Songs for Hisao


My mother’s sister was caught up in the Balkan war of the 90’s and was displaced several times after her home and village were bombed. She was of an age and along with her disabled son, found herself up in Sarajevo during the siege, staying with another son of hers who was a primary school head there.

We lost contact for a long time – it seemed everywhere she went was being shelled to hell, yet she lived through it all (as well as WW2). She knew real poverty and the toughness of self-sufficiency – nothing got to her.

Eventually we spoke on the phone. I couldn’t really talk for crying. She said ‘Don’t be upset. Sing and dance for me. I can’t do it right now. If I was you, that is what I would be doing’.

Her attitude surprised me. I thought she’d be beside herself with grief and pain. But no, like my mother, it was a message… get up, you’ll do it again, so get up.

Was it simply, don’t let the b*stards get you down?

Or something deeper. Be my voice. Sing for me. So they can hear me. I aint going down yet. Dance til they feel the thunder of resistance beneath your feet – for your feet are mine and your voice is mine too.




Talkin’ ’bout more than my generation of music

It’s Glastonbury weekend and whether you like the big festival or not – there’s music to be heard, to dance to, to talk about.

And that is what has been happening over the last few days. Over half an hour stood in the market gassing about rock bands and songs with old pal today. Checkout operator telling me she’s been to see all the big ones – Queen, Rolling, Bruce and more.

I have enjoyed listening to Mary J, Pharrell, Ronson, the infectious sounds of South Africa and tributes to Amy.

My no.1. 60’s era band is on tonight – The Who. They’re what I call a proper British Rock Band. Am hoping for some Quadrophenia from them.

Whatever your taste, there’s no denying that music is something we create for our pleasure, our posing, our pomposity. Expression through sound, resonating in the steady beat of our hearts,  pulses throughout our body and blood.

Whether you like to listen, dance, make, perform, you know everything is alright when you feel the music within.

Here’s my son’s other band Blast Beat Blues – have a listen to their demo on band camp- they’re creating a rumble already…

Every generation has something to talk about.

Enjoy your music!