Sunday, 19 December 2010

Not Much Christmas Spirit Around this Year

So we head straight into the main of the week. Was it the Government being told that they were completely out of order to pull the plug on the Forge Masters Loan? well, no, that little gem hardly rated in the news but it's a fact, and of course the Government are less than sorry. Strike one against Nick continuing as Hallam's MP one hopes.

Was it my results from the clinic, more bad news in an already depressing year? Nop.

Was it the Local Government Finance announcement, more bad news for the North who have been hit hard along with most Labour areas, while many Tory Councils have got off lightly? Of course not, and neither is it the profiteering of Power Companies and Petrol Companies nor the weather for a change, or anything like that.

No The Masher after a whole six week break got off his arse and did a thirty minute set. And from the opening two words of the classic Slade Christmas song, “Merry Christmas”, the only two words I know, the set proved to be quite a minor success with folks joining in and of course the lovely Sue providing the dancing girl routine on the last song. All great stuff.

It was good to be contributing to the Myke Barritt Music Trust Christmas Bash, and to be amongst good friends again.

It's a pity that more friends did not turn out for what was a splendid evening of music, with Myke Bands Tyburn and Earthtales (both featuring of course, the lovely Phoebe on bass), turning out in acoustic type formats (e.g. the drummers had all gone missing), The Masher of course with great support from Dave Kidman, Welsh Geoff, Barry and Sue, Sylvia and her companion (forgot his name) and Tina and Matt all topped off by a brilliant set, especially under the circumstances from First Fall, the super voice of Karen accompanied by some brilliant guitar playing from Nigel.

The event was to make money for the Trust and this over the day it did, the final sum not yet established, the raffle, bric-a-brac and cakes all contributing to what had been a nice a day. The final sum will be published as soon as possible.

However, besides the non appearance of some notable faces, yes, as normal it was a bit like the promised World Cup votes, it's a pity that I have to turn to the negative side of things.

It was a strange day, after a day on the road I arrived to do what I thought would be a Graveyard set at 7:15pm. I was gratified by what turned out to be a comparative maximum turn out. But from there the audience started to dwindle. Apparently many of the people who were about early evening had been at the event most of the day and by 8:30 were beginning to slag and in need of substantial food. And who can blame them.

But the enthusiastic folks who remained kept the party going till the finish at 11:00pm

So it's really disappointing that one of the listed acts, in fact the one that had been placed as the “Top of The Bill” decided, initially because there were not enough people in and not worth performing because there would be no feed back, and backed by supporting arguments concerning having to get up early for work and the like, decided not to play.

To be completely fair this applied to one half of the act, the other half was more than happy to meet his commitment to the event.

The comments were thoughtless and arrogant. It seems he had clearly forgotten what the event was about, which was to raise money in the name of Myke Barritt for the local music scene. OK the full aims are not yet clear, but the basic principles are available on the Myke Barritt pages of the Web Site, and they will be more clearly defined early into 2011, so woolliness of the objectives is not a an excuse.

And why Myke Barritt, because he would play anywhere to anyone and was never known, except when unwell or under extreme provocation was never known to walk out on any audience, be it zero or two hundred.

And that is why I take exception to this well known local Prima Dona's comments to the hard working organiser of this event, Phoebe, who was really upset by what was said to her.

The paradox is that Myke was a person who would play to an empty chair, drunk, sober, tired, ill or simply in bad mood, Myke would always meet his commitments, yet this person thought himself too good.

Pictures from the event can be found HERE

The Masher Pictures can be found HERE

By this time next week Christmas will have been and gone for another year. I have to be honest. This year I simply cannot get into the mood, or feel in the least bit Festive. Normally I'm as bad as the kids but for some reason I don't feel Festive at all.

Driving around the streets of Rotherham as I do, I get the impression that Mrs Masher and I are not the only one's in this state of mind, the decorations are going up very late, and even the number of people turning their house into illuminated flashing adverts for the season are not so great this year. Even in this chilly wind there are very few giant snow men or Santa's floating about the sky.

I'm hoping the coming week might just catch it all alight............. but it's not started well with our cricketers already pouring cold water on any change in mood.

But for those of you who are up for the Festive season there's plenty going on. Barnsley Folk Club have their Christmas Party tomorrow (Monday) night, there's a Yule Time Handsworth Folk and Poetry Club meeting on Tuesday, with The Wicked Wych supported by Welsh Geoff in residence, and perhaps a couple from The Rawmarsh Masher too. The full listings can be found HERE

I shall be putting together the January Diary over the next week, so keep sending those dates in and I'll make sure they are listed.

The Festive time might give me some time to sort out the technical difficulties with the Web Site. I'm going to attempt to strip a lot of the Flash features which should help those on slower Broadband connections to load pages quicker.

I also think it's about time that we had a sort out and cleared some of the pages that don't get used.

While sorting through all the discs lying around on my desk I came across some really good quality video of The Mashers very first Gig. I've put it on the Mashers pages of the Web Site as a Download file. HERE. Sorry it's a rather large file and will depending upon the speed of your connection take some time to download, but I think you will find that it's a fun. All put together by our old mate Ken the Hat – thanks Ken.

Meanwhile the Condems are working hard to make Christmas 2010 memorable for us all. The savage cuts imposed on Local Government are frightening. At this rate we'll be running refuge collection as a volunteer service, let alone all the social and welfare organisations that are going to be hit to kingdom Come.

But are they doing anything to stop their friends from profiteering – of course not.
I see that Uncle Vince and that chap who has the title Chancellor are meeting the Banks this coming week to try and cut back on the Bonuses and encourage more lending. Call me a cynic, but I think the Banks will nod their heads in all the right places but then just get on and do what they like – as they have done since they caused this economic mess.

Banks consider themselves above us all, they think that we cannot live without them, and I would suggest that there is no one within the Condem Government, or Labour come to that, with the imagination and creativity to provide an alternative. We seem to be stuck in a “carry on, business as usual” mentality. No one seems to be able to think outside of the box.

Above all else though when will we all “wake up and smell the coffee” - oh I hate that phrase - we are currently being ripped off whichever way we turn, inflation is rocketing in what is basically a neutral economy, everywhere you look prices are rising not on a monthly basis, but sometimes weekly or even daily. And we just accept it.

Can we make 2011 any better, because in these days of the Big Society it will be down to us all to make some sort of difference.


Next week we'll be taking a Masher review of 2010 – in common with everyone else of course.

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