The disgusting racism of our modern society

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding cellist has passport cancelled by Home Office
Sheku Kanneh-Mason is unable to travel after he applied for second passport to help with visa applications when performing abroad

Typical, eh?

A Home Office spokesman said: “We are in contact with Mr Kanneh-Mason to resolve this situation and apologise for any inconvenience caused. A replacement passport will be issued as soon as possible.”


This is despite his sister Isata Kanneh-Mason, an award-winning pianist, submitting the same paperwork 15 minutes apart and receiving both the original and second passport within a week.

So, just a fuck up in the bureaucracy.

And as to the disgusting racism of modern British society:

Sheku Kanneh-Mason MBE (born 4 April 1999) is a British cellist who won the 2016 BBC Young Musician award

Oh, right.

Kanneh-Mason grew up in Nottingham, England. He was born to Stuart Mason, a luxury hotel business manager from Antigua, and Dr. Kadiatu Kanneh, a former lecturer at the University of Birmingham, from Sierra Leone.

Child of immigrants, shows talent, is educated and lauded for that talent.

At the age of nine, he passed the Grade 8 cello examination with the highest marks in the UK,[7][8] and won the Marguerite Swan Memorial Prize.[9] Also aged nine he won an ABRSM junior scholarship to join the Junior Academy of the Royal Academy of Music, where he was tutored by Ben Davies.[1][10][11] Kanneh-Mason received his non-specialist education as a pupil at the Trinity School, Nottingham,[11] where he studied for A levels in Music, Maths and Physics.

Aren’t we just the most racist, exclusionary, society ever?

Musical ability

Mr. Rebennack was known as one of the great boogie piano players. As you can see here he had great, great, economy in movement.


Rebennack’s career as a guitarist was stunted around 1960,[13] when the ring finger on his left (guitar fretting) hand was injured by a gunshot during an incident at a Jacksonville, Florida gig.[14][15] After the injury, Rebennack concentrated on bass guitar before making piano his main instrument, developing a style influenced by Professor Longhair.

How apt

The UK’s entry, Embers, sung by James Newman, finished last, failing to win a single point. It was the only Eurovision act to receive 0 after the juries of all 39 countries allocated their points.

That might well be all that’s left of that career.

Although many a cyclist has had a second life as the last to finish in the Tour de France, no?

Just has to be played

Just about everyone has done a version of this and this isn’t the original either.

When the Kingsmen went into a makeshift studio in Portland, Oregon, in April 1963 to record a raucous song with indecipherable lyrics called Louie Louie, Mike Mitchell and his band mates inadvertently created an entire genre of visceral guitar noise. Scuzzy and unsophisticated but imbued with a raw energy, it came to be known as garage rock, which in turn gave birth to the insurrectionary sound of punk.

At only two minutes and 42 seconds long, the song was crudely recorded in a single take with a solitary microphone dangling from the ceiling. The record cost $36 to make and was littered with mistakes. At one point the lead singer Jack Ely comes in several bars too early and has to wait for Mitchell and the rest of the band to catch up.

Although posterity has deemed that the errors are part of the record’s charm, at the time Mitchell and the group were unhappy with the sloppiness and asked to do another take. Their manager said it was fine and in any case the song was only intended as an audition demo for a cruise ship job.

It’s not a good guitar solo and, in fact, it’s a pretty terrible rendition of the song. Boy is there some life and excitement to it though.

Can’t recall even which decade this happened – either when flavoured ice teas were the thing or maybe it was the earlier bottled wine coolers phase. Ads were all about fine young forms disporting themselves at the beach. They got a dozen bands of the day – memory makes me want to say Hootie and the Blowfish and the like – to do covers. OK, looking it up, I almost got that story right.

But the point of the story is that none of those covers ever do capture what the Kingsmen did. It’s in construction a calypso. As the Ks did it it is, like all rock, about sex. Forget the lyrics, they’re entirely unimportant. It’s 2 minutes 42 seconds of strutting testosterone and all the more marvellous for that.

Best $36 any record company ever spent.

If you’ve not heard it before – and some Brits might well not have done, much more famous over there than here – it’s worth the headphones on, cranked right up. As a piece of musical craftsmanship it’s entirely dreadful. As a blast of teenage sweat it’s entirely marvellous.

Yet they will forever be remembered for two minutes and 42 seconds of gloriously primitive noise that changed the sound of rock’n’roll for ever.


A proposal to the City Fathers

This sounds like an interesting opportunity:

The City of London is planning to convert empty office space into 1,500 homes and is considering banning cars from the Square Mile at weekends as part of its post-pandemic recovery strategy.

In an attempt to boost its appeal as a place to live and socialise, the City of London Corporation said it is considering traffic-free weekends and all-night festivals, as well as providing new cultural and exercise spaces for the public.

Low-cost, long-term leases in vacant buildings could be also offered to artists and musicians.

That very last there.

Not “musicians” but “rehearsal rooms for musicians”.

Gissa nice long term lease at peppercorn rent on space. Rehearsal rooms. It’s difficult to find somewhere to go play that doesn’t cost a fortune because there’s a mixing desk in the corner. Given the size of modern housing “garage band” doesn’t really work these days.

So, a series, within the one building, of rehearsal rooms. Places where everything from the horn section through the three guitars and drums to the sampler plus dancers can actually work on the public presentation of gigs.

One can imagine rather quickly building up an ecosystem of lights lads, sound engs and session folks – hmm, perhaps would be session folks – that would hang out with bands trying it out. Moving out further, an office upstairs that specialises in those new EU carnets, visas for tours and so on. Some cubbyholes where songwriters are allowed to rent for a pittance. Who knows, if Islington Technical College still teaches some actual subjects there could be NVQ trainees around.

If the City Fathers would kick in the premises for near nowt then perhaps a music charity or two would pick up the operating bills?

Oh, and that four bed three reception penthouse with a roof terrace in The City for the person who first thought of this, of course.

Guardian subs

It’s hard not to blanche when you consider the sheer number of records that have been sold featuring his work.

Why would you turn into a female Belgian popster when so considering? Or did you mean blanch?

The music business is difficult

This is significantly good. Sure, it’s not Sam Cooke but then other than Sam Cooke nothing is.

So, have a look around for more Tedeschi Trucks and………it’s all very good but none of it’s any good. By which I mean it’s all entirely well done, excellently even, but none of it actually lifts. Could well just be me of course.

But I have a feeling that song selection matters more than many want to think.

It might actually be this though:

OK, and this:

Nothing wrong with that second. Bunch of very fine session musicians. And yet:

There’s something extra in the Duffy version. The phrasing just connects better.

As Our Very Own Dennis From Ohio, He Of Many Names, has been known to remark there really is a reason why Ry Cooder, excellent guitarist and singer that he is, has mostly been a sideman……there’s some drop extra needed to be really good at this music stuff.

That new music curriculum

No, really, this isn’t how to do it:

Every pupil in the country should study Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven……Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca, Handel’s Hallelujah from Messiah and Mussorgsky’s Night on the Bare Mountain……..Rock n Roll, pop and blues by listening to Hound Dog by Elvis Presley, With a Little Help from My Friends by The Beatles and Runaway Blues by Ma Rainey…….Genres such as Disco, Art Pop and 90s Indie should also be covered by listening to Chic’s Le Freak, Kate Bush’s Wild Man and Wonderwall’s Oasis.

It is, of course, Oasis’ “Wonderwall” but that’s just idiot journalists.

No, seriously, all of that is available, actually pumped at you, just by watching the TV ads.

They’re all used in TV ads because they are the iconic pieces of music of the past. Music is also one of the most basic of human activities. We have nose flutes from 50,000 years ago for example. We know of no human society that doesn’t at least use the voice to make it.

What we need is the education to connect those first stumblings of playing Pattycake and its rhymes with these glories of civilisation (OK, maybe not that with Oasis). The proof that this is what you can do – not what you can listen to, or appreciate, but do – the teaching that yes, really, these are just layerings up on top of adorable three year old moppets stumbling through Once in Royal David’s among the papier mache sheep…..

The lesson to teach is that music is something that is done, that you do, not merely something consumed.

Or, as any sensible country would do simply put my sister in charge of it.

Missed a trick here

Iused to have nothing against Mumford and Sons. Or at least no more than I have against all music involving accordions. But I find myself developing an intense dislike for three out of the four members of the popular music group.

Come along now, we all know it’s “popular beat combo”.


Chick Corea, Grammy-winning jazz musician, dies at 79
The composer, keyboardist and bandleader, who won 23 Grammy awards, has died of a rare form of cancer

Umm, clearly the Alzheimer’s is kicking in. I had him as the flugelhorn playing equivalent of Kenny G.

Who is it I’m thinking of?

Well, yes, logically so

Paedophile pop star Gary Glitter has reportedly had a coronavirus jab before his victims

The old are getting their jabs before the young and rather the reason he’s in prison is that they were markedly younger than he was……


Talking to her, she seems an old soul beyond her years, and had an unconventional penchant for the oldies even in childhood. “I had a friend in primary school who had a James Brown talking robot,” she recalls, laughing. “You would press a button and he would say catchphrases like: ‘I’m feeling good!’ And we pressed it so much it ran out of battery in about a week.”

I feel good” surely?


Spector is known as the innovator of the “wall of sound” recording technique and countless moments of pop sublimity. They are inextricable from his everyday barbarism, waving guns around and holding them to musicians’ heads to enforce his will.

Erm, no. Just as we can say that Che rocked that beret and yet slaughtered hundreds (just directly, himself, in executions) it is not just possible but essential that we differentiate. The music stands over here, the man over there. Just as the Rev Dodgson was more than a tad odd and yet Alice is a Great Book.