During the past twelve months and more of effectively being barred from publishing content on my own web page, some might be wondering, asides the obvious, how I managed to fill my time. It takes a while to get back to normal (or rather the new normal) after being incarcerated.
Since my arrest in April 2020 (for which I am due to stand trial for causing gross offence with another parody song); since that arrest two years ago just as the first Lockdown began, I have learned how to grow vegetables and flowers in containers. A real Christmas tree is flourishing, as well as salads, root veg, onions and herbs. My most successful crop so far is Swiss chard, variety Bright Lights. Spring onions and carrots also did well.
Despite various excuses made over the past four months by the Courts and Tribunals Service as to why I had not received any official notification for the new trial against me, supposed to begin Friday, February 18th, the fact remains that the document delivered electronically, last Thursday 17th, with less than a day’s notice, was the first time I had set eyes on any official summons to attend trial.
Perhaps, if I had told a joke about the Roma Holocaust — or sanctioned a millennia-old goblin-banker stereotype for Hollywood movies based on a children’s book series — things might be different: I would not again be facing jail time for causing ‘gross offence’ with another parody song.
Readers will have no doubt seen the latest Cancel Culture Controversy concerning British comic, Jimmy Carr. I won’t go into details here, only to point out that Carr has been criticised and condemned, whilst no doubt laughing all the way to the bank.
Coming shortly after wokedom’s outrage over Whoopi Goldberg’s comments on race, it seems that cancel culture is truly out of hand.
For something different and distant from all the noise, here is a song I wrote in 2009. Let Love In is a Latin number; the lyrics speak for themselves and have, at least from my own perspective, stood the test of time quite well.
I’m back. For how long is uncertain but, for now, I am once again at liberty to express myself in my own home country. This new-found liberty is necessarily tempered by way of another upcoming trial for another satirical song, rendering the art of expression somewhat limited. I’m sure you get my drift.
Above: keeping busy with sourdough, making preserves and tending to my little garden.
Hope Not Hate’s Matthew Collins has been up to his usual tricks recently, apparently paying a photographer to camp outside my door. As well, despite one official complaint in 2018 to his bosses at Hope Not Hate, he is again flirting with unlawfulness by reproducing screenshots sent to him by one of his little spies on Facebook. Collins of course is no stranger to intimidation, threats, violence – even against women. It would be no surprise if the person feeding him juicy tidbits from my Facebook page publicly parades as a far right nationalist and probably even chats to me regularly on Facebook. Vermin.
Last Monday, a month or so after Collins’ latest antics, Hope Not Hate (HnH) published its annual edition of State of Hate. Rather than asking the obvious question (Why no “zero tolerance” when it comes to Michele Renouf’s ‘historic acquittal’ in Dresden last October?), the author instead presents what could be a passable script for the latest edition of Eastenders Nationalism. Either that or it’s a pitch for a new game show ‘Pimp My Offense’.
Like any TV production team, HnH may have the funding, but do they have the talent? Some of the information is correct, regarding both Renouf and myself. The character smears, however, come straight from the mouths of the Lidy and her long time, dashing companion, the oh-so-gallant Captain Clever-Clogs himself. In short, HnH once again are merely confirming that they are in choppy waters, using any distraction to try and convince readers of my awfulness.
Both camps will be anxiously following my upcoming cases with a great deal of interest. Not long to wait. My next trial opens this coming Tuesday, March 30th at 10 am, Westminster Magistrates Court, London. Whatever the outcome, HnH will be blaming me, for years to come, for ‘starting a cat-fight’ which they helped engineer.
If I do lose my case, then it will be just one more instance showing that, as far as seeking justice is concerned, Anything Goes.
A fourth and final Covid-19 ditty, featuring a live vocal performance to a backing track that was created after much deliberation with lyricist Gerard Menuhin on the choice of music.
Gerard’s first suggestion was to use the Dave Clarke Five’s ‘Glad All Over’, in particular for the bass drum that is part of the hook line: ‘Because I’m BOOM BOOM glad all over’.
In the end, I adapted that idea to a composition of my own, that nevertheless pays tribute to DC5 in the middle eight.
The sound is decent this time round, but the lighting could be better. Composition of some songs – e.g. my previous number ‘Caught Covid From The Cat’ – can be completed within a day, although there may be some minor changes whilst recording, etc.
Prohibition Mission was supposed to be the third number of a Covid EP. I wanted a catchy melody without the restrictions of a repetitive chord structure, as with blues or rock n roll. Here’s the final result.
Here’s TMML Productions latest jab – at the jab, and at the obedient masses, living in hope that their jab will enable them to get back to “normal”.
A back-to-the-old-days live demo. Quality is now better than it was few years ago, although my means for such a production are limited to what you see in the video: my Yamaha arranger-keyboard, my 30-year old Shure SM58 (easy to see that my Sony headphones have lasted only a fraction of the time) and the Zoom H4n Pro device, partially seen, in the lower left-hand corner. This piece of kit is ideal for home-studio recording, as well as for capturing audio outside. It can be used as a condenser mic, as a four-track mixer and – my favourite setting – as an audio-interface, once connected to a laptop via USB.
For such a live demo, using the Zoom H4n Pro as my audio interface, it’s only possible to record one stereo track (left/vocals, right/keys). This track then has to be mixed and rendered to two separate mono tracks, and then re-mixed, in order to get a decent balance.
The musical inspiration (excepting the middle eight) – as well as the lyrics – comes once again from Gerard Menuhin, who proposed the famous blues number Work Song. For years, as a classroom music teacher, I used the Monty Alexander Live in Montreux version for music & movement exercises. My students were kept on their toes.
Meanwhile, Gerard and I are on a covid roll. Watch this space.
Lyrics by Gerard Menuhin. Adaptation (of Blue Suede Shoes), arrangement, performance and production by me.
This is the latest collaboration between Gerard and I, the first of what will hopefully turn out to be a trio of blues numbers. Please let us know what you think in the comments and please share widely.