This Is Ska

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Last year, I managed to persuade Arthur Kitchener to come out of his Ska retirement and perform with Kent-based band Skatacus, as part of the House of Ska event I had organised. It was a highlight of my gigging year, as I watched the Balham boy sing “Limehouse Lady”, a track he first recorded as Arthur Kay & The Originals.

I’m pleased to say that since then the “unsung hero of Ska” has been busy recording in Germany, and with a number of live performances, including the London Ska Festival in March. He has also recently announced a ‘Mark The Mods Ska & Soul Night’ on 2nd September. With live music from Arthur Kay & The Originals and Toot ‘N’ Skamen, the event also features a Northern Soul DJ set, as well as a few other treats which I’m not at liberty to divulge (yet!).

All proceeds will be donated to Pilgrims Hospices, and with tickets at just £10.00 it looks set to sell out quickly. Tickets are available online or from the local outlets shown below.

I look forward to seeing you there…

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Winter Tales – Stories to Warm Your Heart

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Although it may now seem like a distant memory, this summer, in the south east of England, was incredibly hot most of the time. I know for a fact that on one July day the weather was sweltering, because this happened to be the day I began to write my contribution to a charity anthology of winter fiction, which is due to be released this Saturday (8th November). If I thought that stepping out of my comfort zone of music journalism was going to be difficult, doing so in temperatures better suited to the Caribbean was not going to make it any easier. This was how I found myself to be in the rather peculiar situation of sitting in my sun-drenched garden, in the middle of July, writing fiction, listening to a CD of Christmas songs. To elaborate on why I felt compelled to do so, I will hand you over to The Write Romantics, for whom I had previously written a guest blog.

“In Spring this year, The Write Romantics – a group of romance writers – were touched by the story of teenager Stephen Sutton and his incredible fundraising achievements. They’d been toying with the idea of compiling an anthology of short stories in aid of charity and decided to turn talk into action. The anthology will be released on 8th November 2014 with all proceeds to be split between The Teenage Cancer Trust and Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Alys West and her nephew

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust was selected as a second cause close to their hearts as one member of The Write Romantics, Alys West, has a gorgeous three-year-old nephew who battles with CF.

‘Winter Tales – Stories to Warm Your Heart’ is a collection of twenty-four uplifting winter and Christmas-themed short stories, which is now available for pre-order, in paperback and eBook formats, through Amazon.The stories are written by the ten Write Romantics and a selection of published guests and new voices,  including those who have graced the best seller lists. Published guests include Samantha Tonge, Kerry Fisher, Annie Lyons, Rhoda Baxter and Zanna Mackenzie.”

To find out more about the anthology and the two wonderful Anthology Cover (white blurb)young men who inspired it, you can visit thewriteromantics.com. To order your copy, and help two deserving charities in the process, please visit http://www.amazon.co.uk/Winter-Tales-Stories-Warm-Heart-ebook/dp/B00P84UGHA/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415125192&sr=1-4&keywords=The+Write+Romantics

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