Spring 2012 NEWSLETTER

Posted Mar 24, 2012

I tried to distribute the following Newsletter to my mailing list and failed horribly! Why can't I get the hang of this stuff?  I only managed to send it to those addresses beginning with 'A' and 'B' - and some of these were unable to open the attachments. I will try again, when I've spoken with son David but until then the following is the only airing of this. Sorry.

Newsletter  (Spring 2012)

Here we are into March already.  I’ve only just recovered from New Year’s Eve and a friend’s wonderful birthday party at the beginning of January. “Who knows where the time goes?”  Band of Hope used to do that song. How I enjoyed that and all the stuff we did!  I wonder if the record company would sell me the master disc? I wonder if I could afford to buy it? I’d like to issue it on Fuse Records. Just so all the things I’ve recorded might be available on my own label. All, that is, except my first solo album – ‘Roy Bailey’ recorded by Bill Leader on his Trailer Label in 1970. I don’t expect to get that. I have asked the current holder of the catalogue (no longer Bill Leader) but with no luck. Ah well… a child can’t have everything he wants!

Things are OK I suppose, although having just listened to and read about the Budget I am so full of impotent expletives it’s best I turn to other subjects.

Where was I?  Oh yes…. I’m still managing to sing a bit and still enjoying it immensely. As I have written in my (as yet unfinished and unpublished!) memoires (sounds posh!) one of my greatest joys has been and remains, singing.

A few clubs and festivals have invited me this year and I look forward to these. Keep an eye on ‘Live Dates’ to see where I am. It’s always changing as new concerts are added  -  I’m pleased to say!  A week or so ago I was invited together with Tony Benn to perform at a conference in the east end of London  entitled “Conference of Dangerous Ideas”. It was held at a venue I had not known – Rich Mix on Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch. It was very crowded and very exciting. Stuff was being talked and argued about all over the building and indeed it was so oversubscribed the organisers had to find extra venues for discussion groups and workshops elsewhere in the district. I had hardly sat down in the cafe for a sandwich and a cup of tea before I found myself engaged in discussion with total strangers as to how we should organise and take control of our lives. My assertions that the distribution and structure of power made this extremely difficult seemed so pessimistic. Fortunately, I was saved by the arrival of Tony Benn and we had to go off to another room to decide how we would adapt the programme. We had to cut the show down to an hour.  We finally got on stage and had a great evening. The audience was enthusiastic, hushing the few who were talking at the back. It was crammed full. We enjoyed ourselves and I departed to return home, leaving Tony surrounded by dozens of people wanting photos and/or signatures on books and programmes. I would have liked to have stayed but a long drive to Sheffield awaited me!  If the conference happens again and you’re in London, watch out for it. 

I was told there was a review in The Independent on Sunday (25th March) of our show at the Komedia in Brighton. I managed to get this from the paper’s web cite. I was pleased with it and I think it captured the fun we have while trying to communicate a serious point about the tradition of dissent. As Tony puts it ‘there has always been two flames burning – a flame of anger at injustice and the flame of hope that we can achieve a better world’. We have a few more concerts booked in for this year and if you can make it, it’ll be good to see you. (See the gigs list at the end of this ramble or the Live Dates page here.) 

The latest mad idea is that I should undertake a new recording. I suppose there has to be an end to all this but I reckon while I can, I’ll continue. Anyway, there is no chance of me ever declaring again that “This is my final recording!” I got my fingers burned, (metaphorically) in 1990 when I last made such a declaration of intent – namely 4 CDs ago!!  We shall see.

Tony and I were invited to the Stop the War demonstration in Trafalgar Square last October. The demo was very successful I think – I bumped into Robb Johnson among the thousands present. Our spot was in the marquee not on the main stage and we couldn’t really do very much in terms of our programme. We, nevertheless, enjoyed making a contribution to a great event.  The Stop the War Coalition has once again invited us to do a shortened version of the Writing on the Wall at a benefit to be held at St James’ Church in Piccadilly on Friday May 25th.  I don’t know who else is appearing but we will enjoy ourselves once again and hopefully, those present will do so as well!

Finally, in these hard times …. keep, keeping on and most important, keep singing!  These times will pass and as Robb Johnson wrote in ‘Red & Green’ –

“…. Love to all things suffering here….

Roy Bailey

Sheffield.  March 2012