Guitar Ecstasy

The enigma formerly known as Bill Nelson. Photograph by Martin Bostock

I attended the concert of legendary musician and artist Bill Nelson just recently, at 70 years old.  What can I say?  Well very little needs to be said. It was sheer perfection and I’m in the privileged position to be able to invite you to attend the concert yourselves ….

For just one month you have a unique opportunity to view the concert online via Plectronica.  Bill was accompanied by enigmatic ambient artist Harold Budd, who worked with Brian Eno amongst many others.

Check Bill’s music out at Bill Nelson.

Click the picture to access the live video stream

I also wrote about Bill’s approach to music and life in the books The Music of Business and Sex, Leadership and Rock’n’Roll.  Contact me directly if you would like to get hold of copies of the books.

Some of my Bill Nelson collection

 

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Highway to Hell

OK, a snappy AC / DC song title to lure you into my “Brexit Venus Fly Trap”.  Truth be told, I’m sick of it, more so that many as I’ve been fighting to drum some sense into our politicians for two years now.

I’m proud to present this article on Brexit End Games, written for Europa United.  It has racked up a phenomenal number of views and a few bits of faint praise.  More importantly, the scenarios it outlines seem to be coming true, although we all know the inherent danger in predicting the future.

One unpredictable event was that the author of “50 Shades of Grey” liked the article so much that she shared it !!  Click here to read it now.  Please share and comment.

If you think Brexit is inevitable, think again.  I’d say the probability is now about 30% and declining with every day that passes.  Meanwhile I’m bemused by the fact that I did not have to look very hard to find a picture of Theresa May “taking back control” through the medium of BDSM aka Brexit Dystopian Self Mutilation …

But we must respect “the will of the title” of this blog, so I leave you with AC / DC.

Chas And Dave

I was extremely saddened to hear of the death of Chas Hodges, one half of “Cockney novelty act” Chas & Dave.  Of course, what lies behind all great success stories is the sheer hard work and preparation.  It’s rare to have success in one easy move.  In fact Chas & Dave were no novelty or a product of luck.  Chas Hodges worked with The Beatles, Bill Haley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent, Joe Meek, Richie Blackmore and Labi Siffre. He was also sampled by Eminem. This is testament to the importance of preparation and sheer hard work in success.

Chas’ death resonated strongly as I’d only just finished recording a song in honour of Chas & Dave last month.  I’m sure he would have loved its embedded non political correctness and cheeky allusions to Cockney rhyming slang.  Now we’ll never know 😦

In respect of his recent death, I have decided to donate proceeds from the sales of the song towards “Balls to Cancer“.  You can find the song at Chas & Dave Tribute.

I’d heard a round of criticism from people in social media that I’d dared record a Chas & Dave song.  These people of course are not musical, just musical snobs. A quick analysis of any one of their songs will tell you just why they are so popular. Great vocal syncopation, superb hooks, tight integration of the rhythm section to the words and a number of great earworms in every song.  Not a second wasted.  20 minute Genesis songs they are not, but that’s a different skill altogether.  There is a tremendous skill in writing a 3 minute pop song. It was a really hard job to bring these elements together in a respectful way in the song and I hope we gave a nod and a wink in the right direction.

I was extremely lucky as I saw Chas & Dave some 300 yards down the road from my house when they played a festival in my town. I could not believe that people of all ages knew all the words to their songs and the sheer euphoria of their performance and musicality. True professionals.

We finish with some of their great songs:

Chas Hodges R.I.P.

Brexit Goes Up To 11 …

Some of you will recall the famous sequence in the spoof Rockumentary “This is Spinal Tap”. I got thinking about the virtues of economy when I was pondering how much we have been manipulated by lies over the Brexit referendum. In data management terms we are still “drowning in data” on Brexit rather than “swimming with information” and fake news abounds, such as the bizarre story from a man I met in a pub who told me he voted to leave because he did not like garlic! Even more unusual the elderly “Christian” couple in a cafe who said that we must now leave because it was God’s will – My God!

In the spirit of keeping things simple, I decided to use the idea of less is more to simplify Brexit using the medium of just 11 words on single issues. The use of constraints as a spur to sharper thinking is a device I’ve used many times in my writing such as in the book Punk Rock People Management. Here then are some stylised memes. For a longer read, check out our articles at Europa United and The Independent.

Lest we forget the great moment when the amplifiers went up to 11, here we go …

It is clear that Chequers proposal is now officially dead – it will be represented again within the next 9 days and will be again rejected as a “walking wounded” proposal, in part because of the divisions inside the Conservative party.  That will leave the real choice as follows:

No Deal = “Sudden Death Brexit” versus RNR or “Remain and Reform”

Find out more about our plans to Exit Brexit at Exit Brexit.

p.s. Note that there are only 10 of these memes at present.  It would be nice to go up to 11 …

 

Chas and Dave

Exit Brexit is a new song written in the Chas & Dave “Mockney” style, to help persuade Brexiteers in regret and weary Remainers that Brexit is a “Dogs Dinner”.  Imagine “Margate” by Chas & Dave sung in an East End pub with punters soaked in Watneys’ Red Barrel and cockles … Take a listen at Exit Brexit

“I note with disappointment that the man / woman reading The Sun/ Mail / Express in my local cafe are unmoved by the clever arguments of academics, thought leaders and celebs who want to Remain.  A quick read of these papers is a good education of how these people think. They were mis-sold Brexit, demonstrate “buyers remorse” but don’t believe that Brexit can or should be halted due to the “will of the people” mantra. Exit Brexit uses the medium of clever pop music to reach people in ways that graphs do not. Would you Adam and Eve it?”

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We are approaching Danny Dyer (Eastenders) and John Altman (Nick Cotton) to give the song that ring of Bow Bells.  Check your mince pies and see what’s on offer …

* Buy the song for just a bin lid (£1.00) donation or more, according to your wishes or purse

* Just give whatever you feel towards the recording costs – it would help us recover all the costs we have incurred in making the “Rage Against The Brexit Machine” catalogue. A Paul McKenna would be great, a pony even better !

* Help finance our recording session with Danny Dyer or John Altman (a meet and greet will be included if we succeed) – This will include a pampering day at the studio in London – we need £3000, 6 monkeys or 3 bags of sand for this – you will be refunded if we don’t meet the goal

* Be part of the “Mockney Brexit Choir” as a piece of history – A ton (£100) buys you a day in a studio in Kent – we need ideally ten people for this – you will be refunded if we don’t get enough people to form the choir

* Appear in the video for the song – one day in September on location in the East End of London if there are sufficient backers – we need a minimum of £4000, two Jeffrey Archers or eight monkeys for this – you will be individually refunded if we don’t meet the goal

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Only fools and horses still want Brexit ….

Check the existing Rage Against Brexit album out at RAGE

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“Hey, you!” [Holds up Chlorinated Chicken] “See these mate? 5p cheaper than yours down the market.”

 

The Greatest Show on Earth

I attended the Greatest Show on Earth on Saturday … and you can this week …. in Leicester, Cardiff and Liverpool …

Richard Strange’s 1983 concept album “The Phenomenal Rise of Richard Strange” told the bizarre story in which a celebrity rose up based on his own BS and the “will of the people” to become the elected president of Europe. After being trashed by the gutter press, he then tragically falls from grace, facing abduction etc. Yet, his belief in himself is unchallenged by all of this, trapped in his self image. Listen to the finale of the album “I won’t run away” for an insight into the album. Of course, nothing like this could happen in real life … Reagan, Trump, Brexit etc. !!!  Was this just a preplay??

The Phenomenal Rise of Richard Strange was hailed the greatest concept album ever made. This reproduction of the album with a live band is timely and a poignant reminder of the problems that arise when our political leaders believe their own BS. Superbly put together both musically and theatrically, Richard and the band epitoimise Pop Art in a world of Populism where soundbites are three words, attention spans are three seconds and, thirdly, well, are you still listening?

Find out more about Richard Strange, leader of Proto Punk band “The Doctors of Madness” at Richard Strange and find an exclusive interview with him at “The Music of Business

See this once in a lifetime performance this week at

June 12th 02 ACADEMY  LEICESTER with The Psychedelic Furs
June 13th TRAMSHED CARDIFF with The Psychedelic Furs
JUNE 16TH 02 LIVERPOOL with The Psychedelic Furs
The band is exceptional.  It includes Steve ‘Boltz’ Bolton on searing guitars, electric and acoustic (The Who, Paul Young, Atomic Rooster, Scott Walker and many others). Terry Edwards plays Saxophones (several of them at one time), guitar and percussion (Gallon Drunk, The Higsons, Tindersticks and PJ Harvey). Atar Shafighian is a keyboard player supreme, also adding melodica (Jamiroquai). Lily Bud lifts the roof with her vocal talents (Sarah Jane Morris, Band of Holy Joy). Andy Gallop holds the whole show together with precision drums and percussion (Orlando Seale, Harpo Smith, Fortnight in Florida) together with Dan Johnson on electric, stick bass and ambient electronic interventions. It’s an outstanding lineup to match the theatre of the absurd. All supported by the excellent Johny Brown on ambient textures and soundscapes (Band of Holy Joy) with sound design by the magnificent Jo Lord and visuals by Inga Tillere. In attendance last night, legendary producer John Leckie (Muse, Bill Nelson, Doctors of Madness and many more).

The Phenomenal Band of Richard Strange

Find Richard’s work by clicking the picture

 

Touch my hand, touch my hand …

Little Red Corvette for sale

Announcing a complete one off piece of art celebrating Prince and his music.

This edition of 5 unique sculptures began with a ‘69 Corvette bonnet covered in red mosaic with purple mosaic rain drops.  Many facets of Prince’s story are referenced within this sculpture and the portrait of Mi-Ling Stone Poole is featured as the muse for the song’ Little Red Corvette.’ Prince’s first international Hit.

3rd Eye Boy

Under construction

Muse to the Pharaoh

The artist formerly known as …

Get in touch if your are interested to own this amazing work of art.