Six foot high presentations of Robin Hoods, stylised as a robin, and to be sponsored, decorated and installed across the city next year to give an attractive set of walking routes next year.
The first is painted as Robin Hood, the second as India.  A third is shown before decoration.
The project reflects other successful schemes in Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Brighton and elsewhere.
Launched at the Contemporary gallery.


Pride and Prejudice

Rapid cramming on the story by watching videos on youtube in preparation for this production, where the story is adapted for Nottingham Playhouse by comedian Sara Pascoe.   Backed up by defences of the women characters’ priorities cos they were victims of society mores.  And a quick hint of how men manipulate and betray today.
I wonder if a more relevant contemporary theme might have been that people still focus on the importance of marriage, and spend a lot on the wedding days, when the divorce rate is how it is.

Joy Division breaks new ground

IMG_2646ab1930h bbc radio nottm john holmes MMEBBC Radio Nottingham, John Holmes show, 13 Aug 2017
You can hear the show by selecting the following link.
Told a number of stories and covered a range of issues, mainly prompted by 8 tracks.
“Catch Us if you can”. “You’re Wondering Now”. “Ceremony”“Hot Love”. “Girl Afraid”. “Making Plans for Nigel”“Lovers Town Revisited”. “Things can only get better”.
It must have seemed a bit strange to be asserting how lively ska was and then not being able to use the live version of “You’re Wondering Now” –  the point will have been lost.  (Describing The Smiths as a “fresh of breath air” may also have confused.)
A heavy emphasis on being Lord Mayor, when it would have been a challenge to find 8 pieces of music that fitted a civic role.
Instead, the playing of Joy Division on the Sunday morning show seemed remarkable – note, I’d had to bring in my own CD for the right track to be played.
I’ve had a couple of nice comments, but to a correspondent who thought I’d been brave in my selection, it has to be pointed out that I didn’t find an appropriate Fall track (partly, they’re frequently lomg and partly cos none of them particularly stood out regarding stages in my life).

Track 8: “Things can only get better”, D:Ream

Famous for being the New Labour campaign tune for 1997, and marking the end of 18 wasted years – all that North Sea oil, and what did we do with it?
My personal pleasure was buying the CD with 6 different versions (I’d bought 4 track editions of Happy Mondays songs before) and playing it time and again on the train down to London.

“Things can only get better”, D:Ream did not win us the General Election as some have claimed, but as an anthem, it captured the feeling for 1997.
For some it captured the election night – although we in Nottingham were still in the count until 6:30 in the morning.
We did go on and we got a lot done, although it ran out of steam with the bankers’ betrayal and with Gordon Brown.

The song has also become – with the rise of Professor Brian Cox – a reminder of my physics degree which I approached as a way of getting a degree without the fullest appreciation of the value of the subject; a mild regret.  The TV documentaries have become much better and some of the books have been excellent.
Track 7: Billy Bragg

Track 7: “Lovers Town Revisited”, Billy Bragg

“Fighting on the dance floor happens anyway …”
If there’s a shadow over life for boys and young men, it’s violence.  Something that went away when you were perceived to be too old.
Useless and the uselessness is captured by

“Lovers Town Revisited”, Billy Bragg.
Words that are meant to be heard, in a short and sharp format.
“Sometimes [he’s] makes me stop and think.”
Like The Smiths, Billy writes songs that tell more realistic stories of love and life.
More political songs too – from a more traditional labour movement perspective.
Pleased to meet him recently at the Rough Trade shop in Hockley (on the day of the Pentrich revolution 200th anniversary march) when he was pushing his book on skiffle.

Track 6: The Smiths

Track 6: “Girl Afraid”, The Smiths

“… you and me,
“we can ride on a star
“If you stay with me, girl
“We can rule the world”
Take that.  Dross.  Implerialistic dross.

The Smiths were such a breath of fresh air when they arrived in 1983.  Big fans of pop, but discerning.  Morrissey well read (see the “England is mine” movie); Johnny Marr highly-skilled on guitar.  Deliberating choosing a plain name for their band.
For the BBC Radio Nottm show wanting to know about songs that change your lives, “Rubber Ring” even has the lyric.  But the track I’ve chosen is –

“Girl Afraid”, The Smiths.
Nice jangling; and just listen to the lyrics.
And value difference.

Track 5: Joy Division.