Saint Bono?

A lot of stuff gets said about Bono. Some people think he’s smug, self-important, an ego-maniac, etc. etc.

However, it’d be tough to fault his campaigning to bring world poverty, and particularly the disastrous situation in Africa, onto the global media stage.

This article in the Guardian talks a bit about what he’s been up to lately. I doubt there’s a person on the planet who has the kind of access that he has, the kind of left/right influence that he has in the US or the size of platform.

Obviously with that kind of appeal comes some compromise (He’s not, as far as I can see, been as critical of the war in Iraq as he might have been if he wasn’t hanging with the president), but it’s tough to fault his resolve to use his pop-star profile to make a difference. He’s said a number of times that it’s nuts that he should have access to the G8 leaders and finance ministers around the world, just cos he’s a pop star, but he’s taken the challenge seriously, done his homework, and will no doubt go down in the history of our lifetime as one of the most tireless campaigners for justice issues.

So hurrah for St Bono.

Jonatha gig number… 6? 7? I've lost count

Jonatha‘s back in the country, as the UK version of Back In The Circus came out yesterday. Last night she played one of the Bob Harris Presents… gigs that used to be at The Stables in Milton Keynes, and are now at The Brook (no E on the end, but close enough for Jonatha to feel at home) in Southampton – a nice enough venue, but nearly all standing, so doesn’t win out over The Stables for me…

Anyway, Jonatha was on first, and fab as always. It’s a great feeling when you go to see someone fantastic that most of the audience aren’t really familiar with – it’s the same feeling going to a Julie Lee gig – you just know that half an hour from now, there are going to be a whole load of Jonatha/Julie/Whoever converts in the audience.

As expected, the response was like she was the headliner. Marvellous.

Brian Houston was up next – I’ve not seen Brian play for a few months, and he was on top form – great songs, great stage show. He’s a really really engaging and entertaining performer. Great stuff.

And Finally Thea Gilmore, who was headlining. She’s good, though the stripped down simplicity of her songs didn’t really follow either the glorious complexity of Jonatha or the bouncy exuberance of Brian so well. Still, most of the audience were there specifically to see her, and she played really well, particularly the cover of The Buzzcocks’ ‘Ever Falling In Love With Someone’.

Sadly, we had to leave early as the Small Person, who had been wilting all evening, got progressively iller and iller as Thea’s set went on. I was doing merch by this time (whole catalogue of disaster for Thea – her tech was in A & E with concussion, her merch dude didn’t turn up), so handed that over to Thea’s manager, and took TSP home.

So, go and buy Jonatha’s album!

SoundtrackMasse, a demo of stuff by solo looping bassist/flautist – very inventive indeed; the Works, ‘Beware Of The Dog’.

Delayed Gratification…

…one of the central themes of Scott Peck’s ‘The Road Less Travelled’, also part of the theme of today’s sermon in church (can anything that Malcom Doney says be regarded as a sermon? more dry standup routine with a message, I guess…)… anyway, good stuff, reminded me to stop twatting about, and I came home and managed to clear the backlog of 616 emails that had been sat in my inbox since the L42 tour!!!!

Went to an outstanding gig last night (saturday night) – Ben Castle Quartet at the 606 club – Mark Edwards on Piano, Tim Harries on Bass, and Winston Clifford on drums… breath-taking, energising life-affirming stuff. And what’s more, Tim was playing a BC Rich ‘Beast’ bass – like he was straight out of Spinal Tap or Slipnot – and it rocked!! I’ve not been so ‘involved’ in watching a band for a long time. simply amazing. If this band are playing anywhere within 100 miles of you, you miss them at your peril. Ben’s a stunning, and extremely confident sax player, and there’s no weak link in the band – the rhythm section were storming, driving everything forward like the over-used metaphorical juggernaught. ooh, almost too good!! Makes me want to play…

On a much less positive note, the aged feline had a fit this evening – we’re not sure if it was a stroke or what, but it was clearly terrifying for him, and pretty damned frightening for us too. He was back to as close to normal as can be expected in an hour or so, but is still a little shakey on his pins… please pray for the little fella…

Soundtrack – in the car, I’ve been listening to a great compliation called ‘Our Friends Electric’, which is all early 80s synth stuff, from Ultravox to Belouis Some to The Buggles. Marvellous. And here at home, I’ve had Ben Castle’s ‘Four From The Madding Crowd’, which is excellent, followed by Fleetwood Mac ‘Rumours’ – which, I’m perhaps a little ashamed to say, is one of my guilty pleasures – what a great album! It’s amazing what two divorces and an adulterous affair can do for the creativity of a band! Go Your Own Way really does send shivers down my spine…

right, to bed…

Do Nothing Til You Hear From Me…

…or if you’re like me, just do nothing! Find it very hard to get motivate to
do all the work that needs doing… what with the central heating being bust and
me feeling like I’m fighting off some sort of cold thingie… Anyway, must get
my self assessment tax stuff sorted this week, as I don’t want to be doing it
on Christmas day, and in the new year, I’ll be sorting out stuff for the States…

Anyway, today I’ve done some updates on the website – just tinkering really,
and probably a diversionary tactic away from what I really should be doing…

tonight’s looking a bit better – first Grace (alternative worship thingie in
Ealing – all very groovy and ambient…), followed by Ben Castle
at the 606 club – should be fantastic!

And then tomorrow… hopefully some work… after church…

Soundtrack – today, just Rain Tree Crow, which was a sort of
Japan reformation in the late 80s early 90s, did one album, which is brilliant,
and then vanished again… I’ve listened to it four times in a row!

Right, I’m off to put some jacket potatos in the oven…

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