A week is a long time in the life of a Blogger. A bit like politics. I’ve written one of The Mashers Rants brought on by Lord Snob Face Government Housing spokesman I heard on the Radio this week but the good news is that I’ll push it to the end of the Blog so that those who wish to avoid it can do so.
Not exactly a great week all round.
I discovered that another of CIU Affiliated WMC’s has become a Private Club, The Rycroft Club in Rawmarsh. Apparently I’m late with this information, and what it means to live music I’m not sure. As the smoke clears we’ll keep you informed.
Mike Harding has been experiencing major problems with his on line Radio Programme, Sundays at 5pm. It seems that while the rolling programme can be heard and the Podcast version is available to download, the live update is being attacked by what is believed to be a hostile source. The techno people are working on it and they hope to have the problem sorted very soon. It seems the problem is one that they can only know if they have solved when the programme broadcasts live. We wish them luck.
HMV have at last given up the ghost. It seems to me that HMV’s death has been a long time in coming, in fact the writing has been on the wall since Branson decided to get out of Record Mega Stores way back. If he felt he couldn’t make it work; if his Management could not make it work when they bought him out then surely someone at HMV should have been looking at their retail offer. What makes me laugh is that £210m of debts and the Administrator still thinks they can make it work or sell off the “profitable parts” of the business. My thoughts go to the staff who have been let down by poor Management, as indeed was the case at Jessops. Or is it that quite simply the offer that these Stores make are no longer relevant in the digital age? There is one further consideration that I had not given thought to until hearing about it on the Radio and that is the Business Rates involved in a front line Retail operation are many times greater than the Business Rates involved on Warehouse space; not surprising that digital product retailers are under so much pressure.
My heart goes out to all those who are currently losing their jobs.
Let’s have a look at something positive. Chris Slater’s fantastic collection currently being exhibited at The Old Market Gallery here in Rotherham.
Seventy seven canvases and all painted during 2012 and making up just a proportion of Chris’s body of work, which according to his quality “free” catalogue is categorised as being Contemporary Impressionist, others of a non-classic art education myself included might call it “realist”. Having said that, I can see how his characterisation of people might be said to be Impressionist. Yet his capturing of well-known Rotherham scenes is very real indeed.
Chris’s main study is “light” he loves to capture shades of light. The catalogue includes two paintings of studies of Westgate, illustrating the change of light shade between the morning and the afternoon. “Brief Light”, a picture of the Interchange end of Corporation Street, painted from the bridge is another statement of his interest.
While images of Rotherham dominate the exhibition, you’ll also find that Chris has been busy on his holidays including Cornwall and Venice in particular.
However, my own favourite is a classic Yorkshire Dales snow scape entitled “The Little Red Box”, my chances of adding it to my extensive empty wall are remote at a cost of £995.
I really recommend anyone visiting Rotherham Town Centre to pop into the Gallery and take a look at this excellent exhibition of an artist who is fast gaining a Reputation for his work well beyond the Town and County boundaries and as such enhancing the kudos of Rotherham art. More detail on opening hours etc on the Listings page HERE
By the way, avoid going to the Gallery if it's snowing as I wouldn't want to be hit on the head by these flakes.
Another young chap doing fine work is Jon Rosling who through his Eye Film Company has been doing many splendid things. Last Saturday he offered the arts groups an opportunity to be involved in his latest project a feature film that has the project title of My England.
So Dickie and three other intrepid local artists from music and spoken word made their way to the ROAR building where having gone through the film star make up process (all disappointed that we were not issued luxury trailers with bar and HEATER) we were set to the arduous task of sitting in our chairs and perhaps more difficult, looking attentive and intelligent. The trials and tribulations of being an extra.
We shall be looking forward to viewing the final result. Jon says he is about half way through the project which has been made possible via funding from private sponsors and he hopes to be able some scenes from the film when he heads off for the Cannes Film Festival (I think that’s the right one) where he will be showing a short film he has made.
Jon is another Rotherham based artists gaining wider recognition for his work and perhaps deserving of more support locally.
RAE News, Mick has been a very busy boy and the Live at The Trades programme and the main stage line ups for Slamfest are coming together nicely, we’ll soon be in a position to announce the provisional line ups.
Plans for the Youth Festival to be held at the Trades on the 4th May are also coming along. Bands representing Schools, Colleges, or simply young people in Rotherham will be taking part, and our link in with Get Sorted will be of great value. We’re hoping that this Festival will be more than just Bands playing and we’ll have more experienced local artists at The Trades talking informally to those taking part or wanting to find out more about putting a Band together. Also some of the lucky participants will get the opportunity to pop over to The Civic Theatre and have a chat with the boys of Dr Feelgood and go to the concert that evening. (Not sure on the numbers yet for that part). There will be a rockin’ RAE Event at the Trades in the evening, restricted to the over 18s, with Motorheadache topping the Bill.
If you've a Youth Band e.g. 18 years max. and would like to take part at the Festival then get in touch with Mick HERE
RAE are inviting all Rotherham Bands to submit a track for a Rotherham Rocks CD which we will make available digitally to promote the creativity and talent of Rotherham musicians across the UK and beyond. If artists or Bands do not have a quality recorded track, then we have a tie up with Get Sorted whereby a single track can be recorded. We will be placing a small charge on the collection, no more than a £1, and proceeds will go towards distribution costs and a Youth Charity yet to be decided.
The project is open to all genres of music, including acoustic / folk. Depending upon submissions we may decide to distribute a separate CD for the Acoustic scene depending upon take up of the offer.
No charge is being made to Bands to take part in this project. If you would like to take part we will require you (I know sounds so regimented) to
a. Submit a top quality Recorded MP3 – track
b. Track title
c. The Name of your Band / act or you
d. Max 150 words about yourself / Band / track
e. A waiver allowing the track to be Copyrighted to the RAE Rotherham ? Project.
Go HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND THE RELEVANT SUBMISSION AND HELP LINKS
We will need your Tracks or an indication that wish to be part of the project by 15th February please. We will then sort out a closing date for tracks to be recorded and submitted. We hope to launch the CD as pre Slamfest.
Just a reminder for you to get hold of your Goat Leaf CD Launch Party tickets for 2nd February. It promises to be a top night for the rockers with support coming in from the best of our local talent, including Tom Killner who has just got himself a guitar sponsorship deal with FretKing guitars and The Mudcat Blues Trio who are getting National recognition for their work. Tickets £3 from Mesmersise in Wellgate, or at The Trades bar or on line at We’ve GotTickets HERE They will be £5 on the night.
For those who enjoy a bit of Satire and Political Theatre there is good News. Rotherham Trades Council have invited The Banner Theatre Company to perform “live at the Trades” with support from The Hurriers. Other than being aware that the” hurrier “ is mining term I know nothing and can trace nothing about The Hurriers who I believe play out of Barnsley. So if anyone can point me in the right direction. The date is Saturday 23rd February and entry will be by way of donation. Ray Hearne will be in the Chair.
I put out a special News Blog last week with a Review of Toein’ In the Dark’s new CD “About Time”. It’s a super recording with one or two classy Toein’ type surprises for you. If you want to find out more head off to the Blog HERE
Another classy performer “our Phoebe” will be starting one of her WEA Singing Courses, “Singing For Fun” at the Talbot Lane Centre, Talbot Lane Methodist Church, Moorgate St, Rotherham, S60 2EY. The fun starts at 6:00pm on Thursday 17th January and will be running weekly. One hopes this might provide a new supply of talent to Nellie Folk.
Another late notice, but I’ll let him off, Stormtrees the plugged in version will be appearing at Vasco in Wickersley. Good to see that they are retaining their Saturday night live music into 2013.
And another advanced heads up for the Rockers. A new project coming out of Wath Rocks.... who are holding their first big event on the 8th February at The Montgomery Hall. Three bands will be playing for the rite on price of £2. Another Promoter deserving support to get live music on and support local talent.
You can find all the listings for the next week HERE
Just a reminder that ROAR will be holding their AGM on Wednesday 23rd at Westgate Chambers 6:00pm kick off. Really looking forward to this one as there will be a report on what has been an exciting year for ROAR in 2012 with the clear promise that there will be lots more to come in 2013 and beyond.
SO MUSICIANS – Matt Butt at ROAR and RAE have been putting our heads together and coming up with ideas for a multi genre project that would involve visual artists, film makers, choreographers and MUSICIANS / BANDS. The general idea is to put artists together and producing a complete project based upon an original track of music. NO FUNDING for this but this could be an exciting project for all, and if timings worked out we might be able to do a big presentation Night as part of The Fringe Festival in September. At the moment we are at the planning stage, or collecting interested parties stage. If you would like to be involved please Email HERE
The Web Sites are coming along slow but sure. The RAE site is currently the one under reconstruction.
RAE require a Professional Commercial Fund Raiser to work as a Freelance, urgently. We need to get to local business early this year to fund activities for both Slamfest and The Fringe Festival. There is already much interest in the offer we have for business, and we need someone who can go out and close deals. Full details HERE
We’ve also posted the general Sponsorship details. HERE
I really hope to have made so much more progress by the end of this week – fingers crossed.
Hey and has anyone spotted that Reverbnation has gone mad this week. Once again, he says as if he was bored by it all, yes once again The Mashers are Number one for South Yorkshire, and, and we’ve been catapulted into the top ten Folk acts Nationally. God bless the stupid person who creates Reverbs very clever equity formula – The Mashers will love you for ever. Well, until we start sinking once again that is, when we will turn against you big time.
And since starting to write this Blog Blockbusters have been added to the High Street casualties, post rent demands. Rent day was 25th December, so it’s hardly surprising that all these stores are crashing now. I wonder who’s next, in fact do we have any High Street names? is it more a case of Retail Park names?
Which brings us to the politics bit. Hoho
If you’re leaving now, do have a fantastic week, support your local artists and KEEP IT ALL LIVE
In just one short week we’ve been committed to a one level pension, (and guess what I hit 65 the year it comes in so given the extra time I already have to serve), I guess that I shall be around seventy or the grave before I retire. But we’ll have to wait for the detail. Unfortunately as someone once said, the devil is in the detail.
And the devil is certainly in the detail of the “bedroom tax”. Did you know that if you have child in the services, or at Uni and currently receiving Housing Benefit in any form, 25% of the money will be lost, should the child’s room be empty while they are out of Town. If you are disabled, and need extra space to move around in, wet rooms etc. Hard luck anything over the room you sleep will count against you. Of course if you’re in Social Housing and currently live in a two or three bedroom house, you might well be asked to move house, down sized, at the behest of the Condem-ed Government.
In anyone’s book this has to be one of the biggest pieces of Social Engineering ever under taken in the UK and comes very close to the dirty tricks used by Westminster Council in the eighties to shift certain income and social groups into designated areas. I’m told by those who claim to know better that the term “social engineering” is an old fashioned sociological term; really! I say far better to be an old fashioned drum banging Sociologist than an apologist for this Government and what it is doing in the name, ironically, of equality.
On a Radio 5 Programme this morning the subject of the Bedroom Tax was discussed. The Tory Housing a Minister, a Lord (no surprise there) could only spare 10 minutes to talk to the plebs about the effect of the tax on ordinary people and especially the disabled. We’re told that that there is £30m to help the disabled, but the rules of engagement have not yet been announced and judging by the number of people on social networks and the radio claiming special needs the £30m is not going to go very far.
I am still not convinced that the full effect of April 2013 and the massive Welfare Reforms has yet to sink into the core thinking. Most people are giving a sigh at paying off their last Council Tax payment and look towards reducing their Card Debt from Christmas.
Both Tories and Lib Dems are playing the age old game of setting the haves against the have not, rich against poor, weak against the strong.
And here’s another example. A house has been sold close to Masher Towers, at the height of the Housing silly period it would have been valued at £120,000. On the Internet on the Zoom whatever site it was valued at £80K a realistic price I thought – sold after one year for £60K to a Private Land Lord who is to market the House for a monthly rent of £550. Three years ago rents in this area were around £300 twelve months ago £450. You tell me what’s going on. Seems to me that as more people are thrown onto the Private Renting market we’ll all be paying for these sky high rents through our Council Tax.
I heard the PM explaining that this was somehow the fault of the previous Government, which means that he does not have to regulate private Land Lords as the Market must have it’s way. Ummmmm So if he can stick his nose into public housing why not private housing. Once again Tories playing the Capitalist game true to their support, while Labour work on the basis of attempting to make Capitalism work better and then only giving half-hearted support to anything that might smell of being an idea of the left. What chance do we stand.
I live in a rotten Borough so my vote doesn’t really count, but for those readers outside of solid Labour seats, please think about the role of the Lib Dems in all this yes, that includes the good people of Hallam, Sheffield. Don’t get coned by it’s all for your own good, all this that we are going through is simply for the short term gratification of certain Lib Dem MPs who find themselves called Ministers.
Of course it would be fantastic for the left of Centre to be able to offer something by way of a radical alternative, sadly we dinosaurs cannot organise a pint of beer in a brewery (polite), and much prefer to debate political philosophy of the left than be a little more pragmatic and build an election machine. So the best we can offer is our Ed.
That’s it politics done for a few months until another Tory Lord gets under my skin, and rubbed raw with salt by a friend of mine who should know a lot different.