A dollar and a half
Which would you rather do? Would you prefer to write a song which is a top ten hit this year but soon forgotten, or would you rather write a song which doesn't make the top ten but still feels relevant and is still talked about more than fifty years later?
More keyboard in the monitor
It's Friday, and that's always a good night for music, but our options are limited at present, so here is a compilation from the archives, a vibrantly colourful selection of some fantastic bands who have appeared at Klub Kakofanney in the past. It starts with the amazing UK:ID who rocked up from Glastonbury way back in 2015, followed by Reading's avant-garde Adam & Elvis who rolled into town in 2018, and finishes with a 2019 clip of Oxford's heavyweight instrumental trio, Grudgewood, who were simply magnificent.
We are still working behind the scenes to get gigs going again, but the lack of a suitable venue is a major complication. I will let you know as soon as we have any definite news.
A little bit of Blackpool rock
It's a Bank Holiday weekend, and surprisingly it looks like sunshine is on the cards. Good news if you are planning a day at the seaside or a picnic in the park. Maybe you are going to London to exercise your legal right to take part in the Extinction Rebellion protest about the mess we are making of the planet. Or maybe you are heading to Reading for the festival. Sadly, the Punk Rebellion festival in Blackpool has been postponed for another year, but this is a colourful clip of it from ten years ago. Oi....
One option you have this weekend is the Jericho Street Fair, which will include live music from some local artists. It runs from midday to 6pm on Saturday afternoon, and here are the details:
Please remember that even if it is outdoors on a dry sunny day, you can still show consideration to others. Be prepared to give people space, mask up if you go into the pub to buy drinks, take hand sanitiser with you, and of course, if you have any Covid symptoms, be a responsible adult and stay home to protect others. Protect yourself as well. Keep yourself hydrated, and use sunscreen.
Really free, really free, really really really free
Did you recognise the chorus from John Otway's 1977 hit record, "Really Free"? It reached number two some forty years ago, and he'll never let you forget it. I found this video which apparently was filmed in Aylesbury in 1978, but I don't know the town well enough to know if that was what the market square looked like back then. It sure looks crowded though:
We have a government which takes bad communications to a whole new level. There are still people who do not know what the lateral flow tests are, or who think that once they've been jabbed they can just forget about masks and tests and everything. Lateral flow tests are home testing kits. You test yourself at home and get the result in 30 minutes. It's just like a pregnancy test kit,... no, don't pee on it, read the instructions. While we have so many cases, just test yourself once or twice a week to make sure you have not picked up an infection, and are not spreading it around. The kits are free, really free, really really really free. Ask for them in places like Boots pharmacy counter. If you can't get out to the shops, go online and fill in the form and they'll post them to you. Here's the website address for ordering them:
Do you remember the Latitude Festival held last month? It was one of the open-air showcase events to prove that Covid Passports were the magical high-tech solution to letting us "learn to live with Covid". The follow up tests show that despite all the officiousness and paperwork, around 1,000 people in the Latitude audience caught Covid that weekend. Young people now make up the bulk of new cases, and being young doesn't stop you being at risk. If you can get vaccinated, then please, just do it. It is safer for you, and safer for everyone else too. I really don't want to lose friends due to misinformation from the antivaxxers.
You don't know what you've got till it's gone
At the Olympics recently, Charlotte Worthington won Britain's first ever gold medal in freestyle BMX, whilst Declan Brookes won a bronze. Both used to train at Rush Skatepark in Stroud. The facility has to close by the end of the month so that the local council can redevelop the site for homes and businesses. The nearest skatepark to Stroud will then be a small track in Cardiff. This fifty year old song never made it into the top ten, but it has become ever more relevant and prophetic over the years, and doesn't sound in the least dated.
Whether we are talking about sports facilities, our music venues, or even just open spaces where the local kids can play soccer,... whatever we are talking about, planners and developers seem to have very little understanding of the vital role that leisure plays in bringing society together and in mending the mental health of individuals. When a facility disappears practically overnight, it leaves a huge hole in people's lives. You can't just fill the void with a franchise coffee shop.