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.
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 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.
Julie, Ben and I drove down to Eridge Park, Tunbridge Wells, yesterday afternoon for the second Black Deer Festival. The event now attracts a huge array of Americana, country and roots music artists, both homegrown and from across the Atlantic, and the rolling hills bathed in June sunshine made for a welcoming sight.
Maddy Radcliff, Diane Widdison and I travelled the short distance from MU HQ to the Southbank Pavilion this evening to attend UK Music’s annual Summer Party in the Weston Pavilion. This is a very popular event that draws many movers and shakers from the music industry and now attracts a considerable number of parliamentarians.
My wife Julie had very kindly bought me a day trip on the Pullman Express as part of my 60th birthday events and so this morning we travelled to Victoria Station and made our way to Platform 2 where the Pullman reception lounge is located. The sound of a live jazz band greeted us and I was delighted to say hello to trumpeter John Shepherd and his trio, who were regaling the gathering passengers with appropriate tunes from the 1920s and 30s.
Mark Batchelor kindly booked tickets for us to catch a rare UK live performance by Brazilian/American vocalist and Bossa Nova specialist, Bebel Gilberto. She is the daughter of João Gilberto and singer Miúcha and has been performing in the family tradition in Rio since an early age.
I could be found tonight at the excellent Under the Bridge venue, Stamford Bridge, Chelsea, for the inaugural Drake Yolanda Award event. A very enjoyable evening, which benefited from live performances by the 10 winners of the 2019 prize who were selected from over 200 entries by a panel of industry judges including Gareth Malone OBE, Roisin O’Connor, X Factor winner Matt Cardle, Ben Earle from UK country band The Shires and chair Yolanda Brown.
The Ivors Academy was launched this week, following the renaming and rebranding of BASCA, the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. The launch event took place at The Ministry of Sound in London SE1 this evening and attracted many well-known faces from across the industry. I attended on behalf of the MU and caught up with Peter Leathem (PPL CEO), Paul Scaife (Record of the Day), plus songwriters Anna Neale and Jona Lewie amongst many others.