When we formed the band, I decided not to spend too much on equipment as there was no guarantee we’d last five minutes, so I ended up with a small amp and cheap bass guitar, both branded “Harley Benton” – from the German firm Thomann, but of course made in China. Perhaps I should mention the bass especially, as it was very cheap, but unlike many cheapies had a solid wood construction, no MDF or plywood here! From the time I first tuned it in I hardly had to touch the tuning. The action was a little high, but adjustable and I’ve read plenty of stuff on the net about people successfully getting it pretty low and fast. The real bummer is the electronics. Some notes just go missing in the midrange which meant I was stuck at the bottom end most of the time. I’d read about this, as well – people had used this bass as a base, to build a custom job, and I was tempted to do the same.
We had another practice session at Gerpins Lane stage room, and I set up the DV camera again. For some reason, it did not pick up the bass very well. It’s a domestic DV camcorder, with a built-in mic, but last time it picked it up OK. Who knows? Anyway we did some more videos and here they are:
I’ve just experienced 5 days that started 35 years ago! I know it doesn’t make sense, the long explanation is here!
The short explanation is that I joined the old CPSA Broad Left when it became an open organisation back in 1977, and the hard work done by me and others has made it possible to get the PCS Union to where it is today.
Tomorrow morning, Saturday, me and my Collibosher bandmates are up at the crack of dawn (well, for a weekend!) and a practice session, then midday on Sunday it will be down to Brighton for PCS Conference.
I’m looking forward to a good week, I think that PCS has much to be proud of, but the struggle continues uphill in the absence of other unions who sold the Pensions Heads-of-Agreement to their members. Some will take the opportunity to attack the leadership of PCS, but both in the DWP and Nationally, the Left Unity candidates have been returned with almost a clean sweep (only one NEC candidate missing out). Some people do need to get a handle on reality – look at what’s going on in the country and the unions generally, and put the performance of PCS into perspective. Until we get Harry Potter on our NEC, I’m not expecting magic!
I was interviewed on the picket line at Barking this morning. Here is the clip.
One thing about life these days, there always seems to be something happening.
Tomorrow I’m on strike, part of my union PCS. We are protesting about the attack on our pensions, but don’t think for a moment that we are spurred purely by self-interest. People in this country seem, on the whole, totally demoralised. We’re sitting back and letting our government raise the pension age to 68 for both men and women. Living longer? Not for long, with what they’re doing to the NHS.