter when another ‘Big Issue’ Guy turned up & said ” Let me know if he comes back & me and my ‘mates’ will help you ”. His ‘mates’ a straggling group of ‘rough’ sleepers, some bent kneed, weighted down with ‘damp’ heavy sleeping bags ( it had been ‘raining’ the night before ) were standing in long line around the ‘gates’ of The Church ‘park’ grounds, & all waved a sign of ‘solidarity’ with the Seller, the ‘semiology’ = don’t worry just give us the ‘sign’ & we will without hesitation be over to back you up ! .

    This 2nd Big Issue Guy, I’m familiar with, in fact I knew him from late last year, & Xmas ‘busking’ on the Bham German Market him selling the Big Issue Magazine. His ‘motive’ for helping me out ( he is a genuine ‘pretty’ good guy in general I tell you ! ) was no doubt in part a returned ‘favour’ for me ‘separating’ a conflict he’d had with a large ‘band’ of Romanian Gypsies. The ‘warning’ signs are here today ( I had a ‘few’ conflicts last week ) i.e. what threatened to be a common ‘re-occurance’ last year i.e. all out ‘struggle’/fighting on the streets as ‘folk’ vye for position, ‘fight’ for spaces with ‘some’ Gypsies blatantly using a ‘drown em out ‘ strategy ( with ‘brass’ & other instruments ! ) so as to ‘dominate’ the market ( yes selfishly, ‘tribally’ ) like some warlike ‘ethnic’ clan ! .

    I was target the other Saturday ( of the street idler/ ‘drunk’ ) not because of ‘real’ need eg. starvation, general ‘brokeness’ or other forms of penuary but because of just that I was an ‘soft’ ‘target’ for him ( the perpertrator ) to easily ‘grab’ some money & feed his ‘addiction’ in this case a kind of ‘ alcoholism’ !. When I had him in close grip he tried to win over my conscience ( ‘morally’ manipulate me ) by crying out he was in ‘pain’, he was going thru’ pain. When I retorted well then ” why not ask me for some money, rather than steal it ) he went silent.

    I finally got my ‘money’ back off him without a ‘fight’ ( fisticuffs etc ), let him ‘go’, called off the ‘elderly’ gentleman with the ‘mobile’ phon & picked up a quid ( x 2 fifty pence pieces ) & gave it too him. Ungratefully he wanted more, stood over my case intimidatedly as if he was going again to ‘grab’ more. It was then that the ‘police’ arrived, he backed off , & rapidly disappeared ….!

    • * Londons ‘ThamesReach’ ( A Deserved Homage ! )

      If you’re concerned about the ‘plight’ of the homeless’, rough-sleepers, druggies, drunks at present & ‘street’ addiction in general then you cd do no wrong visiting the ‘website’ of the Londons based ‘homelessness’ organisation ‘ThamesReach’. Their site is full of ‘insights’, & worthy advice, plus ‘creative’ solutions regards the all too ‘common’ ( & ‘growing’ ! ) problems of the street in our towns & cities.

      Something ‘special’ ( i.e. ominous & particularly dangerous ) is happening on the ‘streets’ of Birmingham – the countries 2nd City – at present, & its to ThamesReach, organisations like this, that I turn too for general ‘info’ & inspiration ( I pay ‘homage’ to this particular org. plus many of their ‘outreach’ workers who day in day out, night in night out, socially ‘patrol’ our town/city centres as part of the social ‘remedy’ to this particular dirty & ‘wasteful’ human situation ! ) .

      • * The Gypsy ( an ‘unnatural’ antipathy )

        Please note that the sad thing happening in Bham city centre at present ( a possible ‘tragedy’ ) is that the Gypsy’s, as a people, a culture are not a group that I have a natural ‘antipathy’ towards ( my first ‘real’ busking friend was a Gypsy Lad who I met a few years ago, in fact I sold him a ‘Hohner’ Accordian which I was learning to play myself at the time ! ).

        So, one way or the other this problem ( ‘cultural’ impasse ) must be resolved, yes tho’ an awkward ( & maybe bitter ! ) ‘struggle’ may ensue. I for one ‘morally’, spiritually see myself very much ‘guided’ along the road to peace ! . Which of course In ‘reality’, which I allude too again, is all too often ( in human terms! ) a long & ‘arduos’ journey ( sometimes ‘treacherous’ path ! )! .

        • See. Independant NewsPaper Article, Tues 16 Feb 2016, ” National Gallery Plans To Demand Buskers Leave So It Can Create One Of Londons Great Parks ” by Nick Clark Arts Correspondent ( ref. ‘comments’ below )

          • Meanwhile ‘peace’ talks in Bham are currently resuming including a few ‘long’ chats with Birmingham city-centre Police in their station at Steelhouse Lane ! .

          • A few ‘actions’ have also been taken during this ‘time-line’, what with the ‘complete’ removal of the ‘supa-dupa’ Gypsy Band ( yes ‘musically’ very good but causing way, way too much ‘voluminous’ noise ! ), by City-Centre ‘Authorities’ from their ‘favourite’ spot outside the HSBC Bank New Street.

            The ‘group’ not just ‘drowning’ out the ‘immediate’ vicinity but the whole ‘street’ zone. When they’re around blasting it out at that ‘level’, tho’ in many ways presenting an ‘entertaining’ public spectacle, unfairly no one else can play. To be allowed back they’ve just got to ‘tone’ it down a little, ‘reason’ ( justice! ) demands it ! .

          • * The ‘Second’ Coming

            Bytheway whats going on with all these ‘pictures’ being banded around ( on Twitter sites, Facebook Pages etc ) of ‘Singer Songwriter’ Leonard Cohen looking like ‘Novelist’ Albert Camus !.

            Post Brexit, post Trump, is this the ‘current’ social media metaphor for a ‘new’ brewing trade-deal between Canada & France or something ? . Strange ‘fortuitious’ days these methinks, in fact its beginning to feel something like, a little akin to, the ‘second’ coming ! .

          • Bytheway I generally don’t believe in ‘Heroes’ & am very suspicious of all ‘hero’ worship but I have to tell you for me ‘ Albert Camus ‘ comes close ! .

          • * The ‘Third’ Coming

            The ‘model’ IvyMay’s ventures into Euro Pop ( or is it Eurovision ? ) in a ‘nightclub’ in Belfast 1 week before ‘Mothers Day’ ( & the death of Sinn Fein MP Martin McGuiness ! ) this time dressed up as ‘Catwoman’ or was it a ‘female’ dominatrix ( absent the lg leather ‘whip’ ) &/ or perhaps Jazz Mino ( & chap ! ) not as fellow ( or follow on ! ) performer but Michaela Strachan & Pete Warterman i.e. the ‘new’ HItMan & Her

            Good luck with your recent ‘midi’ & logic pro meanderings bytheway Mino, I understand you might have lost your last ‘piece’ if it was’nt for ‘auto-save’. KRO as they say in Bham or more accurately down the Blues i.e. on the road to ‘creative’ Mastery ( of Pop that is, or what some may call the EFL or Chrysler League of Music, yes thats the 3rd Division for the uninitiated ! ).

          • Thinking about it I’m ‘maybe’ in London next week, & might be looking for somewhere to stay for a ‘night’ or two. Mmmmm ! ” I wonder if she’ll put me up on the couch ? ” Mino that is, or if not her, somebody else ? .

  • Voyageurs 8K ( from ‘ More Than Just Parks ‘ )

    A bit like listening to Charlotte Campbell & Jazz Mino on ‘acid’ but solace to the soul, as you are transported ( if only thru’ the imagination ! ) across the universe & over to the ‘other’ side by this ‘literally’ marvelously lyriced song/dance groove ” Oh Wonder ‘ Technicolour Dream ‘ ”. Don’t know what Wordsworth wd have made of it but ‘ Coleridge ‘ wd have certainly approved ,

    ( cue: Night Owl sounds, other ‘bird’ sounds & then music )

    ” Lay down your soul, come settle down settle down.
    Then lose your glow, come settle down settle down

    And I feel life for the very first time
    Love in my arms & the sun in my eyes
    And I feel safe in the fireon light
    You carry my fears as the heavens set fire

    Jump into the heat, spinning on our feet
    In a technicolour beat
    You & me, caught up in a dream
    In a technicolour beat

    Beat !, Beat !, Beat !.

    Woman alone, come settle down settle down,
    Swing me your bones, come settle down settle down

    And I feel life for the very first time
    Love in my arms & the sun in my eyes
    I feel safe in the 5am light
    You carry my fears as the heavens set fire

    Jump into the heat, spinning on my feet.
    In a technicolour beat
    You & me, caught up in a dream
    In a technicolour beat

    Beat !, Beat ! ,

    Give me one drop, I can feel you, when you lose control
    When you’re walkin’, on the water – in a technicolour dream

    We’re now movin’ in a technicolour beat !
    Movin’ in a technicolour dream !

    Jump into the dream, spinning on my feet
    In a technicolour beat
    You & me, caught up in a dream
    In a technicolour beat

    continue to Coda

    ( ” Oh Wonder ‘ Technicolour Beat ‘ ” on the Voyageurs 8K, ‘More Than Just Parks presents’ Video on Vimeo )

  • Notes

    ” Its not where you take things from, its where you take them too ! ( Film Director, Jean Luc Goddard )

    Wow was that ‘ Louis Saragossi ‘ contributing backing vocals on this ‘track’ cos yeah, far out man, surreal !. Got me ‘meditating’ on Jazz Mino’s newest song/video e.g ‘ Hurt ‘ too, in her own words a ‘Jean Luc Goddard’ influenced work what with its ‘unique’ film take on a ‘London’ Girls ( in character city ‘Bimbo’ ! ) ‘imaginative’ journey from her flat in ‘ Shoreditch ‘ to the ‘Thames SouthBank’ to meet her ‘boyfriend’ ( Lous Saragossi ), she seemingly in ‘distress’ ( about what I do not know is it about a ‘split’ in a previous relationship, or something else one cannot tell ? ) & seeking her own brand of ‘solace’ in his arms.

    ( *My advice here, is follow in ‘Lady Gaga’s’ footsteps & get an ‘assistant’ to write a ‘full’ song exposition on Wikipedia as in her latest Album ‘ Perfect Illusion ‘. Seemingly penned by herself i.e. not Producers & ‘staff’ lyricists, but whose ‘lyrics’ you cannot directly understand a word ! )

    What is truly ‘original’ about Jazz’s video is the very fact that she features her very ‘own’ hubby ( Louis ) in the film i.e. not a bunch of topless, writhing torso’ed, sexy ‘male’ dancers nor a tall, dark & handsome a-list ( or ‘b-list’ !) actor hunk i.e. muscular chested, peak ‘biceped’ & dressed in ‘tight’ blue jeans. No ‘Saragossi’ the type of guy you might bump into in a train station, or ‘meet’ in a Wine Bar is made to cleverly represent every girls romantic dream ( i.e. a very ‘realistic’ one ! ).

    ( * Yeah ‘film’ perfect , a great choice Jazz, you’ll certainly avoid the downside of many a ‘female’ Pop Star ie. a whole bunch of girl ‘envy’, a whole ‘band’ of ‘malignant’ yg women dissing & shunting you. Instead you successfully * ‘positively’ remain that core attraction to a whole group of, nationwide population of, ‘fellow’ female ‘dreamers’ ! . )

    I love the ‘style’ of this ‘mini’ music movie, too what with its naturalistic ‘city’ film edits & aesthetics, where we move from place to place, not thru a ‘type’ series of b-list bimbo haunts, bistro’s & restaurants etc but travel ( film fleetingly ! ) thru some quite objectively interesting scenes & sights. Ones that manage to capture that pre-Brexit European ‘continental’ vibe ( ‘natural’ effervescent ‘light’ ! ) that ‘doth’ shine ( or ‘once’ shined ) on London as that ‘cosmopolitian’ city & in this sense your ‘music’ video is more akin to a Pedro Almodovar film shot in 1990’s Madridm, than a French 1960′ experimental Goddard film ( & that is a good thing, a quite marvellous, exuisitely ‘good’ thing Jazz !. )

    ( * Q. Why ? A. Cos’ the ‘mis-en-scene’ is truly ‘real’, visually expressing what was a socially ‘realised’ Utopia back in the day eg. March/April 2016 & one, an urban reality, that we have all now ‘tragically’ thrown away ( that ‘light’ cast away with it ! ), And seemingly for good unless London becomes its own kinda ‘city’ state of course, which ironically of course is one of the source causes of the problem in the first placy, for many ‘Outsiders’ ( ie. Northerners ) anyway ! ) .

    As for the ‘percieved’ quality of the ‘relationship’ depicted in the film/music ‘narrative’ between Jazz & Louis, well they kinda remind me of a Polish ‘Blonde’ girl / Jamaican ‘Black’ Guy couple I knew a few years back. I met ‘her’ ( Polish Waitress ) while working in a ‘canalside’ bar/restaurant called ‘ The Cross ‘ in Aston Birmingham ( a most unlikely place for a ‘top’ food joint but part of Bhams ‘rebirth’ as a city of culture back then ! ). I then met ‘him’ ( Jamaican Assistant Chef – they together as a couple, the ‘odd’ couple ) when I was running a small ‘breakfast’ cafe in Birminghams city-centre, ‘new’ developments area. And what a ‘freedom’ loving pair of ‘international’ types they were too ( they’d met whilst working on ‘cruise’ ships in the Carribbean ). The 3 of us getting on instantly, easy in ‘our’ company & more than a few times going out for ‘drinks’ together .

    Likewise Jazz & Louis also pleasantly remind me of the ‘nice’ ( & Uvuncular ) yg couple ( both ‘white’ ) & friends of my ‘Dads’ who used to take me to ‘ the Speedway ‘ on Tues nights when I was a yg Teenager eg. 12 or 13 years old. My Father thinking it a good way to get me out of the house & ‘cure’ my loneliness ( a ‘phase’ I was going thru’ ) back then !. Its in this sense ( film/’life’ context ) that the eg. ‘Hurt’ video, reminds me of a ‘Francois Truffaut’ film ( seriously ! ), nevermind a key ‘episode’ on my own life .

    Yeah, an ‘inpirational’ work ( music video ) this, its time for a whole ‘fresh’, down-to-earth, yet ‘romantic’ ( both do go-together in the ‘true’, poetic, sense of the word ) ‘perspective’ on relationships. Its also today a very timely piece, as ‘world’ events show us ( will possibly ‘dictate’ to us ), in that its mighty damn time for a whole ‘new’, more down-to-earthm approach to ‘politics’.

    Anyway in the ‘meantime as I brood on this point, I’m at ‘home’ now teaching myself to walk, yeah how to ‘stroll’ properly, whilst at the same time listening to /watching ( with a ‘side’ glance ) a video on YouTube of ‘Yamandu Costa & Dominguinhos’ ! .

    ( Comment Written In memory of Actor Robert Vaughn ‘ The Man From Uncle ‘ ! )

    • PS. Byetheway of an apology, one ‘correction’ to my comment above. Jazz Mino did not in any shape or form make any ‘direct’ statement to the effect that her most recent music video eg. ‘Hurt’ was influenced by the French Film Director Jean Luc Goddard. Theres just an ‘allusion’ to it contained in one of the ‘feeds’ on her Twitter Site. See. Jazz Mino ( @ Jazz Mino ) Twitter.com. 10/11/ 2016 under Budi Voogt, CEO, Creator of the Soundcloud Bible, Music Marketing Academy ( or MMA ) .

      • Postscript. Oh the ‘difficulties’, pains & sorrows of successfully straddling the worlds of ‘independant’ Artist & ‘manufacured’ pop with most erring on the side of ‘manufactured’ pop. Jazz Mino with her ‘new’ video eg. ‘ Hurt ‘ & its ‘evocative’ poetic depiction of the contemporary London ‘fields’ presents us ( the listener/viewer ) not only with a touching ‘romantic’ journey into the heart of the Singer but by way of narrative ‘subtext’ manages to create a film work that that both burns & strives to keep for us all the very dream of London alive. For that alone, I think she deserves our ‘thanks’, if not a public ‘reward’ eg. a ‘part’, perhaps the ‘leading’ role in the 2016 Lewis’s Xmas Ad .

        • Of course Jazz if at present ( gosh its ‘mid’ November already ! ) its too late to make it into this years Xmas Ad campaign(s), then take courage & aim for ‘next’ year. In the meantime for the rest of us ‘unfortunate, less ‘Popular’ acts, over the next 12 months eg. 2016-2018, heres some ‘required’ reading ( yes it may be time to ‘start’ reading & heres a good book for starters ) eg. ” The Work Of Art In The Age Of Mechanical Production ” by Walter Benjamin .

          • Plus how about taking a ‘seminar’ in contemporary Pop. Got the most beautiful ‘chorus’ running thru’ my imagination right now eg.

            Pre Intro ( Repeat ” We’re going thru’ buried treasure …..” )

            Chorus ( Begin ” Aghh !, keep looking back over my shoulder & I, Aghh !, been chasing footprints that brush over your touch,….been walking miles & getting closer – in love ! , a roller coaster of emotion ”.

            Colourful Repetition, clever ‘variation’ incl ‘contrasts’, climax & ‘instrumental’ hooks. Don’t throw’ this ‘catchy’ little ditty away, this one deserves ‘radio’ play. Luv you Mino !.

          • Nb. Comment written after the fact !.

          • And not without a brief word of ‘acknowledgement’ to her Muse !.

          • ( * The @New Song ” Footprints ” by Jazz Mino. Out Now !. )

  • ‘Stranger ‘ by Goldfrapp ( In Memory of ‘Pop Star’ George Michael )

    Just been listening ( somewhat ‘nostalgically’ ) to the song track ‘Stranger’ by art/synth pop ( the only kind of ‘pop’ I really like ) group Goldfrapp & am seeing ( sympathetically evisaging ) echoes of the life ( that parallel, ‘shadowy’ celibrity life ) of George Michaels – who despite some apparantly significant lg term liasons, represents for me the ‘eternal’ gay wanderer !.

    Well thats the nice, kind, or glossy tinged, tackily sentimental if of not ‘romantically’ imaginative or should I say commercially ‘packaged’ ( popular filmic ) way of seeing it. Very much so when you/i compare his ( G.Michaels ) subterrannean practices ( & ‘sexuality’ ! ) with the ‘odd’ sexual practices of the less well known ( tho’ no less notorious in/amongst ‘knowing’ intellectual circles ! ) French Philospoher ( & ‘Sorbonne’ Star ) Michele Foucault ( himself dying ‘tragically’ relatively young, & in historical terms quite recently, of ‘sexually’ transmitted illness i.e Aids ).

    A figure of ‘real’ moral ambiguity too Foucault, much like G.Michael ( Nb. who despite his ‘private’ antics ‘cottaging’, lurking salaciously on the ‘heath’ etc, on the other hand cited by ‘friends’ & colleagues as a ‘naturally’ generous man & beneficint human being ). Both of them ( & their lives ) presenting ‘issues’ for most ‘reasonable’, enquiring men & as far our French Philospher is conerned raising ‘testing’ & frustrating questions like Eg.

    Q. How cd one of the most ‘insightful’ post-war Academic Philosphers, writing such philosophical cultural classics as ‘Discipline & Punish’ ( A History of Order & Punshment in Western Civilisation ), ‘ A History of Sexuality ‘ ( A Grounbreaking Academic Discourse On the Subject ), ‘Madness & Civilisation ( Speaks for itself ! ) lead such a ‘sordid’ private life ? ( Nb. Foucault had a ‘stong’ penchant for Sado-Masochistic relations, & particular ‘taste’ for sodomising yg men !).

    Of course whilst chasing male ‘strangers’ on the heath, seeking physical ‘encounters’ with them, may be ‘filterd’ thru the imagination ( ‘dream’ reality ) & yes viewed somewhat sympathically as the ultimate homo-erotic fantasy ( i.e. randomly picking up straight ‘girls’ every ‘straight’ mans ultimate ‘turn’-on ! ) it also ‘raises’ many doubts ( ‘moral’ ones! ) & forces us to queston ‘ironically’ the ultimate ‘true’ nature’ of ‘homosexuality’ & its corollary homosexual desire ( along with some ‘heterosexual’ fantasy & so called ‘straight’ practices ).

    You see for some ( esp the ‘comedians’ amongst us – of which there are many ) ‘homosexuality’ is no more than a kind of Divine ‘Black’ Joke & homosexual practices a form of ‘bad’ manners ( I’m thinking about the ‘scene’ twist when the dream ‘encounter’ dramatically ends on the heath & ‘fades’ out into the ‘public’ toilet ) .

    In fact some of the ‘best’ pschoanalytic therapists I’ve read ( eg. old school German ‘Penguin’ ones, popular modern science writers with surnames like Woolf etc ) the whole ‘gay’ persona ( ie. commonly known as #’camp’ ! ) is merely a supra ‘psychically’ realised ( manifest ) parody of the architypeal ‘female’ shrew ( See. Shakespeare ) &/plus ‘infantile’ interpolation of the ‘gendered’ monster ‘Incubus’ as Mother. A ‘gay’ ( or homosexual’ ) is no more than human personality set-up ‘programmed’ ( deeply structured ) in early childhood, a victim ( of subtlely placed ‘dark’ subconsious software ) cruely ‘destined’ for ultimate ‘self’ destruction ( regardless of what happens in their life i.e. ”actons’//plot in between).

    Nb. In other words ‘Gays’ or homosexuals in general, abit like many ‘black’ men, societies ‘scapegoats’ etc are essentially ‘doomed’ people, tho’ for different reasons. Once more ‘they’ know it & in their most lucid, ‘intimate’, genuinely honest moments they tell you. The most expressive ones, the ‘great’ ones, do so in the form of a song, or for some a literary masterpiece !.

    Bytheway leading to another point I’d like to make about the art pop song ‘Stranger’ by Goldfrapp, ( * why I like this song ! ) its a classic example of how to shape a ‘strong’ romantic ‘colourful’ wistful melody over an otherwise ‘bog’standard, musically unpromising 2 piece chord progression.

    ( ‘Stranger’ by Goldfrapp – In Memory of ‘Pop’ Star George Michael )

    • * Notes

      See ‘film’ ie. music video verson of the ‘song’ YouTube.

      • * Further Notes

        Calling all London Songwriters ( esp the ‘street’ trad, folksy, beatboxy, pop song influenced ones ). Regardless of ‘celebrity’ endorsement or ‘example’ ( incl that of so called Busk London Ambassadors ), no ‘fast’ track trips to the Beverly Hills please, forget your ‘6’ week ‘crash course(s) in Hollywood Screenwriting, ( to prove or ‘revitalise’ yourselves ) cos’ despite them being a cynical commercial illusion ( & available ‘on-line’ these days & no you can’t be Ennio Morricone in a matter of weeks, nor in a ‘few’ years for that matter !) Goldfrapp productions are intrinsically ‘much better ( & genuinely ‘creative’ ! ) anyway.

        Without California style credentials & ‘backing’ superior ‘art’wise, both in ‘content’ ( much more interesting ! ) & style i.e.beautifully shot !. Q. Art v Mainstream Pop = Art wins every time ( if nothing else a matter of true ‘heart’ over sentiment !. )

        • As any ‘ailing’ nevertheless successfull Singer Songwriter willl tell you ( if they’re honest & perhaps in their latest ‘songs’, public forums. or at least interviews ) the road to Hollywood, 10yrs in a ‘flash’, for the musically ‘uninitiated’, a ‘dead’ end .

          • Source. ‘ Adventures In The Screen Trade ( A Personal View of Hollywood ) ‘ by William Goldman – Ok not really !.

          • * A Few More Notes

            See. The quetion of naievity, ignorance ( plus some of it being plainly ‘willful’, ok yes damned foolheadedness ! ), with regards this particular issue. But more significantly take a look at ‘vested’ interest, & the Q. of the fake ‘testimonial’, with regards not only ‘Hollywood’, but the whole of the ‘mainstream’ publishing industry ( & elswhere, given ‘current’ conditions, these the days of ‘social’ media! ). Then compound your thoughtful ‘cultural’ examination ( & analysis ) with a reading from ‘ The Beautiful & The Damned ‘ by F.Scot Fitgzgerald.

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