GRANT SHARKEY at TEDxSOUTHAMPTON
ENJOY AND SHARE!
GRANT SHARKEY at TEDxSOUTHAMPTON
ENJOY AND SHARE!
2016 was a tricky year for anyone trying to save the planet and humanity from...humanity. Armed only with songs, a double bass and mission to explore as many questions as time will allow, I've decided that 2017 is the year when I work on becoming the best counter-measure to the blind-crziness of isolationist, climate change-denying, capitalism worshipping, change-fearing, fear-changing, fact-faking political and social landscapes.
And I want to radicalise you too!
In the first part of RADICAL YOU!, I will examine where we are currently as a species, the threats to our planet/ourselves and weapons those that threaten us have in their arsenals.
In part two, I will then documenting the process of what I start to do at home, on tour and in public to be the person I need to be for the future.
If you're feeling a little confused or scared by what the future may hold, then RADICAL YOU is really the only pro-active choice we can make. From growing vegetables, generating electricity, learning first-aid - there's always something that can be done.
I'm interviewing some of the finest minds I know to discuss the big subjects that are tripping up the little minds of the new Alt-Righteous threats. Climate change, gender politics, art and food waste are all on the agenda. I may even get to religion if i find the the time.
PRE-ORDER NOW - "RADICAL YOU (Vol. 1)" is out on May 1st 2017.
I was handed some information not long after the EU Referendum. That information was RUPERT MURDOCH'S SUPER SECRET LONDON HOME ADDRESS!
Apparently, he's spent a lot of time and money keeping this address out of sight (probably because it's in central London, next to a public space so not easy to defend with armed guards and such). It seemed only right to do something fun with it. So...
I have taken this address and written it in to ALL of the songs on this new album.
NOTE: I'm not asking for anyone to be violent towards this address or endanger the people that work/live there. We're better than that. The role is to give his bumhole a little twitch of fear - something he's been doing to our loved ones for 40+ years.
I've decided to act as much like Mr. Murdoch's media-empire during the writing of this album. I haven't done much fact checking, although I trust my source. I've dressed him up as a predatory paedophile, I've brought his private life in to it, I've painted him as a terrorist recruitment officer. All the tools he's used to make a sensational, fictional world full of pious hero/cowards roaming around a world full of blood-thirsty enemies with personal agendas against them.
Is what I'm doing a crime? Yes. HE WILL KILL YOU!
I'm committing Invasion of Privacy and, if he's taking himself too seriously, Defamation of Character. Either way, I'm doing this to provoke a reaction he cannot avoid. If he does nothing, packs up and moves, we'll see it. If he does something - sues me (I have no money), prosecutes me (I have nothing to lose) or kills me (I'm not sure he will, but nonetheless, this is the most common course people think he will take). Of course, there's another non-binary solution and that's he invites me to play at his house, we become good friends and I can influence him to be a little bit. less. sh*t.
Why me? Why not just hand this stuff to Anonymous or Wikileaks.
I have to sell albums and play to audiences to stay alive. This is business.
I'm also in the lovely position of being a nobody. I have no power, I have no money, I have no influence. I'm not perfect by any means, I'm not hiding anything. I have debts I can't afford - but I'm trying, I'm not very good with authority and we all have a past that may not stand up to scrutiny of most tabloid journalists' moral compass. There's no doubt Mr. Murdoch's acolytes will attack me personally for doing this. I'm a citizen of the UK. I just sing songs and tell jokes.
Who cares if Rupert Murdoch lives there?
For those that don't know Rupert Murdoch is the guy that's brought you The Sun and The Times, he's the major controlling mind behind Sky News and Fox News in the US. He's Australian-born but now a U.S. citizen. He's the father of James and Lachlan Murdoch (among others) who are set to take over his empire (in fairness, James is the threat to the U.K., Lachlan is more involved with films and keeping his head down). Rupert is an ultra-conservative libertarian (less government, less rules, more business) and 85-years old. He denies climate change science. He's probably the furthest thing away from today's young people (who, through no action at all, will inherit whatever the hell we leave them) - but this also make Rupert Murdoch one of the largest threats to global survival in to the 21st Century. Worth approximately £12bn - he's one of the men responsible for paving the way for people like Trump to actually be a serious option for some of Mr. Murdoch's victims/viewers/readers.
He's very clever, with a few simple words he and his organisations can make you feel fear, rage and anger - he doesn't have to be in the room - he just has to dress things up so that we have a human, primal response to whatever he's said.
Like any good terrorist recruitment officer, he grooms the vulnerable and persistently pushes their brains until they begin to feel some sort of Stockholm Syndrome for their tormentors. These people are victims. Please don't hate them. He's after the one thing he cannot own...their vote.
He's made monsters out of Muslims, Europeans, the Poor and people who don't agree with his politics. He's responsible for supplying such 'solutions' to those problems as Michael Gove (journalist), Boris Johnson (journalist), Nigel Farage (investment banker) and Donald Trump (...). A week before the Conservative Party Conference, Murdoch met with my Prime Minister, Theresa May.
It is with these realisations that it became clear to me that we live in a HACKOCRACY.
A democracy is governed by the people (it's a Greek word and concept, so remember that when teaching 'British Values' in schools). A theocracy is a state governed by the religious orders. A Hackocracy is a state governed by tabloid outrage.
Instead of State Controlled Media - the UK and the US have become Media Controlled States. Our futures depend on how we deal with this situation.
You're just a Remoaner!
All this is because I am accepting of the EU Referendum result - it's not my preferred result but it is what it is. If we're going to 'take back control' I've decided to fight for a country doesn't become an isolated, intolerant and ugly little island of brain-washed victims of constant torment, as the rest of the world races away leaving us well and truly in the dark ages - socially, economically and culturally.
The task ahead of us is massive and the obstacles in the way are sturdy and ancient - however, it can be done. Sign up for more.
Off you go, Mr. Murdoch. Off you pop.
Or...buy/hear the album here: https://grantsharkey.bandcamp.com
8/40: ALL THE RAGE - tracks:
I'm about to head out on THE ROAD to support ALL THE RAGE (pre-order now). As ever, this is the longest tour I've been on. 7 weeks long. 40 dates (there are a few still to be confirmed) and several new towns, cities and communities. To say I'm excited would be an understatement.
The easiest part is the evenings - the soundcheck, the venue, the people, the gig, the sweat, the tiredness - well earned, hopefully.
The hardest part is the DAYTIME.
There's the travel - that's fine, when you have 20 hours to drive 20 miles, that's hard to eek out but mainly, life is pretty good to be traveling and playing music. Easy.
There's the boredom of driving - alone in a Smart car, cramped up with gear, merch and clothes - there's no room for a traveling companion - so chit chat is hard. I try and pick up music from the bands I play with to listen to - but that can only last so long, so I also make up lots of mix CDs of various things (stand up comedy, audiobooks, classic albums that remind me why I do this).
There's the motorway services - over priced, soul-less, disinfected to high-hell but somehow feeling utterly diseased.
There's the health concern - everywhere, on the outskitrts, looks like everywhere else. There's a retail park full of the same things as all the other retail parks. There's the standard array of fast food places - all of which, I know, contain a short term hit of endorphins, but very little keep the human body healthy whilst sitting for hours.
On this front, I've developed the habit of getting a SCURVY BAG in the car. Fresh fruit, apples and oranges, bananas. I recommend it.
Last tour (I think) I tried to find all of the James Bond Audiobooks. That was quite tricky until I got to Huddersfield and there was an El Dorado of all of them somewhere down the Kingsgate.
As I've just got a new Co-Op Members card, I figured this tour would be to only eat out of Co-ops up and down the country (on the caveat that if I find smaller, independent places I'll shop there first for my SCURVY BAG and provisions) - but I'm starting to feel like the Co-op are making amends for previous bad news and actually heading back to where they used to be. I'll support this - it would be silly not to.
I'll make a declaration right now, that is not an advertisment for Co-op - they don't know anything about this, purely my challenge to myself to not buy and eat 7-weeks worth of easy option food when I know there's a place in most towns that, on the whole, isn't a great big SugarDome. Taking care of myself is what this is about.
As for fitness, I've been playing squash with Alex and Kai - I'm feeling good - I think the songs are ready (I tried some out at DIY Southampton the other day. Got some laughs. Laughs are good)
Other than that, it's going to be a case of playing some good shows, selling some merch and writing 9/40 for May next year.
The joy of ROAD!
It's three weeks until I go and record 8/40: ALL THE RAGE. I'm very happy with the way it's coming along - it's going to ruffle some feathers, as it should as my post-Brexit album.
I'm not aiming low with this one, in fact, I think I might be aiming as high as I possibly could.
Without giving too much away - I strongly stress that you pre-order it (£3 or Pay What You Like) - as it may not be available much long after it's release date of November 5th.
You can do that HERE: https://grantsharkey.bandcamp.com/
Then, I'm VERY EXCITED to have been the headbooker and coffee-maker at Grant Sharkey's Tour Booking Corps and sorted out this 36+ date tour. I'm going to try and get it to 40 dates before setting off - fingers crossed (or get in touch).
Old places, new faces, new places, old faces - it's a joy to go around in the Smart Car, smelling incredible, to play these songs that plop out of my head. This time I'm trying to reach further down in to the SW. We've added North Wales and Hartlepool to the list - not to mention - a few very, very cool house shows in there as well.
Of note, I turn 39 on November 23rd (Birmingham, Tower of Song) and I'm playing support to DODGY at the Talking Heads on the 26th Nov. I'm not saying you should definitely come out to that show because it's my birthday.
Here's the tour:
After that - there's a weekend off before Christmas bellies and Dr. Who.
THANKS to everyone that came out and supported the Toupé tour back at the end of August. We had a pure blast of fun (I did lose my voice for the last gig - Icelandic Nose Singing was all I could manage - sorry) - there will be more...and probably more after that. Details to come.
You can get hold of Evan's Scent here: https://toupe.bandcamp.com/releases
Or watch the video for 'PENCILS!' right here:
Written in month (which happened to contain the UK's EU Referendum of the release of The Chillcot Inquiry) Evans' Scent is a mixture of Toupé's idiosyncratic flare for big funky riffs and hard hitting satire.
Dan Parkinson on guitar, Jason Havelock on Drums and Grant Sharkey on Bass and Vocals - take you on a chunky journey addressing the absence of bandmate/Toupé Founder Karl Evans before quickly shifting up a gear to get down to business.
100 limited copies on cd are available at the live gigs this week (probably the only shows of 2016):
Aug 25 - The Rockhouse, Andover
Aug 26 - Chaplin's, Boscombe
Aug 27 - The Joiners, Southampton
Aug 28 - Vale Earth Fair, Guernsey
Aug 29 - Thomas De La Rue, Guernsey
So, I went on a hot, hot Tinder date with Scumbag The Lumpy Clown (aka Alice Coupon) the other day. For my own safety I recorded the whole thing.
featured throughout the track are the HOT LUMPS CHOIR - a recording of 170+ people from all of the house shows in Jan/Feb. They are:
|ALL THOSE THAT DIDN'T SIGN THEIR NAMES ON THE CHOIR SHEET|
|Andy W. Day|
|Arthur Cock Bustard|
|Caroline Santer (teacher)|
|Catherine McLean BA (Hons) MA CTCC|
|Dan de Moulipied|
|Dr. David Quinn (Medicine Woman)|
|Eric The Dog|
|Jon Buldge (or something)|
|Kerrie and Ben|
|Kristianne Drake BA (Hons) MA PGCHE|
|Louisa Wronska, PhD.|
|Matt ??? (was written in a K-hole apparently)|
|Mike Williamson, ACA.|
|Ted Scott Phillips|
|Tigh The Cat|
|Trudy Le Poidevin|