On Saturday, the Reading Lib Dems gathered to commemorate 25 years since the party formed in 1988 – and to look forward to more years to come. European election candidates Catherine Bearder MEP and Antony Hook both came along, and also Newbury PPC Judith Bunting. Catherine and Antony give a couple of excellent talks on the importance of the 2014 elections, emphasising that we are a party that engages with the rest of the world, which recognises the importance of Europe to our economy.
It was also great to see all the leaflets and newspaper clippings that activists have kept over the years. Here’s a gallery selecting just a few. Read more
Sometimes photos are begging for a tagline. The important thing to know about the photo below is that off to the left stands Dave. I feel the expressions on Chez and my face need an explanatory caption. Just what is Dave up to?
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The Shinfield Parish Jubilee Bash
It’s not easy, getting a decent photo as a band, if all you’re doing is having fun in your spare time. A pro would be a bit of an indulgence, but getting the right shot takes too much time to do casually. So it was good when guitarist Dave turns out to know photographer Mike Croshaw.
Mike’s only just getting started with photography, and is still at the dedicated amateur stage. Which means we get to be a test exercise for him. That gets us some nice cheap shots! I’m rather fond of the composite above, stretching across the entire stage.
A nice little bit portrait work on his site, too. It’s cool to see someone really diving into something new. But enough of him, here’s a little selection of the pics he kindly took of my lot:
My favourite artist at Glastonbury. Forget the Pyramid stage and the Gorillaz, there was a great little party going on at the West Holts world music stage – with much more interesting messages in the music.
Nneka is entirely new to me. Nigerian born, now lives in Germany, and making some great political hip-hop influenced music. I’d namecheck Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu to get a vague feel, but actually listening is the better idea of course. The tracks that really works for me (Heartbeat) has a definite flavour from Eminem’s Lose Yourself in the intro, but even when I noticed that it didn’t distract from a great vocal performance. She has great stage presence. She puts power into the potentially simplistic and trite line “do you feel my heartbreaking” – no wilting flower, here.
It’s not easy getting across messages of corruption and national suffering, at a personal level on a big stage. The photo above doesn’t quite manage to capture the mixture of frustration, pain and anger at corrupt politicians, for instance, that she conveyed so well. It was a last minute performance, as well, she was filling in a slot after Femi Kuti was shifted up to cover Mos Def, whose grandmother had sadly died that day.
I went on to buy her To And Fro 3-CD collection from Amazon – a good value buy for us old fogies still buying CDs.
Her MySpace page has some great content. Check out the YouTube clip of HeartBeat, live on the Letterman show in the US. The performance is actually pretty stilted to what I saw live – I’m guessing their first national US performance was a pretty high pressure affair for them. And yet it’s still pretty damned good. I love her voice.
It’s a shame they don’t have a clip of the bass player doing a tribal chant of some kind (forgive my ignorance). Got a photo of him towards the end below. That guy had some presence. Put me in mind of the Maori haka.
Two Door Cinema Club were the band that kicked off the music at Glastonbury for me, on the Thursday afternoon. I was dragged along to see Boy George of all artists the night before, which was actually quite a fun flashback to the 80s, but not exactly what I’m hoping for at a rock festival.
I did see the band on before them at the Queens Head, who were good enough but nothing special. Alex, Kevin and Sam brought waay more energy to the stage, and indeed a fair crowd. Since the gig, I’ve been hearing their Come Back Homeconstantly on Xfm. Maybe they had just escaped my attention. Hence the title, Glastonbury Revelations. Can’t keep up with the kids these days, no doubt I well behind the times, so these are the bands that were great new discoveries for me.
As befits their name, their music videos are quite good to. On the video for Come Back Home, I’m particularly fond of the transition using masks and a split screen at around 0:54. Check it out at http://www.myspace.com/twodoorcinemaclub.
(something has gone awry with the links behind the top level images on the blog. Will be fixed later today.)
A friend of mine won tickets to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, a car event. Yes, environment fans, it was everything you would expect.