Keith Ames

Writer and lyricist

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Westminster photo shoot

My colleagues Maddy Radcliff and John Shortell joined me outside Parliament this morning as we met highly-respected sound engineer Olga FitzRoy and many other names from the entertainment world in supporting the second reading of the “Shared Parental Leave and Pay (Extension)” bill, also known as the #SelfieLeave Bill, which will extend the right to shared parental leave to self-employed people, who are ineligible under current rules.

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MP4 v Homelessness

I was invited by Kevin Brennan, MP for Cardiff West, to the launch this evening of MP4’s new EP at the State Rooms of the Speaker of the House in the Houses of Parliament.  (MP4 consists of Kevin on guitar, Ian Cawsey who was Labour MP for Big and Goole until 2010 on bass, Greg Knight, Conservative MP for East Yorkshire on drums, and Pete Wishart, SNP MP for Perthshire, on keyboards).

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Venues Day

Music Venue Trust held their 5th national networking event today in the Islington Assembly Hall and MU Live Performance Official Kelly Wood and I ran a stand in the Main Hall throughout the day. The event was sold out and attended by around five hundred grassroots venue owners, managers and administrators from across the UK.

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Young driver experience

Following a morning training with The Warren football club in West Wickham Common, and a fry-up at T’s Cafe in Eden Park, my son Ben was on his way with Julie, Lisa and I to Bluewater Shopping Centre near Dartford for a late birthday treat. This consisted of a 30 minutes ‘Young Driver’ lesson in a dual-controlled Vauxhall Corsa around the track laid out in the Thames Walk car park.

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UK Music Album Quiz

To mark National Album Day, UK Music held a quiz this evening in the Silver Cross pub in Whitehall and fifteen teams gathered at 7pm in the basement ready to meet the challenge of the organisation’s quiz masters. I had been invited to enter a team and, with the valuable assistance of British Underground CEO Crispin Parry, put together a line-up of five eager contestants including former MU Official Ben Jones and Tom Bridgewater of Loose Music.

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Debut with the Blues

With the completion of the Labour Conference in Liverpool, I travelled down to Birmingham by train on Thursday 27th to work, for the first time, at the Conservative Party Conference. Their event was to be centred in and around Symphony Hall and with the MU’s Executive Committee electing in 2017 that we should have a presence at the Conference, I found myself on the way to the venue to assist Robin, Neil and the MES team with setting up stand number 16.

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Labour Party Conference

I travelled by train to Liverpool on Friday 21 September, to attend and work at this year’s Labour Party Conference taking place at the Arena and Convention Centre in the Royal Albert Docks. Having dropped off my case at the Novotel in Hanover Street, the base for the MU team at the event, I walked down to the Conference venue where I met Neil Davies and Derek of Modular Exhibition Stands, who that morning had expertly installed a brand new stand on behalf of the MU.

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The Musician (autumn 18)

The autumn 2018 issue of The Musician, featuring a wraparound cover photograph of percussionist and West End stalwart Matthew West, is being dispatched solely to MU members this week. The award-winning format boasts its range of features, interviews, reports and information for working musicians across the UK.

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Council of Music Makers

I attended the launch of the Council of Music Makers (CMM) at the Strongroom, Shoreditch this afternoon alongside my colleague Naomi Pohl, Assistant General Secretary of the MU.  The collective involves the Union, BASCA, FAC, MMF and MPG. The CMM has been set up to lobby on behalf of creators and performers in the music industry.

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Zero X

‘You wanna put a fruity
where the sun don’t shine,
tell me I’m a cutie
and that I won’t mind,
look upon a beauty
and you may just find
I care.’

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