About the Performers - Press Release - Dave Skull writes


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About the Performers - Press Release - Dave Skull writes

Postby madmark » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:40 pm


A fundraiser for-
the Campaign Against Welfare Benefit Cuts-

399 Tottenham High Road N17

8pm- Midnight
Admission £5/ £2 –


The radical mental health campaigning organisation Mad Pride, which uses music and the arts as a vehicle for getting it’s message to a wider public, has for the past couple of years been staging events to help raise awareness of, and raise monies for campaigning and lobbying about, the implications of the Government’s Welfare ‘reforms’ (which mean cuts in real terms) for people with mental health difficulties.

Mad Pride have been closely affiliated with other disabled and claimants campaign groups, the Mental Health Resistance Network, Disabled People Against the Cut’s WinVisible, Boycott Workfare etc since the outset - standing in solidarity with other disabled people and organisations and other claimants badly hit by these cuts and ‘reforms’ – we have encouraged people to join in and support demo’s lobbies and actions organised by DPAC, WinVisible and Boycott Workfare and spoken out at public meetings organised them and others about the concerns of people with mental health problems in relation to the welfare ‘reforms’.

Already we have sought to highlight the concerns raised by the cuts and ‘reforms’ already introduced this year and how they have impacted on people with mental health problems, with many living with anxiety and a fear of the ‘brown envelope’ telling them their benefits have been stopped, with many left feeling suicidal.

George Osborne’s ‘Bonkers’ budget on the 20th of March will announce the launch of a whole new raft of even more savage cuts, to come into force from this April this year, that will hit many even harder, hitting people already devastated by and bearing the brunt of the cuts, people who cannot take any more. We fear that many will be pushed over the edge and there will be an increase in suicides as a consequence. It is almost as if this is what the government want.

The notorious ‘bedroom tax’ could force people with mental health difficulties deemed to have a ‘spare’ room to have move away from areas they are familiar with and services and networks they know rely on for support to areas where they will feel isolated and cut off from support and because of other cutbacks support and care services will be overstretched.

People with mental health problems will be expected to manage regular payments for Council Tax in many areas because of cuts to local authority Council Tax benefits, many will not be able to manage this and will default and get into arrears, thus incurring further debt and stress and being criminalised, some even being faced with the threat of imprisonment.

The ending of the ‘third party deductions’ scheme to enable those who have difficulty budgeting and managing debts is to be scrapped, leaving many claimants unable to manage and getting into further debts and hardships including threats of eviction and the cutting off of fuel supplies.
Changes in the administration of the Social Fund and cuts to the overall budgets for this will mean that people facing crisis situations will find it hard to get loans and people will have difficulties claiming community care grants to help them resettle in the community or stay out of institutional care.

The new ‘Personal Independence Payment’ to replace the existing Disability Living Allowance, which many people with mental health problems rely on to help pay for vital support needs’ will start to be ‘rolled out’ this year with all new claimants having to go through a new ‘assessment’ process.
There is already a set target to reduce the number of people eligible to claim by a significant percentage, leaving people to doubt that this process can be ‘fair’ and reasonable. People fear a repeat of what we have already seen with Atos and the operation of the ‘Work Capability Assessment’s’. If the government were truly trying to help disabled people to get back to work it seems ironic that they are cutting one of the few benefits that can be claimed by disabled people who work to help enable them to do so.

The government are also looking to ‘roll out’ mandatory work for benefits ‘workfare’ schemes for sick and disabled people claiming Employment Support Allowance where they will face ‘sanctions’ (the reduction or stoppage of benefits) for any failure to take part in forced ‘work experience’ activity. Many people with mental health problems fear they will be placed in unsuitable workplace environments or have expectations placed on them that they can’t meet and thus face benefit ‘sanctions’, this too is causing many to feel suicidal.

DPAC and WinVisible along with people from UK Uncut and Occupy London have in turn strongly supported mental health campaigns like the recent Judicial Review sought by members of the Mental Health Resistance Network, supported by the Public Law Project, to challenge the operation of the controversial ‘Work Capability Assessment’ as it applies to people with reported mental health concerns as ‘not fit for purpose’.

Members of DPAC, WinVisible and other disabled and anti cuts campaigners and their supporters across London and beyond attended and supported a vigil outside the High Courts on 18/01/13 to highlight the Review which attracted considerable media attention. The outcome of the Review decision is still being awaited – campaigners remain mildly optimistic of a positive outcome, if not an appeal will be sought to take the process further.

Mad Pride supported DPAC in their Week of Action to highlight the hypocrisy of Atos Healthcare the company responsible for the operation of the Work Capability Assessments – which have caused so much misery and distress for disabled people – being made a sponsor of the Paralympics and around that time staged their ‘Paranoid Olympics’ event at Tottenham Chances.

Local Disabled People Against the Cut’s groups are springing up all around London and in other parts of the country, recently it was agreed to set up a pan London DPAC network group to help co –ordinate activity, build for bigger joint actions and share resources, information and skills etc.
People are coming together to fight back -the ‘Benefit Justice’ on the 9th March will bring together disabled campaigners with other hard hit claimants including those in low paid work or part time claiming ‘tax credits’, with people in the public sector trade unions hit by the governments cuts agenda to help build a united resistance only by standing together and saying ‘no’ to these inhumane policies as loudly as we can, can we make our voices heard by the blinkered greedy politicians and make them understand that most reasonable people do not support this.
Mad Pride in London are affiliated the London wide DPAC network and to celebrate the setting up of and to support this and to help highlight to a wider public concerns about the implications of the further welfare cuts being proposed and implemented in the budget, we have organised another one of our regular fundraising / awareness raising events, our ‘BONKERS BUDGET SPECIAL’. These events also help to provide a sense of solidarity to the people affected by the welfare cuts and ‘reforms’ who attend in seeing that not all people who are not dependent on benefits are prejudiced against them.

All monies made over basic organising costs will be donated to the new London wide DPAC network. We don’t make a lot of monies from these events but to coin a phrase ‘every little helps’. As usual all of the artists performing are doing so without a fee, Tottenham Chances are providing the venue and the use of their equipment and facilities for free, technicians associated with Chances are providing their services for free. We want to once again thank Tottenham Chances for this, without this support events like these would not be possible. This is another example of the great working relationship MAD PRIDE have developed with them.

This will take place at Tottenham Chances at 399 Tottenham High Road – just opposite Tottenham Police station – on FRIDAY 15th MARCH – from 8pm until midnight.

The venue is fully disabled accessible and free parking is available.
The venue is located nearby to both Seven Sisters and Tottenham Hale BR and tube stations and is served by many buses from many parts of London.

Artists appearing will be-
X- AMOUNT - the experimental improvisational electronica outfit formed by percussionist Andi Panayi – much respected for many years as ‘perhaps one of the best drummers in the UK’ – who ‘retired’ from the live music scene some years ago to concentrate on looking after his young children, with the kids grown up a bit more now he makes a welcome return to the live stage. We are very pleased and proud to have him performing at a MAD PRIDE event, Andi in turn has said he is ‘honoured’ to appear on the MAD PRIDE platform. Although he himself is not directly affected by the welfare ‘reforms’ he is entirely supportive of our aims and has described the governments policies toward disabled people as ‘appalling’.
He is joined by his long time collaborator and friend the artist and musician Simon Birch and electronics wiz, together they create a dense mix of rhythmic industrial sound utilising samples of sounds from a variety of ambient sources – improvising live on stage creating a unique urban soundscape.

X-AMOUNT have been putting out their music over the internet on the ‘Bandcamp’ website for the past few years and have released several CD’s over the same period – and have built a considerable internet following- They are about have an ‘E.P.’ released through the Hem records- featuring ‘guest’ vocals from May Mujagic, a Turkish performance artist living in France – the vocal track being recorded ‘remotely’ sent over the internet and added into the mix – again improvised ‘live’ in real time- stunning stuff - check it out plus, Google them up and check their other stuff on the ‘Bancamp’ site – a lot of which can be downloaded for free. http://x-amount.bandcamp.com

Originally a four piece band which included a Cellist and highly respected improve double bass player John Edwards – who has also previously appeared on the MAD PRIDE stage alongside free jazz saxophone legend Lol Coxhill – who sadly passed away last year (R.I.P.) on the second of the ‘celebration of creative lunacy’ events for World Mental Health Week in October 2005-. Their music was based around live improvisation in the studio. Having just done a handful of gigs in London in the early 1990’s the band folded but Andi & Simon continue to produce electronic work under the name X- Amount involving electronic sounds and samples and improvised laptop jams utilising home made loops and found sounds to create dub heavy textures and beats.

They use sounds recorded around them, such as building site noises, transport, machines, water and environmental elements. These are mixed with electronic feedback, shortwave radio and noise, blended with various types of vocal spoken word recordings Dada, Futurist recordings, political speeches, phonics and poetry and spontaneous and improvised live vocals – watch out for some absolutely ‘mental’ spontaneous creativity on the night – be aware, this kind of lunacy is highly infectious, you might even find yourself dancing to it.
To find out more about X-Amount and be kept up to date about their upcoming gigs, releases and projects you can look them up on facebook http://www.facebook.com/XAmountofXAmount-

FOUL GEESE - are another ‘experimental’ outfit of long standing and considerable reputation on the ‘art rock’ scene – hey watch out were going all ‘avant- garde’ on your ass here – however don’t expect any po faced pretentiousness here – asked to describe themselves they said ‘‘we are sh*t – we rock backwards’’ –

This outfit was formed by well known ‘Deptford wide boy’ Steven Elwell – highly regarded and much loved as a musician and a producer and well known creative ‘nutter’ – notorious for his involvement with the near legendary cult status acts – ‘The Brain of Morbius’ and the ‘Bert Shaft Orchestra’. Also formerly highly respected as the promoter of the regular ‘Shopping Trolley ‘ events at the sadly demised ‘Montague Arms’ in New X, south east London – (where he also gave over some of his nights to MAD PRIDE events, he has also helped out as a technician and stage manager at many of our events) – a long time MAD PRIDE supporter-

The utterly insane FOUL GEESE have appeared -(with an ever evolving line- up that has consistently featured much respected guitarist the ubiquitous and ever present Vernon, aka Arthur Beak, who has also worked with well known ‘art rocker’ percussionist Charles Heyward and appeared on the MAD PRIDE stage with the sadly demised ‘Bulbous Skunk Cabbages’)- on the MAD PRIDE stage a number of times over the years and have also regularly featured at Creative Routes ‘Muses Cafe’ events and the BONKERSFEST! Steve Elwell (more commonly known simply as Elwell) last made an appearance on the MAD PRIDE stage adding keyboards to augment the sound of Tyrone Thomas’ ‘Olympic Clampdown’ band at last years annual ‘celebration of creative lunacy’ for World Mental Health week.

FOUL GEESE - do not have links or a web presence??? – it is not entirely clear whether they actually exist at all- but are not instead just a figment of my overworked and feverish imagination, sometimes you wonder about these things don’t you? . You know what it’s like- sometimes the boundaries just start to break down to the point that it gets so hard to discern which side of the line you actually are on. Oh well I suppose that’s just one of the risks associated with this business. I was always warned this was potentially dangerous stuff- what was it I said before about no safety nets here!

An integral part of the FOUL GEESE performance is visual artists, filmmaker, animator, and creative projectionist Dave Eyre, also known as the FLICKERING LIGHT VJ – previously a regular fixture at MAD PRIDE events in South London, and still continuing to do the occasional slot for our gigs at Tottenham Chances, especially when we are featuring acts with he has specifically worked with on multi- media performance pieces, with projections especially developed to augment and compliment the artists material.

Dave has produced a full on conceptual projection piece to accompany the set of FOUL GEESE and is very much an integral part of the ‘crew’ (or should that more correctly be the ‘flock’?)- Andi & Simon of X- AMOUNT, who also know Dave, are requesting he develop some specific images to accompany their set another example of the potential for creative partnership work associated with MAD PRIDE events networks.

The FLICKERING LIGHT is also known for his ability to improvise and ‘jam’ with his projection machine box of tricks thingy - creating images and animations to fit in with and enhance the artist’s performance, he has a well deserved solid reputation for this. We are pleased to be once again working with this highly creative and original artist. Be warned exposure to the FLICKERING LIGHT can have a ‘boggling’ effect on both your mind and your senses and can seriously compromise your sense of ‘reality’ leaving you to doubt the existence of (indeed even the possibility of) your sanity- (what do you mean? There really ain’t no ‘sanity clause’?)-

Old school reggae ‘toaster’ with a twist, Milo aka DJ HONEY makes a welcome return to the MAD PRIDE stage after far too long an absence – ‘rewind’- formerly a favourite at Creative Routes ‘Muses Cafe’ events, he appeared as part of the Wandsworth based ‘Sound Minds’ projects (with which he was also associated) ‘showcase’ at the last full scale BONKERSFEST! on Camberwell Green in July 2008. His highly original surrealistic ‘stream of consciousness’ lyrical flow incorporates Rastafarian terminology and biblical imagery with children’s nursery rhymes and observations on street reality with a rhythmical swing that will really have you rocking’ (and t’ing) – ‘Play that rid dim’ again Rasta, because that riddim’ is macca’. ‘Wheel and come again’. We are really looking forward to witnessing the return of the ‘urban warrior’, the man himself – D.J.HONEY - Forward now mi Idren!

Another act making a much welcome return to the MAD PRIDE stage is acoustic roots reggae singer songwriter SHASHE G – who performed with us at the ‘celebration of creative lunacy’ in October 2006, alongside ‘The Bert Shaft Orchestra’ (there is no such thing as co-incidence according to psychoanalyst Karl Gustav Jung), and at the first of our annual ‘Billy Blake’s Birthday Bash’ events in November of that year which marked the 250th anniversary of the now highly respected ‘mad’ poet and artist. Cyclic history is a truly Dread thing y’know – I’m a great believer in the whole ancestral memory tip myself – I mean it makes total sense – doesn’t it? Even if nothing else does.

SHASHE G has been described as ‘beyond Erica Badu’, her material has been praised by both UK Reggae guru David Rodigan and Cassandra Goins of the legendary ‘Tuff Gong’ record label. Her set for this night will be a strictly ‘unplugged’ version, with percussionist David Naylor providing rythmic accompaniment. We are very pleased to invite her back again, to treat us to her ‘upfull’ and heartfelt songs and ‘robotically’ tunes- SHASHE has also said that she feels ‘honoured’ to be invited to perform for us.

You can hear some of SHASHE G’s original songs and tunes and find out more about her by going to http://www.myspace.com/sistashase or http://www.souncloud.com/shasheg

Such is the reputation that MAD PRIDE has built up for staging quality events. We at MAD PRIDE can truly say we have achieved something when we have artists, some of which have a considerable established reputation, saying they are proud and privileged to be associated with an organisation that represents the interests of people labelled ‘mad’, around which previously (and still in some circles) there would have been a stigma attached.

Also invited back to the MAD PRIDE stage by popular demand is the quirky singer songwriter STEVE GREEKSHIRE, who we ‘discovered’ when he turned up at one of our gigs and passed us a copy of his self produced ‘Worms’ CD, which we loved it so much - (we like that kind of eccentric stuff) - that we had to ‘book’ him for a spot at last years ‘Gathering of Nuts in May’ event at Tottenham Chances, where he was so well received we just had to invite him back. He was keen to do another spot for us – such is the ‘waiting list’ of artists keen to do gigs in support of our cause that this is the first opportunity we have had to fit him in. We have been keen to have him back and we hope and trust that you too will enjoy his dark and abrasive humour (well you’ve got to laugh haven’t you, or else you’d go utterly nuts). You can hear recordings of Mr GREEKSHIRE’s nutty little musical ditties by googling up his myspace site and look for him on Lost-fm where you can also find his tunes and download them for free.

Another off the wall artist we welcome back to the MAD PRIDE stage is eccentric comedian DANGEROUS T – who last appeared on the mad pride stage at our ‘Feast of Fools’ event in April 2011, perhaps best described as a sort of black Tommy Cooper, his sideways humour has a surrealistic edge. At one stage a regular performer at various events around London – now performing in London less frequently but always well received. You have to see his act to believe it (assuming you do believe what your senses are telling you is real, some say it’s all just an illusion, who can rightly say?). Don’t go saying we didn’t warn you, some people just can’t handle this kind of stuff – it’s certified to ‘crack you up’. Here is an artist with attitude, however he is not quite sure however what his attitude is, he say’s he is in at least two minds about this.

Those who have been to MAD PRIDE events before will know that there is likely to be a couple of spontaneous surprise performances by unbooked ‘open mic’ acts, usually also astonishingly special and good - although time for this is strictly limited as we like to provide full ‘value for money’ by having a full bill of quality ‘booked’ acts. All of this motley assortment will be kept in line by our resident ‘rabble rouser’ (or was that ‘rebel trouser’ and (ir)regular MC Jason Why (oh Why?).

Once again you won’t find a better ‘value for money’ night out in London as we aim to keep admission prices low to ensure our events are accessible to people struggling on low incomes and benefits and Chances has a reasonably priced bar. Those who have attended MAD PRIDE events before will know that they can be guaranteed an eclectic collection of original and quality acts (it’s what we built our reputation on, it does what it says on the tin).

If you are a ‘virgin’ to this kind of thing why not come along and check it out, we are certain you will not be disappointed – be warned though exposure to this kind of stuff can be seriously damaging to your ‘normality’ and once you have been once you will be sure to want to come again, it’s a compulsive thing. We look forward to seeing you there to enjoy a great night out and support an important and otherwise marginalised cause.-

If you yourself have been affected by the impact of the governments welfare reforms or know and care about those that have, or even are unaffected by it yourself but don’t support such inhumane policies, we would urge you to join and support Disabled People Against the Cuts, help to set up new DPAC groups in your area and affiliate to the national and London wide DPAC networks.

Lobby your MP and relevant ministers about the affects and implications of the cuts, write to the local and national press expressing your concerns about and opposition to the government’s policies and agenda. Take up these concerns in your community with your trade union branch, in local community groups etc , lobby your local council about the effects of service cuts and benefit cuts and help us build a groundswell of concern and opposition about the effects and implications of the savage cuts being imposed.

We need to show to politicians that the majority of reasonably minded people think it is only right that those who are able to work and earn money should be willing to pay taxes in order to support people in the community who are not able to do this, and that only greedy selfish small minded people are opposed to this and have any problem with this idea.

Most people understand that anybody can become sick or disabled and may at some point need to rely on the ‘safety net’ of benefits for their survival and that all most everybody in the community knows people who are sick and disabled who have been badly impacted by the welfare ‘reforms’ –

We need support affected people to be able to speak out about their bad experiences and concerns without fear of victimisation or intimidation, help raise concerns about these issues in the press and media and with politicians by writing to the press and lobbying politicians.
We need to challenge the myths in the media about ‘benefit scroungers’ aiming to promote the ‘politics of envy’ by blaming those at the bottom of society for all the economic chaos created by greedy bankers who are still seeking to award themselves huge bonuses for their continuing failures to put the situation they helped to create right.

Whilst the media attempt to smear all claimants as fraudulent benefit ‘scroungers’ large corporations continue to find ‘legitimate’ ways to avoid tax payments, whilst the poorest in society are being brainwashed into thinking we must accept and live with poverty and austerity indefinitely, whilst the richest percentage of society continue to accumulate wealth with each passing minute.

It is only by raising a mass voice of protest that we have a chance of getting the politicians, who are out of touch with reality, to revise and change these draconian policies and challenge distorted and prejudicial propaganda in the right wing media that seeks to portray disabled people dependent on benefits as ‘scroungers’ and unproductive ‘useless eaters’ who are ‘surplus to requirements’ and to promote a fascist mentality in society.

My parent’s generation fought a war against fascists, it now looks like we’ve let a government with a fascist agenda in through the back door. We need to expose the fascist nature of their policies and wake people up to the realities of what these policies mean and are all about.
We thank people in anticipation of any support and help in this you are able to provide, after all for many of us this is potentially a matter of life or death.

For more information about DPAC and other relevant campaign groups in London contact –
National DPAC – http:www.dpac.uk.net email: mail@dpac.uk.net
London DPAC -
The Mental Health Resistance Network –
WinVisible – (Women with Visible & Invisable disabilities) – http://www.winvisible.org
email: win@winvisible.org
For more information about MAD PRIDE and this and future events –Call 077 577 15035
or go to http://www.madpride.org.uk
For more information on Tottenham Chances and other events and activities there –
Call - 0208 365 0653 - go to – http://www.chanceclub.co.uk
or check out Tottenham Chances on facebook -

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