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GP’s guest blog for Brownswood Forum

January 25, 2010

Not far to go now till the Worldwide Awards – just 2 weeks – the line up’s been steadily growing and that’s possibly why I had to call it a day with ticket sales on about 500 even though the venue holds 650 – the number of musicians, dj’s and friends will soon push the capacity to the limit and I want there to be some kind of comfort… just added by the way Danay with Vince Vella, the Natural Yogurt Band, SBTRKT and the Robert Glasper trio! So I’d say it’ll be some event and once again I apologize to those of you who were too late to get a ticket.

I was with Dayo, Liam, Beane, Isabelle and Marc Jenks last week to go through the winners etc – we had a few occasional disagreements but overall I’m happy with our conclusions even if Dayo wasn’t altogether sure about the winner of the John Peel ‘play more jazz’ award! He was more sure about the house red wine on offer at ‘Aulac’ – the Vietnamese on Blackstock road a little later – I was surprised by Dayo’s surprise switch to the grape after the years I’ve seen him with a can of red stripe by his side, but then again if he ain’t gonna go out jogging every day with mister Jenks then he’s always gonna be better off without the grain!

It’s a real honor to be writing his Monday post this morning – its become one of those weekly priorities that I most look forward to reading. And just like I get frustrated if it isn’t up and posted by 9am! I hope I get this up by then although its 7.40 now and my kids just got up – let’s hope the missus does the honors with breakfast and getting the uniforms sorted!!!

Meanwhile I have to report on having had my first ‘off’ weekend in a while and did I enjoy it or what… still went out though! Friday took me to Passing Clouds for the first time – its a venue round the corner from one of the best Fish and Chip shops in North london, Falkeners on the Kingsland Road – I was there cos the bPm was spinning – I love his approach and game and always have a laugh when he’s around so stepped out with Zinger at around 11.30 (just catching Sisqo’s eviction on Celebrity Big Brother as I walked out… sneeky feeling Dane could win it… I’ve been surprised by his charm in the house!) in fact I’m a bit sad CBB’s getting ousted from Channel 4 – I enjoyed many of the series over the years – from Goldie to Lisa L’Anson to Jermaine Jackson and Lady Sov this year – everyone I know hates it though and my wife gives me the eyes if ever I bring up my secret in public – lets hope she doesn’t read this! In fact I’ve always wondered whether Mrs Dayo ever reads his posts on here – such a giveaway!

Meanwhile I’d just like to thank Dayo again for his contributions over the years – many of his comments and posts have influenced what I do as a DJ and many of his words have motivated me at times of insecurity or confusion – you see, when you’ve been in the game as long as me everyone always assumes that you don’t need anyone to say what they think but the opposite is almost more true – to have comments (both positive and negative) have kept me on the straight and narrow (ish) and even though the odd sneaky comment about not playing enough jazz does get to me (nice one Beatnik!) most of the time it’s great to hear what people think of the music I (and many others) play… in fact I can’t imagine life without Brownswood! When Dayo left us for a while to look after his brother I was amazed to see how the rest of the community came around and held this board together.

Anyway back to Passing Clouds – it really reminded me of the sort of gig that used to happen in the eighties – very ‘city limits’ crowd as we used to call them then – properly random – as were the bands – one of them was called The Worm and featured 3 guys in fancy dress and a pretty girl with a fantastic low cut top – her voice was off beat and so was the sound but I liked it and was really glad to be out enjoying a regular Friday without thinking about set times or whether I’d brought the right music with me! I bumped into Ahu who I promised I’d go out and see at the Spine night the next day in Stokey but I missed that and all the Haiti events going on as I’d promised to spend Saturday and Sunday with the fam. Apologies to those who went to Plastics on Saturday to catch me but I never confirmed I’d be there so was as surprised as anyone to see my name on the flyer even if it did have TBA on there – cheeky… I’ll be dealing with the Haiti crisis in my own way and look forward to a special Haitian mix on my show this week.

I spent yesterday on my couch watching football – there’s no better way to pass time on a grey sunday than that! I’d spent the morning bussing and training it to Mill Hill where my eldest boy was playing at Copthall with the under 13′s. I got rid of my car 2 weeks ago and have had to get used to public transport… and cabs! I’m quite enjoying not having wheels right now – in fact I can’t see any car that excites me so until then I’ll just have to get by… but come 1.30 I was back home looking forward to watching the 4 English players in the Arsenal team and the return of Sol Campbell – good start then when Delap launched the first of his towel-assisted throw ins! Even though we lost I really enjoyed the game – really – and I’m almost relieved that we didn’t get an equalizer and a replay and then a trip to Man City for the next round – this always causes us too many problems at this stage of the season and ends with us fizzling out around mid march! In fact I think winning a domestic double will be a rare thing in the future for any English team – I just hope we can bounce back on Wednesday against Villa and then get through Man U, Chelsea and Liverpool with around 10 points in the bag..! I’d also like a little injury to Wayne Rooney in the Carling second leg – just a little one – nothing to mess up the England team but a little something to pull him out of the game on Sunday…I’ll be watching that in NYC with Maurice Bernstein from Giant Steps whose a massive Red… tricky! Last night I caught the second half of the Ivory Coast v Algeria game – wow! deep happenings in Angola – why can’t Drogba play that badly when he plays us? I was really hoping they’d win to keep them out of the Premiership for a few more days but sadly Kolo Toure’s injury time equalizer was ruled out and The Elephants (and Eboue!) are coming home – now I’m just hoping that the Cameroon lose to Egypt and Alexandre Song returns to protect our back 4!

Enough football – onto films – have you seen The Fantastic Mr Fox? It’s amazing! The most ‘jazz’ film of the year and one I definitely missed in 09 – I wholeheartedly recommend it – also bookwise I’m reading ‘The musical and social journey of Horace Tapscott – songs of the Unsung’ – inspiring.

I was talking to Dayo last week about collating the best posts from this board over the years to fill up a book – I’d love that and hope we can make it happen. In fact I’m just finishing a compilation for BBE based around the radio show so maybe we can include a few classic posts from brownswood in the booklet.

It’s just touching 9am now and i haven’t done a random 10 so here goes – 10 that I’m feeling right now:

1 – Sam Dees – Child Of The Streets (going through a big soul phase at the moment – rip Teddy p)
2 – The O’Jays – My favorite person (absolute sure fire classic – really makes me smile this one)
3 – Charles Earland – Coming To Ya Live (Lefto Edit) – I’ll drop this on Wednesday – killer job by our Belgian friend!
4 – Gil Scott Heron – I’ll take care of you (hoping to find him and give him an award this weekend in NYC – challenge!)
5 – Ramadanman – glut (look forward to playing this at Deep Space next week – brand new from Hemlock)
6 – Half Seas Over – the whole new album from Elan Mehler and Adam McBride Smith – folk meets jazz for brownswood
7 – Ghost Poet – carry me home (like a cross between Gil Scott and Roots manuva from Coventry – watch him!)
8 – Samuel & The Dragon – Diamonds (LV Mix) – loving everything I hear from these Londoners
9 – Fumio Itabashi – ash (another piano lesson from the man from watarase)
10- Raphael Gualazzi – Reality (my best remix to date with Simbad – will play on wednesday!!)