Thursday, 23 January 2014

Holocaust Day Memorial Thu 23rd JAN 2014 - 8PM- Midnight

PRESS RELEASE

MAD PRIDE in association with SURVIVOR’S POETRY

HOLOCAUST DAY MEMORIAL    ‘Lest We Forget’

THURSDAY 23.01.2014  - 8PM- Midnight

@TOTTENHAM CHANCES

399 Tottenham High Road

Tottenham N17 6QN 

Admission £5 /£ 2 concessions


THE SEA ENEMIES / KATHERINE TOY / THE BONNIE SISTERS SOCIAL CLUB / FIONA BRANSON & COLIN MALONEY/ BARNEY FLOORBIRD / LUCY LYRICAL  & MAGGIE SWAMPWINO / JESSICA LAWRENCE / DJ HONEY.

MC’s JASON WHY & RAZZ.



The radical Mental Health campaigning organisation MAD PRIDE, which uses music and poetry as a vehicle to get our message across, is making a welcome return to the TOTTENHAM CHANCES – Community and Arts centre, which had been a venue we had run regular events other the past few years.
After a recent break to stage a couple of South London events, due to popular demand for this, our annual ‘Celebration of Creative Lunacy’ event for World Mental Health Week in October, and our annual ‘Billy Blake’s Birthday Bash’ to celebrate the birthday of popular ‘mad’ artist and poet William Blake in November, both of which returned to their original venue at the ‘Ivy House’ in Nunhead, having been ‘movable feasts’ over the years being staged in various venues including TOTTENHAM CHANCES.
MAD PRIDE have always enjoyed a good working relationship with TOTTENHAM CHANCES, which we have been keen to support as a genuine ‘grass roots’ community project, and have been keen to bring our events back there.
We made approaches to our ‘sister’ organisation Mental Health poetry events, workshop and publishing organisation SURVIVOR’S POETRY with a view to us forming a partnership to stage this years ‘HOLOCAUST DAY’ memorial event, which has become something of a MAD PRIDE annual ‘tradition’, they were keen to support this, and have offered us one of the regular monthly nights they have ‘booked’ in the venue for this, on THURSDAY 23RD JANUARY.
MAD PRIDE and SURVIVOR’S POETRY have worked in partnership around many events previously and have a ‘shared agenda’ around many issues.
This will mean that some of the ‘programming’ of the artists ‘booked’ for this event will be courtesy of SURIVOR’S POETRY events organiser RAZZ (a man whose taste we have total respect for) and acts suggested by MAD PRIDE.
As usual all of the artists performing are offering their services for free, or for very basic expenses, in support of our cause, some are directly affected by the Government’s Welfare ‘reforms’ and cuts to support services, and others not directly affected but sympathetic to our cause.
Once again we have to thank TOTTENHAM CHANCES for the free use of the venue and their resources, without the good will of artists, venues and other event promoters these events would not be possible.
Again any monies raised over and above the costs of staging the event will be put towards staging future events and MAD PRIDE’s vital campaigning and awareness raising activity about the implications and impact of the Government’s Welfare ‘reforms’ on people with mental health problems.
The event will, as usual, feature a diverse range of highly original and quirky top quality acts, which both MAD PRIDE and SURVIVOR’S POETRY have developed a strong reputation for. You will not find a better ‘value for money’ event anywhere in London.
Artists featured are-
THE SEA ENIMIES-  No that’s not a mis spelling, the band formed by regular SURVIVOR’S POETRY event performer, singer, songwriter DAVE LEAKEY, so named after a visit to a ‘Sea World’ exhibition when Dave’s son said he had been particularly impressed by the ‘Sea Enemies’, it was a name that had to stick, previously the band had been known as ‘The Terrifying Toothpicks’, keen eyed readers will be quick to spot something of a surrealist tendency going on here, seems only right really.
SURVIVOR’S POETRY organiser RAZZ was keen to book this act, which marks their first performance on a MAD PRIDE stage
KATHERINE TOY – MAD PRIDE have been keen to book chanteuse KATHERINE TOY to perform at another MAD PRIDE event ever since she impressed mightily with her performance at the 2012 ‘Gathering of Nuts in May’ event at TOTTENHAM CHANCES- However due to ongoing work commitments, which took her out of London, she has been unavailable on the dates when we have staged gigs, we are extremely pleased to have secured her services again and we are very much looking forward seeing her performance.
Katherine was introduced to MAD PRIDE via RAZZ having performed at many SURVIVOR’S  POETRY events, so it seemed particularly pertinent to invite her to perform on this special ‘partnership’ event, she is a joint ‘must have’ choice for both MAD PRIDE & SURVIVOR’S POETRY. We know that KATHERINE has been disappointed not to be able to make the dates we had tried to book her for before as she is strong supporter of MAD PRIDE’s aims, this makes this an all round ‘winner’ for all concerned, most especially for the audience .
Accompanying herself on accordion, there is something of the Brechtian, Weimar cabaret about KATHERINE’S performances, (seems appropriate to the theme of the event). Her ironic cynical, somewhat embittered vocal and lyrics highlight this feel. It seems inevitable that she would perform a stunning version of the old cabaret classic which asks, ‘Is that all there is?’ (and if that’s all there is then let’s keep dancing). Another true star.
THE BONNIE SISTERS SOCIAL CLUB- The eccentric names this act adopt, often changing names from one gig to another, (great marketing strategy boy’s), somewhat belies their extremely competently played classic ‘traditional’ acoustic country folk blues, which more than anything reminds me of classic ‘Grateful Dead’ in its subtle construction and deft harmonics. Beautifully played by some top of the range musicians (and all round lovely people), despite this choice of name not one of them is actually of the feminine gender.
A stunning act that needs to be seen. Once again this act was introduced to MAD PRIDE by RAZZ, after his being so impressed by them after they had performed as an ‘open mic’ at a SURVIVOR’S POETRY event, so this makes them also something of a natural for this event.
They have gone on to become something of a favourite act at MAD PRIDE events having first featured (under the name ‘Broken Biro’) at the ‘Midsummer Madness’ event at TOTTENHAM CHANCES in June of last year, and again at the ‘Mad Love’ event there in July, most recently performing under the name ‘Lady Beard & the Wall of Crisps’ at the recent ‘BILLY BLAKE’S BIRTHDAY BASH’ which took place at the ‘Ivy House’ in Nunhead in November. Do you think these boys might be surrealists of some sort? The theme continues.
FIONA BRANSON & COLIN MALONEY – MAD PRIDE have been keen to get singer songwriter FIONA BRANSON, who performs relatively rarely these days, to do a gig for us for a long time, but she has never been available for the dates we had booked. We were therefore immensely pleased when she approached RAZZ with an interest in doing this date. She will be performing accompanied by her good friend, the accomplished musician COLIN MALONEY, a key part of Tyrone Thomas’ ‘Olympic Clamp Down’ band, with which FIONA has been long closely associated, having recorded and performed with them in the past.
Both FIONA & COLIN have performed a number of times at SURVIVOR’S POETRY events both in TOTTENMAM CHANCES and ‘The Poetry Place’. Colin has appeared at numerous MAD PRIDE events, with bands like the ‘OCD’ and ‘The Swamp/ Kitchen Winos’. FIONA has developed a strong reputation as a writer and singer over a period of a number of years of performing, Colin has established a strong reputation as a performer of many years standing. We are very much looking forward to FIONA treating us to some of her powerful and poignant songs, delivered with her strong but subtle voice.
BARNEY FLOORBIRD- Singer, songwriter BARNEY asked us to describe him as ‘the heart of Tottenham’, that about says it really. His poignant, wistful, somewhat melancholic, yet powerfully melodic songs are sure to touch your heart. BARNEY is another ‘veteran’ artist, who seldom performs these days, but he has been a regular favourite at SURVIOVOR’S POETRY events at TOTTENHAM CHANCES and has also previously performed at several MAD PRIDE events staged there. We are always keen to invite BARNEY back to perform for us, he is always very much value for money, a true local cultural ‘gem’. Another mutually agreed invitation.
LUCY LYRICAL & MAGGIE SWAMPWINO – Singer, songwriter LUCY LYRICAL is new to the MAD PRIDE stage and comes recommended by all the well respected musician and sound producer MAGGIE SWAMPWINO, founder of the ‘Swamp Wino’s’ band, who has appeared many times (in various guises) at numerous MAD PRIDE and SURVIOVR’S POETRY events, who will be accompanying LUCY with additional musical instrumentation to augment her dexterous ukulele playing. Maggie has been well known, and much respected for supporting others in their creative endeavours, working with people to record their material and playing live onstage with other artists. LUCY lyrics have been described as ‘clever, satirical and political’, sounds like this fits the bill for this event, we look forward to seeing LUCY and MAGGIE perform together on our stage.  
JESSICA LAW RENCE- A published poet, who has been closely associated with poetry legend Michael Horovitz. Being Jewish herself and having relatives who had been victims or survivors of the Holocaust, and as a disabled person who has been personally affected by the Government’s Welfare ‘reforms’, she was keen to perform at this event and for our part we were pleased to have her perform. A regular feature and a firm favourite at SURVIVOR’S POETRY events at TOTTENHAM CHANCES and their regular monthly events at the ‘Poetry Place’ cafe in Covent Garden, this marks her first appearance on a MAD PRIDE platform, a cause she is keen to support.  
DJ HONEY- Back by popular demand ‘The man himself, the urban warrior’ Old style dancehall ‘toaster’ with a contemporary twist, MC Milo aka DJ HONEY – who always impresses mightily when he performs, his presence lights up the room, knockout stuff guaranteed to ‘wow’. Back on our stage for the first time since his appearance at our ‘Mad Love’ event in July of last year, after a long break from performing on our stage.
MAD PRIDE was introduced to Milo, when as a member of the Wandsworth based, ‘Sound Minds mental health arts organisation he performed at the 2008 ‘BONKERSFEST!’, organised by the sadly demised Camberwell based radical mental health arts charity ‘Creative Routes’, in which MAD PRIDE was a ‘partner’ organisation in delivering.
DJ HONEY went on to become something of a firm favourite at ‘Creative Routes’ semi regular ‘Muses Cafe’ events (sadly now demised) and to do a number of MAD PRIDE events, his last appearance at a MAD PRIDE gig being at last July’s ‘Mad Love’ event (after too long a break away from our stage) . We are always keen to invite Milo to perform at our events, where we know he will impress; this is pure quality stuff here.
As usual our MC for the night, keeping this rabble in order and ensuring everything runs on time, is ‘the man with the plan’, the ubiquitous Mr JASON WHY (for it is he). Now also known with running his own ‘Mad For It’ events at TOTTENHAM CHANCES on the first Friday of every month. JASON has continued to make a valuable contribution to MAD PRIDE’s activity, not only helping to run events, but enthusiastically promoting them and contributing artists contacts and suggestions for acts from his wide array of contacts with performers and artists, for which we thank him hugely.
Be warned JASON will be once more using his ‘psychic powers’ to conjure and create spontaneous poetry, we are talking real ‘magic’ here, you know the scary kind.
RAZZ will also be helping out with the MC duties in keeping with his role and responsibilities as the ‘curator’ of events for SURVIVOR’S POETRY and may well treat us to a couple of his own heartfelt poems and song’s, also look out for some of the spontaneous ‘open mic’ ‘floor spots’, that are a regular fixture at SURVIVOR’S POETRY events, it all adds to the fun.


TOTTENHAM CHANCES has a reasonably priced bar so you can come and enjoy a great night out despite the current grim economic climate, and lets face it, in the period after all of the over commercialised Xmas hype, when everybody is skint, we all need a little something to lift us out of those midwinter blues. This will be a party for all of those who have ‘survived’ Xmas, despite it all, with Xmas being a traditionally bleak period for people forced to live in poverty, where there is an annual increase in the suicide level, ‘Ho Ho Ho’.
The coming year will see yet more cuts to welfare benefits and support services for people with mental health problems, the obvious consequence of this will be an increase in the levels of suicides and deaths as a result of this to add to the ten thousand plus people who have died prematurely or taken their own lives as a result of the Governments notorious and deeply flawed ‘Work Capability Assessments’.
This is why MAD PRIDE think it is important to mark the HOLOCAUST DAY memorial, ‘Lest We Forget’ that it was disabled people and those labelled as ‘mad’ that were the first to be exterminated in the concentration camps as ‘genetic degenerates’ and ‘useless eaters’ who were a burden on the taxpayer.
Wait a minute, does something sound naggingly familiar here? Doesn’t this have some chilling parallels with the propaganda of the Government  and their right wing media buddies, that somehow all welfare benefit claimants are frauds, ‘’scroungers’ and a ‘burden on society’.
MAD PRIDE want to ask once again how far have we come in relation to prejudice against disabled people and those labelled as ‘mad’ – in our view it is nothing like far enough, so this is still a vital cause, and one which has been set back by current political rhetoric, which promotes divisive prejudice and stigma.
This is why we in MAD PRIDE feel it is so vital for us to continue to mark the HOLOCAUST DAY memorial, as a lesson from history to say ‘Never Again!’
As far as we can see the policies and philosophies of all of the main stream political parties are nothing short of Fascism, promoting the idea that ‘unproductive’ disabled people are a ‘burden’ on society and therefore ‘surplus to requirements’.
MAD PRIDE events provide a sense of ‘solidarity’ for those affected by the Government’s draconian policies and help to show them that most reasonable and caring people do not support these policies and have been influenced by the prejudicial propaganda put out by the right wing press and media.
MAD PRIDE believe that most reasonable and fair minded people would not give support to these policies if they were to be given the true facts about the implications and impacts of Welfare ‘reforms’ and public services cuts. This is why MAD PRIDE’s campaigning and awareness raising work is so vital, to challenge the myths and lies put out by the Government and their media buddies to promote their distorted agenda.
Come along and show your support for our cause and enjoy a great night of high quality poetry and music at a price that makes it accessible to all in these times of economic misery (as well as supporting an important and otherwise marginalised cause).
TOTTENHAM CHANCES is located nearby to Tottenham Hale and Seven Sisters BR and tube stations and is served by a number of buses and night buses from various parts of London. There is free parking available at the venue which is also fully disabled accessible.


For more info on this event and MAD PRIDE go to – www.madpride.org.uk  or ring 077 577 15035
Or Google SURVIVOR’S POETRY on the internet.
For more info on TOTTENHAM CHANCES and other events and activities there. look them up on Facebook.

http://madpride.org.uk/index.php

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

January Newsletter

Dear Friends,

We hope to find you in good spirits and that the New Year has started well. 

2013 will be remembered for many events in our circle: among others, the launch of the book "Ravaged Wonderful Earth: A Collection for David Kessell"; the revival and creation of a new identity for St Clements Hospital, with the good times at the successful events that happened there; the unmeasurable work and achievements of the Mental Health Resistance Network in the campaign against ATOS and the WCA. Very glad for seeing the first ideas for the LifeHouse Project taking shape (if you wish to be added to the mailing list and get involved in meetings or have some ideas to send, please write to thelifehouse13@gmail.com

2014 started now. David Kessell has named the next and first F.E.E.L.-like event for the year: "Sanity in an era of rabid capitalism?", to take place at the Kingsley Hall on Friday the 7th of February, 7 pm. Main speakers will be Denise McKenna (Mental Health Resistance Network), and a Trade Union activist. There will be plenty of time and opportunity for open discussions. 
On Monday the 20th of January there will be the usual monthly gathering for more planning for the above event, at LARC 62, Fieldagate St, Whitechapel, from 6.30-8.30pm.

In the meantime Eastbeat are hosting the POETRY & MUSIC Open Mic tomorrow (in a few hrs really), Tuesday 7th January, 7-9.30 pm, at the Kingsley Hall, Powis Road (off Bruce Road) E3 3HJ   http://www.eastbeat.org/

The next Survivor History Group meeting is planned for Wednesday 29.1.2014 at Together,12 Old Street, London

January can be a though month: advisable to invest extra effort in keeping fit and active. If needed get some ideas from The Five steps to mental wellbeing

All the best and Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to All!

SANITY IN AN ERA OF RABID CAPITALISM?

Date: Friday 7 February, 2014 
Time: 6.30 doors open for 7pm start
A  F.E.E.L. (Friends of East End Loonies) event to discuss abuses within the psychiatric system, what a humane asylum would be like and the wide range of alternatives.

SPEAKERS
  •   Denise McKenna, Mental Health Resistance Network: Towards a social model of mental distress
  •   A Local Trade Union activist: “The impact of local authority & NHS cuts on mental health services”
  •   Questions/comments from the floor
 Venue:   Kingsley Hall, corner Powis and Bruce Roads, E3 3HJ, (Nearest tube stations: Bow Church and Bromley-By-Bow)


There will be an interval with music, poetry and refreshments.                                             

No entrance fee but donations will be welcome to cover costs.       
For more information call:
David: 020 7790 0269 or Myra on 020 7780 9038
f.e.e.l.campaign@gmail.com