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The Other News From England.

17 Jan 2000.

Index of earlier issues - click here.

(Those who like digging about will find that there are hundreds of articles on many subjects to be found on this site.)

Old issues.

I am working again on old issues of Other News (1993) and hope soon to put a few more of them on the site.

Further reduced edition.

A thoroughly boring week.

I apologise for this. Almost nothing at all of any interest appears to have happened during the past week, and so I am almost not writing anything about it.

British Music Writers' Council.

This week the first meeting of the new year took place at MU headquarters. The discussion was, as one might predict, almost entirely about the rates to charge and almost entirely not about how to find some customers to charge these rates.

My perception of the Musicians' Union and all it's offshoots is that it is a trade association because I am pretty sure that the greater proportion of it's members are freelancers, and so in 1992 I tried to promote the idea that the main purpose of this union in the modern world should be one of promotion. That is, it should be concentrating on promoting the notion that if you want something musical you don't first go to the BBC, which already has enough to do and enough subsidy, but instead come to the MU. As I am a member of the BMWC I suggested that the BMWC should be pursuing this approach, and if necessary holding a separate meeting to discuss the question of what to charge the customers so that one can devote whole meetings to working out what to do to create a better working scenario.

Furthermore, I think we should be as inclusive and not as exclusive as we can possibly can be, and that should we become successful (wow!) the work coming in should be offered to all members instead of the few who have managed by some process to already be established (the MU magazine nearly always has a photo of someone who doesn't need publicity on the cover, thus defeating at least one part of this objective straight away).

This last idea could be taken by the establishment to be a threat, since presumably their reason for being committee members is one of self-preservation. I wish to suggest that promoting the whole group would lead to a far greater success rate than promoting individuals, since it could lead to the public believing that if you want music written of any type the best place to try first is the BMWC, because, amongst other things, they have the widest range of writers available. There would be other advantages, too. Putting the idea in people's heads that they can have music entirely their own for their advert (or whatever) must necessarily lead to (at the very least) a slight increase in the amount of commissioning that goes on.

I also suggested that it might be worth holding 'social' meetings where people could meet informally and discuss things, and additionally I suggested the idea of a collection of performing music-writers who have pledged to perform each other's music, thus giving new works an airing - even if only with an MU audience. The point about this kind of thing is that it promotes the idea that we are creative artists worth noticing, and it gives us something to write press releases about.

I met with fierce opposition from the tiny establishment in 1992, but I notice that this year they have at least made a gesture, in that there is a person within the union part of whose job is to sell the BMWC.

I hope they succeed, because then even I might have some chance of making a fit living out of music.

The British Music Writers' Council is at 60/62 Clapham Road, London SW9 0JJ UK. phone (UK) 0207 582 5566. website:

London Rent Assessment Panel.

These people, having made their decision, are in the position of needing to account for it, so we can expect a long delay between the arrival of the decision (which is now to hand) and the arrival of their reasons (to follow). I suspect what happened was that they had no idea whatever what to do, had delayed for long enough, and so opted for confirming the local rent officer's figures, despite all the fiddles (but they would not wish to say that in their report).

After all, they do need to justify their salaries.

LETSSwing at Crawley January 29, 2000.

(this item held over from last 2 issues).

LETSSwing have become very slick over the last couple of years. A well laid back group playing a great mixture of stuff - harmonised vocals, smooth old saxophone, Gabriele Gad on piano (so unique I can't describe it), instrumentals on flute and/or saxophone, old, new, LETS songs, folksy songs, jazz pop and swing, reggae, bluebeat - and all of it danceable.

Many LETSSwing engagements are in hospitals and homes (working for Council for Music in Hospitals), and so are not open to the general public, but on January 29 LETSSwing is doing another show that is open to the public (last one was 8 Dec 99). This will also be an opportunity to see what LETS' are about if you are interested.

at Northgate Community Centre, Crawley, W. Sussex, 10 minutes walk from Station.

7pm till 11pm, admission 5, 2 for 10-15 year olds, under 10 free! (I believe Crawley LETS members can pay part or all in the Crawley currency).

You could email for extra info.

LETSSwing at Bonnington Cafe. Some of LETSSwing will also be at the Bonnington Cafe on the 5th and 12th Feb. No charge for entry, but you need to buy a meal. The food is high quality vegetarian and quite cheap. Usually 7 a head would cover the meal, but bring your own wine. Rather Bohemian atmosphere. Booking is difficult, and it gets very crowded when such acts are there.

Bonnington Cafe, Vauxhall Grove, London SW8 UK. Near Vauxhall underground and mainline station, and many buses. Booking is difficult.


IF YOU WANT A REAL COCKUP, see if you can get Southwark to help you.


The stuff that doesn`t often get changed now follows:

Wanted: Established musical act performing to reasonably sophisticated adult audiences needs an agent. This act is already on the road but needs help with increasing it's profile, and getting in front of a wider variety of audiences. Please email or if that doesn't work.

This website is about the destruction of countryside and agriculture. Worth a visit if you want to find out about how it is thought the British countryside will fair under the ongoing creep of the multinationals.

This website is one to do with monetary reform. If you are interested in economics it is worth a look.

This is a website about alternative currencies.Might be worth a look to those who have realised that you don't necessarily have to have money as such to be prosperous.

This is a website for something called The Green Guide. I know nothing about it, but am hoping it is something worthy. Please let me know if it is questionable.

This is a site concerned with one of the most unpopular planning decisions ever made in Greater London, the Crystal Palace Complex. It is so stunningly awful that only a handful of people who do not live near it appear to approve, whilst the rest are not entirely uninclined to mention such things as payola, name it! The site belongs to the London Borough of Bromley, but the aggro generated by it and the destruction of amenity caused by it will be almost entirely suffered by residents of adjoining boroughs and not the people of Bromley themselves.

This is a recycling site based in London, and offering materials to anybody. The organisation is a charity seeking to link suppliers of surplus materials with users. Especially good for the more ingenious designers amongst us.

The email of the people who run the above site is They are called Creative Supplies. Look them up for more info.

Here's an interesting education site - particularly for those who have young children and are not quite sure what to do to avoid the worst of what`s on offer in the mainstream of education.They are called

early Othernews - 1992, 93, 94.

Early Other News essays.

There were a few essays that went out with the early Other News as a freestanding item. You can read these by clicking below.


The Soup Designer`s Handbook.

The Soup Designer`s Handbook.

London Journey - a trip from Docklands through Beckenham and back to Docklands.

Friday Woodworkers.

(Friday Woodworkers are suffering a temporary break due to some of the episodes not having been fully edited at the time of writing. It may take some timne to fix this problem.

Episode 17.

(These articles were written in 1988, and were my first attempt at writing. Some people when shown these fell about laughing, some smiled faintly - and some yawned. I thought I was going to write a technical book, but it soon became apparent that I was much more interested in the people than the technology - and that is the main reason there are no drawings - although it might be rather good to do a couple of caricatures sometime.)

Index of Friday Woodorker articles (and a means of access).

Index of earlier issues.

Gabriele Gad on alternative therapy.

A READER COMPLAINED that it was not possible to go back more than 6 articles in Gabriele`s area. Regrettably this is because there is no index, and I have not the time to organise one yet. However, for those determined enough to find the early ones, they should be accessible by going to an early Other News and clicking through from it. This will not be fast, but I think will do the job. They started about November 1997 I think.

Cartoons and graphics.

drawings click here.

sheet music click here.



In an earlier issue I told you about my feelings regarding Tempo retailers and the Lexmark 3200 printer I bought from them.

The Lexmark 3200 printer I got from Tempo must surely be the most uneconomical printer I could possibly have bought. The black cartridge only does about 250 pages of ordinary type - for 28! That makes each sheet cost 11.2 pence plus the cost of the paper and probably another 11.2 pence more if any colour is used! - ABOUT 22.4 PENCE A SHEET! Nearly a pound for every four sheets!

I wouldn`t recommend you to buy it - but also look at my earlier article for an idea of Tempo`s service.


A person to help make up a subject index for the growing numbers of articles on The Other News From England. Email

8- or more-track tape recorder. email

All material on this site is copyright. Contact me if you want to use it. I am quite flexible. Educational non-profit use is free - but ask for permission and print an acknowledgement. If you can`t think what to print, put:

From The Other News From England.

That`s all this week folks