Smaller but mightier than the sword


BoJo Says Bye Bye Earls Court


London Mayor BoJo has apparently approved the demolition of the Earls Court Exhibition centre to make way for a series of small “villages” (how quaint) consisting of housing, shops and a high street (Ah consumerism-the heart of a community eh?). Up to  7,500 homes (is there really room there to cram in that number of unaffordable homes? I’m guessing spacious will not be the design norm here thought that figure includes development extending into West Kensington) will be part of what will replace the iconic London landmark known for hosting Exhibitions such as The Ideal Home Show, The Brit Awards and much less suitably as a music venue.

Its as the latter that I’m most familiar with Earls Court. Back in the day I’m sorry to say I’ve experienced the giant bathroom effect that made so many a gig back then a state of affairs where you’d often turn to people around you to help clarify exactly what well known track the artist or band was currently murdering as you just couldn’t decipher it from the multiple conflicting and unsynchronised reverberations pinging around the cavernous venue.

We’ll miss when it’s gone. Will we get housing for the many in its place? 

Original image by the_whiteness under this creative commons licence.

London Riots: “An Aggressive Form Of Late Night Shopping”

Those understated words were spoken by Peter Power, a crisis management specialist  today with regards to the third night of riots in London together with outbreaks in Birmingham.

There’s been a worrying number of proto fascist ‘get the army out’ type outbursts by many. Sorry we did that in Northern Ireland and did that really quell lawless activity quickly or did it inflame the situation further?

There are ways to deal with this but sliding down an authoritarian militaristic simplistic solution route isn’t necessarily the smartest move we could make right now. Simplistic solutions rarely work. We need to be smarter and more grown up about how we tackle societal breakdown.

That in no way excuses the riots (the original grievances of Tottenham aside) which seem to have been opportunistic in nature and exploited by criminality. There are no excuses for the criminal behaviour but don’t let the shrill knee jerk reaction style voices of some exploit our disgust to drive even bigger wedges between our communities and further erode our freedoms. The rise of gang culture, criminal activity, warped moral compasses. a fractured society ,the excesses of our consumer culture and simple selfish greed all played a part in this.

I hope that out of the ashes real community manages to make their collective voice heard  (and that the media allows them to be heard) and that they are able to rebuild their communities and help tackle the imbalance of power that has distorted and exploited the good that exists in many of those affected areas. I also hope the rest of us don’t just turn our backs on the good people in these areas and write them off as all one and the same. That would be an even bigger tragedy.


#riotcleanup –



Image by Dr John 2005 under this creative commons licence

Happy Record Store Day

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Today (April 18th) is Record Store Day with many worldwide record stores holding special events including special one-off vinyl releases or live performances. Around 100 stores in the UK are taking part. Recently BBC London’s Robert Elms looked again at vinyl production at The Vinyl Factory in Hayes.

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Midnight Juggernaut

There seems to be a clutch of interesting music originating from Australia at the moment and Melbourne’s Mignight Juggernaut have recently played Glastonbury & this weekend’s Lovebox and Latitude festivals.

Described by Rolling Stone magazine as “David Bowie if his Berlin Trilogy was a collaboration with Kraftwerk and Faust.” They are due to play in Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, London and the Isle of Wight Bestival event between now and September.

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