Press Release - Another Gathering of Nuts in May 2012

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Press Release - Another Gathering of Nuts in May 2012

Postby markR » Mon May 14, 2012 7:26 am

Press Release
‘Another gathering of NUTS IN MAY’
A Fundraiser for the Campaign Against Benefit Cuts.

12 noon until 11pm.

399 Tottenham High Road
Tottenham N17 6NQ

Admission: £5 / £2 concessions.

(NB: artists not listed in order of appearance)

Originally established in the late 1990’s the campaigning organisation MAD PRIDE have taken the influence of the successful Rock Against Racism movement in using music and the arts as a vehicle for challenging prejudice and stigma, in this case that against people given negative ‘mental health’ labels and raising issues of concern for people with experience of mental health difficulties.

Over the past year or so we have been concentrating our efforts into raising public awareness and concern about the implications of the Governments welfare ‘reforms’ (which mean cuts in real terms) for people with experience of mental health difficulties and seeking to raise funds for campaigning activity. In doing this we have enjoyed the support of Artists, venues, technicians and other volunteers offering their services or resources without charge or for minimum costs. We are affiliated with and stand in solidarity with other disabled people and campaign groups expressing concerns around these issues, such as Disabled People Against Cuts and WinVisible and have also been able to make small donations to other campaign groups from monies we have raised.

We have also enjoyed considerable support from ordinary members of the public, not directly affected by the reforms, who share our view that there is nothing ‘fair’ or ‘reasonable’ about the attack on the benefits of disabled people. Not everyone has been taken in or brainwashed by the prejudicial propaganda put out by some sections of the press and media, fed by misleading figures and information put out by the Government, that has branded all benefit claimants as ‘scroungers’ and ‘frauds’.

As well as raising awareness and vital funding for campaigning these events also provide a sense of solidarity for those who are affected by the cuts to help them feel less marginalised and isolated and to help them understand that there are others who share their concerns and are on their side whether they are directly affected or not.

We are aware of many people with mental health difficulties who have been feeling anxious or even suicidal because of their concerns about and bad experiences of the welfare ‘reform’ process, we are seriously concerned about the consequences for many of these people as the welfare reforms get ‘rolled out’ and start to bite. We fear a dramatic increase in suicide rates.

The Government are now planning to implement already controversial ‘welfare to work’ mandatory ‘workfare’ schemes for disabled people who have been transferred from Incapacity Benefit to the new Employment Support Allowance. MAD PRIDE is affiliated with the Boycott Workfare movement which has already had some success in discrediting and exposing these welfare for work, cheap labour schemes and will continue to raise concerns with Charities, Trade Unions, campaign organisations and the general public about the scandal of forcing disabled people to work for benefits.

The Government have distorted arguments long made by disabled people and people with mental health problems to overcome the prejudice of employers and barriers to employment to support an argument that it is acceptable to force disabled people to work without wages, (whilst at the same time removing funding from ‘sheltered’ work schemes like ‘Remploy’ that have helped enable disabled people who have wanted to work).
Following from the success of our recent event to mark the Holocaust Day memorial (an established ‘tradition’ for MAD PRIDE in recognition of the fact that people labelled ‘mad’ and other disabled people were amongst the first to be exterminated as unproductive ‘useless eaters’ in the Nazi’s ‘final solution’ – chillingly close to the way negative media propaganda has led to an increase of ‘hate crime’ attacks on disabled people by those who feel resentful of them receiving benefits) – MAD PRIDE are staging another event at the TOTTENHAM CHANCES community and arts centre, – who have once again been good enough to offer us free use of the venue and it’s resources.

TOTTENHAM CHANCES has been a regular venue for MAD PRIDE’s ‘sister’ organisation Survivor’s Poetry’s events (which take place regularly on the third Thursday of every month). MAD PRIDE has had a long affiliation with Survivor’s Poetry having similar aims and some shared membership; we have had a history of working in partnership over many years.

CHANCES also run various community music and arts workshops many of which have the involvement of local people with mental health problems and other vulnerabilities and aim to provide more such facilities – MAD PRIDE are keen to support the development of such vital support services in a real community based centre.

We plan to run the event as an all day mini festival of various styles of music and poetry provided by both artists who are mental health survivors themselves or professional and semi professional artists who want to support our cause. We will be keeping our policy of keeping admission prices to a minimum in order not to exclude those on benefits or low incomes, the event will be ‘family friendly’, accompanied children are welcome and those under 18 will be admitted free, (however we would give a parental guidance warning that some of the acts will be performing material with adult themes), reasonably priced healthy food will be available on the day and the venue has a reasonably priced bar.

Artist appearing will be –
JAZZMAN JOHN CLARKE – a well known figure on the London Poetry and small gig scene and now also the poet in residence for the ‘Art Saves Lives’ programme on Resonance radio. A prolific performer, he is out gigging virtually every night somewhere in London and beyond, in fact following his afternoon performance here John will be heading off to another poetry event at the Strongroom in Shoreditch in the evening, he is a man much in demand– he has travelled and performed as far afield as Italy, Amsterdam and New York – a highly respected poet in the ‘beat’ tradition, John has recently had a new collection of his work ‘All the Way From Kathmandu’ published by the Nirala press – copies will be available to purchase from John on the day – John has been a fairly regular performer at the Survivor’s Poetry events at Tottenham Chances, he is always a real treat – now regarded by those in the know as one of the true treasures of London, a long time supporter of MAD PRIDE, John has made many appearances at our past events and we are always keen to invite him back.

Survivors Poetry mentor and mainstay RAZZ will treat us to a few of his beautiful and moving self penned songs accompanied by his BAFFLED ANGELS, a rag tag crew of instrumental degenerates and misfits with a ramshackle charm all their own.

Another figure with long standing links to Survivor’s Poetry, who also has close links with the Hackney based Core Arts project, through which he has released several recordings, will also be appearing in the shape of published poet and author FRANK BANGAY (aka the poet laureate of Hackney), who will perform his evocative and moving poetry, accompanied by his long term musical partner, guitarist TUNDE BUZARI, also watch out for the possibility of some more guest performers associated with FRANK’S Topsy Turvey Band. Frank is another long established supporter of MAD PRIDE who has performed at many of our previous events.

The afternoon will feature mostly acoustic music and poetry in keeping with that Sunday afternoon vibe, some of these performers like singer songwriters ANITA CASS and BARNEY FLOORBIRD and JOHN ARTHUR (who appeared at an early MAD PRIDE event organised by co founder Robert Dellar) have previous association with performing at Survivor’s Poetry events at the venue. Singer songwriter and musical genius CHRIS LEEDS has also performed at recent Survivor’s Poetry events, his beautiful evocative songs are pure magic.

Entirely new to Tottenham Chances and making something of a European connection is guitarist and singer GOY (who has also previously appeared at one of the many south London MAD PRIDE events).

Australian singer songwriter DAVID STUDDERT recently performed at Tottenham Chances with his ‘Rising Light’ band – who have just released a new CD ‘Things You See When You Don’t Have a Shotgun’ which is available as a free download on the ‘Soundawsome’ web site, I have no doubt David will have some CD copies to distribute on the day, we had hoped to secure the services of the entire band but unfortunately some members are not available for the date so DAVID will treat us to a solo performance of some of his acerbic, ironic and articulate songs. David has been a popular regular fixture on MAD PRIDE events – he is always well received and he is keen to support our cause.

One of the members of David’s ‘Rising Light’ band is the exotic eccentric poet /singer CT, also known as the mentor of the ‘Raw Poetry’ workshops and events; here she is performing solo under her alter ego guise as VOODO CiTi
The lyrical poet JJ – a discovery of the ‘Talking Rhythms’ poetry events in South London with which Jazzman John is also closely associated will treat us to some of his metaphysical and mystical wordsmithery –

At the last MAD PRIDE event at Tottenham Chances we were given a CD of highly original a quirky tunes by a gentleman who performs under the name STEVE GREEKSHIRE and we were so impressed by this that we have now offered him a chance to perform at one of our events – how’s that for creating opportunities, we are always on the lookout for unusual and interesting acts, this could be your chance at ‘stardom’ (well at least we can guarantee some kind of interested audience).

There will be some limited opportunities for ‘open mica’ performers, which is something of a MAD PRIDE and Survivor’s Poetry tradition, any budding performers we like we will give the opportunity to perform at future events we organise.

The equally eccentric accordionist / singer KATHERINE TOY, a popular performer on the London small gig circuit, will also make her first appearance on the MAD PRIDE stage another real treat, we have been looking forward to featuring Katherine at one of our events for a long time..
Another unusual act making a debut with MAD PRIDE but well established in various venues in North and East London is the oddly named THE PROTAGANISTS OF DAVID GADSDON – (don’t ask me to explain that one).

Yet another act appearing for the first time on the MAD PRIDE stage but with an established following in the disabled arts world are the duo MSME (that feature one member who suffers with MS and one with ME) soon to be performing at a prestigious event in Madrid and who recently had the privilege of recording with the legendary Robert Wyatt, we are pleased that they have been pleased to come and support our cause.

Also making a first appearance with MAD PRIDE are long established south London based upbeat punchy ska band SNATCH with a solid reputation for danceable mayhem, another treat .

MAD PRIDE has an established reputation for staging original unusual and high quality acts. You simply could not get better value for money than this.

This event will be ‘family friendly’ in that accompanied children are welcome, those under 18 will not have to pay an admission charge, there is however a ‘parental guidance’ warning that some acts will contain ‘adult’ material and themes.

Healthy and reasonably priced food will be available on the day, the venue has a reasonably priced licensed bar.

The venue is has full disabled access and there is free parking available (please contact the venue in advance about this). It is a short bus ride away from Seven Sisters and Tottenham Hale BR and underground stations and is served by a variety of buses from various parts of London.

For more info on MAD PRIDE / this event contact 077 577 15035 or check out –

For more info on Tottenham Chances call – 0208 361 0653
Or check out –
or Tottenham Chances on Facebook.
For more info on other disabled campaign groups we are affiliated with contact-


WINVISIBLE (women with visible & invisible disabilities) - 0207 482 2496

BOYCOTT WORKFARE Twitter: #boycottworkfare

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