May 29, 2008

Spirit of Radio

Well that went great. Nothing like a squatted pub a few bands and a few friends of bands to make a great atmosphere. We've been meaning to play Dan's radio show for a long while now but before he was a bit- err.. pushed for space to fit a whole band in his house! In the pub with everyone piling in with equipment we had a hectic evening miking everything up. We were making a snare drum stand out of bits of metal and gaffer tape 5 minutes before going on air! How rock and roll is that?

The Tipsy Gypsies played first, great folk music with a really psychedelic fiddle player. Following them were The English Martyrs who were rocking as usual. Really stripped down dub and ragga. We followed them. It took a little while to sort out my loops and volume levels but no one cared. Once we got going we got invaded by random strangers shouting over our stuff and Vesta from the English martyrs joined us turning our sound to extreme drum and bass which sounded almost Dancehall in places. I'd like to pursue this as I'd give my eye teeth to play in Jamaica.

It was great to look out into our audience and see so visibly that everyone was sharing an atmosphere. I had a really frustrating day and the whole thing was such a release. Everyone I have seen this morning who was there was smiling. Jamming went on long after we left. Good news is that we are going to do it all again next Wednesday with some different bands. I'll put up some clips from our performance when I get them in.

The Impossible

May 28, 2008

On the radio

We are playing live on from a squat in Pekham tonight. We'll be on about 10.30


Two very interesting articles which should be read all the way through. One is a critique of the other. They take a different line over those who replaced Hamza's posse at Finsbury park. The first in The New Republic:

...In 2003, British police shut the mosque, but Abu Hamza's followers continued to have a strong presence in the area. In February 2005, police helped broker a deal for the mosque to re-open under the leadership of the local chapter of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), a Muslim Brotherhood group. No sooner had the moderates gained control of the Finsbury Park mosque than they were confronted by Abu Hamza's angry followers, led by the pugnacious Atilla Ahmet, who calls himself "the number-one Al Qaeda in Europe" and who, in October, pled guilty to providing British Muslims with terrorist training. "They brought sticks and knives with them," recalls Kamal El Helbawy, spokesman for the new trustees at the mosque.

Undeterred, a few days later Helbawy gave the first Friday sermon, explaining that this was a new start for the mosque and stressing how important it was for Muslims to live in harmony with their neighbors. Detective Inspector Lambert, the Metropolitan police officer who helped broker the takeover, says that, because of its social welfare work and its track record supporting the Palestinian cause, the MAB has "big street cred in the area and [has] made an impact on Abu Hamza's young followers."...

The critique in The Spectator:

...None of this appears to have occurred to the authors of this article. They have instead listened uncritically and uninformedly to certain individuals in Britain’s security establishment who so lamentably fail to grasp the nature and extent of the jihad, as well as to manipulative Islamists who have played the authors (along with that security establishment) like fish on a line. As a result they make gross errors of judgment in hailing certain individuals as moderate when they are anything but. For example, they write:

Kamal el Helbawy, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who helped bring in moderates at the Finsbury Park mosque in London...

This shows a truly lamentable ignorance. After the removal of the notorious abu Hamza from Finsbury Park, the police did not broker the arrival of a moderate regime at the mosque. They brokered instead a new administration dominated by the Muslim Association of Britain, the British arm of the Muslim Brotherhood whose aim is to Islamise Britain and the west, and whose chief spokesman is Dr Azzam Tammimi, the Hamas acolyte who has publicly supported human bomb terrorism in Israel. As for Kamal el Helbawy, who the authors clearly think is the acme of moderation, he is the main Brotherhood man in Britain and Europe -- and thus central to the whole strategy of indoctrination and radicalisation of Britain’s Muslims and the demoralisation with menaces of the indigenous community, which is putting this country at such risk. Because it’s not just terrorism that creates the danger – it’s the ideas that drive the terror....

I remember at the time Jamal told me that that although they said things people didn't like they terrorized no one. He said the new lot would say things people liked to hear but were actually more dangerous behind the scenes. I have no idea. It was such an uphill struggle trying to gain the trust of Hamza's posse that I really couldn't see myself doing the same thing with the "moderates". As for the tone of the articles, its very difficult to read isn't it. Of course Muslims want an Islamic state. Muslims believe in an Islamic state like Christians believe Jesus is coming back no?

May 27, 2008

Its almost that time of year again...

Its almost Britanny time again and I can't wait. We filmed this the morning after our gig last year.


The son of hook handed hate preacher Abu Hamza has been arrested over an attempted burglary. Mustafa Kamel, 18, was bailed after a householder saw the suspect enter a back window and gave chase. Police also arrested and charged Amr Abdel-Sama who was with Kamel. They believe Kamel acted as 'lookout'...Under Sharia law, which Hamza preaches, thieves can have their hands chopped off.

I can't see how Mustafa is 18. That would have made him 13 when I used to see him outside the mosque. Does he look 13 in the picture? I liked Mustafa. From what I saw of him he seemed a mellow guy. I saw him once after the end of the street mosque in West London. I've heard that his father disowned him when he started rapping. He used to have a Myspace. Its a shame we lost contact.

May 26, 2008


IMF crash the Jamaican economy for Jamaicans.

May 25, 2008


A pretty amazing video of Desert Storm taking techno into a war zone
Storming Sarajevo

The Most Beautiful Building in London

(Click on the pictures for a larger image)

"Do you want to come and see the most beautiful building in London? We are driving.."


No? How can people say no to a question like that? Bloody art students.

Anyway I took a friend who had the necessary faculties to appreciate such a thing and we both came away suitably "mandired". The Mandir itself is free but we paid our money and had a look round the exhibition which was well worth it, especially the video. That such a thing exists in this country from voluntary labour in this day and age is a miracle in itself. (I think the 1500 Indian craftsmen who carved it in pieces were payed) I am not surprised about the Hindu Milk Miracle. I laugh when scientific people try and explain it to me. If you get a chance, visit the most amazing building in London. You aren't allowed to photograph inside, but if you think the outside is amazing enough, you've got to look at the ceiling inside. I went looking for some peace, but I was a bit too stoned to meditate. I found the most rocking looking female deity to make a prayer for Heidi. I'm going to try and get up there again soon. I need some peace.

Neasden Mandir

May 22, 2008


Got an email which knocked me for six this morning. Eventually I got the strength to wade through the lurid press, sure I would eventually find something beautiful of a personal nature written about Heidi and I wasn't disappointed. I only knew Heidi for a few months over a year in India, but those were months when we were really alive and I am so glad of it now. In Goa where a lot of people can appear shallow, Heidi and her friends stood out, Heidi particularly with a wisdom beyond her years.

We did Vipassna together in Jaipur. I remember pulling her outside the place to break my silence with her and an Israeli girl, screaming and telling her mad stories of the visions I had experienced and how it was all brainwashing etc. etc. I've done Vipassna properly since. She said she had broke the rules and spent her time in her hut designing clothes she intended to make when she got back to Australia. I bumped into her years later at a festival to find that she had made the most beautiful leather boots, coats and trousers that I have seen and had a successful business which she ran from Bali.

All of this has made me think hard about the way I am living, and remember the mindset I was aspiring to when I met Heidi and her cousin in India. I haven't spent a lot of time around hippies since. I've often felt that going on this mad journey into Fundamental Islam has distanced me from what is possibly my "core group". Its not something hippies really relate to and I've tried my damnedest to relate to it. I got annoyed with hippies who said that if we all just dance we will raise the vibration of human consciousness etc etc. I feel now that I have judged the naive aspirations of Hippies a bit harshly, and maybe thats also because I've given up with some hippy groups in London who are seriously arguing with each other. Maybe its just London. I have to leave this a bit open ended. I am really encouraged by what people have written about Heidi. I think its making me remember something which was once very important to me.

Remember these teachings, remember the clear light, the pure bright shining white light of your own nature, it is death less.

If you can look into the visions you can experience and recognize
that they are composed of the same pure clear white light has everything else in the universe.

No matter where or how far you wonder, the light is only a split second, a half-breath breath away. It is never too late to recognize the clear light.

and so I begin my momentous task of telling the tale of heidi's ascension. the tale of community strength and love on the magical island of bali. even if you did not know heidi, i believe this is a truly valuable transmission of kindness, love, transmutaion and community. I humbly offer up my experience as a tribute to the queen of the pixies, our guardian angel, in the hopes that we can carry on her legacy of humility, fabulosity, kindness and above all, love...

May 20, 2008


OK. Watched two great docos on Channel 4 last night. Very professional. The first was a Dispatches by David Modell called In Gods Name (available on 4oD) which was a fairly typical Dispatches style shock piece about the religious rights access to power in the UK. It ended up not being that shocking really. He filmed an eccentric called Stephen Green who had a small following and was against Mosques and gays. He said he believed Allah was Satan. He also filmed a slightly more media savvy Christian woman who was against abortion. He tried to link the two together and got the woman to speak in a lot more vague terms about her dislike for Islam. Is any of this shocking? Not really. Have they got access to power? Well yes. The woman has, if you call access to Conservative MPs who are already against abortion anyway access to power. I am not sure the premise of the movie was fulfilled by the substance, but I like films about nutty people and I like David Modell's work so I enjoyed it anyway.

Pickled Politics
Bartholomew's Notes on Religion

Much better was Jon Ronson's Reverend Death which is also available on 4oD. Apparently this was filmed over six years. I liked the way Jon built up a relationship with the guy and was able to put his critisisms to him in an open way rather than "exposing" the guy which gets a bit tedious these days. You get to see all the way round this reverend, from other medical people who assist suicide legally, religious people, as well as from the reverends more shocking "helper". Top stuff on the box.

May 14, 2008


(Click on Image)

" The whole thing was offensive and obscene in many ways and you would have been surprised at some of the people there. There had been university people from America ,Oxford and Cambridge and ordinary decent people. They just wanted to do what they wanted to do and they did it. I just cannot understand it "; -

Mr E.T Oates, chief public health inspector


Mrs Raje also said that the bombs used in the attack were a mix of plastic RDX explosive, ammonium nitrate and ball-bearings that acted like tiny missiles once the devices were detonated.

Officials and witnesses said these ball bearings, which were yesterday still embedded in walls and doors in areas where the blasts took place, were largely responsible for the fatalities.

Officials said the bombs were all tied to newly purchased bicycles and scattered in a 500 yard arc around the busy market place that is the hub of Jaipur’s emerald and gold market and the city’s principal commercial centre. They were detonated within a 20-minute period beginning at 7.20pm.

Investigations had revealed that all the bicycles had been bought locally in Jaipur.

"They (the bombs) were ensured to inflict the maximum damage at a time when the market was packed,” said R S Malik, a banker who witnessed one of the explosions near a Hindu temple. It was meticulously planned and diabolically executed, he added.

"Jaipur’s fate is now sealed as it has become the terrorists’ target,” said Sanjay Bhatia, who was speaking from his bed in a local hospital, where he was carried after first being given up for dead. Its future is bleak, he lamented.

...Police in Jaipur imposed a day-long curfew in the city, an apparent attempt to avert clashes between Hindus and Muslims. Most shops remained shut and there was an increased police
presence on the streets.

In the hospitals it was clear that both communities lost lives, as television pictures showed family members searching for loved ones in the morgues...

In Charlie Wilson's War the CIA agent Gust Avarakotos tells of organising for Jihadi types at war with the Russians in Afghanistan to learn the bicycle bomb from the Egyptian Military. Jaipur and nearby Ajmer have large Muslim populations. There seem to be two types of Jihadi's. Defensive and offensive. Offensive Jihadis fuck things up for defensive Jihadis. Maybe they mean to. Maybe they want to provoke all Muslims to be involved in a Holy war with the world and provoke the world to be at war with them. At the moment both our government and the American government are choosing to be blind to the difference between offensive and defensive Jihadis to our greater peril, but then again- How do you tell the difference by looking?

Screams, silence as families collect bodies of Jaipur blast victims
High alert; experts off to Jaipur
Two arrested after India bomb blasts kill 63

via Rachel here

Gill Hicks is a co-founder of the Walk Talk event, which will start in Leeds on 19 July and end a month later. She hopes people will join in "to meet, walk and talk with each other about matters of belief and conscience". Three of the four suicide bombers, who killed 52 people and injured nearly 800 in London in 2005, had links to Leeds. The walk will first head to the Beeston area of Leeds where bombers Shehzad Tanweer and Hasib Hussain lived and where their leader, Mohammed Sidique Khan, had many connections...

...Local people will be encouraged to join WalkTalk at locations along the route and the team aims to focus attention on projects which are already fostering local community cohesion.

Ms Hicks said: "During my time in hospital it became very clear what I should do with my life.

"I needed to make a significant difference - to work at building peace and reconciliation and to deter anyone who is thinking of following a path towards violent action."

Abu Hamza vs USA

I popped into The High Court for a couple of hours. There are two judges sitting side by side and not a lot of other people in a very small court room. Abu Hamza is on a screen, looking much the same as he did last time I saw him in court. Occasionally you see him interact with a guard off screen coming into the room. In the corner of the screen is a smaller image, presumably of what Hamza can see of us.

I walked in to whoever was representing the US govt assuring that none of the evidence which would be used was gained from torture. He talked about evidence from an expert witness from the CIA who had seen Al Quiada training camps and evidence from Feroz Abbazi which would be discounted. He also made reference to James Ujama and Haroon Rashid Aswat. One of the judges said that any evidence about Al Quiada cases from these sort of areas was likely to have torture somewhere behind it.

A lot later the barrister defending Hamza made reference to where the Americans were saying that not all of the evidence they were going to use was presented here and so how could they say it wasn't obtained from torture? He also made reference to the "Supermax" prison system in the states. He said it was originally invented for violent gang members who were given "carrot and stick" opportunities for rehabilitation into the wider system. He said that since Sept 11th it had been used as a punishment system for serious Islamic prisoners such as the guy involved in the Kenyan embassy bombing etc.

I couldn't stay for the afternoon but may try and get there another day if I can.

May 12, 2008


Top article in the Guardian at the weekend

Your dreams of rapping superstardom are stymied by your Scottish sound, so what do you do? Simple: reinvent yourself as a West Coast wild boy, with American accent and history to match. But, Gavin Bain tells Decca Aitkenhead, keeping it up for two years is murder


Quilliam videos

From the Quilliam Policy Document Pulling Together to Defeat Terror:

The BBC, ITN, Sky, CNN and British print press have a duty to assist
mainstream Muslims in our fight against extremists. By giving our
detractors airtime, you undermine our cause and strengthen/legitimise a
minority discourse. Editors, producers, researchers, and guest invitation
assistants can help by
▪ Extending the unwritten no air-time rule for the far-right, to Islamist
▪ Avoiding groups that claim to represent all Muslims, since British
Muslims are too diverse to be represented by any one group;
▪ Ending the media game of ‘good Muslim’ and ‘bad Muslim’ to produce
exciting television;
▪ Stop hunting for ‘critics of Islam’ to bash Muslims (an episode of BBC
Newsnight during the Archbishop of Canterbury’s comments on Shariah
law was particularly worrying);
▪ Liberal newspapers’ editors should think twice before allowing column
space to Hamas and its supporters while they remain commited to the
destruction of Israel;
▪ Denying genuine Islamophobes, or Muslim haters, an unchallenged
voice in column spaces or interview slots because they, like Islamists,
have a particular warmongering mindset that undermines social

There is a lot more about "deradicalisation centres", buddy schemes which put people in contact with ex- Jihadi's, combatting Wahabism etc.


Abu Hamza's tape link and 7/7:

CLERIC Abu Hamza preached hate in the heartlands where the 7/7 London bombers plotted their atrocity, newly-found recordings reveal. They show hook-handed Hamza, 49, spoke of martyrdom "training" and urged Muslims to fight for Islam on visits to Dewsbury, West Yorkshire — at least a year BEFORE the 2005 horror. Suicide bombers Hasib Hussain, Shehzad Tanweer, and Germaine Lindsay lived nearby in Leeds.

A source said: "It’s almost inconceivable they did not listen to his messages of hate and use them as inspiration."

"Newly found" recordings? What the ones which featured in Channel 4s Dispatches or the ones presented at his trial? My computer "Says no" to the Sun website these days. Everytime I click on it my browser switches off. I wonder why?

May 10, 2008

Happy Go Skateboarding Day!

If I thought I had minor hassles with over enthusiastic cops at least I'm not a teenage skateboarder. Happy Go skateboarding day guys!

At this point I would like to big up all the Police who do useful things, like those who attend traffic accidents, catch criminals, deal with the aftermath of terrorism, catch fraudsters, stop people beating up their kids/wives/dogs/cats etc,direct traffic- that sort of thing. People like these guys, especially the guy who is trying to reason with Abu Izadeen.

(cheers to Glen Jenvey for posting)

And Darcus Howe on Izzadeen's famous attack on the Home secretary:

...What angered my Pakistani hosts was that Reid knew nothing about the intense discussions that go on in their homes, small groups meeting in each other's houses to debate the political line offered them by al-Qaeda. Parents follow every move their sons make, lest they drift from legitimate dissent against the war in Iraq and Afghanistan into cauldrons of hate. They felt insulted and unrepresented.

I tried to calm them: it was only a stunt, a cynical preamble to Reid's bid for the Labour Party leadership at the upcoming conference. And Abu Izzadeen, they agreed, was way off-beam, a showman full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. All the young men there had visited his meetings once or twice, but his message had fallen on stony ground.

Off went Abu Izzadeen to the BBC the following morning, calling for sharia law in the Islamic state of Britain. And Reid? He played on cue at the Labour party conference. No no-go areas, he shouted from the platform. We will go where we please, he declaimed, as he laid down the law to Abu Izzadeen and any others who questioned his presence in their midst.

As it turned out, the Sky News clash was staged by Reid and his cohorts at the Home Office. They organised the meeting, Abu Izzadeen was invited in advance - his performance guaranteed - and the press was alerted to film and report the confrontation.

John Reid is not fit for purpose.


An extremist Muslim cleric regarded as Osama bin Laden’s “spiritual ambassador in Europe” must be released on bail, a judge ruled yesterday.

Also- Listen to Sheik Feiz here, read the article in The Australian here. Is this guy an extremist? He'd be in jail for what he says in the Youtube clip if he said that in this country but he seems to have an OK relationship with the authorities in Australia.

May 09, 2008

I love the lo-fi nature of what is going on here, I never caught any of this on TV. I first saw Russel Brand in action on Big Brother and couldn't stand him. Reading his life story I've come to like him. Looking at this I wonder what he would have made of Finsbury Park.


"But when you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it's become tiny or that they've become impotent. To that I tell them, 'How do you know if you haven't gone home and tried it'," he said.

Brian in Ghandi's room

May 07, 2008


Cannabis Advice ignored

I wasn't going to blog about this but the news today has tipped me toward exposure. The other day I was cautioned for possession of marijuana. A van load of them stopped us on the way to a gig. A thick Bermondsey girl said she would have to confiscate the minuscule amount she found in my wallet. I suggested she could also give it back to me instead as I wasn't raping anyone, stealing from them or mugging them. This might sound like a long shot. I don't know, it has happened before. I'd say it works- with humans. I also suggested in no uncertain terms that they could all give up trying to make me feel like a criminal as it wasn't going to work.

Three days later, dressed up all nice in my suit off to meet Rachel and Musa for the Quilliam launch round the corner from my house they pounced again. Now I have nothing against the Police in London. I have met a lot of them over the years I was squatting in very difficult circumstances and found them to be OK. Sensible. The ones WHO ARE LOOKING FOR CRIMINALS that is. These ones are like the little misfits from school who tell on people. They aren't looking for criminals because they are scared of them. They are scared they might get hurt. They wear the uniform but they leave the Police work to others.


Cannabis will be raised to a class B drug with a maximum five year jail term for users, the government said on Wednesday, rejecting a recommendation from its own drugs advisers to leave the classification unchanged.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said the decision had been made because of concern, particularly amongst the public, about the "alarming" use of skunk, a stronger strain of the narcotic which now dominates the market.

So make skunk class B. This is really disappointing in the fucking 21st Century.

May 06, 2008


via Pickled Politics

We will never be successful in pacifying Afghanistan (and the NWFP) unless the vast majority of the population choose not to take arms up against us. Now, having to cancel your polo game and suffering financially is not as bad as having your house blown up or being jailed without trial for years. However, in its own way, it demonstrates how the pig-headiness of a few can create problems for the many. How many Wakhi will now take up arms against NATO and Pakistani troops? Why couldn’t the CIA listening post have been placed elsewhere, or moved, or simply endured a game or two of yak polo? Britain and the rest are not just fighting a war in Afghanistan, they are fighting for a peace as well. That peace will only come if we stop doing things like this.


BBCs new IPlayer is worth watching.


...The left is becoming, more and more, a difficult place to occupy. You say you're a liberal? But you don't give to charity every month, you haven't marched in support of Tibet, you're white and you don't have Muslim friends? You've never had an abortion and you didn't protest against the occupation of Iraq? Your parents paid for your education and you took a gap year that didn't involve children in Africa? You didn't take a term out of Manchester University to learn Arabic in the West Bank? You've chosen a career that guarantees upward mobility, a good wage and hence security for you and your family, but does absolutely sod all for the rest of the world? You went on holiday to the US? But you recycle, buy organic, read The Guardian, keep informed of international news and foster deprived kids from south London? Hmm. I'm sorry, but you haven't ticked enough boxes. Over to bar right. The exclusive club liberal is not accepting any more applications for membership in the foreseeable future...

May 03, 2008


I've been reading Rachel and Chicken Yoghurt's reactions to the election of Boris as Mayor. I'm very unfussed. If I thought it would make any difference who was Mayor of London I suppose I would have voted. As I was half heartedly running a campaign for Gay Leik on this blog, maybe I should have registered. Obviously I'd love to see London grind to a halt with Boris on the steps of city hall bumbling. It may yet happen. I can't see why no one voted for Gay Leik as he was obviously the best person to run London, but- you know, fuck 'em.

I just get the impression people are a bit bland at the moment around here. Wake me up when something is happening, particularly if anyone wants to do anything about stopping terrorism. Meanwhile check out Snoop Dogg's new single- this is fucking gold dust.

In Rishikesh where I first met Mr Camel I was hanging out with two Australian chicks who were complaining about getting over sensualised massages from Old Indian guys who were conning them they were enlightened. The conversation widened into song lyrics which we thought sounded enlightened. One of the girls mentioned Whitney's

I believe that children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way...

I thought everything with a vocoder in it was enlightened

May 02, 2008

I know it is a bit late but I want everyone to know I can totally vouch for this guy. Despite the fact that he is actually a kiwi. Make him mayor of Oxford or something. He saved Jericho boatyard, give him something to run people!

UPDATE: Holy SHMA-HOLY!!! Jumpin Jaysus soap on a rope HE WON! Last time I saw this guy he was arguing through a fence with some security hired to illegally evict the boatyard. Some come back.


We all need something to help us unwind at the end of the day. You might have a glass of wine, or a joint, or a big, delicious blob of heroin to silence your silly brainbox of its witterings, but there has to be some form of punctuation, or life just seems utterly relentless.