Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Been a busy and pretty crazy couple of weeks. I started and finished recording three new tracks with Matty Pinfield producing then went off to France for a week to hang out with my old lady (ha ha) brother, sister in law and niece.

I can confidently say that these tracks, along with what we'd already completed for the new record a few months ago, are the best things put down by this musician ever and I'm very proud of them. I should thank Matty, Mick Jeynes and Lucy Phillips for their hard work but to be honest I don't think it was hard at all, just good fun.

Having lived with the rough mixes of the tracks for a week or so they have now been tweeked and mastered, and we are heading towards getting a new record out. You should hear some cheeky previews pretty soon.

Returning from France was a bit odd as we appeared to be flying into a slightly different country from the one we'd left. Hearing about the riots from the front page of a French newspaper was pretty crazy. We arrived home on the Wednesday after the Tuesday night trouble in Birmingham, West Bromwich and Wolvehrampton. Made the mistake of watching news 24 for too long, looked at some pictures in an Express and Star that showed Riot Police running past my girlfriend's place of work. All of this produced a very strange feeling. Something I guess we were sharing with everyone.

On Sunday I played a gig at The Yardbird in Birmingham city centre. Afterwards I took a walk down New Street to the Bull Ring and was rather shocked by the amount of windows boarded up. I got talking to a couple of Police who were part of the increased presence in that part of town. I was interested to know if any Police Officers had been hurt in the West Midlands during all that madness. The Constables I talked to said they hadn't heard of any serious injuries. They also told me that not all the boarded up windows were the result of damage but that some owners had put boards up to stop their shops being attacked if it went on. I was grateful to them for answering my questions, but then I guess that they were there to reassure the public as much as deter criminals.

All very odd, I don't know what to think. I'm one of those people who think that sometimes the police make situations worse by their heavy handed approach to public order stuff. I'm thinking of things like the G8 protests. I also get very upset when a protest turns violent. In this case I think the police acted correctly, indeed some would say too softly at first. I have no sympathy for people who turn to violence and looting, and I don't believe for a minute that the majority of those people were acting as part of a cause, more like simple greed. It's truly horrific that people have died protecting their communities and been beaten when putting out fires. It's unthinkable that homes have been lost and lives ruined. A lot of what has been said by various sides in the analysis since has troubled me very much.

At times like this though we do see both the negative and POSITIVE in people and in the country. Felt proud to see the clean up volunteers, and the donations made to the newly homeless. A few thousand selfish people won't bring us all down, don't you think?

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