Wednesday, 9 June 2010

I had all but written this week’s News Blog when at just after 9:00am on Sunday morning I received the dreadful news from Phoebe that Myke Masher had decided to pop off to the big Jam Session in whatever World he now inhabits.
My thoughts about Myke have been published in a separate Blog/ Obituary which you’ll find around the placement of this Blog. It will also be eventually published as a separate page on the main Web Site.
All this other stuff seems to fall into complete insignificance when compared to the events of the last 24 hours – events that it’s going to take a very long time for me to come to grips with.
However, the last thing Myke would have wanted in life would be for the music to come to a stop – for no matter how short a time. So………………………………………………..

I suppose we can’t start this week’s Blog without a comment about “the outcome” of what for five days was even bigger than X Factor.

I was amazed by the number of people who were engaged by the general Election Result, normally a shrug of the shoulders will do, but many people were talking about it, informed or otherwise. That can only be good.

So predictably we ended the process on Tuesday with a Conservative / Liberal Coalition. The exercise of getting there proving to be quite interesting in its own way, if at times painful. The grenades thrown by the outgoing Government at strategic times adding to the entertainment.

My reading of last weekend’s events was that at no time did Labour ever believe that it could form a Government, the width of the coalition required would have been just impossible to hold together. What we saw was a very brave man giving his victors time to sort their act out, and having the odd bit of fun, like the timing of his announcement on Monday that he would speak to the Liberals and resign as Labour Leader.

We really are ill-served by our media though. Here we are as a Nation with massive economic problems, not only within our own economy, but within the very heart of Europe, and much of our popular press continued with their vile and completely unfair personal attacks on Brown – except for The Mirror of course.
Also the pressure they put on the two coalition Parties to come to a quick deal was just plain stupid. They needed the time to work out a deal that would work, as much for them as the Country.

I have to admit that I find the outcome, a Conservative/ Liberal Coalition quite exciting. Not so much because of the Parties involved but because of the lengths that Cameron appears to have gone to accommodate the Liberals within Government. It’s also clear that both Cameron and Clegg really believe that they have a chance to change the way politics is conducted in the UK. Time will tell and they should be given that time.

Their problem is in securing a right of centre alignment in concrete. We all know what just a handful of Tory backbenchers did to John Major, and the same could happen to Cameron once the glitz of taking Government wears off.
The Liberals also have their own problems, not least selling the deal to their Party, for while the Membership Department of the Labour Party has been enjoying a very busy period signing new members, The Liberal Party have been sorting through the subscription cancellations.

And – while Cameron sits in No 10 one needs to remember that this was an election that went very wrong for the Conservatives. Only four months ago the Opinion Polls would have had them winning by a Country mile, with public opinion being led by the Murdock press. In the event the Conservatives did not secure a majority, in fact they fell well short. Cameron will have to answer questions within his Party.
It as I said last week one of the biggest open political goals in history – and he missed – a bit like the Chelsea strikers in the first half of the Cup Final yesterday.

As for Gordon. The man left with dignity, he had come very close to what had been a few weeks ago an impossibility, and the damage to The Labour Party had been minimised. The new Leader has a relatively strong position to mount Opposition within Parliament to start from, and the Party as a whole has the time to assess the failures of the past thirteen years as well as the minor successes.

My experience of Labour lesson learning is not that great, but the Milliband Brothers having launched their Leadership bids both appear to be using the right words and attempting to take Labour back to a left of centre position. Can leopards change their spots that much? Uummmm

I remember as a student reading the books of their Dad, dripping in Marxism, one wishes that they just a little of his youthful socialism in their gene’s.
One hopes a left of Labour centre candidate will show his or her face before nominations close.

Of course the fun has started trying to label the Coalition Government – “Condem” seemingly one of the most popular. And I rather liked, “we’ll take Conservative from the Conservatives, and Party from the Liberal Democratic ………………………… “ . Ah well.

Interesting times ahead folks.

Announcements for the week -

The Bridge Spring Charity Festival on 31st May. All collected proceeds going to The Rotherham Hospice. I’ve still got a number of spaces for the Acoustic Stage and we’re still looking for a load more Protest Songs to be entered in the song contest.

Please Email for both. Song Contest details HERE

We’ve been contacted by Steve Matthews of the G String Acoustic Club. Steve is putting together a new mini Festival, for the weekend 27 – 28 - 29th August, Free Music Extravaganza. Most of the music is to be acoustic based and the Land Lord of The Angel Inn, Topcliffe, North Yorkshire will be putting on a veritable feast of BBQs and Hog Roasts throughout the weekend. Anyone interested in taking part should contact Steve through his Facebook page.

No reports yet, the but Acoustic Roadshow UK, put together by Martin Croft got underway on Friday with a concert involving Florin, Free Beer and Velvet Pause at the Truckstop in Hellabey.

The Acoustic Roadshow UK project intends to take a variety of acts to different venues throughout South Yorkshire. Watch out for more details as they become available.

On the May Diary page you’ll find new dates for the Bluegrass Buddies and others. If you want your Gigs listed then please Email

So what have The Mashers been up to?

Monday found us getting back together for a constructive practice session as we sought out some of the older material ready for our Gig at The Cross Keys, Handsworth on Tuesday Night. We’re hoping for a very special guest in the form of John McCulagh, he’s the chap who wrote “Dance On The Grave of Mrs Thatcher”, and is in the Country for a short time from Australia. THIS GIG WILL GO AHEAD.

The Mashers last performance together as Myke and Dickie Masher was at The Butchers Arms, Braithwell. We only went as last minute decision, just to stay sharp for the upcoming Gigs.

It proved to be a fantastic evening.

The small yet appreciative audience along with the Session Regulars proved to be very welcoming and warm and some of the songs went down a storm.
It was a relaxed fun filled and song filled evening.

Paul Pearson and the lovely Christine joined us later in the evening, so those lucky enough to have been there will have shared in some brilliant music.

And there I’m going to end it.

If you can make the Cross Keys on the 18th May Phoebe and I will love to see you, but only if you intend to smile and join in with the songs. Myke would not want us to be down and out.

A more formalish Celebration will take place in JULY. “MYKE’S BIRTHDAY BASH” . This will take place at The Bridge Inn, which he had already booked, on Tuesday the 27th July and will give as many people as possible the chance to sing Myke a song and say a few words. A true celebration of man who touched so many lives.
If you want to be involved then please contact me at

For all the Masher and Acoustic Rotherham News GO HERE

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