The MU’s recent survey of musicians has a prominent feature in The Guardian this morning. This follows our media campaign launch produced in conjunction with the team at our excellent PR agency, Kindred.
This evening I met up with Jonathan Stewart at the Brewhouse and Kitchen in Hoxton for the beer masterclass that my stepdaughter had kindly bought me as part of my 60th birthday celebrations.
The autumn 2020 issue of The Musician magazine is set to be dispatched this evening via the DotDigital system to all members and can now be accessed via the ISSUU facility and pdf on the MU website. This format follows the digital edition produced in the summer, but the plan is to return to a print edition for the magazine scheduled for distribution in December.
Video film maker William Ambler-Shaw visited Beckenham this afternoon to record my contribution to his documentary about ‘Leytonstone Unplugged’, a film set to tell the story of the initiative in east London raising valuable funds for the MU Coronavirus Hardship Fund. My thanks to William for an informative and relaxed recording session.
Finally, a football match for The Warren JFC, the under-15s team for which Ben plays. Kicking off a new season after many months away, the boys lined up against local rivals, Petts Wood. Our lads started somewhat sluggishly and were 3-1 down at half time. Ben entered the fray at this point and played the entire second half in goal, making several key saves and preventing Petts Wood extending their lead. Gradually, The Warren got to grips with their opponents and ran out 7-4 victors. Acknowledging his contribution, Ben was awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ trophy by The Warren’s management team. Well done son!
Part two of a summer break from MU commitments, saw my travelling down by train from Bromley South to Canterbury East and Greg Fitzgerald’s studio to continue work on a set of originals. Arriving last Wednesday, the 19th, we would spend three highly-productive days working on ‘Nashville, Tennessee’ (vocal), ‘Farewell to your valentine’ (guitars and vocal), ‘In the comfort of strangers’ (guitar and vocal), ‘Falling off the edge of the world’ (guitars and vocal), ‘Quids in’ (guide guitar and vocal), plus a song I actually wrote in the 1980s, ‘Girl on the train’ (guide guitar and vocal).
On the way home from Wales, we stopped for two nights at the Clothiers Arms in Stroud, with the aim of visiting our ancestors’ haunts in the nearby village of Selsley. My great grandparents, Sidney and Charlotte Hague (nee Gwinnett), had lived for many years in the Post Office in Pools Lane. Sidney was born locally in 1849 and Charlotte in 1846. We soon found their graves at the superb setting of All Saints’ Church, where he had been a chorister for seventy years. Also close by was the grave of Charlotte’s parents, my great-great grandparents, William and Mary Ann Gwinnett (nee Halliday). William was born in 1820 and Mary Ann in 1817.
Julie, Ben and I have spent a relaxing week in west Wales in the company of long-term friends, Roger and Brenda Farley. We were based at New Gale Lodge, a modernised farmhouse halfway between Haverfordwest and St David’s, a mile or so inland from New Gale beach.
The Hayes family golf day, which should have taken place in the spring, found a home post-lockdown at the Surrey National Golf Club today in scorching sunshine. The third hottest day on record according to the news. Sponsored by Leigh, all funds raised were directed to the Stephen Hayes Fund, which is now approaching an impressive £20,000 and on its way to the £30,000 target to support his returning home from hospital.
The Musicians’ Union has joined the 48-hour Twitter ‘walkout’ against Twitter’s inaction this weekend, following a series of tweets inciting violence against Jewish people posted by grime artist Wiley. The Twitter walkout means the Union will not be posting on the platform for 48 hours, from 9am on Monday 27 July to 9am on Wednesday 29 July.