Gary Fletcher on Fiery Bird Show – Blues on Purpose

Blues musician and writer Gary Fletcher joined me on the Fiery Bird Show this Monday to share stories from his many years touring with a variety of bands, notably the currently touring Blues Band founded by Paul Jones that he has been in since its inception, and his own projects with gigs coming up at Farnham Maltings

We discussed his upcoming tour and he played some lovely songs live in the studio. Listen again here to the show, mentions in dispatches for some lovely upcoming events at Fiery Bird Venue including Jackfest, Punk Valentine, Open Mic, Surrey Americana Festival and Guitar workshops as well as some lovely songs by Fiery Bird friends Mark Nelson Trio and Katie Bradley & Ritchie Lane

Play List

In Recognition – The Proclaimers – New Year Honour…..

Gin House Blues – Nina Simone ……..my Christmas

Rikki dont lose that number – Steeley Dan

Here comes the sun – The Beatles – for Steve Baker RIP

My Love Made You Wrong – Gary Fletcher Live in Session

Body & Soul – The Blue Nile

In Love With A Wish – Gary Fletcher Live In Session

Upside Down Blues – Mark Nelson Trio

Rudiger – Mark Knopfler

Ghosts – Katie Bradley & Ritchie Lane

Back To Your Heart – Gary Fletcher Live In Session

Beer Drinking Woman- Memphis Slim, me basically

Mannish Boy – Muddy Waters

That Lucky Old Sun – Aretha Franklin

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Endeavour & Spite

To do

Endeavour

In spite of

Not because of

No leap forward

on the springboard of encouraged vision

But

Also

Because of

The spite.

To do

For the spiteful

So they become less so

Fiery Bird Show feat Dear Mr Pop Star author Dave Philpott & Jackfest Organiser Andy Mabbutt

In the first hour (13 mins in due to a tech hitch unusually not of my making 😉 of this week’s Fiery Bird Show on Radio Woking – Dave Dawson aka Philpott and his Dad Derek, have spent time writing to pop stars to point out the error of their ways, the inaccurate lyrics, the impossible assertions ‘No, Heaven cannot be a place on Earth Belinda!’ and, in many situations these pop stars wrote back, poo-pooing their assertions or sometimes admitting it caused them a reflective hour on whether they should continue music. Dave and Derek compiled a book called Dear Mr Pop Star which shares the collection of their hilarious exchanges. We spent half an hour talking about the process they went through, the things they got up to to reach people and how it all came about.

The second hour was all about Jackfest, a local fundraising gig put on by Andy Mabbutt and team to raise money for Shooting Star CHASE the hospice that supports his family and nephew Jack and so many other children locally. On 26 January Andy has organised a night of music at Fiery Bird, with DJ’s, 5 bands, raffles of signed merchandise from a variety of well known bands and much more. He spoke about the charity and shared some music from some of the bands playing as well as others who have donated items. Tickets for the event can be obtained here and more details here

To listen again to hear the show here – it starts 13 mins in

Play List

Small Man In Big Shoes – Steve Brookes

Spirit In The Sky – Dr & The Medics

Top of The Pops – The Rezillos

Got To Find A Better Way – The Sha La La’s

Dirty Rock n Rolla – Rollin Machine

Standing On The Top – Stone Foundation

You Are – Argonaut

Mango – Birdsworth

Ska Rhythm – Dakka Skanks

Vote For Me – The Specials

Soul Drummer – Ray Barretto

White Coats – Baxter Dury

Paolo Hewitt on Fiery Bird Show ‘Colour Me Father’

Colour Me Father, An Open Letter To My Son by Paolo Hewitt one of the celebrated sons of Woking takes a different turn on his usual writing. Whether his life’s work as the scribe of a generation mesmerised by the myth and magic of music, or his autobiographies, the sum total of both reaches 23 books. He joined me on the Fiery Bird Show to talk about growing up in Woking, his past and this, a very personal project shared at such a poignant time in his life; becoming a father.

In this more philosophical work he sets out a letter to his young son, Rafi, born in 2015. Sparked by his first birthday and his smile of delight at his family and friends gathered to celebrate, Paolo unlocks for his son the detail of the everyday that gives wonder to life to the philosophy of belonging that his sometimes painful, lonely, delightful and interesting journey has brought him to make a world through these new eyes make sense. “To keep you believing without a moment’s hesitation in your soul that life is indeed, deeply wonderful”

With a similar outlook to the allegorical writing of Paolo Coelho yet embedded from the childhood laid bare in The Looked After Kid, this book is a moving contemplative work that brings the bittersweet joy and fear of parenting to the fore. Its research was life unfolding, an instinctive, visceral thing provided by the very act of becoming a father, something he spoke to friends about who, whether sprung from a comfortable nest of family or not could assure the lone orphan that whatever our background, when we start again as parents, we all start again.

Like many of us do, wishing to pass on the wisdom we learn, it always comes down to what can’t be bought and the voice of the heart. That such a personal work about the future by giving his son the stories of his past, has proved cathartic for him in that it almost serves as the last in a trilogy started by The Looked After Kid through to But We All Shine On: The Remarkable Orphans Of Burbank Children’s Home and now with the birth of Rafi and this book that brings the past only to the future to be its guide, Hewitt says he has now let go of the past and has said it all, a weight has lifted.

The honesty about the loneliness of a writer, the vulnerability of revealing yourself layer by layer with each work stands it as a bearer for the outsider feeling so many have, that after all is only truth of individuality wishing to connect. Lessons learnt from our long lives are that; only by being and connecting to ourselves can we live out the integrity of our dreams. Since reading it the phrase ‘Be faithful to life’ uttered by Sister Patricia repeats itself often when there is doubt.

This personal letter shared is only available direct from Paolo, wishing to keep the book something that the writer and reader remain as reading a personal letter that means something.

More details of his work and this book can be obtained here.

To hear him talk about this book, growing up in Woking, fighting over the studio desk with me and general banter with the added contribution of possibly the nicest man in Woking, Pete Garland a long time friend of Paolo’s.

Three examples of the catholic schools of the parish of woking 😉

How they use us as examples is another thing

Listen again to the interview here (10mins in)

Playlist

Fire – Gino Parks (skipped miserably – i hate the desk but just so you know an attempt was made

Steeley Dan – Reeling in The Years

Color Him Father – The Winstons

Be My Baby – The Ronettes

Kushty Rye – Ronnie Lane

Reading from ‘Colour Me Father’ By Paolo Hewitt accompanied by an original piece by Simon Wells

Apron Strings – Everything But The Girl

Blue Horizons – Graham Parker

Long & Winding Road – The Beatles

Be Young Be Foolish Be Happy – The Tams

Mothers in War

asked to writeof young lives lost

shelled and burned relentless frost
happy home to relentless fear

brave face conceals hot tears

once a hug and safety 

the currency you traded

exchanged inexplicable hatred

bones exhausted hope faded
At Marathon

Xerxes honouring father

and so on and so forth

these wars get ever harder

millenium echoes of ‘what’s it all for?’
and weaved into the words of life

new names come

sprung from their strife

our everyday

the balaclava

named from pain frozen hell like lava

became a young boys winter wear

running down streets without a care
cheerfully we sing of barrels rolled

Towns in Ireland myths unfold

a hundred years ago

In a room

a clock ticked

whilst cannon boomed

the heartbeat of a mother waiting to hear

that precious child coming near

the footstep on the path instead

solemnly told her

He was dead
If you see the sight of battlefield

with blood and guts and brain all spilled

sightless eyes who know no pain

Think of the ones who feel it again

and again and again and again
The ones who walk with the field inside flesh

Where their children are killed each day afresh

who cared for them fed them and loved them each day

but when the monster demanded them

waved them away

 Fairy stories talk of scary dragons

 demanding the people hand over their young

of evil archetype make panto players

but still it goes on and on and on

Bravery for an ideal or not is a hard won thing

sometimes pretended, just to get through the turn, away from mother, 

toward an unknown king.