I completed my regular mid-summer visit to magazine publishers Future Fusion in Bath today. I caught the 8am train from Paddington yesterday and arrived in good time to have a full day working on the autumn issue of The Musician magazine. In partnership with the excellent team on the fifth floor in Quay House, a considerable number of features were edited and sent onto the relevant MU Officials. I spent the evening with consultant editor Neil Crossley and enjoyed dinner at the Thai Balcony in the centre of town once more, before retiring my room at the Apex Hotel.
I caught a train from Beckenham into Charing Cross this evening to visit Sarastro in Covent Garden and to meet up with Luisa Santiago, the Brit School graduate, who had been one of the songwriters at the Chris Difford retreat I attended earlier this month. She was performing at a weekly residency at the restaurant in Drury Lane alongside her father, Gustavo, a percussionist.
I travelled by train on Sunday from East Croydon to Brighton to attend and organise the MU’s Delegate Conference, which occurs every other year and is an opportunity for members to hear of, and question if appropriate, the work of the Union’s Executive Committee (EC) and Officials in the previous two years. The event also discusses possible changes to the MU Rules as well as the motions proposed by the Union’s Regions, all of which call on the EC to act on the issues of the day affecting working musicians.
I drove Naomi Pohl and John Shortell to Tileyard Studios in London N7 this afternoon as we delivered a comprehensive supply of MU promo materials to Girls I Rate. GIR was founded to create a platform and voice for women to collaborate, celebrate and empower each other. Naomi and John were set to be involved from 3pm in the latest of their inspirational monthly Pop Pop Club events and I am delighted to report that the MU has been confirmed as both a partner and sponsor.
The top floor of the Oxo Tower on London’s southbank was the venue for PPL‘s 85th anniversary event this evening. Artists, journalists and representatives of all the trade organisations, enjoyed the summer sun burning up the outdoor walkway, which offered a superb view of the river.
I have spent a superb few days at Tilton House, near Lewes in Sussex, in the company of eleven musicians, at a songwriting camp hosted by lyricist Chris Difford of Squeeze fame. Chris has arranged over twenty-five of such retreats and it proved a fascinating exercise in co-writing with new contacts.
You can honeymoon
in old Cancun,
you can walk the talk
in Frank’s New York,
you can catch a plane
to southern Spain,
and show your form
you can make your home
in sunny Rome,
but there’s one thing I’ve got to say,
on any day,
in any way,
give me London by the sea.
I attended the third annual MPA summer party this evening at Kings Place in Kings Cross. Also there on behalf of the MU were Jamie Pullman and Natalie Witts from our London office and we spoke to many friends from across the industry, including Peter Leathem and Andrew Ames of PPL.
A superb day at a Joe Denly Testimonial event in the company of a number of Kent county cricket professionals at Prince’s Golf Club, Sandwich. I arrived mid-morning after driving down from Beckenham to find the course, sited directly next to the easterly facing coastline, benefiting from warm summer sunshine and a noticeably fresh breeze.
The contents of the MU’s 2019 Conference Report have been edited and laid out in the eye-catching new format, which significantly benefits from supporting graphics, illustrations and photos. This contains reports from the senior officials on the Union’s work over the last two years, plus the proposed motions and rule changes, which conference will debate on 23rd July in Brighton.