Saturday, March 17, 2018


What a great song, and what great singing, even though the showbiz is silly.

Betsey Trotwood Tonight

Tonight's the Desperado Housewives night at The Betsey Trotwood- we will be upstairs in the acoustic room. It starts at 8.30, entry by donation. See you there!

Friday, March 16, 2018


Got signed off by the hospital today! Wonderful NHS; they used a new technique where they sewed the bones together instead of using pins. It was odd to be an experiment, but they seemed pleased with their handiwork. I just hope nobody embroidered their initials....
Straight into grafting; I am checking the transcription of the latest producer's interview. She packed so much information into 29 minutes, you can tell she is a good audio editor. She worked as a grime producer for more than ten years. I am going to try to do one more interview, but that's basically it. The publisher wants the interviews integrated into the text, so I have to basically rewrite the whole book. Hard work ahead.
We also spent a lot of time on Wednesday editing the documentary, and on Monday I'll be interviewing our production assistant. Busy times. And Paul Scott Bates, your track is being mixed as we speak.

Writing About the Present Versus Writing About The Past

A book has been recommended in relation to the article I'm writing; one chapter, supposedly about gender and singing, concentrates wholly on Phallocentrism. By halfway through the chapter, it seemed that the author believes completely that all women want is a willy. I had the hilarious impression that he thought that when we conversed together out of male earshot, that one desire was the sole focus of our conversations.
There are two problems about writing about the present; one is my own experiences and the way they make me feel, and the other is that everyone is so convinced that the music industry, and society as a whole, have changed. All I can see is powerful people very cleverly covering up their prejudices, but still feeling exactly the same way underneath.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Rethinking Difference

Although it's been tough working out how to rewrite the submission for an academic journal that I was moaning about the other day, I had an unexpected surprise this morning. The chapter in this book took a very long time to write, and took its toll on the relationship I was in at the time. Writing is not a sociable activity; the main reason I do it (this sort of writing isn't paid) is because it seems to be the best way of consolidating political change. Like lots of other people I march, sign things and rant occasionally on social media, but this type of writing is a slug-paced way of being a bulldozer and changing things in a different sphere of activity..

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Desperado Housewives at The Betsey Trotwood, Saturday

First gig post fractured elbow. Can it be done? I challenge you to come along to find out! With Kath Tait and Jude Cowan Montague, song circlin' and yakkin'.

Four Ay Em

So I woke very early, stressed by the multitude of changes I've been asked to make to an academic article that I've written.
'Just pull out of it; you're a shit writer!', said one voice in my head. 'You have had a traumatic accident and everything looks hard after something like that happens', said another.
I couldn't stand them arguing, so I got up to escape and set to work, not on the article itself, but on the many things that have to be cleared out of the way before my head is in the right place to start.
This is the first morning for five weeks where I've woken up feeling normal. At the weekend I took a mega-dose of Codeine and spoke in slurred speech all day on Saturday; a train journey on Sunday was so surreal I still can't work out how much of it was imagined, and how much real. I do know that a woman on the train deliberately flung her suitcase out of the rack on to what she thought was my broken arm; she had been being very aggressive to the woman sitting next to her during the journey. But she wasn't the weird one; it was the drunken toffs who over-shared details about their forthcoming grand wedding, guests, hen night, shooting arrangements and just about everything else very privileged people talk about. Oh yes, and they were homophobic, too.
The Codeine sent the pain away though, and the laundry is done and put away, newspaper articles sifted through, interviews three-quarters edited, and perhaps tomorrow the floors will be clean too.
And look at it out there- almost spring! The goldfinch has been tweeting since six, and outside the wagtail are waddling down the road. Two sets of soldiers in their uniforms on parade.
Almost time to go to Work Mk 2; no sabbatical there, but I'm not complaining. Not any more, anyway.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Wanting To Pass On News

Sometimes, you have an urge to phone a parent who is no longer around to tell them things. McDad would have loved to hear that Sandie Shaw MBE sent an email to say thank you for supporting her for the award of the honour. McDad loved Sandie and I still have the records of hers that he bought. I love her too. She also did a very short but very interesting interview for my research.

It Rained

It was constantly raining in Edinburgh at the weekend; ideal for going to multiple art galleries and eating enormous quantities of food (although the deep-fried Creme Egg was easy to resist, for some reason).
Surrealism is more than surreal sometimes. Could Tanguy have designed the ProTools colours?
Outside, a poor gentleman had got so wet that he'd sunk into the ground, and he was even going rusty. I tried to help.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

But Sometimes The End Of The Day Is Sweet

Thank you Gideon Coe, very much indeed.

Flying A Plane Near You, Sometime Soon


Ah blog. I have had to abandon my journey to the Elgar Room at the Royal Albert Hall to see the film Play Your Gender. It was impossible to cope with the sheer ferocity of central London commuters and I had to turn round and come home. I do hope that I can get to see it some other time.

Happy International Women's Day!

Remixed, remastered and finally released- the full version of Women of the World with Zoe Howe, Ruth Tidmarsh, Jono Bell, Katy Bingham, Gina Birch, Shanne Bradley, Eva Eden, Kirsten Taylor
Guy Harries, Stephen Foster Pilkington, Sot Otter,Denise Stanley, Karina Townsend, Terry Tyldesley, Anne Wood, Karen Yarnell, Helen McCookerybook

Also as part of the same album, to raise funds for music copyrights for our Stories from the She Punks DIY documentary- I Play The Bass Loud by Gina Birch, featuring a myriad of bass players- that's there too- take  listen to both tracks and buy/donate if you like!
What a labour of love. Thank you so much to the musicians who have contributed to these songs.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018


Today Shola's coming in to do her vocals, and we may even have Karina Townsend on tenor sax.
Then we have to complete our She-Punks Bandcamp site and upload the fundraising tracks. Jane has put her bass line on Gina's song. All to be uploaded on International Women's Day, and Gideon Coe has an exclusive preview on Thursday on BBC6 Radio.
Later: we did it! Sounds great, lots of Yoruba call and response bits and now just waiting for tenor sax and maybe a bit of real live King's Cross ambience. And Gina has mixed her track so we're all ready to go tomorrow morning. Now it's tea time.