An Open Letter To Russell Brand

Dear Russell, grow up. Yes you. Grow up. You who thinks you can show an out-of-touch Westminster elite a thing or two by not voting. You, whose hard-won cab driver wisdom assures you that all politicians lie to get the gig, that vested interests always hold sway,  that there is one rule for the poor and barely any rules at all for the rich. You who thinks voting changes nothing anyway.  Of course your vote doesn’t change anything. Grow up. 

Unless you live in a marginal constituency, or suddenly Scotland, your vote means fuck all. In 12 of the last 17 elections, 90% or more seats stayed with the party defending them. For most of us this means our participation in the process is mainly pointless, unless like me you find village halls strangely fascinating. But being powerless in the process is not the point. Of course it’s not the point. Grow up.  
Now is not the time to be acting like a disaffected teenager. If you’re disappointed with your politicians, by the lack of big ideas, by the lack of vision, what the hell did you expect? This is modern capitalist democracy, it’s how it works, it is the very nature of the beast. You don’t look at a camel and wish it was more like a jet ski. It’s a fucking camel. You may as well try and imagine Paris without the dog shit. It’s a lovely dream, but a dream nevertheless. 
So you’re cynical and suspicious of the system – who isn’t? – and by all means act cynically and with suspicion, but for God’s sake act. Imagine you’re buying a new car or hiring a London builder. You’re going to get screwed somewhere down the line, but do the best research you can. Get informed, then make your best guess. 
If you can’t bring yourself to support a particular party then vote tactically to keep out the party you hate most. This may mean holding your nose and voting for some unutterable bunch of shit bags like the Liberal Democrats, just to keep UKIP or the Tories out, but vote you must. What? Did you think that this is like the movies? That you get to vote for the party who best represents your hopes and ideals,  they then sweep to power on a wave of popular support? You’re not voting for the fucking prom queen. Or the Green Party. This is mean, vote-grubbing, unhopeful, untrustworthy modern democracy. But it’s the best we’ve got. Grow up.
This is the most important election this country has ever seen. That is no hyperbole. It may also turn out to be one of the closest run. It is the election which will determine who we are as a nation.  Do we think that people poorer, sicker, less advantaged than ourselves deserve to be helped? That people other than the privately educated children of the rich deserve a chance to make a success of themselves? Do we think that multi-billion pound industries should pay tax like the rest of us? Are we actually a society, who by sticking together via the infrastructure of the state can weather personal and national storms? Or are we venal, self-interested, embittered refugees from a system and a planet so broken we can’t be bothered to kick the can of civilisation slightly further down the road for the next generation?
Yes, in reality we all know you can’t get a rizzla between the policies of the main parties, but have a look and see where you CAN fit a piece of paper, a small but really important piece of paper, and put your X on it. It’s the grown up thing to do.

Is this album 7 or 8?

Good question. I implied on social media that Did I Sleep And Miss The Border is actually album 8, as opposed to officially number 7. But that’s because I wrote and recorded another record, but I wanted to release this one before hand. It will all make sense one day, hopefully even to me.

The Standing Band…

The Standing Band – who are they? What are they? And why are they called that? First 2 are easy, they are the band we formed for the 2010 tour, with Richard Hammond, Dave Walsh and Brian Wright joining my long suffering companions Olli Cunningham and Oli Kraus. As to the name, well, it’s a long story – and we all need some mystery in this age of over-sharing, but I welcome any theories. You’ll have to wait for the book!

Hello – welcome to the new website, a new record and new shows!

It feels like ages since I last toured, and a thousand years since I last toured with the band. In between 2010’s Alphabet of Hurricanes, 2013’s From The Lowlands and my new album, a lot has been going on, even if most of it is behind the scenes.

I’ve been writing songs for and with other people, most notably Marianne Faithfull, and some pop stars (who I can’t name for reasons of jinxing the outcome and annoying some managers) as well as writing some film, tv and classical pieces. Oh and a book. But I’ve been doing that for ages.

Anyway, it’s exciting to be releasing a new record, lucky number 7, and especially exciting to be touring with the band again. The dates are busily being booked for the Autumn, I have a couple of festivals in the meantime, and possibly one or two tiny secret events! It’s all shaping up to be a busy year.

The new site is hopefully more compatible with phones and tablets, and whatever the hell we’re all supposed using now in the modern world. But let us know if you have any problems or discover any issues we’ve missed.