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Posted By jonnyP

 

We were kindly hosted by the “Strummers Collective” at CB2 Bistro in Cambridge the other night. As we were tuning up ready to play, the wonderful MC Nikki threw me somewhat by starting to interview me based on my spurious biog on the jptb website. I only managed monosyllabic answers while I tweaked the machine head of my bass. I was sorry not to have risen to Nikki’s challenge then, but she prompted a musing. She quoted the final line from my biog “I no longer wish to work for a living as it only makes matters worse”. (How touching that she read it). Of course I wrote it as a bit of a wise crack, but it’s not inaccurate in my experience, either morally or spiritually.  

The world of work is loaded with such import collectively, i.e. “strong economy” and “hard working people”. intoned both sides of the parliamentary divide as if work is a heroic cause. There is a tendancy to cobble a sense of identity around our profession or working tribe only to find it crumble when the redundancy notice comes in. It’s a lose lose situation as they might say in the Bored room.

Let’s not forget the entire infrastructure built around getting to and from the place of work. The ill designed buildings where we are supposed to “perform professionally”, “Increasing productivity” and of course “drive up standards”. What is there to like about this? enough money to pay the rent and put some overprice food drenched in agrochemicals on your table and of course fill any spare time with devices twitching for your over divided attention.

Earlier that evening, sitting upstairs in the overpriced slightly grubby CB2 Bistro with fellow troubadours Carol Hunter Les Chappell and Brian Eade. I asked Brian, (Who’s always good for an opinion) if he’d voted Remain or Leave. He voted Remain, citing the French tradition of the 2 hour lunch break as one of his motivations. That for me was the best reason I’ve heard for voting either way in that farcical chapter in fUKt’s decline. It could have swung me had Cameron or one of his spiv mates offered that up. And why not simply knock off after lunch anyway, then we can get on with our lives and stop pretending.

This would offer a much needed step towards a loving and wholesome  culture without the full neo Luddite, future primitive, collapse transition that is our fate like it or not. It would give us more time to prepare. Plant bee gardens, grow brassicas, write poems and dismantle factories. These activities could arise from our liberated muse, free from the crushing conformity of the factory, office or vehicle fleet.

I could be wrong, maybe there is “work” that can be loved without a sense of duty, heroic identity or just plain greed. My experience has only found that as an inner narrative, downloaded from the institution and the groupthink impulse. It’s never lasted long. School pretty much nailed it for me. The worst part of the week was Sunday evening with the prospect of school the next day, my inner world was a shadow of despair. I’ve never got over it and I don’t think it’s something to get over. What are we up to? Work is an “enclosure” it uses time to ring fence our freedom. Offering jam tomorrow in exchange for a piece of you today. The jam never really comes and it’s not good for you anyway. 


 
Posted By jonnyP

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Slack Rock “For the many not the few”

 

The John Preston Tribute Band release our third single “Our Very Last Dance”.

Available through Band camp Friday June 9th. 

 

What does this mean? International digital distribution? Yes it means we’ve opened an account and uploaded our labour of love for you to purchase and import onto your device of choice.

 

You can check the song out on Penny and Nigel Hunters Lovely video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXEGl4fPI3k  and visit www.jptb.co.uk for blog entries on such matters.

 

Launch gig Castle Acre village hall, Friday June 9th http://castleacre-villagehall.weebly.com/live-music.html

 

Formed 2008 when early field recordings were made. EP Reduced to Clear 2009; No Incinerator free download 2010; LP Ruling Class 2013; Single Download Our Very last Dance 2017.

 

Performed at;  London's 12 bar club (RIP); The Green Gathering; Harlequin fair; Norwich Art Centre; Cambridge Buddhist Centre; Banned form Downham market Carnival; Climaxing with Stoke Ferry Village Hall. etc......

 


 
Posted By jonnyP

“Have you made any preparations?” line four, second verse of fUKt. A question. An ominous question. What could one possibly do to prepare for the “clusterfuck”. As business as usual is anything but “strong and stable”. To counter the erroneous criticisms I hear, inferring our songs are “Dark” or “negative”. I’d suggest we are simply offering early warning signals with the odd joke. Or more likely confirming what you know but don’t like to think about. No worries we’re here to help. Well something can be done and while we are about it we can love it. Here’s an example of “preparations”. Two weeks ago Carol (JPTB Pianist) peeled back the protective fleece to reveal a salad bed of extravagant health and beauty. Many types of Lettuce, Moroccan Cress, Rocket, Endive and Spinach. Not only a utilitarian response but also a thing of beauty. The pick as you go leaves swirl and nestle together as do Carol’s mellifluous piano lines grace our songs. It’s not only preparation, growing salad can be an expression of beauty and an act of defiance. Today’s top tip to balance those inner voices of despair and hopelessness and the noise of the lies drenching the airwaves. The John Preston Tribute Band are “making preparations” for Their June 9th single launch @ http://castleacre-villagehall.weebly.comSalad resistanceSalad resistance


 
Posted By jonnyP

Are we a pop up band, a fake band or a substantial band with a credible “body of work”? Much of the activity of being a musician and writer seems to be making a fake real. We make up stories that substantiate some kind of substantiality about us so friends, fans and “industry” get the idea we (The John Preston Tribute Band”) are a really real thing. That is what, I think we were getting up to when we made our first music video “fUKt”. 

 

fUKt itself is a song chiseling away at the thin veneer of British identity and the sense of ‘permanence’ to that abstract thing knowns as “The Economy”. The tools we used were half borrowed riffs (Kinks/Stooges), and snappy lines from Neil Young and Permaculture theory, amongst others. 

 

The video serves to back the whole project up by offering a “real” band miming to a “real” song. We were loaned an old church for the day. We gathered all our gear and props, set up a PA, hit the play button and goofed around to a song previously recorded. We were under the guidance of unsung genius Andy Smith who pointed his camera, quietly asked questions and quietly grinned to himself now and again. The experience was loads more fun than miming with tennis rackets as a kid. But it was still pretend and maybe it always is.

 

Once several runs were captured and few head shots, there was a serious amount of work from Andy to make us appear convincing as a band. His previous career involved making cereal packets look just great, so we were in safe hands. He used split screen, black screen (a cheapskate version of green screen to superimpose back projections) and wobbly camera techniques. We were all excited and encouraged by his presentation of The John Preston Tribute Band and felt suitably fortified to go out and gig on the back of our reinforced legitimacy.

 

The point of this exercise was to place the song and the band in the “Market Place” offering a “Brand Identity”. Entering the Ocean of musical detritus gathering our “likes” and “views” as we go. Also offering a platform to promoters and festivals heads sending out the message. “We are a really real band, book us.”

 

An experience at a recent gig at The Blue Moon in Cambridge highlighted this. We managed to arrest the attention of a couple of very talkative punters, but after few songs, they went outside to check out our “web presence” on their “devices”.  The really real thing was twanging and plonking away right in front of them and they were digging it. But that was not enough. They just had to go outside and check out if we really existed (on the web), so they could then really “like” us with a cheesy old thumbs up. And it worked.