Artwork for The Gaffa Tapes series of DJ Mixes

A 22 Hour Day

Man, I woke up at 00:45 the other night – I had hoped to fill it with Funs but I just ended up pottering around the house. I’ll tell you what I did do though – I recorded a special Gaffa Tapes take-over of The Parish News. Below, you can listen to it. I wanted to record a new show up in the studio, Creao Studio, but got a bit bogged down in stuff. So, as opposed to the regulare format of the show, I made a two-hour DJ Mix. It is quite something.

Ol’ Reliable

I used the regular equipment that I have – A Traktor S4, Marantz Cassette Decks and a bag of C60 Cassettes. I was fun.

Another thing that has occurred over the weekend is that I am now using the Beta Gutenberg Editor for this Blog. First impressions are a ‘Yes.’ I like it.

There seems to be a lot more white space. It seems a lot cleaner and the controls are lot simpler, but just take a bit to find – if you are used to the ‘kitchen-sink’ editor of old.

I think I will keep it. It’s a winner.

Lets Gi’it A Shot!

I have signed up to a new scheme – new to me at least. I sometimes have the vague notion that people will like to listen to my field recordings. The best place to do this is to listen to the CD on good headphones. Failing that, if you want a bit more of a public impression of what I get up to then listening in an Art Gallery would do.

Thing is, the latter has been next to nothing.

So, I signed up for Yorkshire Art. I will keep you abreast of developments on my Artist Blog HERE.

They say they will be able to get more Gallery appointments and, hopefully, I will be able to chalk “Artist” on to my CV.

A Different Remembrance

What anniversary falls on the 11th November? It is Remembrance Day. This year it is the 100th anniversary of the guns going silent – for a while. Discussion about today is all through the press. The only thing I will say is: what is remembrance if we do not learn the lessons it teaches us? Which leads me on to this …
 
What I will talk about in this Blog is the threatened Human Rights Act. There is nothing to stop the Tory’s replacing this with a Bill Of British Values instead.
 
As we have seen from past Conservative practice, the little man will come out worst.
 
What has the Human Rights Act done for the country? The Human Rights Act has been absolutely key to the big justice fights of the last 20 years. On the 20th anniversary of the act receiving Royal Assent, I’d like to write about 20 Cases that were helped by the Human Rights Act.
 
The Human Rights Act is the principal law protecting human rights in the UK. The Act incorporates into UK law 16 rights from the European Convention of Human Rights.
 
The European Convention on Human Rights was drafted just after the Second World War. This was part of the promise of ‘never again’.
 
  1. Hillsborough football disaster – after 27 years of fighting for justice, the Hillsborough families were able to use the Human Rights Act to uncover the truth about how their 96 loved ones died.
  2. Mid-Staffs and NHS negligence – Families affected by the scandal have been able to launch 119  legal claims against the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust using the Human Rights Act.
  3. Equal rights for gay couples – Juan Godin-Mendoza is a gay man who proved that he had as much right to take over a protected tenancy after the death of his partner as the survivor of a married or cohabiting heterosexual couple.
  4. Proper equipment for soldiers serving in the army – Snatch Land Rovers, nicknamed “mobile coffins”, were developed to transport troops in Northern Ireland. They were subsequently deployed in the Afghan and Iraq conflicts. Families from some of the 37 whose sons and daughters died in Snatch Land Rovers brought claims against the government, mainly under the Human Rights Act.
  5. Modern-day slavery and traffickingPatience Asuquo was brought to the UK as a domestic worker and nanny. For two-and-a-half years she was physically and mentally abused. She was never paid and her employer withheld her passport. Patience eventually managed to escape – only to be met with police disinterest. Using Article 4 of the Human Rights Act, no slavery or forced labour, human rights organisation Liberty forced the police to reopen the case and Patience’s employer was finally prosecuted.
  6. Do Not Resuscitate notices – following a complaint brought by relatives of patients who had had Do Not Resuscitate notices placed on their notes without their consent, a commission found that patients must be told if doctors consider that CPR should not be carried out on the grounds that it would not work; they have the right to a second opinion; and that where they do not have the capacity, their family or advocate should be consulted. The Equality and Human Rights Commission, which intervened in the case, argued that being able to make a decision about whether a life is worth living is a fundamental right protected under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.
  7. Freedom of the press –the Milton Keynes Citizen’s reporter Sally Murrer was bugged by Thames Valley Police under police spying powers. She always maintained her stories were in the public interest and that her sources and correspondence should have been private. After being arrested and spending 19 months on police bail, the case against her collapsed after the judge ruled that the police had breached her Article 10 freedom of expression rights which protect journalists and their sources, and the evidence was not admissible.
  8. Peace Agreement in Northern Ireland – during the 30-year conflict in Northern Ireland, thousands of people lost their lives and many more were injured.
  9. Justice for a murdered mother Celia Peachey’s mother Maria was murdered by her violent ex-partner, despite repeatedly asking the police for help. Celia used the Human Rights Act to hold the police to account for their catalogue of failings in protecting her, and in investigating her death.
  10. Elderly couple separated by council Mr and Mrs Driscoll had lived together for over 65 years. When Mr Driscoll was moved into a residential care home, Mrs Driscoll wanted to move to the home with her husband but was told she didn’t meet the criteria. This was a clear breach of the couple’s right to a family life as protected by the Human Rights Act and a public campaign was launched to encourage social services to think again. As a result, Mrs Driscoll’s needs were re-assessed and the couple were reunited – setting an example to cite for elderly couples who want to remain together in a care home.
  11. Equal rights for unmarried couplesThe Supreme Court ruled that to deny a widow bereavement benefits because she and her partner of 23 years were unmarried was discriminatory and a breach of article 14 (non-discrimination) and article 8 (private and family life) of the Human Rights Act.
  12. Disabled women left bed-bound by inadequate care provision Jan Sutton had multiple sclerosis. For years, Jan’s local council only paid for carers to make a limited number of short 30-minute visits to her home. They would help Jan wash, dress and use the toilet at those times, but the rest of the time she was confined to her bed. It was degrading and left her with a desperately difficult life. Jan took legal action under the Human Rights Act to secure better care from the council and won. She was able to enjoy a better quality of life because of the case and became a committed campaigner for human rights and the Human Rights Act until her death last year.
  13. Asperger’s sufferer facing deportation to the US – Gary McKinnon is a British man with Asperger’s, who was accused in 2002 of hacking into NASA and Pentagon computer systems while searching for information on UFOs. Instead of allowing him to be tried in the UK, the US government attempted to have Gary extradited to the USA to face trial. If convicted, he would have faced 60 years in jail. In 2012, the then Home Secretary Theresa May announced that the threat to Gary’s health was so high that sending him to trial in the USA would be incompatible with the UK’s responsibility to protect his human rights. Gary was spared extradition by the Human Rights Act.
  14. John Worboys’ victims challenge police failure to investigate – two victims of John Worboys challenged the police over their failure properly to investigate the case.
  15. Deepcut army barracks suicides  Anne-Marie Ellement was a military police officer who killed herself as a result of bullying and ‘work-related despair’ in 2011. An inquest failed to investigate the circumstances of her death. Years later, using the Human Rights Act, Anne-Marie’s sisters secured a fresh inquest relying on the right to life, and a rape investigation under the right to freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment. As a result, a trial took place in which two former soldiers were acquitted, but the MOD announced it would establish a complaints ombudsman to investigate complaints made by troops.
  16. Police retaining DNA and fingerprints of innocent people when a 12-year-old boy and a middle-aged woman were arrested but then had all charges against them dropped, the police refused to destroy the DNA samples and fingerprint records they’d taken. In both cases, the Human Rights Act helped them challenge that.
  17. Right to marry regardless of religious beliefs – in 2005, Karen and Martin became the first couple in Britain to have a legally-recognised humanist wedding.
  18. 19-year-old killed by racist cellmate – Zahid Mubarek had been sentenced to 90 days’ detention for theft. Inside prison, he was described as a “model prisoner”. On 21 March 2000, five hours before he was due to be released, Zahid was beaten to death by Robert Stewart, a racist with a history of violence, with whom he shared a cell. Stewart later admitted the murder and drew a swastika on the wall. The Mubarek family fought for an independent public inquiry using the Human Rights Act under the right to life (Article 2) to investigate deaths where the state might be implicated.
  19. Grenfell fire – there are many serious human rights questions to be answered about the role of public officials in this tragedy both at a local level – such as why the concerns of residents about safety went unheard or ignored, the design and recent refurbishment of the building, the lack of local fire-safety procedures – and at a national level – in terms of changes to fire service powers and regulations on building safety. Four of the Human Rights Act rights are particularly relevant to Grenfell: right to life (Article 2), the right not to be subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment (Article 3), right to respect for private and family life (Article 8) and the right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions (Article 1) These rights have been used by people involved in other tragedies to hold public officials to account for loss of life, but also loss of homes and possessions. The independent watchdog the Equality and Human Rights Commission is intending to carry out its own inquiry into whether central and local government met their obligations under the Human Rights Act in respect to Grenfell, to ensure the right lessons are learned
  20. The Windrush scandal – leading human rights law firm Leigh Day has said it is preparing a potential group action case for the Windrush victims against the Home Office. They will be arguing that the policies and practices of the Home Office that caused such harm to people long settled in this country were discriminatory and unlawful as they were in breach of the Human Rights Act for being ‘inhuman and degrading’ and contrary to Article 3 and Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.
aye wear

New, Aye Wear

New Aye Wear // Eyewear. Why would I need glasses? Well, when I went down to London with Mrs Backhouse I was squinting at the train signs, causing me to get a bit flustered. I realised my distance vision needed correcting. Specsavers in Harrogate sorted me out – I woke early, after a 19.5-hour sleep, and set to about making an appointment – Mr Mahmood saw me and did the necessary. Turns out my script shows my right eye is worse than t’left. I am short-sighted.

I chose some frames and went to The Winchester until it all blew over. A couple of pints in and an old friend I know turned up – haven’t seen James in a bit and we got talking about our motivation behind our passion for music. James writes the incredibly prolific blog, This Noise Is Ours – worth a visit if you are a fan of extreme metal. Although, both James and I know that I prefer my Extreme Metal played by Cats in berets improvising over scattered snares with a parpy saxophone and scat singing (Free Jazz // Experimental).

Picked up my glasses and headed home – here they are –

So, if you see them lying around, please pop them in a safe place and I’ll shout you a pie. It’s nice to be nice.

In other news, I have been working to the fullest my contract with the DWP will allow me to – when I say I work for the DWP, I am in fact a Mental Health Expert – ish. Well, that is what I put on my CV when I will eventually be kicked out the door and made to get a job despite all the contrary advice from Health Care professionals stating I am too ill to work. But, we will see on that – I have an assessment on Wednesday and I am a bit apprehensive to be honest – if they stop our benefits I will be cast adrift and have no way of supporting myself. I cannot work (due to health) and I need a bit of help in the day-to-day. Still, it is up to a Clerk at the DWP to extend my contract and let me continue to be a p/t Mental Health Expert // p/t Web Designer.

Lost a friend the other week – S.M. He had had his benefits stopped and he could not see a way out of it – he took his own life. He was in no way well enough to fend for himself and yet the DWP stopped them without warning – he is at peace now and will be missed. Funeral is on Thursday. I’ll be there to pay respects. I doubt there will be much putting the “Fun” in Funeral due to the nature of his end – but, I will make a stand and show my face.

I saw S.M. just the other week – he had managed to go and get a coffee unaided, in town – he was making headway. Leaves me slightly anxious about my interview … I will keep you posted.

October 2018, London

I am wary that this blog, Ijo Pona, is turning in to a ‘look what I had for tea’ blog – but, I need to talk about Potatoes. London-shaped Potatoes. Me and Mrs Backhouse paid a visit to the capital and spent a long w/e down there. It was fun. The excuse for the visit was that an artist on my label, Chris P. was putting on a gig at S. Augustine’s Church, Kilburn and I was not going to miss it for all the bass-bins in Nottinghill.

It was a bit more ‘Speedcore’ than ‘Spandau” on the way there as we missed our train after getting stuck in traffic. But, the Lovelies at Leeds sorted us and we were only an hour late arriving at Kings Cross. We checked in to our Russel Square located room and set about exploring.

Lambs Conduit Lane is an amazing place to spy Men’s Clothing. We stocked up on Espresso and Swedish Cake and made off to the theatre to bask in its Neon Wholesomeness – it was reet mint! I at the best Italian Food I have ever had – Spaghetti Carbonara and a lemonade to wash it down with. Homeward bound for a night of great sleep.

Can’t fault the accommodation – very central, but with that comes central noise. Thankfully we both had earphones and had a good nights sleep. We went to the V&A the next day. Caught the tube to South Kensington and walked past the Natural History Museum. We had missed the show for the Wildlife Photographer of the year as it started Monday and we were coming home that day.

The Frida Kahlo exhibit at the V&A had sold out – I was not sure people would be booking museum tickets at such a rate but the Photography room was working and we visited that in the first month of being open. That was amazing. There was a massive cross-section of photo history; everything from old daguerrotypes to modern digital art. It was reet mint!

Kathryn had a ball at the V&A – she loved seeing the Porcelain section. To me, it was just old crockery, but Kathryn quite likes the history behind the Staffordshire miniatures and seeing Ming-era Vases was a real eye-opener. Ming Dynasty China was hundreds of years ahead of us when it came to … well … china. We walked miles and saw the Norfolk Music Room – a room that was the interior of a Bloomsbury manor hose but said manor house had been gutted – the interior of the gutted mansion had been placed in the V&A to put on gigs – an amazing, windowless space that had excellent acoustics.

Then it was the night of the label’s gig.

The gig was by Chris Parmenidis at Saint Augustine’s Church in Kilburn, London – Chris met me at the gates of the church and we took our seat. I was shocked to see a good mate, Paul, turn up – we muttered away and then the gig started – it was how 8B5C3B++ should have sounded – an eight-speaker sound immersion. Whether it fell on deaf ears I do not know but I invited a member of The Wire to come and review it.

It was awesome and Chris received a standing ovation.

I hope he got as much from it as his audience did.

Me, Paul & Mrs Backhouse went out for a few beers afterwards – I was surprised to see most people I saw in London still smoked and did not use Vaporisers. The bar staff knew the policy on Smoking – and adhered to it – but they had to ask their boss if I could vape. Seemed a bit weird – but the weather was amazing that day and night so I did not mind standing around being given permission.

It really was balmy. I was walking around Kilburn and Kings cross in Jeans and T-Shirt at midnight in the middle of October. Storm Callum was battering Yorkshire and we had escaped the worst of it. I was perspiring!

Sunday was spent getting lost on the tube. It delayed us by an hour but the Tate Modern was open until 6 pm so we had time to make up for it. This is the plaque for my personal favourite installation in the gallery that day –

We heartily munched on Chinese food for the evening – my fortune cookie said “Family is a bit like Fudge – very sweet but sometimes with a few nuts”

We ate the fortune cookies on the train back up north.

The thing I got from London was that you did not have to go to exotic destinations to experience culture – sometimes it is only 3 hours away. I hope to go back down to the Smoke for a few more days next year. We are already looking at destinations elsewhere for our next break. We do not have an excuse. And, for once, my health permitted me to do what I love; spending time with Mrs Backhouse.

Here are the photos I took of the Gig & Tate Modern –

Saltaire

I thought I would write up a bit about what happened today – Kathryn has gone to bed and it is not yet time for me to hit the hay. It is times like these I feel a deep calm – a sense that all is well with the world – I have my meds to take and a restful night (hopefully) to look forward to. But, what did I do today? We went to Saltaire.

Me and Kathryn went to Saltaire with Scoob & K-Lo. Karen was booked for a Mongolian Dance class. To be honest I was a bit in the dark what the dance class would involve. However, Karen is a seasoned regular on the dance scene in Yorkshire and I was confident she would take it in her stride.

We went to their place for midday and drove in their Fiat 500 to Salts Mill. I quickly called into a pie shop for nourishment (pork pie – 4.75/5) and then we went to Souk. Every time there is a get-together of Middle-Eastern Dancers there is always a specialist market where there are the costumes associated with the dances are sold – there were some there priced at £475!

Next stop was Salts Mill – we worked our way down from the top to the bottom. There were still the David Hockney paintings (marvellous!) on display and we stocked up on a few books.

The books I got from the bookshop in Salts Mill were Norlisk, by Grigoriy Yaroshenko and a copy of Alice Rawsthorn’s ‘Design As An Attitude’ – high brow stuff that is probably a bit above me.

Norlisk is a photo-essay on Industrial Decay in post-Soviet Russia. It is the photography equivalent of a poetry chapbook. It looks like something that I can keep returning to. ‘Design As An Attitude’ could shake me up a bit a designer?

 

 

Karen then went to her class and me, scoob & Kathryn settled ourselves in Fanny’s Ale House. It was a great pub that had escaped the gentrification that had happened to most of the town. It was a good pub with good beer.

I ended up drinking a bit too much and made a tit of myself in the car on the way home, but, Karen was very understanding – Kathryn is curled up in bed and that is where I will be heading now.

Thanks for reading x.

A New Edition Of The Parish News

I managed to record another edition of The Parish News. No biggy – it is something I do every week. This week, I recorded it in my flat with new gear. I have had a Sound Devices MixPre 6 for a number of months now but never really used it for the show – still, makes a change. I used it on the One-Hundred and Ninth Edition of The Parish News.

There is something else that is new. Brand new. I have a new mic. An Audio Technica BP4025 – it is specifically designed for Field Recording so I look forward to using it in the field. It seemed to be good for the show.

If you listen to the enclosed audio on Headphones, it sounds like my voice is just behind the centre point of your hearing. This is because it is a stereo mic (X/Y) therefore giving a lot more width to my voice. It’s reet mint!

Other than that, I have been doing a lot of work – I was interviewed by S. Watson-Power as part of her school project on music. It really was a good, wholesome feeling I got from it. If you want to read the interview, I have transcribed the interview on my Arty Site HERE. I wish her every luck in getting a good grade with her presentation – I was sent a copy of her presentation, but, I figure it is a bit too personal to give away on Sophie’s behalf. So, if she ever wants to make it public I will let you know. But it was sweet.

I will try and write ‘home’ a bit more regularly from now on. That is how I take this Blog – it is a bit like Writing Home. There is a familiarity to it, coupled with a duty – ‘I have a duty to maintain this blog’ is one way of seeing it – the whole stubborn “I’ve started so I will finish” but then there is the tenderness associated with such memories that my blog throws out there every now and then. Ijo Pona is my online Home. And it has had a fresh lick of paint.

W/E “Brownswood Love” Mix

Backhouse & Brownswood – “Brownswood Love.” Not a set of Accountants or Solicitors and their trendy start-up enterprise but a DJ Mix. My weekend was a write-off. Pretty much wasted the whole of it working. Still, there were a few good points.

I managed to argue with Gravity Forms into allowing me to install their plugin on a client’s build – looking very nice, now – more on that in the future.

The highlight of the weekend occurred today. A good friend, Matt, has a Giggle of daughters and the eldest one, S. asked me to answer some questions. It is for her school project in Music. The emphasis is on Emotions and Music – how they tie in together.

The questions were smartly orientated and emailed to me from Dubai. S. should be able to read the answers over her breakfast in the morning. On the whole, it is a wholesome feeling that I got from this. She is a lovely young lady and I hope she smashes the project.

I hope to post the interview over on my arty site, www.andybackhouse.com. But I need to seek S’s permission first.

Other than that, I have been listening to a few DJ mixes on my headphones and it inspired me to have a crack at something different. What do you make to this:

 

 

When I first became aware of Mixcloud I was really into my Wonky Hip-Hop (music by the likes of Suff Daddy, early J-Zen and Wonky Logic). It was reflected in the earlier mixes I posted on the site – I had good feedback from them and I hope you don’t mind my trip down memory lane.

The music in this mix is exclusively from Brownswood Records and a what I listened to years ago. The tracks have aged very well.

It was nice to listen to music for the pleasure of listening to music again. That is what the interview with S. let me think – she is just finding her feet, musically, and has the whole adventure ahead of her.

Hell, she can already DJ better than I can.

It was great to stick on some music that I was not looking for inspiration from (dub) or listening to with a view of putting it on my radio show. I was listening with fresh ears. Thanks, S. Here is the playlist –

Artist / Track

Quasimoto / Come On Feet
Matthew Herbert / The Audience
Sa-Ra / Rosebuds
Carrie Cleveland / Make Love to Me
Darkstar / Aidy’s Girl Is a Computer
Tall Black Guy / Water No Enemy
Electric Wire Hustle / They Don’t Want
Ron Basejam / Into My Life
Grooveman Spot / Happy (feat. Kissy Asplund)
Nick Rosen / Ancestral Echoes
YU / Fine
Oumou Sangaré / Iyo Djeli
Keaver & Brause / Awake