On Saturday, 5th Jan - I was a guest on South By Southampton with Xan Phillips. We were talking about protest songs and subversive music in the counter culture (with excellent contribution and live music from The Widowmaker).
During the show, I was also commiting one of my own acts of protest by writing a letter to my Member of Parliament on my old, beaten up typewriter. I sort of knew what I was going to say before the show started, but it was nice to have the clacking of the keys as songs were faded out.
The show can be heard in two parts.
MUSIC INCLUDES: Subgiant, Gil Scott Heron, James Brown, Accrington Stanley, Doyle and the Fourfathers, Toupé, Henta, The Spiraltones and many more...
The letter I wrote looked like this (transcript below):
Dear Dr. Lewis,
I'm sorry it's been so long since my last letter. I hope you are well and that you are rushing in to 2013 with endless energy and enthusiasm after the festive break.
I'm writing this letter live on Voice FM Radio in Southampton - it's a show called South By Southampton, a culture, music and art round up from around Southern Hampshire.
I'm just a guest on the show; firstly to talk about the fact I've started to write letters to my 'fans' on my beautiful typewriter (something that seems to make some people this day and age step back aghast at [the} primitive notion of writing a letter) ; and secondly to discuss what's happened to the counter culture, protest songs and art in today's society and where the future may find us (i.e. people who want to make a difference through our selected voices) in the years and decades to come.
So as a way of symbollically taking a defibrolator to the counter culture movement, I'm writing to you with my confusions and fears.
You may remember my letter last year about Sir Frances Maude's silly mind trumps that sparked the run on petrol last year and my other letter about my former ficticious ex-wife on Facebook and the fact that plans to monitor to populous' internet activity will only cataolgue our catastrophic failtures and lack of dignity when staring in to the meducsa's eye of our smart phone screens. (Thank you for your reply.)
So, what is this letter about?
I was wondering if you knew of an American performer named Flo-Rider? If you have, thats great. If you haven't then the only way I can describe him to you is to ask you to imagin a villain in a James Bond novel/movie that has discovered a dangerous combination of frequencies so awful that anyone exposed to it seems to ignore his obvious plot to bring down the United Kingdom by making it's young people subconsciously embrace his sexualisation of himself to his young audience, accept his mysogony as if it's a decent thing to express in the 21st Century and insult their intelligence so severely that they will never again be able to figure out who is abusing their minds, opinions and souls for the rest of their lives.
Even Mr. Bond would find it hard to tackle such an evil being, don't you think?
In his attempts to stop Flo-Rider, he comes up against another devious plan in his foe's arsenal...Flo has developed another demonic device that allows his fictional character in the movie or on the page to become a reality and is now running among us as he convinces the heads of national radio stations and T.V. hypno-sh@t peddlers to be complicit in his rampage of terror on the future of our society.
The rest of the story is yet to be written. At the end of the second act, things are looking bad for Bond and his mission And, for me, the arrival of the new year feels even more like the start of the third act.
Can we possibly beat such a well-funded and powerfully insane menace?
And that's why it's independent artisits who need to team up and work together to fight Flo-Rider and his armies, led by moronic sex clowns like Pitbull and celebrated woman beater, Chris Brown.
In all seriousness, during the [course] of our conversation on the radio it has become clear that there are still voices out there strong enough to take on the dark powrrs of medicority in the pursuit of riches.
However, those voices still need a little help. The future is at stake. Please can you ask the House to do whatever they can to ensure these voices are heard?
Our children are not threatened by any genre of music other than the banal, emotional extremes of a few who seek to punch, kick and fiddle our young people's minds into accepting their unrealistic views on sex, relationships and politics as the norm.
We're already armed with gadgets from Q branch (I have a double bass that doubles as a long range transmitter and a jet ski [in case I have to chase Flo-Rider in one of his videos]) - all we need is the license and the volume to be heard. Please, can you do what you can with your colleagues to fascilitate the fulfilment of our mandate?
The show is over now. I have to go and write my next album.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.
Mr. Grant Sharkey - Jan, 2013.
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