Horrifying reminders this week of “man’s” helplessness in the face of the full force of Mother Nature. The pictures of the Earth Quake and tsunami in Japan will haunt us for many years.
Acoustic Rotherham and The Mashers have many Myspace friends in Japan, and I hope that they are safe and sound. Are thoughts are with you.
But when one see’s the destruction and loss of life around the Miyagi Region and the Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations leaves one with a total sense of helplessness.
The dust is still settling, and the full extent of the disaster has yet to be assessed, the loss of life to be totalled, and all of it just looks completely unbelievable.
I’m sure in time the Rotherham Music Community will come together to do their bit to help Japan start to repair the wounds.
Once again I do wonder about our media coverage of these sorts of events. This morning I heard a radio reporter complaining that the Japanese were refusing to allow them petrol rations, reserving the petrol for “locals”.
But the most crass bit of reporting for me was the picture of the tsunami hitting Sendal, the wave washing through the City, and in You’ve Been Framed style commentary we’re told to watch the cars trying to out run the wave, “then just when they thought they were safe” said the reporter, and we watched as the cars were washed over the side and into the water. One assumes the drivers did not survive. Should we really be watching what potentially was thousands of people losing their lives in this way? I wonder.
More bad news came on Tuesday when I was told of the death of the long time Rawmarsh Trades and Labour Club Secretary, Paul Stead after a comparatively short illness, and still relatively young. Our deepest sympathies to his family.
I had a lot of respect for Paul, who took on the challenges faced by the WMC movement head on and kept the Rawmarsh Club ahead of the game, indeed even today the price of pint still reflects the traditional Club reduced price. He also maintained a weekend programme of entertainment that has the Club packed out most Saturday and Sunday nights.
Best of all Paul did encourage local acts as much as he could, even going as far as to book the Rawmarsh Mashers for a Sunday night session. But many others were given an opportunity to do their thing, indeed next week will see View From S62 Party Saturday night away.
The Funeral will be held on Thursday 17th March at Rotherham Crematorium at 10:20am, with a Wake back at Rawmarsh Trades and Labour Club to follow.
After the activities of the past few weeks, we enter a quiet period for The Mashers. So this week was given over to preparing a complete overhaul of the jmucreate.com Web Site. I’m sure that regular users of the site have found it mind boggling as more and more information has been loaded onto it and making it quite heavy for even Broadband connections to handle – indeed the build programme now finds it very difficult to handle what is over a hundred and ten pages now. It’s too much.
Fortunately I have good analytics and I can see what pages get the most hits and I shall be cutting everything back to the bits that Acoustic Rotherham users find most useful and of interest.
The Masher is out next on 24th March at The Bridge for the Special Irish Night when the weekly Thursday Session meets up with The MBMT Wandering Minstrels Club come together for an evening that will also include Tina McKevitt and Matt Hegarty.
I hope that you had a chance to read the Hearts of Steel special News Blog I put up in mid-week. The production runs for one night only at The Civic Theatre, Rotherham on the 14th March (tomorrow Monday). A full review will be in next week’s News Blog. You can find the Preview HERE
An advanced warning of excellent Gig coming to The Bridge, Rotherham on a non-traditional music night, Wednesday 4th May, when German performer Kurt Sawalies will be in residence as part of his 2011 UK Tour that takes in the Loch Lomond Festival. Free entry – and he’ll be performing a mix of music, from Folk to Rock - his Cat Stevens has to be heard to be believed, simply brilliant. You can hear Kurt in action HERE and there is a three track demo download on the Demo Page HERE
I was glad to see that Oxford has sorted something for what was their Festival Weekend, a series of events and you can find details HERE
The Official figure for the number of demonstrators out and about in Sheffield on Saturday (yesterday) to give Mr Clegg a warm welcome to his Conference, was 5,000. Experience tells me that one should add at least another 50% for a more realistic figure. Don’t forget that the main Demonstration is in London on 26th March, there’s loads of coaches going down. Anyone wanting further details should contact Martin Hickman via his Facebook page HERE
Wherever we turn in the News it’s bad news. Locally fifteen Youth Centres are to close in Rotherham. Young people seem to be the open goal losers of this round of cuts, along with the Professionals whose skill provided them with the knowledge and support they need to kick off their adult lives these days.
It’s so short sighted. Yet another generation of our young being thrown into the wilderness, and just as we were beginning to get it as right as we can in our messed up Society.
What surprises me so much is that Labour Councils appear so eager to play the Con/Dem game, and fall into all the traps laid by the Government.
What’s worse, instead of looking for positive alternatives our local community Leaders fall so easily into the blame game, Councils blame the Government, The Government blame the Brown Government for not regulating the Banks (at least they are getting that bit right now) and of course Labour blames the Banks, which is where the blame should rest.
If you really want to depress yourselves further, I would suggest heading for the pages of Private Eye, here every two weeks you can cry as you read of the various major Banks and Companies that are evading paying tax and all the tricks they get up to keep them only just on the side of the angels. It certainly gets my blood boiling.
And this week, only twenty four hours after we heard of the obscene bonuses being paid to Barclay Bank Executives we learn of huge pay cuts being planned to cut the Police Budget!!
To make my grumpy week complete, petrol hit £1.30 per Ltr in Rotherham. Not good. I’m close to giving up on it all let alone our young people. That’s 4p on a litre in two weeks, and we’re promised more to come.
On the other hand, I have had to smile at the way Cameron and Hague have been treated like Political light weights by the rest of the World as they try to make sense of the contradictory relationship we share with Middle Eastern Countries and Libya in particular. Who to back boys? As we have to keep onside so as to stabilise oil supplies and of course get them to spend their oil revenues on our goods and services.
So escape to the World of music, and there’s plenty going on, so check out the listings HERE
And whatever you’re doing this week, have fun, smile and keep it live.