April 18 – Into London again…

I head into London again, this time to attend the East & South Eastern Regional Committee of the Musicians’ Union. The regional committees are the other way that the activists amongst membership can get involved in the union. The regional committees are meant to help the regional offiers take over the ‘local’ role that formerly were within the ambit of the branch secretaries.

While the Regional Organiser (Paul Burrows) and the Regional Officer (Alex Mann) do all the hard graft, the committee members provide useful local intelligence and can represent the Union on local Trade Union Councils. For instance I attend the Luton TUC when I have time and then report back to the committee.

While I’m technically not on the Regional Committee, as an EC member I can attend  any meeting as a guest and this is my region, and the one that the membership elected me onto the EC.  This is an important time for the committees, and the MU as a whole, in the run up to the MU’s biennial conference which is being held in Bristol at the end of July.

After the meeting I head up to a north London theatre to sit in on a song writing / composition course for musical theatre. It’s all very interesting and informative but I think that it’s probably a bit too specific for my needs. The course organiser says that he’ll get back to me after discussing my demo with the two course tutors.

When I get out of the theatre it’s still such a nice day that I decide to walk back to St Pancras. Using the GPS / map function on my phone (a Samsung Galaxi) I work out the shortest route. The stations is about two kilometers and my footsteps take me past the pub that I used gig at a fair amount. It used to be called the “Cross Kings” but is now called “The Star of Kings” – a somewhat naff name if you ask me, neither clever nor memorable. It used to be a very active music venue but the new version just seems to have DJs.

Regents Canal

A view of St Pancras Station across the Regent's Canal. If you are very eagle eyed you might see the heron perched on the other bank.

When I get to the Regent’s Canal I decide to walk along the tow path. This makes me overshoot the station somewhat but it’s worth it. There’s a lot of building work going on around King’s Cross Station (next to St Pancas) so I have to negotiate various barriers.

The canal is a little haven of calm near a very busy part of London. There’s even a small nature reserve nestling in the corner where the canal goes under the main railway line north. I also pass a plot of land where people are growing vegetables in a number of builder’s skips on the edge of the building site. The sign on the fence says that this so that they can be moved – sort of a portable allotment.

About Brian Heywood

Brian Heywood is a free range musician who specialises in edgy roots / country / celtic fusion music. Previous work has received comments such as "... aggressive, top notch fiddling set off by periodic guitar explosions." - Tom Nelligan, Dirty Linen Magazine (USA), "Just when it seemed as if newer electric British roots bands were getting thinner on the ground - Very welcome and very good." - fROOTS Magazine (UK) and Steve Barnes Fairbridge Festival Artistic Director (Australia) - "... a rocking band - I was delighted with the audience response."
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