St Johns Ealing, London, ‘Cafe Church’ 14 December

The first performance of ‘Let us Remember Them Tonight’ outside Sheffield

St. John s Ealing

I’ve been invited to the ‘Cafe Church’ at St John’s, Ealing. This is an informal Christian service with space for discussion so I’m looking forward to finding out what people have to say about the questions I’m posing in this performance.

All welcome, these services attract a diverse collection of people, including some of those who look to St Johns for help and support in hard times.

14 December 2014, Starts 17:45, Doors Open 17:30

More information about Cafe Church and St Johns here

And here is a link to St Johns in Google Maps

£138 raised for War Child at Harland Cafe last night

Thanks to everybody who came along and made it a memorable evening. With a collection from the audience, plus the Cafe donated their normal ticket charge to War Child, we raised £138.

That means our audiences have now donated £335 and we are more than one third of the way towards our first £1000. Not bad for a little local project.

Changed our Charity to War Child


It has always been my aim to use this project to raise money for a suitable charity

Until now I planned to raise money for the International Red Cross at performances. At the recent gig at Strip the Willow we did this.

However there are some difficulties in donating to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). It is not possible to set up a Just Giving Page for ICRC, Just Giving solves a lot of organisational problems and ensures there is a public record of donations. Also our donations to ICRC don’t get UK tax relief which means that they are not worth so much to the charity.

So I’ve switched to the charity War Child, which has a particular focus on giving direct support to victims of war, and is working in the most challenging war zones around the world. It is a small British charity, set up during the conflict in Bosnia, to help children whose lives have been shattered by war, and give them back a normal childhood. At present they are working in Afghanistan, Syria, Gaza, Iraq, Central African Republic, and Uganda and are quick to respond to new crises, for example with their current Gaza appeal.

You can make a donation to War Child via the ‘Remember Them Tonight’ Just Giving page. Giving this way will add to the total donations made by this project.

And of course ICRC is a very worthwhile and relevant charity and you can donate to them directly here

Cafe No 9, Sheffield, 8 September

I will be performing “Let Us Remember Them Tonight” at Cafe No 9, a cosy and enjoyable venue in Nether Edge that’s enjoying a real growth in popularity under its new management.

2  Cafe 9  Nether Edge

Here’s a map

Starting at 7:30 but get there early if you want to be sure of a good seat. Food will be available.

The second half of the evening, to lighten the mood after the serious content of the first half, will be a set of folk/jazz/blues songs by Break a Leg, which is myself and Karen Hisom. Karen plays clarinet and saxophone and we’ve been having fun arranging material this year. We had our first gig following the Let us Remember the Tonight performance on 6 August so we’ve got the first night nerves out of the way

Brendan Murphy will be our resident historian again, his rich knowledge and insight was a great asset to our post-performance discussion again last night.


Who would have thought Bing Crosby was a dangerous radical?

Bing Crosby, Headshoulder

I was aware that Bing Crosby had a big hit with ‘Brother Can you Spare a Dime following attempts to have it banned in the USA during the depression, but tonight I saw an interesting TV programme about songs banned by the BBC (BBC4 TV: Britain’ most dangerous songs). In the Second World War the BBC decided not to play Crosby’s recording of “I’ll be Home for Christmas” because its apparently optimistic message from a soldier to his family ended with a wry twist with the words, “if only in my dreams“. Continue reading

6th August back at Strip the Willow

I’ll be back at Strip the Willow for a more public performance on 6th August at 8pm. It’s the closest date we could fix to the centenary of the start of WW1.

It will be at 8pm in the shop and cafe upstairs, a small cosy space which hosts a variety of musical and other artistic events. The cafe will be open for hot and cold drinks and you can bring your own alcoholic drinks if you wish.

Entry charge is £2 to cover venue costs and there will be a collection for the International Red Cross, who have protected people in armed conflicts since 1859 and been awarded three Nobel peace prizes.