Punk all-dayer for survivors of torture For immediate release: Friday, November 30


Punk rock bands, Iceage and Eagulls will performing at a punk all-dayer at the Shacklewell Arms, Dalston, on Sunday, December 2, as part of ‘Freedom from Torture Presents…’ – a festival of music taking place throughout December in support of survivors of torture. Sexbeat and human rights charity Freedom from Torture have got Iceage, four guys from Copenhagen, Demark to headline the punk event. Punk News said: “The post-punk revival of the ’00s can’t touch this stuff. This is post-punk straight from the gutters and streets of the late ’70s, early ’80s.” Eagulls will be the penultimate act. The five piece band from Leeds have been hailed “a welcome breath of fresh air amongst a sea of career bands currently occupying the airwaves” by DrownedinSound.com Performing at the event are Mazes. Formed in 2009 in Manchester a critic from the Independent compared them to ”the holy heights of The Clean, The Vaselines and Television Personalities”, whilst Marc Riley, on their recent BBC 6 music session called them a ‘sort of really garagey Kinks.’ Also performing for the all-dayer are: Vision Fortune who comprise of two brothers from south London, Chain of Flowers a band from Cardiff and Boneyards a group from Brighton and London. They are all looking forward to being part of the amazing live music for an incredible cause. Chain of Flowers’s Joshua Smith said: “Freedom from Torture speaks up for the survivors of torture and organised violence, alerting people of the unthinkable experiences these people have been through. These events are an incredible way to spread the word of what this charity does for these people, and we are really happy to be a part of it.” Boneyards’ James Burgess said: “Freedom from Torture provides humanity towards people who have suffered unfathomable inhumanity. The charity offers a unique support to these survivors of torture and organised violence, and that’s why we are supporting them.” Throughout the day there will be a raffle, with prizes from Matador, 4AD, Rough Trade, XL, Wichita, Mute, Warp, Bella Union, Domino and more who are also coming together to support the event and ‘Freedom from Torture Presents…’ Sexbeat, an inaugural figure in London’s DIY music scene since 2007, their blog sexbeatlondon.com is the go-to guide for the latest in emerging new bands and features listings of their upcoming live events. The label – Sexbeat Records – is an online store on their blog where their releases for bands such as Virals, Eagulls and Fear Of Men can be bought direct from the group. As well as stages at festivals including SXSW, Beacons, Camden Crawl and the Great Escape, Sexbeat’s key date in the calendar is their annual one day festival – RADFEST which is expanding every year. Marika Chaplais, Freedom from Torture’s events fundraiser, said: “We are so excited to have so many great bands in such a brilliant venue, all supporting Freedom from Torture. “It’s going to be an amazing day of music, and we can’t thank everyone enough for their support. Every single penny raised from this event will go towards Freedom from Torture’s work with survivors of torture and organised violence.” Tickets cost £7 with all proceeds going to Freedom from Torture and are available to buy from www.freedomfromtorture.org/presents. The Shakewell Arms is at 71 Shacklewell Lane, London, E8 2EB and the event, this Sunday, starts at 4pm until 11pm.







Tel: 020 7736 1401  (between 12-3 & after 6pm)

Music room doors 7.00pm

Music 8.30pm

Special Bar extension until 1.30am – drinks at club prices.







Veronica and her band have wowed audiences in Europe, and are well on their way to winning the hearts of the British as their first short tour last year drew enthusiastic audiences all wanting more.  They have just returned from a tour of the USA, and the UK tour is based around the Brooks Blues Bar date and which we confidently expect to be another triumph.

The Red Wine Serenaders are Veronica Sbergia on vocals, ukulele and washboard; Max de Bernardi on guitar, vocals, mandolin and ukulele; Mauro Ferrarese on slide guitar and vocals; and Alessandra Ceccala on double bass and vocals.

Hailing from Italy, they came together 3 years ago, rekindling good-time blues, country blues, ragtime, hokum and jug band music, and all that rural music from the 20s and 30s.

Each is a virtuoso musician in their own right. They play a wide range of musical styles covering artists such as the Mississippi Sheiks, Billie Holiday, Hank Williams and Memphis Minnie, and they are big favourites at numerous international music festivals, and are now establishing their fan base  in the UK.

If you caught them last year, you will know why they are fast building a reputation as one of the best live acts around – if you haven’t seen them, come and see why they earn standing ovations. A quick search for them on YouTube will give you a good idea of their repertoire.

This band provides something different from the norm, playing and singing with great skill and virtuosity, with the emphasis firmly on having a good time.… Red Wine Serenaders is not only a project; it is a lifestyle, like good wine: honest, amusing… engaging!


There will be guest appearances from Steve Morrison and Alan Glen  and maybe impromptu jamming from other guest musicians tbc, to add to the party atmosphere.  We are offering a complimentary first drink at the bar (at the Club Manager’s discretion) with your admittance ticket on the night on a first-come basis.


Admission £15

PGSSC Members £13



PS  Brooks Blues Bar moves to a new exciting venue in 2013 commencing Saturday 5 January 2013.  It will be at the Jazz Café Posk  in the basement of the Polish Cultural Centre in King Street Hammersmith.  Nearest tube is RavenscourtPark (2 minutes’ walk) and  numerous bus services outside. There will be more information and the Spring/Summer 2013 listings (including Maria Muldaur, Dana Gillespie, The Spikedrivers, Steve Morrison, Giles Hedley, Sonny Black, Guy Tortora, Gordon Smith & Alan Glen and the very first BBB CD launch) on www.brooksbluesbar.co.uk.

On Monday 1st October the Live Music Act 2012 (LMA) comes into effect.

On Monday 1st October the Live Music Act 2012 (LMA) comes into effect.

At a stroke it will create tens of thousands of potential new live music
venues in England and Wales.

The LMA amends the Licensing Act 2003, introducing a new and historic
exemption from entertainment licensing for performances of live music
between 8am and 11pm.  If the performance uses amplification there is an
audience limit of 200.  If unamplified there is no audience limit.

In pubs and bars that already have live music permission on their
premises licence, existing live music conditions will not have effect
when live music is being performed between 8am and 11pm. Within those
hours, conditions such as restrictions on performer numbers, genres, or
amplification would no longer be enforceable.

Under the LMA, pubs or bars that don’t already have a live music
authorisation on their premises licence will now be free to host live
music between 8am and 11pm, subject to the 200 audience limit if the
live music is amplified.

But in these and other alcohol-licensed venues, the live music exemption
could be reversed if the venue disturbs local residents. At a licence
review, the LMA allows for local authorities to re-impose conditions on
live music performances.

The benefit of the LMA licence exemptions goes much further than pubs
and bars.  Subject to the same hours and audience conditions above, the
exemption for live music extends to all workplaces.  This is a broad
term that includes offices, shops, schools and hospitals.

The LMA also does away with the requirement to licence the provision of
entertainment facilities. Among other things, this means it will no
longer be a potential criminal offence to put a piano in a bar for
customers to enjoy, or for a school to provide instruments and a PA for
a charity fund-raising concert by pupils.  Lastly, the LMA makes it
possible for recorded music, rather than solely live music, to accompany
morris or similar dancing.

It all sounds great – but the benefits for pubs and bars could be
undermined if a worrying and indeed misleading suggestion within the
DCMS revised licensing Guidance is ratified.

This Guidance is secondary legislation to which licensing authorities
‘must have regard’.  The words of the Licensing Act take precedence, but
the Guidance is what usually informs licensing officer enforcement.  And
paragraph 15.14 of the revised draft wrongly suggests that licensing
officers might in certain cases circumvent the LMA and impose
pre-emptive conditions on live music even when there has been no licence
review. The draft was put out for public consultation by DCMS on 22
August and this closes on 28 September:


Serious concerns have already been raised by the music industry and
campaigners, but it is not yet clear whether they will be satisfactorily
addressed.   The new Guidance will probably not be published until the
end of October.  If it fails to meet the concerns already raised, its
implementation could be further delayed in Parliament or subject to
judicial review.

For some campaigners, like John King, the revised licensing Guidance may
create more problems than it solves for live music.  His thorough and
entertaining analysis has been published today by MusicTank:


For a DCMS summary of the effect of the Live Music Act see:





 – a breath of fresh air for arts & music –

North London – that’s Crouch End, Haringey, Hornsey, Stroud Green and the surrounding area was once home to a thriving music & arts scene – famous names from the arts who lived and worked in the area abound – they include -The Kinks, Pete Brown of ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ & Cream fame, Mick Kidd (Biff of the Guardian), Anthony Minghella, Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) Laurie Morgan (legendary Jazz drummer) , Tim Healy, Denise Welch, Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth; Bob Dylan – yes he resided in Crouch End for a while. In recent years some of the area’s best loved venues, theatre, cinemas and arts centres have gone – recession, corporate Gastro Pubs and the like have taken over. A once thriving area feels like a cultural wasteland.

But not any more if entrepreneur Jonny Rogers has anything to do with it. Jonny’s vision of a community arts & music centre based in Stroud Green and serving North London’s creative community is gathering momentum – read on…




A home for community arts and music in North London

With recession devastating the arts & music scene, a single individual has come up with an exciting plan to launch a creative complex within the community.

BRAND NEW START (BNS) envisages the realisation of an ongoing ‘creative village life’ in the heart of North London. BNS would enable a multifunction network channelling independent creative practice into the community and vice-versa. It would harness music, visual & performing arts, film-making, fashion, craft and other disciplines, with particular care taken to accommodate the disadvantaged. All this would be in the confines of a 10,000ft² live-work complex.

BNS seeks those with an interest in this project, investors or donors, who possess material assets that they are willing to contribute. Financial investments will go into a co-operative fund held in trust to facilitate the instigation and day to day running of the centre.

At a time when one of North London’s iconic buildings – Church Studios in Crouch End is in imminent danger of conversion to flats – BNS offers those with a vision a brand new oasis in the present cultural desert.

Initial enquiries to jonny-rogers@hotmail.co.uk








Jonny is an established successful  professional antique & furniture restorer who specialises in prestige period property renovations. He has wide experience and connections with the local creative and charitable community and previous experience of involvement with creative premises. Further information on application to jonny-rogers@hotmail.co.uk



BNS envisages offering space, support services and facilities to those believing in developing local creativity. Its core principles would be justice, community, equal opportunity and creative expression, as well as creating a level playing-field for individuals coming from vulnerable or under-privileged circumstances and who are in a position to benefit dramatically from its services. With music as one of its core creative areas, BNS would provide stage, recording and rehearsal settings, as well as a touchstone for shared musical contact, dialogue and interaction.

BRAND NEW START will consist in self-sustaining and community-dependent artists, musicians, tradespersons and other people of relevant profession, who will occupy live-work space and help to run the continual flow of workshops and events that make up the BNS scheme.

THE SITE The project is presently is pitching for is a 10,000ft², A1-status premises in Stroud Green, N4. This would be occupied by project contributors and sub-let to other artists. Work has been done to secure a series of pre-let guarantees for the property.




August 22, 2012


Waltham Forest Council: Save The Birkbeck Tavern! Home of Whats Cooking

If you’ve ever lamented the decline of old-school drinking establishments with genuine character or felt sad and frustrated as community interests are relentlessly sacrificed for commercial gain, then this one’s for you.
This one’s for anyone who’s ever enjoyed sitting in a traditional British pub, a knees-up in a proper East-End front-room style boozer, or simply wondered who on earth their neighbours are.
Maybe you can’t figure out where all the cool and interesting hang-outs disappeared to. Perhaps you’d like to be allowed to choose what’s best for your area or what should remain part of our cultural heritage now and again.
Please sign this petition to help us stop The Birkbeck Tavern from being bought by property developers who want to turn it into flats and make themselves loads of money without considering the long-term impact on the local community and the musicians and artists who regularly appear here. Let’s make a collective two-fingered salute on an even bigger scale than John Lennon’s face in the Olympics closing ceremony on behalf of pubs everywhere before the extinction of this wonderful British institution confines us to a standardised, itemised, sanitised Wetherspoonian world of hell.




Sign the petition >> http://www.change.org/petitions/waltham-forest-council-save-the-birkbeck-tavern


Posted in gigs, Gigs, Links

Fancy a drink of Slivovitz, served by Balkan gypsy brass kings Boban i Marko Markovic, to celebrate the start of Euro 2012?

Fancy a drink of Slivovitz, served by Balkan gypsy brass kings Boban i Marko Markovic, to celebrate the start of Euro 2012? 



Boban i Marko Markovic

‘Golden Horns – The Best of Boban i Marko Markovic’

Album out 11 June 2012

CD/ Digital/ LP

Piranha Musik/ UK distributor: Republic of Music/ !K7

Watch “Sljivovica”: http://youtu.be/Lk1l2x46HO4

Listen to “Sljivovica”: http://soundcloud.com/piranha-musik/08-sljivovica

Listen to “Go Marko Go (Robert Soko RMX)”: http://soundcloud.com/piranha-musik/15-go-marko-go-soko-remix

(Please feel free to share these links.)

The best of legendary Balkan Gypsy Brass Kings Boban i Marko Markovic, selected by DJ Robert Soko, inventor of the international BalkanBeats party movement.  Fifteen boisterous dancefloor tracks, including a previously unreleased bonus remix of “Go Marko Go” by DJ Robert Soko and “Od Srca” as featured on the soundtrack of Angelina Jolie’s film “In the Land of Blood and Honey”.

***DJ Robert Soko will be DJing at BalkanBeats London on Saturday, 16 June, at The New Empowering Church, full info below – please contact me for interview requests.***

Boban Markovic and his son, prized protégé Marko, have managed the nigh-impossible: Leaping from a deeply rooted Roma (Gypsy) scene in Serbia, they have ignited hip club dancefloors, innovating effortlessly and integrating everything from jazz to disco in brilliant, organic ways. They sound authentic, yet utterly fresh. Combining the absolute flexibility of Miles Davis and the cool funk of Herb Alpert, the Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar has found the funkiest expression of their Southern Serbian Roma roots.

Golden Horns offers the perfect summary of the Markovics’ stunning career, with tracks that reflect their dancefloor-friendly best. “As a DJ, I’ve had nearly twenty years to see the reaction Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar get from the crowd,” explains album compiler and Berlin-based, Bosnian-born Balkan beatologist, DJ Robert Soko (BalkanBeats). “Tracks like “Khelipe e cheasa,” “Od Srca,” and “Mundo Chochek” simply kick a**. They get people dancing like crazy.”

Now fans and new listeners can join the party with classic cuts, from the hard-hitting, almost Latin-inflected “Sljivovica” to an aching live version of “Ederlezi,” a deeply moving song beloved from Balkan bars to the silver screen (thanks to Emir Kustarica, who featured Boban in his groundbreaking film Underground). The greatest-hits collection features two swinging remixes, “Go Marko Go” by Soko and “Cinnamon Girl” by {dunkelbunt}, adding another layer to the already rich sonic heritage of the Markovics.







More info about Boban i Marko Markovic:


Markovic the elder, from the small town of Vladicin Han, burst onto the European music scene and became the spark that lit thousands of fires. After stunning performances on stage and on film, he became the inspiration for a vibrant scene that stretched around the world: DJs, musicians, and fans who became delightfully addicted to the intricate yet grooving sounds of Balkan brass.

Far from resting on his laurels, Boban has built on his decades of experience by harnessing his 24-year old son Marko’s youthful vibe – an energy sustained by marathon practice sessions and a lifetime spent with dad on stage. As a kid, Marko put in ten hours a day at home with his horn, a practice that drove Boban so crazy he finally insisted his son stand and deliver with the Orkestar. The determined, then fourteen-year-old Marko played so perfectly, he soon became a fixture in the group.

But Marko has done more than merely play along. Together, Boban and Marko Markovic are expanding the idioms of gypsy brass: Marko can rap with spot-on precision, and the Orkestar can hint at disco, salsa, or the wilder edges of jazz. All while keeping true to tradition: the lightning-fast melodies, driving rhythms, and exuberant transcendence of the greatest Balkan brass bands.

From the pulsing, lithe “Sina Nari” to the band’s wonderfully celebratory rendition of “Hava Nagila,” Golden Horns shows why Boban, Marko, and company have managed to make Balkan brass a whole new, hip genre from Vienna to Brooklyn, while still remaining true to the centuries-old sounds of generations of Romani musicians.

“They are an authentic Serbian brass band who reinterpret traditional pieces and play their own compositions in a listenable, danceable manner. They are just so good at conveying the beauty of Southeast European music, and making it palatable for Western audiences,” Soko reflects. “At the same time, they are constantly experimenting with other musical genres―jazz, soul, classical, or even disco―melting various elements together and producing a new sound of their own.”




Balkanbeats London on 16 June


Get your fix of DJ Robert Soko, Balkan Madness and rakia (and possibly “Sljivovica”) on Saturday, 16 June, at BalkanBeats London, taking place at the New Empowering Church, 1a Westgate Street, London E8 3RL (just off Mare Street and London Fields).


Tickets are £7 Pre-sale Early Bird tickets from http://balkanbeatslondon.eventbrite.com/ or £10 for the not-so-early Birds




Robert Soko – DJ set


Disco Petrol DJ Collective (Sweden)

BalkanBeats, Chalga, Moombathon and Trubaci


Dr. Malaka (Italy/ UK)


Discoteka Yugostyle (Sweden)

7 piece Psychedelic Balkan Brass / Electronic






Boban Markovic was born on May 6th, 1964, on the day of Saint George, the most important gypsy festival day of the year in Vladicin Han, South Serbia, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, most of whom are of Roma gypsy heritage and share a rich musical tradition.

Boban’s father, Dragutin, was a musician, as were both of his grandfathers. Boban’s mother, Julka, used to remind him that he should strive to play as well as her own father.

He got his first trumpet when he was 5 years old, but Boban didn’t approach the music seriously until much later. Rather, he preferred to play with other children around the village, and once he even forgot his instrument in the sand while he was building a castle with his friends.

Growing up, Boban preferred to play soccer and his greatest desire would have been to become a professional player. His father wasn’t happy with his inclinations, and had a serious talk with Boban when he was 10 years old, to tell him that his destiny was to be a trumpet player. Thus, Boban started to play at his father’s concerts and the marriages where the orchestra performed. He was obliged to play until he was exhausted.

By the age of 20 he founded his own orchestra and was ready to compete at the Guca festival, the most important brass band competition in former Yugoslavia every year since 1961. There isn’t a bigger satisfaction for a Serbian player than to become the “first trumpet” of the Guca festival. Boban started to take part in the Guca competition in 1984 and succeeded in winning the “first trumpet” so many times that he was asked to stop competing in 2001. In 2006 he was nominated Ambassador of the Guca competition, becoming one of the most important personalities of Balkan brass band music.

His collaboration with film director Emir Kusturica and Balkan composer Goran Bregovic for the soundtrack of the movies Underground and Arizona Dream earned further acclaim. Together with his Orkestar he has truly conquered the world on his never ending tour to show who is the best brass band on the planet. His father Dragutin was right: Boban’s destiny was to be a trumpet player. A brilliant one. The king.


Marko Markovic was born on February 29th, 1988. He spent his childhood with his mother Lidija, and his sister Tamara, while as a musician Marko’s father Boban was rarely at home, spending just a little time with his family. So when Marko at the age of 5 started to dedicate all of his afternoons to his trumpet passion his very first teacher was his grandfather Dragutin, who was also his father’s teacher.

Each time Boban went away, Marko was left behind sitting outside in the yard, playing alone and dreaming to follow his father, who had never seriously attended to his son’s musical talent until Marko was 12 years old. One day, Lidija, Boban’s wife, forced him to dedicate a little time to listen to the musical virtuosity of his son. The result was that Boban was so completely astonished by Marko’s skills, that in the end he gave him a composition to be arranged, and sent him directly to a recording studio.

When he was 14, Boban came home one day and told Marko to pack his bags and join the Orkestar. There was absolutely no need to rehearse; Marko already knew the scores by heart. He fully joined the never ending tour in May 2002. Over the years, Boban has become more and more fascinated by Marko’s technique and his passion for the music and for composition; so much so that he decided to give him full control of the Orkestar, as a gift for his 18th birthday.

In addition to his musical career with his father, Marko has branched out into screen acting, playing the main character in the movie Gucha! The Distant Trumpet, directed by Dusan Milic and co-produced by Emir Kusturica, writing as well the soundtrack of the movie that received a nomination for European film award for best original music score. He has also intensely collaborated with musicians like Shantel live on stage and on the albums Disco Partizani and Planet Paprika, with the trumpet players Roy Paci from Italy and Frank London from New York on their Trumpet Triumph tour, and with Miss Platnum from Berlin on her album The Sweetest Hangover, while never stopping to tour with his father and their family Orkestar all around the world.

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CELEBRATING SANCTUARY LONDON on the South Bank Sunday, 17 June 2012, 2 – 7pm

Celebrating Sanctuary London

bringing a whole new buzz to Refugee Week from 17 June

This summer, the eyes of the whole world will be on London, so Celebrating Sanctuary London 2012 will be unleashing three free amazing events across London during Refugee Week (http://www.refugeeweek.org.uk):

Sunday 17 June on the South Bank

Friday 22 June at the V&A

Saturday 23 June at Rich Mix

Bernie Spain Gardens, Upper Ground, London SE1 (adjacent to Oxo Tower Wharf)

Free admission

The annual multi-art form free festival which launches Refugee Week regularly attracts over 25,000 people, so get there early. It’s a one day festival splashing a profusion of new talent across its three stages, pulsating with the sounds of live music, the flow of the spoken word, the sizzle of food and the rhythms of dance – the cultural fruits of sanctuary.

Headlining acts include:

- Eska (Zimbabwe/UK) – Gifted composer and the voice that fronts Matthew Herbert and the Cinematic Orchestra

- Elysian Quartet (UK) and Maya Youssef (UK/Syria) – Contemporary classical British string quartet meets virtuoso qanun

- Jose Hernando Noguera and Angelica Lopez (Colombia/UK) – A BBC Radio 3 World Routes Academy collaboration of vallenata-style accordion and vocals

- Sam Lee (UK/Jewish) – the Nu-Folk sensation will be launching his debut album ‘Ground Of Its Own’ and collaborating with Algerian virtuosos Yazid Fentazi and Karim Dellali

- Plus Jeremy Hardy, subversive stand-up comedian and star of BBC Radio 4′s Newsquiz,  Cerys Matthews, singer songwriter and BBC 6music broadcaster, Lemn Sissay, playwright and poet (the official 2012 Olympics Poet), and Tanya Auclair (UK/Rwanda), the oh so soulful one woman band

Friday, 22 June 2012, 6 – 10pm

CASABLANCA at the Victoria & Albert Museum

Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL, http://www.vam.ac.uk/

Free admission

Inspired by the classic movie Casablanca and its story of flight, refugees and intercultural encounters, this ‘North Africa and the Middle East meet Europe’ event will feature free screenings of the film, introduced by journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed, three amazing reincarnations of Sam in Rick’s café on three pianos placed around the museum – featuring Jewish Algerian pianist Maurice El Médioni together with Syrian-born, London-based Iraqi musician Khyam Allami (piano and oud), Palestinian singer Reem Kelani with Bruno Heinen (voice and piano) and Sierra Leonean born Alex Wilson (Latin Jazz piano) – plus dancers, sounds of souk, performance artists, gallery interventions, workshops and conversations. All of this will bring to life the film and some of the related emotion of moral and human struggle in the extraordinary and beautiful settings of the V&A.

Saturday, 23 June 2012, 2.30pm – 1am


35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA, http://www.richmix.org.uk

Free admission

An Eastern European finale for Refugee Week 2012: an all-day event at Bethnal Green’s Rich Mix on Saturday, 23 June, presenting music, dance, theatre, spoken word and a screening of a Euro 2012 quarter final from the Donbass Arena in Donetsk, Ukraine.

Artists include the wondrously ethereal London Bulgarian Choir (led by Dessislava Stefanova) presented by Welsh singer songwriter and BBC 6music broadcaster Cerys Matthews who will be sharing a song or two with them, rappers Wanlov the Kubolor (Romania/Ghana) and M3nsa (Ghana), collectively known as FOKN Bois, as well as Hungarian punk artist Lazlo.

Twitter: @cslondonfest @RefugeeWeek


1. Celebrating Sanctuary London is an annual free festival which celebrates the art of refugee communities in the UK and launches Refugee Week (18-24 June 2012), a UK-wide programme of cultural and educational events which celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and aims to encourage better understanding between communities. For more information or to get involved visit http://www.refugeeweek.org.uk/ and http://www.simpleacts.org.uk

2. Celebrating Sanctuary London is supported by the Arts Council England/ The National Lottery with a small additional amount of funding from The Mayor of London. It is programmed by curators and broadcasters Rita Ray (BBC World Service) and Max Reinhardt (BBC Radio 3  Late Junction) and creative producer Almir Koldzic (UK Refugee Week/Platforma). Celebrating Sanctuary London’s media partners include fRoots Magazine and Radio SOAS and we’d like to record our grateful thanks to BBC Radio 3 for all their assistance. Celebrating Sanctuary London on the South Bank on 17 June 2012 is brought to you in association with the Coin Street festival.

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Lou Reed is the latest artist to be added to this year’s Meltdown Festival at London’s prestigious Southbank Centre.  This year’s festival is curated by Lou’s friend and collaborator, Antony.

Reed will perform a rare one-off London concert at the Royal Festival Hall on Friday 10 August. Tickets from £45.

Tickets will go on sale to Southbank Members at 10am Tuesday 29 May, and on general sale at 10am on Thursday 31 May.  Tickets for Lou’s Meltdown show can be ordered from

www.southbankcentre.co.uk/meltdown, 0844 847 9944.  Tickets will also be available from Ticketmaster, 0844 844 0006.

Reed’s concert is part of Antony’s Meltdown, which also features performances from Diamanda Galás, Laurie Anderson, Elizabeth Fraser, CocoRosie, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Joey Arias, Marc Almond, Hal Willner: Freedom Rides and many more.  For the full Meltdown line-up visit – www.southbankcentre.co.uk/meltdown.



ASIA, featuring the original line-up of Geoff Downes (keyboards),  Steve Howe (guitar), Carl Palmer (drums) and John Wetton (bass, lead vocals) will release a new studio album entitled “XXX” on Monday July 2nd.  The new album dovetails the news of the band’s upcoming 30th Anniversary World Tour and the collectors’ edition of their eponymous debut album.

Planet Rock will launch an exclusive 48-hour ticket pre-sale for ASIA’s UK-leg of the 30th Anniversary tour at 9am on Wednesday April 25th.  Fans can order their tickets from www.planetrock.com. From Friday April 27th, tickets will go on sale to the general public from the 24 Hour Ticket Hotline: 0844 478 0898, www.thegigcartel.com.

ASIA will play the following UK concerts in December 2012:

Tavistock The Wharf                                               Saturday 15th December

Holmfirth Picturedrome                                           Sunday 16th December

Edinburgh Queen’s Hall                                           Monday 17th December

Salisbury City Hall                                                    Wednesday 19th December

Birmingham Town Hall                                            Thursday 20th December

Manchester Royal Northern College of Music       Friday 21st December

London o2 Shepherds Bush Empire                       Saturday 22nd December

Thirty years after its eponymous debut album, ASIA ascended to the top of the Billboard Top 100 chart (where the album remained No.1 for nine consecutive weeks). The new album, “XXX”, is produced by Mike Paxman, and features a stunning front cover illustration by the legendary Roger Dean. “XXX” has been hailed as ASIA’s best album since their classic early 80s releases. The album will be released on CD, collector’s edition CD/DVD (featuring new music videos and behind the scenes footage), and on a limited edition vinyl.

The first single taken from the new album is entitled Face On The Bridge, will be released digitally worldwide on Monday May 14th.  “We wanted to recapture the energy of the first album,” says ASIA’s guitarist, Steve Howe. “ASIA has always been about great songs, fantastic musicianship and I am sure fans of the first album, will fall in love with XXX.”



Bob Dylan is to receive the highest civilian honor awarded by the United States – the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as first reported in the New York Times. The award will also go to author Toni Morrison, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, astronaut John Glenn and former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

In a statement about the honor released by the White House Dylan was praised as one of the “most influential American musicians of the 20th century”. The White House also acknowledged that Dylan had “considerable influence on the civil rights movement of the 1960s and has had significant impact on American culture over the past five decades.” The award will be made by President Obama who said of all the awardees ‘They’ve challenged us, inspired us and they’ve made the world a better place’.

Dylan was previously honored with a National Medal of Arts in 2008 and at the age of 71 shows no signs of slowing down – in 2011 he played 89 live shows on his ‘Never Ending’ tour and he rolls right on.

It s interesting to reflect on what Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone wrote about the first interview that Dylan ever did with the iconic US media magazine – Nov 29 1969
‘They say Bob Dylan is the most secretive and elusive person in the entire rock & roll substructure, but after doing this interview, I think it would be closer to the point to say that Dylan, like John Wesley Harding, was “never known to make a foolish move.”’

Here’s a link to listen to extracts of that first ever Rolling Stone interview and to read the whole interview