Thursday, 29 November 2012

Former CBS record label mates convention....

Had an unexpected reunion with former CBS records labelmate John Cooper Clarke, still strutting his stuff as the definitive punk poet... On the right (my left in the photo) is one of my son's craft stalls (Sam's Wood) with his wooden creations displayed in the Essex town of Wivenhoe, where JCC now resides.

We reminisced about the various shared acquaintances and personalities from those days, compared notes on our life stories since being 'signed' and generally put the world to rights. Have to say his detailed memory from those heady days is impressive, he hasn't aged a bit ;-)

Here is one of my favourite examples of his work:
I wrote the songs that nearly made
The bottom line of the hit parade
Almost anthems, shoulda been hits
Songs like... Puttin' on the Ritz
Some enchanted afternoon
Twenty-four hours to Levenshulme
Dancin' in the daylight, singin' in the smog
You ain't nothin' but a hedgehog
So close and yet so far
Do you remember they way we are
I'd like to get you on a speedboat to china
From an idea by George Steiner
Ain't no blag - uncle's got a brand new jag
Ain't no slouch - mama's got a brand new couch
She ain't heavy, she's my sister
Not to leave out twist and whisper
Brand new leapordskin pillbox glove
Baby you and me we got a greasy kind of love

Friday, 23 November 2012

Do justice, love mercy and walk humbly...

One of the themes Jonathan and I develop in our book The Secret Chord is the way some music takes on deeper significance when particular associations are made with it. This is a perfect example: a tribute single to keep awareness of the tragedy at Hillsborough featuring a host of pop luminaries under the banner The Justice Collective singing the Hollies emotional song 'He Ain't Heavy, He's my Brother'.

Although engineering a Christmas chart topper is an uncomfortable strategy, with the revelations the recent enquiry exposed this does give plenty of validity. The Justice Collective ensemble is headed up by composer Guy Chambers, Text JUSTICE to 80010 to pre-order the single now. Texts cost £1 + standard network rate with proceeds going to the Hillsborough Families' legal costs in their quest for justice.


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Synod stalemate...

...shamelessly nicked from Bishop Alan's blog...

Whilst the synod vote on women bishop's failed to reach the overall 2/3 majority of all three 'houses' and despite the profound sadness so many feel, on reflection perhaps we should consider the outcome may be for the best? Whatever the result yesterday evening there would have been no winners as such, even staunch objectors to the introduction of women bishops concede that there will come a time when women are appointed so. But at what cost would it be if the vote went through yesterday?

Personally I am totally in favour of bishops, regardless ;-) I was also taken by surprise at the depth of sadness I felt when the result was read out. But what I cannot endorse is the idea that we cannot be one in communion when served by a woman. And if the vote had gone through, as has been so more eloquently been expressed by most commentators, it would have enshrined in law that there should be provision BY A MAN for those that objected on theological grounds.

Now I know there are some that are sincere in that belief, however, listening to the live stream from Synod yesterday it was revealing how many that hold that view see it as a 'right', a personal preference for which a theological objection has been tailored. It was also made abundantly clear that advocates of the no vote felt this 'provision' had not been fully documented. I am unsure whether the church (in this case, read C of E) and Bishops in the House of Lords will have legitimate or legal standing to comment authoritatively on other matters whilst condoning the discrimination that is still rife and would have been formalised.

So yesterday has produced a mixed message. On one hand there was an overwhelming majority to accept women bishops, on the other hand the church has not moved any further forward. On one hand the Bishops and Clergy do seem to be more of one mind and yet on the other it would appear the House of Laity do not proportionately represent the rest of us. Furthermore whilst the clergy will feel the laity are a waste of space (see Twitter last night!!!) without us there is no church?

And the best moment during the debate? When the Bishop of Leicester attempted to bring some Christlike perspective with this comment during his speech: "Will this chamber be as full for the Living Wage debate tomorrow. Will the queue for the public gallery be as long?"

There is always hope...


Friday, 9 November 2012

Make love your goal...

The full version of Gabrielle Aplin's The Power of Love which is about to hit our screens as the soundtrack to John Lewis' charming Christmas 2012 advert...

Those of us ancient enough will recall this is a stripped down, alternative version of one of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's number one hits. FGTH, fronted by charismatic singer Holly Johnson, was one of those incendiary yet short lived bands in the 80s that made fantastic music with the assistance of legendary producer Trevor Horn.


Sunday, 4 November 2012