The Kick Inside

Find Raf And O’s Music at http://www.rafando.com

I was blessed to attend the premiere of a performance of Kate Bush’s songs by Raf And O, an experimental music duo who fuse acoustic instruments with electronica.  Raf And O also have a portfolio of highly original music and I’d strongly advise you to get hold of their music and see them perform whilst you can.  Here’s a collage of some of the pieces performed at the evening:

Check Raf And O’s original pieces out on youtube and find their music at Raf And O.

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Peter Cook leads The Academy of Rock and Human Dynamics. Author of 8 books on leadership acclaimed by Tom Peters, Charles Handy, Harvey Goldsmith and Adrian Furnham. Featuring an interview exclusive with Virgin CEO Sir Richard Branson.

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I fall – Mark E.Smith – a memory

A mini memory of Mark E. Smith and The Fall.

My band supported The Fall at Canterbury University – The lead singer of our band was a fan of Mr Smith and we had planned to do a few Fall songs at the gig in his honour …

We had finished our soundcheck (hardly worth it given the quality of the musicians I was working with in “Akker and The Nice Boys”) and we were walking down the corridor to the dressing room and by chance Mark E Smith was coming the other way. It was a narrow corridor and my friend was gripped by the possibility of shaking Mark E. Smith’s hand. He held his hand out in anticipation and uttered some words. Mr Smith walked on by ….

An uncompromising lyrical genius who could be very difficult to work with judging by this mini memory and the “HR turnover” of his band members which saw 60 people pass through The Fall.

Here’s a selection of Mr Smith’s work which helped define The Factory and the sound that became Britpop:

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Peter Cook leads The Academy of Rock and Human Dynamics. Author of 8 books on leadership acclaimed by Tom Peters, Charles Handy, Harvey Goldsmith and Adrian Furnham. Featuring an interview exclusive with Virgin CEO Sir Richard Branson.

Damn EU

Tomorrow marks the release of our 7th single in the Rage Against The Brexit Machine series.  Fiscal Cliff charts the story that led to the last major recession and which sewed the seeds for our decision to self harm by leaving the EU:

Click the links to pre-order the song:

Here is the video to whet your appetite:

And the lyric …. written in bus shelters, banks, bath, beds and bars :

The story behind the song – Illustrations by Simon Heath @SimonHeath1

As with many things in modern life, the ideas for the song started on Facebook – with big thanks to Andee Price for finding me within an hour of asking for a professional bass player on Facebook and Christopher Gamble for his “online oral stimulation”:

I placed an ad for a female bass player on Facebook and within an hour I had three recommendations for Andee Price – she read the advertisement accurately and responded. A true professional.

 

A Song for Europe

We have a Eurovision … no, we have not written a Bucks Fizz record … we see the prospect for a better Britain in a united Europe and have written a heartfelt song to capture that vision.

Will you help us chart the song this week?  It needs just 79 pence to buy a copy, preferably on multiple platforms … see below for links.

“Don’t Throw It All Away” is Madeleina Kay’s “Song for Europe”.  The song speaks to our hearts of all the things we stand to lose if we leave the EU.

“Don’t Throw It All Away” has moved several people to tears with its perfect storm of Madeleina’s poetry set to music.

The song was written in a stairwell at the European Union by Madeleina in an emotional outpouring after she was removed from the EU Chamber for daring to wear a Supergirl costume to a Brexit Briefing by our “Brexit Bulldog” David Davis.

This orchestral version of “Don’t Throw It All Away” was recorded and produced by Peter Cook in his studio “The Basement of Cognition” with vocals recorded at Rock God Bernie Torme’s Barnroom Studios in darkest Kent.

Recording session for “No Jeremy Corbyn” with Rock God Bernie Torme and Rage Founder members Gareth Dylan Smith and Doug Grannell

Sony Records’ associate Mark Christopher Lee said of the song:

“Don’t Throw It All Away compares favourably with Sinead O’Connor’s version of “Vienna”.  There is also a little bit of Nico in Madeleina Kay’s voice”.

The original acoustic version is here for comparison:

Place your order for the song on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play now: Just click the images to find the song online. We are aiming for Top 40 success, not so much for the fame, but to “take back control of the media from Murdoch’s Murderous Media Machine”.

Did you stop to think
what you would sacrifice?
When on a whim
you took their advice.
 
What did you think you’d gain?
Why did you leave?
Which broken promises
did you believe?
 
Don’t throw it all away.
There’s just so many reasons to stay.
And if you let me have my way
We’ll make a better tomorrow, today.
 
It’s easy to cast the blame
when you’re hurt
Unaware of all the falsehoods
that you assert.
 
Don’t be reckless now,
just think before you act,
There’s still time to apply
the knowledge that we lacked.
 
Don’t throw it all away.
There’s just so many reasons to stay.
And if you let me have my way
We’ll make a better tomorrow, today.
Don’t you live your life
of regret
But on your fateful fortune
I will place my bet.
Soon your unsubstantiated
optimism
Will dissolve amidst its
criticisms.
Don’t throw it all away.
There’s just so many reasons to stay.
And if you let me have my way
We’ll make a better tomorrow, today.

 

Censorship and Music

The latest piece of music to cause controversy and censorship is not a piece about sexual proclivity, drug abuse or one with parental advisory lyrics … merely one that discusses the issue of Post Truth Politics … Have we reached an all time low in participation and democracy when this happens? The BBC claims that it no longer bans any records but seems to have made an exception in this case. Perhaps it was told to?

Buy your copy of LIAR LIAR to highlight the folly of this strategy.  The East Germans and Russians were notable examples of  Governments that sought to control music in pursuit of a totalitarian state. All proceeds go towards food banks in the UK, now part of our “advanced society”.

Click to buy on iTunes

In case you have not heard the song, check out the You Tube video and then buy the track on iTunes, Google Play and so on. Support our campaign to improve our democracy and release us from self-harming Brexit at “Stop Hardcore Brexit

Famous songs that have fallen prey to censorship include Lola by the Kinks, School’s Out by Alice Cooper, Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood and more curiously With My Little Stick Of Blackpool Rock by George Formby which was censored. Banning is almost a surefire guarantee of a song’s popularity and one wonders at the wisdom of such things in an internet age.

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Peter Cook leads The Academy of Rock and Human Dynamics, offering outstanding keynotes, masterclasses and longer term Business / OD, Coaching and Mentoring. He is author of 7 and a half books on business leadership. Check them out at Amazon.

A Bowie Tribute

Very short notice for this Bowie Tribute on Monday 29 May … here’s the press release for the event

Brexit Oddity

Painting by Jane Raggett

Ground Control to Theresa May, your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong?

David Bowie may have sung ‘Rebel Rebel’, but he could not have possibly have foreseen the impact that his music made on generations young and old. On Monday 29 May 6.00 pm – 8.30 pm, The No 10 Vigil, visit the Thin White Duke’s mural in Brixton for a tribute to The Man who Sold the World and a protest about The Woman who is Selling England by the Pound. Diane Datson, leader of the No 10 Vigil said:

“David Bowie came from my home town of Bromley. He was a great humanist and an earthling. The No 10 Vigil stands for a return of humanity to planet earth and a rejection of the self-harming strategy of Theresa May. Simply stated, we are here to Break Brexit Before Brexit Breaks Britain. In Bowie’s own words, we believe that Brexit is the work of ‘All the Madmen’ and we stand to educate people about Brexit Mayhem”.

The Bowie tribute is the brainchild of Peter Cook, leader of The Academy of Rock, an author, business speaker and musician who was crushed by the loss of Bowie, Prince and George Michael in 2016 amongst too many others.  He appeared on CNN the day that Bowie died, discussing the work of this great innovator and chameleon in music:

“David Bowie stood alongside Prince and George Michael as a great communicator and gamechanger, reaching people’s heads, hearts and souls. It was an impossible task to showcase Bowie’s huge canon of work across nearly 50 years. I was haunted by the last track on Bowie’s last album ‘I can’t give everything away’. Whilst the lyric seems to reflect on his passing, I cannot help but draw a comparison with everything we are about to throw away if we vote for hardcore Brexit on June 8th. In the words of Joni Mitchell You don’t know what you got till it’s gone”

Click to view CNN interview

Peter has performed with cult punk rocker John Otway, Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist Bernie Tormé Meatloaf’s singing partner Patti Russo and had a rock band with Dr Andrew Sentance, former Monetary Policy Committee Member at the Bank of England. He leads the musical direction of the No 10 Downing Street Vigil, which highlights concerns over Brexit at any cost to Leavers and Remoaners alike. Our work is featured on BBC Sunday Politics, The One Show, Breitbart, The Daily Express, The Daily Mail, Independent and The Guardian.

Smeared by Breitbart … The No 10 Vigil

The Sting

I was quite unprepared to see Sting in concert last night and overwhelmed by his superb musicianship, performance and width of his musical canon. I confess I had quite forgotten Gordon Sumner’s songwriting skills.  At the age of 66 his voice, playing and projection were in top form, giving all of us hope that age is no barrier to peak performance.

Perhaps the most poignant thing that connects me to Sting and his music is his solid values of human rights, environmental consciousness and sustainability. I was reminded of this through his lyrics and reconnected to my work for Amnesty International which started in the early 1980’s and which he epitomised through his song “They Dance Alone”. Sadly, Sting’s words remain relevant in these troubled times and I hope that our world leaders listen to him and others at such moments:

Convince an enemy, convince him that he’s wrong
Is to win a bloodless battle where victory is long
A simple act of faith
In reason over might
To blow up his children will only prove him right
History will teach us nothing

Hey Mr. Pinochet
You’ve sown a bitter crop
It’s foreign money that supports you
One day the money’s going to stop
No wages for your torturers
No budget for your guns
Can you think of your own mother
Dancin’ with her invisible son

We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
What might save us, me, and you
Is if the Russians love their children too

And especially his song for the Mothers of the Disappeared (Desaparecidos). This was Sting’s symbolic gesture of protest against the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, whose regime killed thousands of people between 1973 and 1990 … on first hearing this song many years ago, I wept uncontrollably about the unimaginable grief and strength of these mothers. There are no words that adequately convey the meaning of his song so I will let the song do the work itself:

We live once more in troubled times and it seems that our human race is about to forget its humanity. Our ability to learn from history seems limited. Watch the video, conduct your own research into what lies behind the concert that Sting gave and take action for a more humane society …

To finish, here are a few excerpts from Sting’s recent tour including tributes to David Bowie from his son and Prince – I was privileged to attend this. Big thanks to Debbie Poli, MD of Lapel Pin Badges for this opportunity. Debbie makes all the badges that I wear, including orders for the last David Bowie album, Virgin, Star Wars and my very special Prince love symbol badge.

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Peter Cook leads The Academy of Rock and Human Dynamics, offering outstanding keynotes, masterclasses and longer term Business / OD, Coaching and Mentoring. He is author of 7 and a half books on business leadership. Check them out at Amazon.