Recent listening

David Bowie Heathen (2002) – one of his better later albums, classic opening track. Taylor Swift Reputation (2017) – some great songs such as Gorgeous and So It Goes. Manic Street Preachers Resistance Is Futile (2018) – best I’ve heard them, some great lyrics.  Richard Barbieri Planets & Persona (2017) – floats around the headphones very nicely indeed, interesting. The Beatles Revolver (1966) – can’t beat a bit of Beatles rediscovery and Tomorrow Never Knows took me on to YouTube to listen to the excellent Danielle Dax cover version. Tangerine Dream Quantum Gate (2017) – first release since the passing of Edgar Froese which sounds like Tangerine Dream plus Ulrich Schnauss, probably because it is, nice. Stormzy – Gang Signs and Prayer (2017) – deservedly mega-selling, lots of variety, I like it. Steven Wilson To The Bone (2017) – Love the singles and a few other tracks. Bruce Springsteen Working On A Dream (2009) – uplifting and surprisingly fresh-sounding. Tim Burness Interconnected (2018) – my own (not very) humble offering out later this year. I like it, fortunately.

From the anti-fracking frontline in Lancashire

The government has recently proposed changes in planning laws that will make fracking in the UK easier. This is madness, fracking in this country was always a non-starter – it’s been banned in France, Germany and Scotland for good reasons. I’m supporting protests from a distance these days but here is a moving piece, re-posted from one of the long-term frontline protectors:-

“Recently after a nun, vicar and monk spoke during faith week… I asked some police officers, just who were the ‘good guys’? And they said themselves. So I asked who are the ‘bad guys’ they were here policing… was it the nun, the vicar or the monk? They laughed but it isn’t really funny is it… there must be ‘bad guys’ if policing levels are what they are and the only alternative on this road is Cuadrilla. The obvious fails to be seen by those who don’t look.

…………………………..

Today is day 501 since we arrived at Preston New Road to face Cuadrilla and the huge task of stopping them. Since then they have built a pad, changed their traffic management plan countless times, breached till it became so troublesome and obvious that they had to make a new rule that says: “If the police are accompanying the vehicle… it doesn’t count as a breach.”… they’ve proceeded but NOT as planned; if it had been as planned, they’d have done the flow test (fracked) by now. It is estimated they are 9 months and a year behind schedule.

Lancashire Police have estimated that policing the protests has cost £7 million

The ONLY thing stopping them being on-schedule is us. No part of our government or council has put any barriers in place or asked for pause on safety considerations when Cuadrilla made changes… they just get a well-greased ride from our ‘authorities’. The knitters, the ditherers, the delayers, the prayers, the surfers, the lock-ons, the dancers, the tea-drinkers… we’re the cause; every single moment of delay has accumulated into a huge headache for Cuadrilla, with suppliers having to work round us and some, getting wised-up or fed-up enough to pull out.

Success is impossible to measure, though the share price has not recovered since we caused the drop in it and remains below .40 cents (most investors bought in at a much higher than this price).

Failure though is felt every moment of every day that any of us stand before the beast of a rig. We feel small, inconsequential and aghast that we even have to do the work of regulators and authorities in order to keep our community and its children from harm.

Our right to peaceful protest is dependent on who is in charge at any given moment and the definition of acceptable peaceful protest has diminished to banner-waving across the road from the site entrance. We continue to sit in the entrance to the site… and are removed with the regularity of the vehicle arrivals and departures. Sometimes we are moved with care… other times we are quite literally thrown. We attempt too to get in front of the vehicles to slow them (as has been done on every other frack site) but here on the busy A583 PNR… the vehicles put pedal to the floor and don’t stop for anything. The police stand by and wrap-round the rapid vehicles, putting their own lives at risk for the flatbeds with pipes, the waste trucks, the water trucks, the skip hire and the toilet cleaning vehicle – each gets the sort of policing you’d imagine for an urgently required kidney en-route to a dying patient.

But still we come… still we gather and still we stand in protest anywhere we choose until we are rudely removed. It’s a weird thing… as a small child we are picked up and popped down all the time but as a grown-up, the act of being touched without permission and moved against your choosing – is such an affront to go through. We sit and get picked up and placed elsewhere so many times but after each… return to knit, sit, sip tea and carry on our essential defiance of the misappropriated ‘law’. The police say it is always for our own safety… there is no easy way to get them to see the lunacy of this statement when they make it in front of a drill rig they are facilitating into development with their services.

Is there a breaking point for us? There can’t be because what we are doing is too essential but there are certainly parts within us that ‘snap’.

I have had two episodes where I know I have been somewhat changed inside… the sort of change that although it adds to the determination to keep on keeping on and keeping on harder… but maybe a little something of the heart and spirit is damaged along the way. But this is a small price compared to what is experienced by those just like us, acting with the same urgency and motivation elsewhere in the world. Active citizens doing what we do are imprisoned, seriously hurt and killed in other countries and this fact… makes it all the more important that we DO NOT SUBMIT. We stand for our community of course but we also stand for all the others who do the same… one world, one water, one earth and air. I wonder what it is that gets us from our situation to theirs and only know that if we give up and say it is too much hurt, risk or difficulty – that we give up something very important in society.

Watching those we admire (if you’re fighting alongside us… you are amazing) getting hurt is so bloody hard… the natural sense of needing to peel off the police officer from their bodies or even thump the ones who threw them in the hedges or against fences, is hard to ignore. The problem is that all that anger builds and you can’t direct it at Cuadrilla because they’ve got the bubble-wrap of police around them and you can’t direct it at the police because they’ve got the protection of ‘law’ on their side. Honourable people fulfilling an obligation to safety in our community …are ‘the criminals’ in this scenario and that’s just plain bloody crazy.

It hurts to see anyone harmed and takes all our might to hold ourselves back… I swear a lot more now in place of constant charges of assault that would otherwise happen if I didn’t.

The eldest of my nieces is roadside with me and I have huge respect for the incredible job she does… her decisions are wise and I don’t worry that she makes dangerous choices as she’s intelligent and places her role as a mother as a priority. She was a distance from me last week during the exiting of a vehicle and all the crazy that comes with it… I glanced across and saw a tall, strong male body pushed up against the length of her from behind… his arms wrapped tightly round her front just below her breasts and as anyone would, saw obvious assault and ran to her. To me, her little face still looks as cute as it did when she was a toddler… I clawed at the officers hands to remove them but he had ‘law’ on his side. Our instincts that are natural, right and true are also attacked and squashed down into the growing tinder-box within ourselves and I wonder where this goes, what harms we are actually unaware of taking place within and how the hell we counter any of this.

Then I remember I am a grandmother and obliged to protect the young… and I remember George Bender and how the fight overtook him and the honourable lives lost where governments are even more brutal… and so I’ll get up and be there on day 502 and 3 and 4 until whatever it is that marks the last day.

To all who are at Preston New Road Rolling Roadside Protest and all who can’t be but ensure we are not unseen by sharing and supporting in any way possible – thank you, we will one day have time to pause, tend our wounds and heal past this theft from our lives.”

Tina Louise Rothery

Cosmos And Psyche by Richard Tarnas

An academically rigorous, complete, presentation of the case for modern Western astrology. Outstanding

Author and respected academic Richard Tarnas had already established a name for himself with “The Passion of the Western Mind” before the publication of this extraordinary book in 2006. “Cosmos And Psyche” is a substantial volume, masterfully written and the culmination of many years extensive research. It fully lives up to reviews that have described it as “groundbreaking” and “breathtaking”.

Tarnas has cleverly chosen to not use the signs of the zodiac or even use the word “horoscope”, and instead puts the focus entirely on the planets and their archetypes. Early on, he recounts his own journey from sceptic to astrological practitioner and researcher, made through repeated and extensive first-hand observation. gradually overcoming resistance along the way. He has thoroughly absorbed the best of late 20th century astrology (from the likes of Charles Harvey, Liz Greene, Robert Hand and others) and applied it to an extraordinarily thorough analysis of history and culture.

Whether the reader is familiar with deeper astrology or not, there is a ton of high quality work here. I found the analysis of Nietzsche’s life and the correlation with subsequent Jupiter-Uranus and Saturn-Pluto cycles particularly excellent. Apart from having to overcome huge cultural prejudice, astrologers also have to be pretty on the ball when explaining the often complicated nuances and subtleties of astrological symbolism applied to human affairs – Tarnas is masterful and precise with his use of language. Using his background as a cultural historian, and with hundreds of international examples, light is shone on historical cycles and their repetitive nature. Chapters are given to specific planetary cycles: Uranus-Pluto, Saturn-Pluto, Jupiter-Uranus and Uranus-Neptune.

For the open and educated mind, still sceptical but aware of the possibility that there might be something seriously going on with astrology, this is the book to seriously shift your paradigm! For established astrologers who have been frustrated for many years that astrology does not get the intelligent treatment or respect it deserves, this substantial volume is deeply satisfying. Tarnas re-unites the human and the cosmic, restoring transcendent meaning to both. Surely just what the alienated Western mind needs right now.

Astrology, Karma & Transformation by Stephen Arroyo

40 years later, still a modern classic, great for beginners or advanced

More than any other astrological text over the last thirty years, this book has continued to provide me with astrological wisdom and insights that no other book can match. The depth of Stephen Arroyo’s writing here is extraordinary, with perhaps the only criticism being that so much is packed into one single book, sometimes in the form of very long sentences. But this is hardly a complaint!

The outer planets are covered extensively with many examples of aspects and transits to the birth charts of people with relatively “ordinary” lives. This makes a refreshing change from much astrological literature that deals only with famous people, or people with severe problems of one kind or another. The chapter on Saturn is excellent, particularly the journey of Saturn through the twelve houses. Show any 29-year old (with a bit of self-awareness) the section featuring the Saturn return, and watch their reaction as they read!

This book is not only full of essential contemporary astrology; Arroyo also draws on his considerable experience of other tools for spiritual and psychological growth. He has a background in marriage and family counselling (chapter on “Karma and relationships”), and his many references to various spiritual teachers, Eastern religions, Western psychology and the Edgar Cayce psychic readings add to the spiritual power of Arroyo’s writing. Like nearly all of his books, still a modern classic.

Burness Band – live review

“The main support act this evening was the Tim Burness Band.

The band is made up of four very accomplished musicians, namely the Brighton based Tim Burness (guitar and vocals), drummer Fudge Smith (ex-Pendragon and ex-Steve Hackett), bassist Keith Hastings (Bamboleo) and keyboard maestro Monty Oxymoron (from legendary English punk band The Damned and also of the Sumerian Kyngs).

Prior to their performance, I was having a conversation with Tim and I must say what a very likeable fellow he is. A very down to earth guy and one you could easily go out for a pint with.

When on stage his warmth was still evident as he was having the banter with the punters in between each of his eight song set, whilst tuning his guitar.

Tim has been recording and performing in one guise or another since the 1980’s. Gaining some relative success around Europe on the way as Burnessence. In May last year, he released his seventh album, ‘Whose Dream Are You Living?’ to some great critical acclaim and I must concur with those people as I have the album and it is a fine coming together of musical styles. With each song on the album you hear elements of other artists such as Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel and Peter Gabriel’s Genesis to name just two.

So live as well as on his recorded musical output, the Burness sound features a wide range of musical styles – from progressive rock to pop-rock to ambient electronica. The lyrics cover a range of interconnected themes – from the personal to the political to the spiritual. It’s a summing up of one man’s journey through his life with contrasting themes and ups and downs. It will be interesting to see what the forthcoming ‘Interconnected’ 2018 album will bring.

At The Albert, Tim (and not Desmond, Harold or Roland – injoke!) began his set with a solo number ‘I Don’t Know What’s Good For Me’ and then invited his pals to join him for the further numbers. I noted Keith Hastings bass playing style and it reminded me of the sadly departed Mick Karn from Japan.

The punters were sent on a journey during the set from prog rock to ballad to cosmic. We learnt that ‘Infinite Ocean’ came into being as a result of standing on the end of Brighton Pier. We learnt (if we didn’t already suspect) that there is ‘Mumbling In The House Of Commons’ with little else getting done – which was delivered as a southern version of Mark E. Smith. I learn that the most powerful and outstanding Tim Burness Band track tonight was ‘Walk Through The Darkness’,
which deals with depression as its subject matter and sounds akin to Oasis – nice one!

Tonight’s Tim Burness Band setlist reads:
‘I Don’t Know What’s Good For Me’ (solo) (from ‘Infinite Ocean’ 1997 album),
‘What’s Going On In Your Head?’ (from ‘Whose Dream Are You Living?’ 2017 album),
‘Poppadom Rock’ (from ‘I Am You Are Me’ 1984 album as Burnessence),
‘Infinite Ocean’ (from ‘Infinite Ocean’ 1997 album),
‘Love Is For Giving’ (from ‘Finding New Ways To Love’ 2004 album)
‘Broaden Your Horizons’ (from ‘Vision On’ 2007 album),
‘Walk Through The Darkness’ (from ‘Finding New Ways To Love’ 2004 album),
‘Mumbling In The House Of Commons’ (from ‘Infinite Ocean’ 1997 album),

Tim Burness Band setlist from the Prince Albert gig 31.3.18

Find out more here:

https://timburness.bandcamp.com/

https://www.timburness.com/

https://www.facebook.com/tim.burness.1

Nick Linazasoro

Full review of the night at http://www.brightonandhovenews.org/2018/04/01/b-movie-play-brighton-gig-exactly-37-years-to-the-day-after-their-john-peel-session/

Next gig – Easter Saturday

Asking questions