Monthly Archives: March 2019


In response to what I see as humanity reaching newer lows with every passing day I’d like to make the following suggestions and comments. I can only make some changes and additions to my own contribution to improving what’s going on. Mine might not be the same as yours and they will respect PEACEFUL/NON VIOLENT action and will be CLEARLY CONTRIBUTING TO THE GENERAL GOOD OF SOCIETY.

I was in the Houses of Parliament earlier this week for the launch of an initiative to get rid of plastic pollution. It was a timely reminder (for me) of the value of that place. The people in it working tirelessly and respectfully of one another’s differences. It is an impressive place, despite the results of their work not often making me very happy lately (nor anyone else for that matter – what a fools errand that all is!). Nevertheless there was some action on tackling plastic pollution with the help of Sir David Attenborough and a good number of MPs and ministers, shadow ministers and so on. Felt very good to be there. THAT’s what politics is for.
It was a stark reminder of my belief that in the arts and culture worlds we should steer clear of getting too involved in that place. I’m thinking of those chummy drinks parties Blair had with the Britpoppers of the day being the beginning of a complacent chumocracy. There hasn’t been enough music or art or creators doing enough challenging. (Not in my sphere anyhow). They’re more keen to chum up to the politicians rather than hold them to account for what they are doing/not doing.
Anyhow, my feeling these days is that the no-deal might ought to be allowed to go ahead, and let those crazies have their days in the sun. I’ll support and start the movement to rejoin as soon as the day happens that we leave. I’ve no doubt that the young folks of the world will be all about unifying and collaborating, across borders, to the benefit of the world and its people, and uniting, not dividing people.
I’m making these commitments and I will need support from others to make checks on me, and my progress:
1: I will support peaceful protest and demonstration and try to get to more of these, not using my tired middle age and young child as a reason not to do this. We need to get out and have our voices heard.
2: The work I do as a promoter with The Local and The End Festival will include carrying Love Music Hate Racism merch and literature on the Merch Table at every show. We will be accepting donations on behalf of LMHR and we will be spreading a message of love and unity.
3: The work I do as a promoter with The Local and The End Festival will include monitoring our carbon footprint with Energy Revolution, and where possible making a contribution towards reducing our carbon footprint, encouraging bands and audiences to reduce theirs. We will try and encourage venues to reduce single use plastic use.
4: I will continue to use the platform I have as a tutor at Higher Education to spread a positive message about the transformative power of music and the arts, and how it can be used as a force for good!

Unconventionally full circle!


Next week I get to be in Manchester at the 100th Unconvention. I am proud to say I was there for the first one, hosting a panel about live music and I’m doing that again next week!

There’s a video kicking about of that first one, and I’m in it (#proud). I am (we are ALL) way thinner than now (#lessproud) and what I do notice is how excited and driven we all are about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. This felt/feels just right.

In ten years since then, Spotify has come along, and I feel a bit like the word DIY has turned into something of a soundbite rather than an approach. And I feel a bit like the BIG machine has adopted a lot of the exciting bits of what we were doing and discussing. Such that there is a renewed need for a re-invigorated DIY/Independent approach and debate.

Given Brexit and Trump have we (as a music community but also creative arts industry) perhaps become a bit complacent? I feel very angry that ART came under fire in the discussions ahead of the referendum, and yet it is ever clearer to me that the ART I love and work for is catering perhaps for not all of the population, and many think it’s just not for them. So I feel like that is a kind of failure.

Why are we doing this? What is the ultimate purpose? Is it just to be financially successful, famous, be “the main man/woman”? Are we trying really to make a difference?

The video from Uncon1 shows a number of people who’ve gone on to do *really* well and also a number who’ve stopped, or changed what they do, and are now doing well with that.

There’s talk about downloads, not streaming. Some of the tech has dated but not the prevailing attitude. Then, it was about being DIY and Indie. What should it be about NOW? What about those who attend this 100th edition? Who will make a good fist of what they are doing now, change up and do something different, or stop altogether?

I’d like to try and push that along and suggest we ask WHY we’re DIY and Indie, and HOW we can take this good practise and the message to further spread the word that what we do, the artists we work with, the events we organise, are brilliant, for everyone, and to perhaps make a dent in that portion of the population we seem not to be reaching. We have to do more I think.