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> > Richard Downes

I once wrote for life now I write in life. I'm looking forward to developing a blog presence with personality for DAO whilst delivering comment, reviews, photos and views on disability and how it's represented.

THE LgbtEAST WE CAN DO

8 February 2014

Blog

When I'm not blogging for DAO, which happens to be most of the time, I have a day job. Get this. Engagement and Development Worker for Merton Centre for Independent Living (MCIL). One of my responsibilities is to engage with the wider community and in particular with hard to reach groups. The LGBT community is not one that I am charged with finding,meeting and relating with but MCIL know that i'm putting my feelers out. In some ways this young, hungry organisation was ahead of...

Comments: 0

Hurray for the Festivities

7 January 2014

Blog

"You are too single minded about this disability stuff. You have a life outside of it. You need to leave it at work and appreciate all those other things that you have". This is a criticism I have to put up with from time to time. There is some truth in it. But, i'm not so bad as people make out. I can put my work away. I can distinguish between my work and my life. I see where they meet, interact, and where I can find peaceful seclusion. Its also an interesting question because...

Comments: 1

Rock God, Pop Star and the ideal gift for Christmas

9 December 2013

Blog

I attended a book launch for the first time last night. Bob Stanley of St Etienne, and regular music columnist in the nationals, has just had ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah – The Modern Story of Pop’, published. I went for a number of reasons. The launch was local, at Fab Records, Bob is a neighbour, I’m reading the book and its great, but mostly because one day we stopped in the drive way and had a chat about the communication difficulties we share. So, I wanted to support him and I...

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On folkie Spiers & Boden’s and their current Back Yard Tour.

29 May 2013

Blog

I am interested in community gigs and caught up with Spiers & Boden in my own back yard at Cecil Sharpe House in Camden Town - hoping to learn about making connections. 

Spiers and Boden, long established folk duo, founder members of great festival band Bellowhead, are in town. They will play twice today in the same but changing venue of Cecil Sharp House – the home of English folk music. First a ceilidh. Then a concert.
 
The floor is cleared for the dancers. These people...

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Reason To Believe

22 January 2013

Blog

It is 2013. Happy new year. Back in the old year I reported much on the Karamel Music Club – a favourite haunt. Free music, cheap food, good company, accessible premises. Well in this age of austerity, the collective’s masterful leader, Chris Sheehan, has only gone and opened another club night ‘The Northern Embassy’, dedicated to northern songwriters in the heart of Soho, which access aside retains much the same endearing qualities. And so it was, on a cold, wintry,...

Comments: 3

One Lovely Blog Award

27 October 2012

Blog

I've just revisited an old blog entry Raising A Glass To The next 50 Years Of Jimmying, a poem reflecting on the SaVILE scandal. I visit old blogs to make sure I'm listening to the people who are responding to me. And blow me down, Melissa Mostyn Thomas  said she liked it so much she's nominated me for The One Lovely Blog Award. For a moment I dream't of other people reading Raising A Glass, liking it and coughing up lots of lovely spondies to me, its creator. Then the pale penny dropped....

Comments: 0

Documentary Evident - Searching For Sugar Man

30 August 2012

Blog

As a reader of friday and weekend reviews I have noticed a hunger for documentaries. My initial feeling about this was pphhhfffff!!!! so what. But is seems that I have finally succumbed and i blame the wife who took me to see Marley earlier in the year.   Last night we went to see Searching.... at the Curzon Soho and stumbled upon an extraordinary story which i'll spend some time on later but first the Curzon Soho. I'm no expert on access and i would need someone to back this up and find...

Comments: 0

Get stuck into Karamel Music for the last time this season

17 July 2012

Blog

Rosely Funari is manager of the Karamel Club and she is is very serious. Every time she talks to me she talks to me about Disability Issues. I listen to her, she tells me what she is doing and then I buy a drink. Her latest pride other than employing a disabled person is the new ramp and an access audit that says other than the gap between bars the loo is accessible. She is so serious she won't even turn on the glitter ball because she was asked to turn it off once. I'm teasing her...

Comments: 0

Ritual

18 June 2012

Blog

Just wanted to write something quickly  about something i experienced last week. Our mate Ken mailed us inviting us to a ritual. Funny that.... our mate Ken.... only just started calling him that and it hits him with a frisson. On the one hand its nice, warm and means friendship. On the other hand its not a colloquialism he welcomes and demotes him from our teeacher - the maestro. For it was ken who took us through his course on Folkore, Mythology and Witchcraft. These interests are...

Comments: 0

Another Song In the Key Of Strife - The Misanthrope

22 May 2012

Blog

My World View Seriously Sucks

I have no idea what the word misanthrope means - not what it actually means. It sounds like a combination of misery and strop. I think it describes someone who looks at humanity through a prism of misery, is unhappy with their world view, to the point that they go away and strop about it. Driving through Somerset the other day, the car cd played 'Regeneration' (surely a positive word) by The Divine Comedy (does not sound misanthropic at all). Led by songwriter Neil Hannon who (my memory might...

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Sad Americana

3 May 2012

Blog

A couple of years ago just around christmas time I lost in quick succession and no longer in any order Vic Chesnutt, Mark Linkous and Jack Rose - 3 musicians that constantly delighted me.   Vic and Mark went through suicide. Jack a heart attack.   I was reminded of this listening to Lambchop's Mr M, their latest album, dedicated to the memory of Vic. Some at DAO will remember Vic has a wheelchair user. I remember, reading an unsympathetic review of one of his albums in DAIL...

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Rock N Rollers don’t wash their hair.

29 March 2012

Blog

This is a fundamental tenet of my beliefs. And I’ve had it dashed. Repeat exposure to old copies of Top Of The Pops, ancient photos revealed in the holy book of Mojo show the fathers of rock n roll, the progenitors of pop flouncing around with clean locks. I feel sick to my stomach. I keep on telling myself I will never believe again. But where did I create this mantra. It was forever in Chuck’s ducktail, Little Richard’s pompadour, Elvis’s Quiff. And blow me down; even...

Comments: 1

Keys To The Karamel’s Sweet Konnektions

1 March 2012

Blog

Up early, yesterday, sitting at the PC, marvelling at an early youtube clip sent by Chris Sheehan of Robert Plant getting up to sing a rollicking rock blues with Charlie Wood .. Late last night going home having seen Chris compere for Charlie’s chilled out jazz grooves at the Karamel Music Club, Wood Green, London, I thought I need to tell my readers about this place. This story reflects on Keys to the Karamel Club’s Sweet Konnektions. Chris Sheehan, Creative Director of Karamel...

Comments: 1

A Cracking Carol

1 February 2012

Blog

photo of a man standing behind a big book

Richard Downes takes a family day out to share a favourite club with others and to make lasting relationships in the arts Scene 1: The Past. A room in Tottenham. Summer. A long, long time ago. Franz Shealey, then a lip reader is watching Phil Sherman speak. He asks; "What is your favourite story?" Fran replies' "A Christmas Carol". "Wow!!!! That's mine too", reposts Phil. Immediately, Fran and Phil; the clown and mime artist respectively behind children's theatre...

Comments: 1

The Queen Is Dead The Song Lives On

24 January 2012

Blog

The last great Blues Shouter from that holy relic, Chess Records, has up and died. She could rock, she could roll she knew the meaning of soul. Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the page, The Queen of Soul, the divine Miss Etta James. We first dallied together in a loveless town in the east of england in the radio home of brit doyen of the blues, Alexis Korner, one of the big men behind the white blues boom. His sunday night show was one of the few that I'd religiously wait in for. He taught me...

Comments: 1

Comments

Rich Downes

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26 January 2012

Kev self organising, self advocating, putting ourselves forward to be counted should always be important whether we are within or without a movement. your point certainly picks up on Deborah's point that to be heard we need to speak and be received appropriately.

Imelda i love your QUIM and will remember it. Its very funny. I only asked one question whilst outside the Lords but carried it and the criticism that was made with me all day. The reply led to the other questions. I did resolve for 2012 to return to questions. I gave them up as irrelevant in 1983 but recognise that if i am to understand i have to ask.

Thanks for the support Bib.

John i didn't see the Francesca Martin interview but others have commented on it and claim to be alarmed and concerned because of how she was treated (is it on you tube?. Was this just another part of what i call the current media conspiracy to attack disabled people. Can we prove there is one?

I like Bob's idea of an organic movement. It chimes with what Kev was saying. I also like common aims, shared agendas, different styles of getting a message over, and think that's why we achieved what we did over 20 years.

I'd like to say Mighty Villa has a point but i'm with Bob as a Baggie but, unlike Bob i'm real black country so who care what the higher strata says.

So..... YES.... continue with our model, build on it, positively promote rights and opposition. Hang the thought that we can't say what is ours and continue asking questions

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