Two hours into writing a lecture about Music Scenes for tomorrow. The coffee is cooling (and so am I- it's bloody freezing in here).
As always, I am finding out fascinating stuff- the Liverpool Poets brought out a book of poetry called The Mersey Beat in 1967 and it seems that they were just as prominent as the Beatles for a while.
I also love an academic book called The Hidden Musicians by Ruth Finnegan which describes amateur music-making in Milton Keynes. This is particularly interesting since McSis and her husband (who plays sax in Helen and the Horns) have joined an amateur orchestra near where they live in Surrey.
There is so much music being made in the UK. It must be good for our collective soul, surely? Maybe Michael Eavis should look to the amateurs next Glastonbury and give them a bit of a plug. I know he has been grumbling about the lack of developing good guitar bands to headline. Amateur need not mean crap; a couple of years ago I did some gigs with an amazing cello player called Natasha who played with the Kensington Philharmonic, which is an orchestra of professional-level classical musicians.
It's not all the Portsmouth Sinfonia (although they must be secretly good, because Steve Beresford told me that he played with them).
My coffee's actually cold now. Back to work.