Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Nat Johnson

My favourite song at the moment is by the solo singer-songwriter Nat Johnson:

I was delighted to discover her music recently by way of a surprise gig, with live violin along with acoustic guitar and her wonderful, reflective vocals. Really moving music - something so powerful in the quiet. I also really appreciate singers who are natural and gentle in their singing. I can't wait to investigate more of her music, and hopefully more gigs some time too - I think the Union Chapel in London on a summery Saturday afternoon would be just perfect.

Whole host of stuff to listen to by Nat on her official website.

Lou Reed Lou Reed

Luke Haines's tribute in song to Lou Reed is great for lacking in sentiment (lyrics), and just inducing a smile instead:


My own tribute to Lou Reed:

(a sketch of Lou, representing him in the era when he auditioned for the part of Timothy Lumsden in the sitcom Sorry - here he is with an old dish of lasagne from his mum, the caption being 'Oh Mother! I'm only eating this lasagne before it starts walking to the Post Office to draw out its pension. Which is long overdue, I might add!')

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The Beauty of Earls Court (set to be demolished)

Earls Court features in a song by the revered Robyn Hitchcock - the lyrics, more than a decade old, seem to have been strangely prescient:

It opens with the couplet: 

Money makes the world go wrong
So what, who cares?

It goes onto sing sweetly of 'the Beauty of Earls Court', which is 'like the canyons of New York (but not as filthy or cool)'.

But then - given the possible future fate of Earls Court - comes a real gut-punch of a line and sentiment:

I've got to find another home
I've got to find another home

It's pure coincidence, but just carries such huge resonance in the circumstances.

Earls Court not only faces loss of its large, grand, beautiful, original art deco exhibition centre/concert venue - but the loss of community and housing with such huge impact.

This is about displacement of people, above all.

To get up to speed with the campaign, please read on here

Save Earls Court campaign has been going strong with support of affected residents, and you can follow their plans on the official website: http://www.saveearlscourt.com/

From the campaign site:

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham has approved the demolition of the world famous iconic, art deco Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre. 

The Earl’s Court Area Action Group believes that decision is wrong. It is now campaigning to save an asset that is of vital importance to the capital's economy. Together, Earl’s Court’s twin exhibition halls provide West London's largest exhibition/ conference space and concert venue. Despite assurances, it transpires no tangible replacement facilities will replace a loss, which economically and culturally defines the area. 

Additionally, against the majority wish of its residents, a community’s perfectly adequate homes will be demolished in the name of a hungry developer’s bottom-line profit. This is ill-conceived scheme pushed through at the expense of the area's economic and cultural well-being and needs to be halted.

The Earl’s Court Area Action Group urges you to sign its petition to Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government asking that he calls in the applications due to the conflict of interest for Boris Johnson in his capacity of Mayor and head of TfL, which owns a substantial part of the development site.